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Trial Of Palmerston North Police Officer Begins

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Oct 21 NZPA - A Palmerston North officer slammed on the brakes of a police wagon so hard he crippled a prisoner he was transporting, a High Court trial has been told.

Mark Edwards, 46, suffered a fractured dislocation of his spine which left him a quadriplegic.

Constable Timothy Edward Hesketh was charged with reckless disregard causing grievous bodily harm and faces a maximum sentence of seven years prison.

The High Court at Palmerston North was told that in November last year Hesketh and four other officers arrested Mr Edwards, who was drunk and trespassing at his ex-girlfriend's home.

Fellow constables Jymahl Glassey and Matthew McFlynn said on the trip back to the station Hesketh jammed on the brakes as they approached an intersection.

Mr Glassey said the force lifted him out of his seat and into a guard rail, the Manawatu Standard newspaper reported.

Three officers said Mr Edwards had been able to walk to the police car following his arrest.

When they arrived at the station Mr Edwards was lying face down on the floor of the vehicle and had to be carried to the cells.

"His feet and his legs looked limp...he couldn't walk himself," Mr Glassey said.

In his police report Mr Glassey speculated whether Mr Edwards had hit his head as the arresting officers wrestled him to the ground.

Crown prosecutor Ben Vanderkolk said Hesketh claimed officers had needed to carry Mr Edwards to the car in the first place, placing him in the recovery position in the footwell.

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