QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
THE ADMINISTRATIVE COURT
B e f o r e :
|THE QUEEN ON THE APPLICATION OF BUCHER||(CLAIMANT)|
|DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS||(DEFENDANT)|
Smith Bernal Wordwave Limited
190 Fleet Street London EC4A 2AG
Tel No: 020 7404 1400 Fax No: 020 7831 8838
(Official Shorthand Writers to the Court)
MR A WEITZMAN (instructed by Treasury Solicitors) appeared on behalf of the DEFENDANT
Crown Copyright ©
"i. On the 31st October Sergeant Eastwood was on duty and performing the duties of a Custody Sergeant at Hereford Police Station.
"ii. He was in the company of Mr Anthony Bayliss, a custody assistant, employed by Reliance Custodial Services.
"iii. Also present in the custody suite were the appellant and her mother Mrs Karen Bucher who was acting as an appropriate adult for her daughter [who was 16 years old at the time]. Mr Bayliss had identified them to Sergeant Eastwood [the appellant was there to answer bail in respect of an alleged theft and assault].
"iv. They had been asked to wait in the 'Doctors Room' and were so doing.
"v. At approximately 12.50 pm Sergeant Eastwood was in the process of detaining a prisoner who had been arrested on an unrelated matter by Police Constable Price.
"vi. Sergeant Eastwood was taking the details of the defendant and performing his duties as prescribed by the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984.
"vii. The appellant's mother, Mrs Karen Bucher, together with the appellant approached Sergeant Eastwood.
"viii. Mrs Bucher wanted to know when they would be dealt with and was extremely agitated and angry.
"ix. Sergeant Eastwood asked them both to return to the 'Doctors Room' as he was dealing with a prisoner and could not deal with them at the same time.
"x. The appellant and Mrs Bucher refused to return to the 'Doctors Room' with Sergeant Eastwood being told to 'Fuck off' by Mrs Karen Bucher and a 'Fucking twat' by the defendant.
"xi. Both the appellant and Mrs Bucher were asked to return to the 'Doctors Room'. They both refused and were extremely angry.
"xii. The actions of the appellant and Mrs Bucher were such that Sergeant Eastwood was unable to perform his duties as a Custody Sergeant without resolving the situation.
"xiii. Sergeant Eastwood decided that the appellant should be placed in a secure cell and that Mrs Bucher should be escorted from the custody suite.
"xiv. Sergeant Eastwood instructed Mr Bayliss to place the appellant in a secure cell.
"xv. Mr Bayliss, acting in response to those instructions, took hold of the appellant.
"xvi. At the same time Sergeant Eastwood went to escort Mrs Bucher from the custody suite by placing his hand on her forearm to guide her to the exit door. We found that any force used in this action was trivial and that Sergeant Eastwood was acting in the execution of his duty.
"xvii. The appellant was struggling violently with Mr Bayliss in an attempt to break free from his restraint and they both came into close proximity of Sergeant Eastwood.
"xviii. In struggling violently with Mr Bayliss the appellant 'lunged' past Mr Bayliss in an attempt to reach her mother.
"xix. The appellant's hand made contact with Sergeant Eastwood causing him injuries to his face as detailed in the photographs exhibited to us. We found this to be a reckless assault.
"xx. Mr Bayliss placed the appellant in a cell and Mrs Bucher was escorted from the custody suite.
"xxi. The appellant was duly charged with the above offence and bailed to attend Hereford Youth Court."
"3. It was contended by the appellant that Sergeant Eastwood, in taking hold of Mrs Karen Bucher was not acting in the execution of his duty as he did not have the right to take hold of her against her wishes. The appellant further contended that even if Sergeant Eastwood had taken hold of Mrs Bucher gently he was still acting outside the scope of his duty. The appellant therefore submitted that any actions taken by her were to protect her mother from an unlawful assault by Sergeant Eastwood and was thus acting in the self-defence of her mother."
"4. It was contended by the respondent that the appellant intentionally assaulted the Custody Sergeant who was acting in the execution of his duty in that he was acting lawfully as he was dealing with a disturbance in the custody suite and was exercising the only realistic option available to him by removing Mrs Bucher from the custody suite."
"We were of the opinion that Sergeant Eastwood was acting in the execution of his duty in that he was faced with a situation that threatened the operation of the custody suite, namely the appellant and her mother being verbally abusive and aggressive while he was dealing with another prisoner. They refused to cooperate with his requests and continued to disrupt the running of the custody suite. We considered that the primary duty of Sergeant Eastwood was to ensure that the custody suite was operated effectively. It was quite clear to us that the actions of the appellant and her mother were preventing Sergeant Eastwood from performing those duties. We were also of the opinion that he had a duty to all persons present in the custody suite and therefore had to deal with the disorder being caused by the appellant and her mother in order that he could perform his duty as Custody Sergeant.
"We did not consider that the appellant had any cause to believe that she was entitled to protect her mother. Although Sergeant Eastwood took hold of Mrs Bucher to escort her from the custody suite we were of the opinion that this was no more than a trivial interference with her liberty and that any 'force' used was minimal. Consequently there was no 'assault' by Sergeant Eastwood on Mrs Bucher and consequently the appellant was not acting in the defence of her mother. We found that she assaulted Sergeant Eastwood who was acting in the execution of his duty although we found that this was a reckless assault in that by struggling so violently with Mr Bayliss in the close proximity of Sergeant Eastwood she must have realised that there was a real possibility that he would be subjected to unlawful force.
"Accordingly we found the appellant guilty of the charge and sentenced the appellant to a conditional discharge for three years and further ordered that she pay compensation in the sum of £125 to Sergeant Eastwood."
"7a) Whether the Officer was acting in the execution of his duty?"
"7b) Whether anything that he did caused him to cease to be acting in the execution of his duty?"