CCTV CAPTURES COPS BEATING STAB VICTIM; Force Launches Professional Standards Probe: EXCLUSIVE

Article excerpt

Byline: JOHN SUTTON

A STAB victim is suing Merseyside Police claiming he was beaten by bobbies as he lay bleeding in a city park.

Video footage shows the officers repeatedly punch Darren Grace with their fists as he was restrained on the grass in Stanley Park.

Today Merseyside Police accused the Anfield joiner of being violent towards the officers adding "CCTV images can never show the whole story".

After being shown the tape by the ECHO, the force voluntarily referred the incident to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

But the watchdog said it was happy for Merseyside Police to conduct its own investigation and it is now the subject of a Professional Standards Department probe.

Mr Grace has not lodged a formal complaint with Merseyside Police and will not co-operate with the internal inquiry saying he has no confidence in the force.

The 31-year-old, of Manningham Road, was initially charged with two counts of assaulting a police officer - charges which were eventually dropped when Crown Prosecution Service lawyers saw the tape and realised there wasn't enough evidence "to provide a realistic prospect of a conviction".

Today Mr Grace told the ECHO how he staggered disorientated into Stanley Park in the early hours of Sunday, August 1 after being knifed in the head during a party at a friend's house.

He said: "I was round at a friend's house and then some more people came round and one of them went for me with a knife. He got me in the head and it was bleeding. I was confused and just wanted to get out."

Mr Grace was found by the officers in Stanley Park lying down with blood gushing from his head. The footage, from a camera operated by Liverpool City Council's Citywatch scheme, shows the three officers - two men and a woman - apparently trying to help Mr Grace who appears confused and slightly agitated.

One of the officers goes to get a first aid kit to treat the gash.

But as Mr Grace seems to try to resist treatment one officer rains down a volley of eight punches onto his injured head - the woman police officer puts her hand on his arm.

Five minutes later, just before 8am, both she and the other officer appear to punch Mr Grace in the head and back as he lies face down on the ground.

A few minutes later nine more police officers, and then an ambulance crew, arrive on the scene and Mr Grace is handcuffed and led away.

After receiving basic treatment Mr Grace was held in a cell at the St Anne's Street station and spent 11 hours in custody.

He said: "I remember waking up in the cell with my face covered in blood, my head throbbing. …