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Judge and jury criticise police as video shows man being sprayed and tripped by officer | #childpredator | #onlinepredator | #sextrafficing

Police have been criticiby a judge and jury for being ‘heavy-handed’ in detaining a suspect – after he was filmed being tripped and pepper-sprayed without warning. Daniel James, 45, was detained after refusing to leave the scene where a woman had suffered a medical episode.

After being accused of filming paramedics, he was pushed and tripped by officers who used a force-issue Captor pepper spray on him. Bodyworn footage of the arrest – that was released by Thames Valley Police after an appeal to the judge – shows James being restrained on the ground, before he spits at an officer and is accused of biting another copper’s ankle.

He was convicted of common assault in relation to the spitting, but cleared of the ankle bite after a trial at Oxford Crown Court. But after delivering the verdict, jurors took the extraordinary step of raising concern about the behaviour of the arresting officers.

In a note passed to the judge, they wrote: “The way Mr James was treated in the build up to these events felt very heavy-handed and appear very provocative. We empathise with Mr James’ sense of injustice at being sprayed and taken to the floor.”

And their view was echoed by Judge Ian Pringle KC, who took what he described as an ‘exceptional’ course and imposed a two year conditional discharge when he sentenced James. After reading the jury’s statement, Judge Pringle added: “It seems that my view of this case was not isolated.”

He said he saw ‘no good reason’ for the defendant to have been sprayed in the face with Captor by PC Quarterman. “I don’t think there was any necessity for you to be treated in the way that you were in the initial part of this episode,” he said, although he added that spitting at a police officer was ‘behaviour we can’t accept’.

Footage from the police officers’ body-worn cameras captured the moment James was sprayed by PC Lewis Quarterman in Cornmarket in the early hours of June 5 last year. During the trial, the court heard that police were called to Cornmarket at around 3.30am on June 5 last year by paramedics whose attempts to treat a woman who had collapsed near the Plush nightclub attracted a crowd of curious onlookers.

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