An Angus sergeant accused of assaulting a man in the cells at Arbroath police station phoned a senior officer shortly after the claimed attack and said there had been an “incident” which was likely to lead to a complaint, a court has heard.
David Black told Inspector Alistair Robertson he had used a knee block to restrain Marc Brand in the early hours of October 10 2013.
Minutes later, another officer from Arbroath called the area command inspector to say that Mr Brand had made an allegation of assault by Sergeant Black in a custody cell, claiming he had been kneed in the face.
Black, 49, denies grabbing Mr Brand by the throat and striking his face with a knee within the cells of Arbroath police station.
Insp Robertson told Forfar Sheriff Court he was minutes into his early shift that day when he took the call from the accused.
“He told me that there had been an incident in the cell area and there was likely to be a complaint regarding him,” said Insp Robertson.
“He said he had prevented Marc Brand from getting up and had used a knee block to restrain him. I stated for him to go on holiday and if a complaint was made it would be properly investigated,” the witness added.
Earlier, retired custody Sergeant Fiona Cameron told the trial she had been on duty at Arbroath when Brand was brought in shortly before 2am, heavily under the influence of alcohol and acting aggressively.
He was put in an observation cell and checked every half hour, and then hourly until around 6am when Mr Brand made an allegation of being assaulted.
The witness said: “I think I said to him you’re in a cell with a camera and I can check the CCTV so you’d best not be making anything up.
“I reviewed the CCTV and there appeared to be a corroboration of what the person alleged, that he had been kneed in the face.”
The witness told the court that Black had also come to the charge bar and asked to see CCTV from the cell, estimating the time of that request to be around 6.30am to 7am.
Under defence cross-examination, the witness spoke to a number of references on Mr Brand’s custody sheet relating to previous dealing with the police.
They included ‘drugs, violent, escapee and alleges’ – which Ms Cameron said indicated he had previously made allegations about the police.
Questioned about her viewing of the CCTV clip, the witness said: “From my recollection there appeared to be a movement of Sergeant Black’s left leg which appeared to tie up with what the prisoner had said.”
But she admitted that she could not see Mr Brand’s head or any contact, only a slight movement of the leg and Sergeant Black in close proximity to Mr Brand.
The trial, before Sheriff Pino Di Emidio, was adjourned until later this month.