Friday, 27 June 2008

Man mistaken for joyrider kung-fu kicked to ground by police (even though he has two brothers in the force and a third who directs Crimewatch)

 

By Andy Dolan
26th June 2008

A father-of-three has been left partially blind after he was allegedly kung fu kicked to the ground and then battered by two officers who mistook him for a joyrider.

David Markham, 35, told how he was woken in the middle of the night by the sounds of sirens as police chased the suspected car thief on to a remote farm.

When the chicken farmer stepped out of his bungalow to investigate the 5am disturbance he was pounced on by the officers who then launched their attack.

David Markham

David Markham

David Markham has been left partially blind after he was kicked in the face by police officers who mistook him for a joyridder

Such was the ferocity of the beating, Mr Markham - who, ironically, has two brothers in the police force and a third who directs the television series Crimewatch - feared the officers were actually robbers dressed as police for a disguise.

He said: 'You don't expect to walk out of your front door and be battered by the police.
'I thought I was going to die - it was like something out of Life On Mars.

'One officer ran towards me and knocked me to the ground with a kung fu kick in the ribs. Then he kicked me in the eye and three or four times on the back of the head while I was face down on the ground.

'The other officer sat on my back pummelling me. I was in agony and screaming for help from my wife and I was shouting, 'You've got the wrong man - it isn't me'.'

Police were hunting for a passenger who fled from a stolen car. The driver was arrested.

The drama unfolded when David and eight-week pregnant wife Stephanie were woken by one of their children crying early on Sunday at the farm in Corley, Warwickshire.

David Markham

Chicken farmer Mr Markham claims he was attacked on his own land

The family, who breed chickens, rent a bungalow on the farm from landowner Michael Harris, 65.

Mr Markham said he had gone outside to see if he could help the police catch the man they were looking for. But he was met by an officer on the drive who grabbed his hands and asked for his name, date of birth and telephone number.

Mr Markham supplied the information and the officer then waved at a colleague to join them.

'He then came charging at me full tilt and kicked me to the ground kung-fu style', Mr Markham said.

He added: 'I didn't imagine the police could ever behave in this way. I've always had a really high respect for my brothers and we bring up our children to respect the law - but how do you tell an eight-year-old you've just been beaten up by the police?

'I don't know why they did what they did. There was no reason for it at all. Even if I had stolen a car I wouldn't expect to end up looking like this and be beaten up.'

The farmer's brother Dan is a director on BBC TV programme Crimewatch, second brother Matt is a detective chief inspector and third brother Richard is a police sergeant.

Mr Markham spent seven hours in hospital after the attack and has only 40 per cent vision in his left eye and bruising to his head, ribs and back.

But he returned to University Hospital in Coventry on Wednesday with severe headaches and remained there yesterday.

Dog breeder Mr Harris, who drove Mr Markham to hospital after the attack, said: 'After the attack, David told the police they had been filmed by the security cameras and when they heard that they were shaking like a leaf.

'Fortunately for them though, the cameras were not recording at the time. What happened to David was absolutely outrageous. He told me the attack was so vicious that he thought the police were really robbers in disguise.'

Mr Markham -  who is 6ft 2in and weighs 15st - said he intends to sue Warwickshire Police.

A force spokesman said: 'Warwickshire Police can confirm that a complaint has been made by Mr Markham following an incident that took place in the early hours of Sunday 22 June.

'This matter is currently being investigated and the Independent Police Complaint Commission have been informed. It is inappropriate to comment further at this time.

'Future deployments for the officers concerned are being considered.'

1 comment:

Mark C said...

Its possible that these 2 Bobbies are trying to get a job with the Los Angeles Police Dept and that was their job interview