Mother felt violated by 'wrongful arrest' - court

Metropolitan Police constable Perry Lathwood arriving at City Of London Magistrates' Court
PC Perry Lathwood denies one charge of assault by beating [PA Media]

A mother felt "very violated" after a police officer "manhandled" and "wrongly arrested" her for bus fare evasion in front of her young son, a court has heard.

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

Afterwards she was left with bruising injuries to her arm, City of London Magistrates' Court heard on Friday.

Ms Agyemang was later de-arrested.

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

Paul Jarvis, prosecuting, said Ms Agyemang was dropping her son off at her mother's house on 21 July last year before heading to an appointment in Marylebone scheduled for 12:30 BST.

After she and her son disembarked the bus at around 11:00, she was asked to show she had paid her fare by a bus inspector.

"She does not hand it over and she walks off," Mr Jarvis told the court.

"It is at this moment that PC Lathwood becomes involved."

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

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

In footage played to the court, Ms Agyemang can he heard asking the officer: "Can you get off me, please? Can you get off my arm?

"You don't understand, I have done nothing wrong."

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

Another officer took her Oyster card from her hand and went away with it to see if she had paid.

She was de-arrested at the scene after the force confirmed Ms Agyemang had paid her fare.

Mr Jarvis told the court: "There was no necessity for an arrest.


"The officer in deciding to carry out this arrest, and deciding to lay hands on her and to manhandle her, was acting unlawfully because he had no justification.

"Even if 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 is holding me, especially when I feel like I have done nothing wrong, it is very scary for me."

When asked why she walked off, Ms Agyemang said: "At the time I was just thinking about getting to my mother's house."

She was also asked why she "resisted" the police when she was stopped.

"I honestly don't see it as resisting," she said.

'Unknown threat'

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

When giving evidence, 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 he arrested her to stop her from leaving the scene.

"Because of her actions and her refusal to show that card to other people who had continuously asked her to do so.

"If the card had come back as not paid we would have progressed and explained everything to her if she had allowed us," he said, adding that she was "not listening", they needed "to get her calm" and she was an "unknown threat".

He denied that he arrested Ms Agyemang so that he could use force against her and said he raised his voice and called her a "daft cow" at one point during the arrest as a form of "tactical communication" because he was concerned that she might step into the road.

The trial continues.

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