Mother felt violated by “wrongful arrest” – court

  • By Jess Warren and PA Media
  • BBC news

image caption, PC Perry Lathwood denies a charge of assault by beating

A mother felt “very violated” after a police officer “manhandled” and “wrongfully arrested” her for evading a bus ticket in front of her young son, a court heard.

PC Perry Lathwood, 50, of Norman’s Bay, East Sussex, denies a charge of assault by beating during the arrest of Jocelyn Agyemang in Croydon.

She was subsequently left with bruising to her arm, City of London Magistrates’ Court heard on Friday.

Ms Agyemang was later withdrawn.

City of London Magistrates’ Court heard police officers were assisting ticket inspectors on a bus on Whitehorse Road at the time.

Paul Jarvis, prosecuting, said Ms Agyemang was dropping her son off at his mother’s home on July 21 last year before heading to a meeting in Marylebone scheduled for 12.30pm BST.

After she and her son got off the bus at around 11am, she was asked to show that she had paid for her ticket by a bus inspector.

“She doesn’t hand it in and walk away,” Mr Jarvis told the court.

“At this point PC Lathwood is getting involved.”

He said PC Lathwood put a hand on her but she moved away so he then grabbed her arm and arrested her for escape.

A crowd gathered, people filming the officer and asking him why he arrested her.

image source, Google Maps

image caption, The alleged attack took place on Whitehorse Road in Croydon last year

In footage played in court, Ms Agyemang was heard asking the officer: “Can you get off me please? can you take my arm off

“You don’t understand, I didn’t do anything wrong.”

Mr Jarvis said PC Lathwood continued to hold her, demanding she touch her Oyster card. He also handcuffed her.

Another officer took his Oyster card from his hand and went with him to see if he had paid.

She was withdrawn at the scene after the force confirmed that Ms Agyemang had paid her fare.

Mr Jarvis told the court: “There was no need for an arrest.


“The officer who decided to make this arrest and decided to seize her and manhandle her acted illegally because he had no justification.

“Even though it was necessary to arrest her, the level of force was not reasonable.”

Ms Agyemang told the court she felt “a bit degraded” by the incident, which she said was “very scary”.

“I just remember the strong grip,” she said.

“When someone holds me, especially when I feel like I haven’t done anything wrong, it’s very scary for me.”

When asked why she left, Ms Agyemang said: “At the time, I was only thinking of getting to my mother’s house.”

She was also asked why she “resisted” the police when she was pulled over.

“Honestly, I can’t see myself holding out,” she said.

“Unknown Threat”

PC Lathwood is attached to the Metropolitan Police’s Road Policing Command.

When he testified, the officer was asked why he arrested Ms Agyemang.

PC Lathwood told the court he had “no idea” what else he could have done other than arrest her and arrested her to prevent her leaving the scene.

“Because of her actions and her refusal to show that card to other people who continually asked her to do so.

“If the card had come back unpaid we would have progressed and explained everything to her if she would have let us,” he said, adding that she “wasn’t listening”, he needed to “calm her down” and she was an “unknown threat”.

He denied arresting Ms Agyemang so he could use force against her and said he raised his voice and called her a “mad cow” at one point during the arrest as a form of “tactical communication ” as he was concerned that she might step on the road.

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