CAMBRIDGESHIRE, U.K. – Two police officers, John Richardson and David Littlemore, were given suspended sentences yesterday by a judge in the case of assaulting John Morgan. Morgan, a 59 year old diabetic, was attacked by the two officers in August of last year as he sat peacefully at a park bench with his dog, the BBC reports.
The officers had been tasked with finding one Bill King, a 76 year old man with Alzheimer’s who had gone missing from his residence. Dispatch radioed the officers a description of what King was believed to be dressed in, and that he had a black and white dog with him, according to the Daily Mail.
When Richardson and Littlemore came upon Morgan, they believed he was Bill King, as he was reportedly dressed similarly. They asked that Morgan identify himself. Morgan reportedly told the officers that he was not the missing man they were searching for, and would not surrender his name or address to them.
The officers testified that Morgan’s refusal to identify lead them to conclude that Morgan’s Welsh accent, which is actually authentic, was being faked, and as Bill King was reported to not have a Welsh accent, they therefore felt it was King they were speaking to.
Following this meandering and ridiculous logic, the officers proceeded to assault Morgan and threw him to the ground, where he endured punches, had his arms twisted and fingers bent backwards, and was pinned down for some time.
Morgan said of the incident:
“I remember asking them about my human rights and taking their collar [i.e. badge] numbers which I forgot and being very disorientated. I remember officer two [Richardson] saying he ‘did not care’ repeatedly about my vulnerability.”
The assault came to end only after dispatch confirmed for the officers that their actual target, Bill King, had a Bull Terrier dog, whilst Morgan’s dog was a Jack Russell.
Realizing they now had the wrong man, the officers let Morgan go. Bill King would indeed later be found by these same officers, and was reportedly “assisted” in getting back to his home by officer Richardson.
Yesterday, Judge Susan Holdham rendered on the case, where she chastised Richardson and Littlemore. She sentenced the two police officers to three months jail, suspended for two years, on charges of “assault by beating” and excessive force; 200 and 150 community service hours for Richardson and Littlemore, respectively; and each man was ordered to pay 1,030 British pounds in fines, including an 80 pound “victim surcharge.”
Richardson and Littlemore have also been suspended from their police department, and must now face misconduct proceedings by Cambridgeshire Police in addition to abiding by Judge Holdham’s sentencing.
Written by Jack O’Brien and featured on Liberty Upward