POLICE wasted thousands of pounds of taxpayers money on a case after CCTV footage revealed that a Special Constable had ‘lied’ about being head-butted.
David Dwyer was charged with assault following an altercation outside a pub in Peterborough on August 13, but his case was sensationally dropped just a day before he was due to face trial.
The 47-year-old had approached the officers because he was fleeing an attack by four assailants near a local Tesco store, only for him to be arrested outside the pub as he tried to explain what had happened.
In a statement about the incident, Special Constable Sam Shepherd alleged he had been head-butted by Mr Dwyer – something which the former sales manager has always denied.
In his signed witness statement, which carries the threat of prosecution for any knowing lies that are told, Special Cons Shepherd says: “The male (Dwyer) then began to push myself, and I started grappling with Dwyer causing my helmet to come of (sic) my head.
“Whilst I was grappling with Dwyer, he head-butted me making contact with top of my head using his forehead.
“When Dwyer head-butted me it caused a pain in my neck and a sharp pain on my head. There is no lump on my head and no long lasting pain.
“At this point I deployed my PAVA into Dwyer’s eyes. Dwyer was then put into handcuffs in rear stack by another officer.”
Mr Dwyer pleaded ‘not guilty’ to assaulting an officer and was due to stand trial at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday November 9 – only for the case against him to be dropped after prosecutors viewed video coverage of the incident on Tuesday November 8.
A letter to Mr Dwyer’s solicitors from the Crown Prosecution Service confirms that that the charges have been dropped “because there is not enough evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction.”
The CCTV shows the attack Mr Dwyer was trying to avoid continued as he was arrested by police, with a man ripping at his t-shirt, and crucially shows there was NO contact between himself and Special Cons Shepherd.
“He definitely lied, there’s no doubt about it,” said Mr Dwyer, who has issued a formal complain to Cambridgeshire police and is demanding the dismissal of the constable he was accused of assaulting.
“He also said his helmet got knocked off but he took it off himself. It was obvious that he was lying, you can see on the CCTV that he took his helmet off. It is beyond me that he was able to go to the police officer and say he was head-butted.
“Another thing they said was that they could smell alcohol on me. But everybody knows that I don’t drink, I haven’t had a drink for two or three years. That is another lie they just throw in to start with, they assume because it is a weekend or a night that you must’ve been drinking.
“If it would’ve gone to court, at the time when the riots were on, and it would’ve come out that he sprayed me and all the truth would’ve come out, imagine the uproar that would’ve caused.”
Although the footage reveals no head butt, it does show that Mr Dwyer was handcuffed and sprayed in the face with PAVA spray, which is designed to incapacitate, and left him frightened and finding it difficult to breathe.
“You can’t breathe, you’re hot, you feel like you’re going to die,” he said about the horrific experience.
“I was rolling around on the cell floor, I took all my clothes off and was trying to get cool. They was making out that I was alright but it was a monitored cell. And I didn’t see a doctor until the morning. That’s the closest I’ve ever felt to coming to death.”
Thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money has been wasted, with Mr Dwyer’s solicitor Shakil Rehman, of Lloyd Rehman, saying their bill alone, which will have to be met by the Ministry of Justice’s Central Fund, could run up to GBP4,000.
The case against Mr Dwyer proceeded even though an investigating officer reviewing the CCTV did not mention a head-butt in his statement and a statement taken from a bouncer who saw the incident said he had not seen Mr Dwyer head-butt Constable Shepherd.
Mr Rehman said prosecutors told him they had taken so long to drop the case because Tuesday was the first time they had seen the CCTV footage as they had previously been unable to open the video file.
A police spokesperson said: “We note the decision of the court. We have received a complaint and are investigating.
“The Special Constable involved has not been suspended and is still working for the force.”