VIDEO: Tasered clubber has lost faith in justice

This Is Wiltshire: Dan Dove is not too optimistic about PC Lee Birch receiving any punishment over tasering him in a  police cell Dan Dove is not too optimistic about PC Lee Birch receiving any punishment over tasering him in a police cell

DAN Dove, who was tasered while naked in custody by PC Lee Birch says he’s lost all faith in the justice system after the officer was acquitted of assault and misconduct.

PC Lee Birch, 30, discharged his weapon into the bare chest of Daniel Dove in a cell at Melksham police station in the early hours of December 23, 2012 after Mr Dove was arrested outside MooMoo nightclub, in Trowbridge, following an altercation with a clubber.

In the cell, PC Birch unholstered his Taser and concealed it behind his back, while two other officers began a strip search. Naked Mr Dove, 24, who lives in Timbrell Street, Trowbridge, flicked his boxer shorts at PC Birch after taking them off with the officer then tasering him.

After a five-day trial at Bristol Crown Court the jury found PC Birch not guilty on Tuesday.

Carpenter Mr Dove, who works in Wincanton, Somerset, said: “I’m angry with the verdict and I’ve lost my faith in the justice system.

“The jury saw the video, which shows I wasn’t particularly aggressive towards him. I just don’t see how they let him off as its surely an abuse of PC Birch’s power as a police officer.

“I flicked my pants at him as I was frustrated at having to be strip searched as I had nothing on me but his reaction is totally unnecessary.

“When I was tasered it felt like I’d touched a really strong electronic cattle fence, only much, much worse.

“I was on the ground in shock and none of the officers even helped me up. They left me there and the worst thing is PC Birch didn’t know if I had a heart condition which the taser could set off.”

Mr Dove admitted that he was annoyed at being arrested and was under the influence of alcohol in custody, but didn’t believe he did anything to warrant being tasered.

A strip search was authorised as Mr Dove had previously been found with cannabis in his jeans in 2009.

He said: “I was certainly unhappy about being there as I was just out for a good time. But I don’t regret anything that happened that night.

“I was having a nice time with my girlfriend, got into a small bit of pushing, the next thing I was grabbed by PC Birch and the rest is history.”

The jury heard that Mr Dove allegedly punched PC Birch in the head during his arrest, before kneeing another police officer in the groin three times.

He was charged with being drunk and disorderly and assaulting two police officers, though the case against him was later dropped.

Mr Dove said that following the incident he’s received support from his girlfriend Kelli Baker and grandparents Douglas Dove and Pat Vivash but no apology from Wiltshire Police.

Despite being found not guilty, PC Birch still faces an Independent Police Complaints Commission investigation into the incident. The IPCC is considering whether PC Birch breached the standards of professional behaviour expected of police officers.

Mr Dove said: “I’m hopeful that he’ll be punished for what he did but I’m not too optimistic given that a court didn’t find him guilty. I’m just glad that the video is out there now so that the public can make their minds up.”

Wiltshire Police wished not to make the footage public while their independent investigation was still ongoing although the court agreed that media organisations could have access to it.

‘SAFEGUARDS IMPORTANT’

THE Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon, Angus Macpherson, yesterday said about PC Lee Birch being found not guilty at Bristol Crown Court yesterday.

He said: “I do not intend to comment on the outcome of this trial.

“Furthermore, the issue of when it is right to deploy a Taser is an operational matter for the Chief Constable.

“However, there is a public interest in the recent increase in the use of Taser and in whether national guidance and policies on Taser are being set out clearly to officers in training.

“I think the public may also have questions about whether it is appropriate to use Taser in the confined space of a custody cell.

“In my view it is the responsibility of PCCs, working with the College of Policing, to ensure that operational guidance is sufficiently robust and that adequate safeguards for the public are built in.

“I also hope that the Independent Police Complaints Commission will consult with PCCs as and when they review Taser use.

“I intend to discuss the implications of this case with the Chief Constable to determine what lessons have been learned.”

Comments (28)

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7:10am Thu 1 May 14

LordAshOfTheBrake says...

The BBC have the footage of the incident.

Draw your own conclusion.....

http://www.bbc.co.uk
/news/uk-england-272
25260
The BBC have the footage of the incident. Draw your own conclusion..... http://www.bbc.co.uk /news/uk-england-272 25260 LordAshOfTheBrake
  • Score: 8

7:25am Thu 1 May 14

Going Under says...

What is the actual point of a Police and Crime Commissioner?
What is the actual point of a Police and Crime Commissioner? Going Under
  • Score: 12

7:30am Thu 1 May 14

umpcah says...

If your behaviour that night was as described you get no sympathy from me. The police were only trying to do their job and in many countries you would probably have received a good hiding. You brought yourself to an extreme measure of control i.m.o.
If your behaviour that night was as described you get no sympathy from me. The police were only trying to do their job and in many countries you would probably have received a good hiding. You brought yourself to an extreme measure of control i.m.o. umpcah
  • Score: 23

7:49am Thu 1 May 14

Ollie Dognacky says...

The detained guy shouldn't have lashed out.
However, the video is very edited and there is no sound so any provocation cannot be heard.

The detained man also did not continue to lash out and was effectively cornered in a cell by 3 officers.
So hardly justifying use of a weapon.

Seems very OTT to me.

Also, is this the same police station where a drunk woman got dragged in by her hair and beaten up a year or so ago?
The detained guy shouldn't have lashed out. However, the video is very edited and there is no sound so any provocation cannot be heard. The detained man also did not continue to lash out and was effectively cornered in a cell by 3 officers. So hardly justifying use of a weapon. Seems very OTT to me. Also, is this the same police station where a drunk woman got dragged in by her hair and beaten up a year or so ago? Ollie Dognacky
  • Score: 5

8:05am Thu 1 May 14

Badgersgetabadname says...

Towards the end of a long night of drunk people I can understand why the PC would of been so annoyed at the suspect.
The PC felt disrespected by the suspect so he tased him, he didnt feel threatened surely almost naked man 3 other PC`s exactly how did he feel justified in using his weapon?
Considering a large majority of youth crime now is because they feel disrespected I am not sure what message this verdict sends?

The police are supposed to use the police national decision model, this has been not been followed in this case.
Yet another example of the rules are for the people and not for those that either make or enforce them
Towards the end of a long night of drunk people I can understand why the PC would of been so annoyed at the suspect. The PC felt disrespected by the suspect so he tased him, he didnt feel threatened surely almost naked man 3 other PC`s exactly how did he feel justified in using his weapon? Considering a large majority of youth crime now is because they feel disrespected I am not sure what message this verdict sends? The police are supposed to use the police national decision model, this has been not been followed in this case. Yet another example of the rules are for the people and not for those that either make or enforce them Badgersgetabadname
  • Score: 2

8:05am Thu 1 May 14

ChannelX says...


"the worst thing is PC Birch didn’t know if I had a heart condition which the taser could set off.”


Sounds like somebody's been on Google working out how to get some compo!
[quote] "the worst thing is PC Birch didn’t know if I had a heart condition which the taser could set off.” [/quote] Sounds like somebody's been on Google working out how to get some compo! ChannelX
  • Score: 27

8:21am Thu 1 May 14

umpcah says...

ChannelX wrote:

"the worst thing is PC Birch didn’t know if I had a heart condition which the taser could set off.”


Sounds like somebody's been on Google working out how to get some compo!
plus a generous bit of oneupmanship !
[quote][p][bold]ChannelX[/bold] wrote: [quote] "the worst thing is PC Birch didn’t know if I had a heart condition which the taser could set off.” [/quote] Sounds like somebody's been on Google working out how to get some compo![/p][/quote]plus a generous bit of oneupmanship ! umpcah
  • Score: 2

9:22am Thu 1 May 14

The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man says...

Badgersgetabadname wrote:
Towards the end of a long night of drunk people I can understand why the PC would of been so annoyed at the suspect.
The PC felt disrespected by the suspect so he tased him, he didnt feel threatened surely almost naked man 3 other PC`s exactly how did he feel justified in using his weapon?
Considering a large majority of youth crime now is because they feel disrespected I am not sure what message this verdict sends?

The police are supposed to use the police national decision model, this has been not been followed in this case.
Yet another example of the rules are for the people and not for those that either make or enforce them
If youth crime is "because they feel disrespected", perhaps the people that think this should stop committing crime, and then they might EARN a little respect.
[quote][p][bold]Badgersgetabadname[/bold] wrote: Towards the end of a long night of drunk people I can understand why the PC would of been so annoyed at the suspect. The PC felt disrespected by the suspect so he tased him, he didnt feel threatened surely almost naked man 3 other PC`s exactly how did he feel justified in using his weapon? Considering a large majority of youth crime now is because they feel disrespected I am not sure what message this verdict sends? The police are supposed to use the police national decision model, this has been not been followed in this case. Yet another example of the rules are for the people and not for those that either make or enforce them[/p][/quote]If youth crime is "because they feel disrespected", perhaps the people that think this should stop committing crime, and then they might EARN a little respect. The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man
  • Score: 21

9:46am Thu 1 May 14

Hmmmf says...

Boo-hoo diddums.
Boo-hoo diddums. Hmmmf
  • Score: 11

9:47am Thu 1 May 14

Amberflame says...

Go away you silly boy and grow up!. Typical leary idiot who gets tanked up every weekend and then thinks he can take everyone on, including the Police? This Country seems to be overrun with the like. I have no sympathy or respect for you.
Go away you silly boy and grow up!. Typical leary idiot who gets tanked up every weekend and then thinks he can take everyone on, including the Police? This Country seems to be overrun with the like. I have no sympathy or respect for you. Amberflame
  • Score: 29

10:14am Thu 1 May 14

Davey Gravey says...

Looks like the copper over stepped the mark to me from the footage.
Looks like the copper over stepped the mark to me from the footage. Davey Gravey
  • Score: -9

10:26am Thu 1 May 14

Tramadolt says...

A don't feel any sympathy for the drunken thug in question - but that doesn't stop me from being very very disquieted with what the policeman did, and that he appears to have completely got away with it. When tasers were first introduced, lots of people were pleased to see the police given a better measure to PROTECT themselves from danger. But a pair of pants is hardly a threat to a grown man, especially when you have two burly mates with you and your 'attacker' is naked and in a cell. The danger is that tasers become used by the police as a means of 'judicial punishment' upon anyone who they decide in their wisdom needs a dose. Thats is not justice and will do nothing for the reputation of the police, something which already hangs by a thread. Google for yourselves and see about the recent case of the blind man tasered because some idiot copper thought his white stick was a sword! If the police are going to be given the authority to use a device which causes agonising pain and which can kill if improperly used, they need to be held to the highest standards. They clearly weren't in this case.
A don't feel any sympathy for the drunken thug in question - but that doesn't stop me from being very very disquieted with what the policeman did, and that he appears to have completely got away with it. When tasers were first introduced, lots of people were pleased to see the police given a better measure to PROTECT themselves from danger. But a pair of pants is hardly a threat to a grown man, especially when you have two burly mates with you and your 'attacker' is naked and in a cell. The danger is that tasers become used by the police as a means of 'judicial punishment' upon anyone who they decide in their wisdom needs a dose. Thats is not justice and will do nothing for the reputation of the police, something which already hangs by a thread. Google for yourselves and see about the recent case of the blind man tasered because some idiot copper thought his white stick was a sword! If the police are going to be given the authority to use a device which causes agonising pain and which can kill if improperly used, they need to be held to the highest standards. They clearly weren't in this case. Tramadolt
  • Score: 23

10:59am Thu 1 May 14

Robh says...

Sorry no sympathy for drunken yobs. The fact he was naked seems to be the major issue here but is of no consequence as he was still acting violently. He could have suffered more injuries if they physically restrained him. As for the idiot who on television and radio who suggested that the jury will always back the police leaves me aghast. Also where does it state that Tasers should only be used if an officer is in danger would it be better for officers to hit him with truncheons.
Sorry no sympathy for drunken yobs. The fact he was naked seems to be the major issue here but is of no consequence as he was still acting violently. He could have suffered more injuries if they physically restrained him. As for the idiot who on television and radio who suggested that the jury will always back the police leaves me aghast. Also where does it state that Tasers should only be used if an officer is in danger would it be better for officers to hit him with truncheons. Robh
  • Score: 1

11:44am Thu 1 May 14

Lego Fan says...

The Police have become 'trigger happy' with tasers, it shows the lazyness and lack of communication in todays. The police Officer is a disgrace and proberly lazy and should of been sacked.
Also i'm sick of the Police replacing REAL Police officers with PCSOs (police community support officers) PCSOs make the UK look a laughing stock to the rest of the world!
No wonder Police /public relations are down the pan, I'd not trust any of them, including useless PCSOs who think they are everyones 'mate'
The Police have become 'trigger happy' with tasers, it shows the lazyness and lack of communication in todays. The police Officer is a disgrace and proberly lazy and should of been sacked. Also i'm sick of the Police replacing REAL Police officers with PCSOs (police community support officers) PCSOs make the UK look a laughing stock to the rest of the world! No wonder Police /public relations are down the pan, I'd not trust any of them, including useless PCSOs who think they are everyones 'mate' Lego Fan
  • Score: -2

11:46am Thu 1 May 14

dglaholm says...

umpcah wrote:
If your behaviour that night was as described you get no sympathy from me. The police were only trying to do their job and in many countries you would probably have received a good hiding. You brought yourself to an extreme measure of control i.m.o.
The man's an idiot who would have been well advised to keep his head down and his mouth shut
[quote][p][bold]umpcah[/bold] wrote: If your behaviour that night was as described you get no sympathy from me. The police were only trying to do their job and in many countries you would probably have received a good hiding. You brought yourself to an extreme measure of control i.m.o.[/p][/quote]The man's an idiot who would have been well advised to keep his head down and his mouth shut dglaholm
  • Score: 19

11:47am Thu 1 May 14

Lego Fan says...

Amberflame wrote:
Go away you silly boy and grow up!. Typical leary idiot who gets tanked up every weekend and then thinks he can take everyone on, including the Police? This Country seems to be overrun with the like. I have no sympathy or respect for you.
I have no repect for that Police Officer either, Young people and the police will just grow more and more apart!
[quote][p][bold]Amberflame[/bold] wrote: Go away you silly boy and grow up!. Typical leary idiot who gets tanked up every weekend and then thinks he can take everyone on, including the Police? This Country seems to be overrun with the like. I have no sympathy or respect for you.[/p][/quote]I have no repect for that Police Officer either, Young people and the police will just grow more and more apart! Lego Fan
  • Score: -1

11:58am Thu 1 May 14

Jacko136 says...

Remind us again how this numpty ended up in the cells in the first place.

Maybe the officer was slightly heavy handed in his response but this lad should take a step back and ask himself how he got himself in this position.

What is the saying our American chums have? Something along the lines of 'Don't start anything, and there won't be anything'.
Remind us again how this numpty ended up in the cells in the first place. Maybe the officer was slightly heavy handed in his response but this lad should take a step back and ask himself how he got himself in this position. What is the saying our American chums have? Something along the lines of 'Don't start anything, and there won't be anything'. Jacko136
  • Score: 10

12:29pm Thu 1 May 14

twasadawf says...

The officer should have been sacked, he had the taser behind his back ready to shoot, it was not in it's holster i cannot believe he got away with this, to many times coppers are getting away with over reacting to miner situation,
The officer should have been sacked, he had the taser behind his back ready to shoot, it was not in it's holster i cannot believe he got away with this, to many times coppers are getting away with over reacting to miner situation, twasadawf
  • Score: -1

2:25pm Thu 1 May 14

Chrisg46 says...

No sympathy for the yob, and frankly the "worst thing" line is laughable. However, having said that, i am surprised that the PC was found not guilty, based on the video evidence.
There is a clear pause between the flick and the use of the taser, long enough to see the lips of the PC tighten with anger before he brings the weapon to bear - ie there is no indication of a threat, implied or otherwise, therefore no reason to taser.
No sympathy for the yob, and frankly the "worst thing" line is laughable. However, having said that, i am surprised that the PC was found not guilty, based on the video evidence. There is a clear pause between the flick and the use of the taser, long enough to see the lips of the PC tighten with anger before he brings the weapon to bear - ie there is no indication of a threat, implied or otherwise, therefore no reason to taser. Chrisg46
  • Score: 3

4:02pm Thu 1 May 14

house on the hill says...

Jacko136 wrote:
Remind us again how this numpty ended up in the cells in the first place.

Maybe the officer was slightly heavy handed in his response but this lad should take a step back and ask himself how he got himself in this position.

What is the saying our American chums have? Something along the lines of 'Don't start anything, and there won't be anything'.
Absolutely, if the guy hadn't been such a moronic tw4t in the first place, we wouldn't be having this discussion. No time or sympathy for anyone who gets drunk and makes an a55 of themselves and thinks it's clever. They deserve whatever they get. And apparently the youth don't feel respected, I wonder why???
[quote][p][bold]Jacko136[/bold] wrote: Remind us again how this numpty ended up in the cells in the first place. Maybe the officer was slightly heavy handed in his response but this lad should take a step back and ask himself how he got himself in this position. What is the saying our American chums have? Something along the lines of 'Don't start anything, and there won't be anything'.[/p][/quote]Absolutely, if the guy hadn't been such a moronic tw4t in the first place, we wouldn't be having this discussion. No time or sympathy for anyone who gets drunk and makes an a55 of themselves and thinks it's clever. They deserve whatever they get. And apparently the youth don't feel respected, I wonder why??? house on the hill
  • Score: 5

4:16pm Thu 1 May 14

Sarah-jane12 says...

Having watched the footage, the police officer should not have used the taser. Whatever the lad had done before, he was not a threat to the three officers in the room with him. Tasers are last resort methods to detain someone. He was cornered and yes he flicked his boxer shorts at them, but since when are underpants a weapon deemed dangerous enough for an officer to taser him! However I thing the guy should keep a low profile and get on with his life.
Having watched the footage, the police officer should not have used the taser. Whatever the lad had done before, he was not a threat to the three officers in the room with him. Tasers are last resort methods to detain someone. He was cornered and yes he flicked his boxer shorts at them, but since when are underpants a weapon deemed dangerous enough for an officer to taser him! However I thing the guy should keep a low profile and get on with his life. Sarah-jane12
  • Score: 4

4:42pm Thu 1 May 14

Sarah-jane12 says...

Robh wrote:
Sorry no sympathy for drunken yobs. The fact he was naked seems to be the major issue here but is of no consequence as he was still acting violently. He could have suffered more injuries if they physically restrained him. As for the idiot who on television and radio who suggested that the jury will always back the police leaves me aghast. Also where does it state that Tasers should only be used if an officer is in danger would it be better for officers to hit him with truncheons.
Tasers are supposed to be used as a last resort. He wasn't behaving violently, he was undressing as they had told him too. Since when are underpants considered dangerous! No they obviously should not hit him with truncheons, but it was not necessary to taser him either. No warning was given . The officers were all near the cell door, they actually could have just left him in the cell if they felt threatened. But none of them look worried in the footage. I am Gobsmacked the jury thought he was justified to use the taser from the footage we have seen.
[quote][p][bold]Robh[/bold] wrote: Sorry no sympathy for drunken yobs. The fact he was naked seems to be the major issue here but is of no consequence as he was still acting violently. He could have suffered more injuries if they physically restrained him. As for the idiot who on television and radio who suggested that the jury will always back the police leaves me aghast. Also where does it state that Tasers should only be used if an officer is in danger would it be better for officers to hit him with truncheons.[/p][/quote]Tasers are supposed to be used as a last resort. He wasn't behaving violently, he was undressing as they had told him too. Since when are underpants considered dangerous! No they obviously should not hit him with truncheons, but it was not necessary to taser him either. No warning was given . The officers were all near the cell door, they actually could have just left him in the cell if they felt threatened. But none of them look worried in the footage. I am Gobsmacked the jury thought he was justified to use the taser from the footage we have seen. Sarah-jane12
  • Score: 3

4:49pm Thu 1 May 14

Hmmmf says...

The Argus wrote:
A 63-year-old Brighton man was arrested on suspicion of assault and shoplifting and during a search in custody the man was found to have a razor blade concealed in the waistband of his underwear and another blade in the back of his mobile phone.

http://goo.gl/vnGMnK

Police are well aware of such incidents and so are the scum they have to deal with.
[quote][p][bold]The Argus[/bold] wrote: A 63-year-old Brighton man was arrested on suspicion of assault and shoplifting and during a search in custody the man was found to have a razor blade concealed in the waistband of his underwear and another blade in the back of his mobile phone.[/quote] http://goo.gl/vnGMnK Police are well aware of such incidents and so are the scum they have to deal with. Hmmmf
  • Score: 4

5:17pm Thu 1 May 14

umpcah says...

Sarah-jane12 wrote:
Having watched the footage, the police officer should not have used the taser. Whatever the lad had done before, he was not a threat to the three officers in the room with him. Tasers are last resort methods to detain someone. He was cornered and yes he flicked his boxer shorts at them, but since when are underpants a weapon deemed dangerous enough for an officer to taser him! However I thing the guy should keep a low profile and get on with his life.
Yobs often conceal sharps in their underwear to hoodwink police during body searching . Don't be so naïve !
[quote][p][bold]Sarah-jane12[/bold] wrote: Having watched the footage, the police officer should not have used the taser. Whatever the lad had done before, he was not a threat to the three officers in the room with him. Tasers are last resort methods to detain someone. He was cornered and yes he flicked his boxer shorts at them, but since when are underpants a weapon deemed dangerous enough for an officer to taser him! However I thing the guy should keep a low profile and get on with his life.[/p][/quote]Yobs often conceal sharps in their underwear to hoodwink police during body searching . Don't be so naïve ! umpcah
  • Score: 3

7:07pm Thu 1 May 14

Grumpy & Old says...

"The jury heard that Mr Dove allegedly punched PC Birch in the head during his arrest, before kneeing another police officer in the groin three times"....

Yes, possibly over the top policing, but you can almost understand why the officers may have felt threatened - the flicking of the pants may have just been a start of the next attack on them.
"The jury heard that Mr Dove allegedly punched PC Birch in the head during his arrest, before kneeing another police officer in the groin three times".... Yes, possibly over the top policing, but you can almost understand why the officers may have felt threatened - the flicking of the pants may have just been a start of the next attack on them. Grumpy & Old
  • Score: -5

7:27pm Thu 1 May 14

Bugle boy says...

The charges against mr dove were dropped so why would they be mentioned in court ? And why would you strip search someone for drunk and disorderly charges? The manner of the strip search also didn't follow police protocols , a suspect should never be fully naked at any time . you search the top half first and let the suspect get redressed then you search the bottom half of the suspect . This is in their own code of conduct . This was done purely to humiliate mr dove and exert dominance over him . PC birch had the taser in his hand behind his back all the time , just waiting for a chance to zap mr dove , I hope this thug in uniform is sacked and the the other two officers reprimanded for doing nothing to prevent this flagrant abuse of power . Just my humble opinion !
The charges against mr dove were dropped so why would they be mentioned in court ? And why would you strip search someone for drunk and disorderly charges? The manner of the strip search also didn't follow police protocols , a suspect should never be fully naked at any time . you search the top half first and let the suspect get redressed then you search the bottom half of the suspect . This is in their own code of conduct . This was done purely to humiliate mr dove and exert dominance over him . PC birch had the taser in his hand behind his back all the time , just waiting for a chance to zap mr dove , I hope this thug in uniform is sacked and the the other two officers reprimanded for doing nothing to prevent this flagrant abuse of power . Just my humble opinion ! Bugle boy
  • Score: 1

7:53pm Thu 1 May 14

Grumpy & Old says...

I'd read somewhere (either here or on the BBC website) that he was strip searched because he had a previous conviction for concealing drugs on his body
I'd read somewhere (either here or on the BBC website) that he was strip searched because he had a previous conviction for concealing drugs on his body Grumpy & Old
  • Score: 6

8:03pm Thu 1 May 14

John Trollston says...

Sack this police officer NOW. More than 4000 police have been sacked, forced to resign or otherwise disciplined for criminal offences in the past five years he is not alone,

Criminals in uniform sack,jail and shame them all.
Sack this police officer NOW. More than 4000 police have been sacked, forced to resign or otherwise disciplined for criminal offences in the past five years he is not alone, Criminals in uniform sack,jail and shame them all. John Trollston
  • Score: -6

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