Woman 'violated and scared' by arrest over bus fare in Croydon, court hears

A woman felt "violated" after an officer handcuffed and "manhandled" her when she was wrongly suspected of dodging bus fare, a court has heard.

The alleged assault happened in front of her young son in Croydon, south London, on 21 July last year.

PC Perry Lathwood, 50, denies assaulting Jocelyn Agyemang and causing bruising to her arm.

Prosecutor Paul Jarvis said a bus inspector had asked Ms Agyemang to show she had paid when she got off at Whitehorse Road.

"She does not hand it [travel card] over and she walks off," he told the court.

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

The incident, which happened as police supported inspectors on the bus, was filmed by onlookers.

Video shown at City of London Magistrates' Court showed Ms Agyemang saying: "Can you get off me, please? Can you get off my arm? You don't understand, I have done nothing wrong."

The PC allegedly kept holding her and demanded she tapped her Oyster card. She was also handcuffed.

The court heard Ms Agyemang was de-arrested when another officer took the card and confirmed the fare had been paid.

"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," said Mr Jarvis.

"There was not a legitimate justification for using force to arrest her at that time.

"Even if it was necessary to arrest her, the level of force was not reasonable."

'PC called woman a daft cow'

Ms Agyemang told the court she felt "very violated".

"I just felt like they did not care," she said. "I just felt a bit degraded because I had not done anything wrong."

Defence lawyer Kevin Baumber asked why she had walked off.

She said she "was just thinking about getting to my mother's house" - where she was dropping off her son while she attended an appointment.

Mr Baumber also asked why she had "resisted" when the police stopped her.

She replied: "I honestly don't see it as resisting", saying she was confused and focused on getting to her appointment.

"I just remember the strong grip," she said.

"With things I have experienced in my past, when someone is holding me, especially when I feel like I have done nothing wrong, it is very scary for me."

PC Lathwood, from Norman's Bay in East Sussex, also gave evidence.

He said he had "no idea" what he could have done apart from arrest Ms Agyemang, who he said had "continuously" refused to show her card to inspectors.

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The officer said she was an "unknown threat" and "not listening" - and denied he arrested her so he could use force.

Asked why he shouted and called her a "daft cow", he described it as a form of "tactical communication" and said he was worried she might step into the road and injure herself.

The trial continues.