PC accused of Tasering suspect in cell

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A POLICE officer appeared in court yesterday accused of assaulting a suspect by Tasering him in a cell.

PC Lee Birch, 30, is said to have used the weapon against Daniel Dove after booking him in at a custody unit.

The Wiltshire Police constable is also accused of an allegation of misconduct in public office relating to his actions as he handcuffed Mr Dove and strip-searched him in the cell.

Swindon Crown Court heard the case was a private prosecution launched by Mr Dove and Birch had first appeared before a magistrates’ court last month when he answered a summons.

Robin Shellard, representing Mr Dove, said the Crown Prosecution Service was considering whether to take over the case and he expected a decision in the coming weeks.

Birch was told that because he was a serving Wiltshire officer the case was being transferred away from the county and being sent to Bristol Crown Court.

The officer, whose address was given as care of Wiltshire Police’s divisional headquarters in Hampton Park West, Melksham, is accused of two charges.

They are assault occasioning actual bodily harm, which is alleged to have taken place at Melksham custody unit on December 23 last year, and misfeasance in a public office.

Judge Douglas Field released Birch on bail and fixed a provisional plea and case management hearing for October in Bristol.

A Wiltshire Police spokesman confirmed that Birch continues with his normal duties.