Evidence fabricated says officer accused of assault

A POLICE sergeant accused of assaulting a suspected burglar in front of colleagues told a jury he believes his fellow officers had deliberately “fabricated” evidence against him.

Craig Nicholls, 45, is on trial accused of “unlawfully and gratuitously” assaulting suspect Christopher Thrush and then contacting a young constable in a bid to “back up” his version of events.

A jury at Leeds Crown Court heard Nicholls kneed suspect Christopher Thrush so hard in the testicles that he was doubled up in pain and wet himself. The attack is alleged to have happened in Hudson Road, Harehills, Leeds, in the early hours of November 30, 2011.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Giving evidence, Nicholls admitted he kneed Mr Thrush but aimed the blow at his inner thigh.

Pcs Philip Brewer and Johnny Frank later reported they had seen Nicholls use unnecessary force on Mr Thrush.

Nicholls claimed he kneed Mr Thrush before the officers arrived and did not use any force in their presence. Nicholls, of South Elmsall, near Pontefract, is also alleged to have contacted Pc Katie Wyatt 10 days later to claim his innocence and tell her he needed some to “back him up”.

He said: “I had two police officers saying that I had committed something unlawful and I was really scared and really upset and I was thinking ‘why would they say such a thing?’”.

His barrister, Tony Kellbrick, asked: “Did you suggest how she might word her statement?” He replied: “No definitely not.”

During cross examination, prosecutor Richard Wright asked: “You would say, I think, deliberately so, that they (Pcs Brewer and Franks) fabricated this suggestion.” He replied: “Yes.”

Referring to his phone call to Pc Wyatt, Mr Wright said: “Is the context that you needed backing up because you had unlawfully assaulted Mr Thrush and you needed someone to back you. Nicholls replied: “That is definitely not correct.”

Nicholls denies assault and doing an act intending to pervert the course of justice. The trial continues.