Police officers deny assaulting driver and teenager passenger in Alperton

Court hears claims motorist and 14-year-old were left with facial cuts and abrasions

One of three Scotland Yard police officers accused of assaulting a motorist and his teenage passenger in Alperton has denied committing a “vicious, sustained and unprovoked attack”.

Karl Bartlett, 42, said he did not abuse the 14-year-old passenger after stopping the driver for using a mobile phone on the A40 at Hanger Lane, a court heard.

Bartlett, Anthony Read, 35, and Colin Nye, 37, left Lee Rosier, 24, and the teenager with cut lips and abrasions to their faces after the attack, Westminster Magistrates’ Court was previously told.

Mr Rosier was driving his Cosworth home from a classic car rally on March 1 last year, when he was allegedly assaulted by the members of the Met’s Territorial Support Group.

The officers pulled the car over after they saw Mr Rosier on the phone while driving, the court heard.

Giving evidence today, Bartlett said: “I could see a white male in the driver’s seat. He had a mobile phone in his right hand up to his right ear and was looking over his shoulder towards our vehicle. I thought at the time it was like a rabbit caught in the headlights.”

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He said the car then accelerated away from the police officer’s van and undertook the car in front.

Bartlett added: “I didn’t understand why he was trying to evade us. In my experience mobile phone users drop the phone when they see us or will pull over and plead ignorance or they will says it’s fair cop and hope we just give them words of advice.

“My thought was that it was either stolen or there was other criminality involved, not merely a mobile phone.”

Bartlett told the court he shouted “Get out of the car, get out of the car” as he approached the passenger side of the vehicle as another officer approached the driver.

He said he opened the door, took hold of the teenager’s wrist with one hand and his arm with the other and pulled him out with no resistance.

He said that was the only force he used.

He added he thought he could smell cannabis and told the teenager he believed he was in possession of drugs and was detaining him to be searched.

He said he did not find any drugs.

Asked if he head-butted the boy and twisted his arm behind his back so hard that the boy thought it would break, Bartlett replied: “No, I did not.”

He was then asked if he committed a “vicious, sustained and unprovoked attack against a defenceless 14-year-old boy”, and he replied: “I did not.”

Giving evidence on Monday, Mr Rosier told the trial another officer dragged him from the car before head-butting him.

He said: “It is lucky I had enough strength to put my feet on the floor or I would have fallen on my face.”

In a statement to police at the time of the alleged incident, he said he was then kneed in the back and forced to the ground, the court heard.

Mr Rosier was given a fixed-penalty notice for using a mobile phone while driving, the court was told.

Detective Mike Smith previously told the trial he took a complaint from Mr Rosier and his passenger later that night.

He said: “Lee had abrasions on the upper brow and forehead area. He showed me the inside of his mouth and there was a cut on his lower lip. Elsewhere on his body were handcuff marks on both his wrists and he limped when walking.”

He said the 14-year-old had a 60mm scratch over his left eye and he had redness on the cheekbone and a cut to the upper inside of his lower lip.

He said the teenager told him he had been abused and head-butted in the face, causing the officer’s hat to fall off.

All three men deny assault.