Doctor is cleared of resisting officers

Court news
Court news
Share this article
Have your say

A family GP has been cleared of allegations he obstructed police officers when they arrested him at his home.

Dr Gigurawa Gamage Khemananda Wijethilleke, 67, who is a doctor at Medicare surgery on Croston Road, Lostock Hall, near Preston, appeared before Preston Magistrates Court for trial over a charge of obstructing a police officer in the execution of his duty.

The court heard evidence from two police officers, Sgt Thomas Brindle and PC Terry Shannon, who responded to a report from his wife’s friend, who was concerned at a phone call she had made.

The physician sat with his solicitor as prosecuting, Adrian Hollamby explained on officer’s arrival at 12.10am on July 1, his wife and daughter let officers into their home on Hill Road, Penwortham, and explained there had been an argument and that he would not calm down.

He was arrested minutes later for a breach of the peace.

In evidence, Sgt Thomas Brindle said: “I spoke to his wife and daughter and they were concerned the incident had been going on a number of hours. They said the doctor was drunk and agitated, and they had been trying for a number of hours to get him to calm down and go to bed but he would not calm down.

“I could hear shouting coming from elsewhere in the house and went to investigate what was going on and I could hear the doctor arguing with PC Shannon.”

The court heard the defendant, dressed in a light blue sarong, had come downstairs and was angry police were in his home.

PC Shannon added: “He was irate, there’s no other way of putting it.”

Defending, Nick Kennedy quizzed the officers over their decision to arrest him, arguing that the behaviour displayed by his client was not enough to constitute a lawful arrest because for officers to arrest a person for breaching the peace, the subject had to have made a threat of violence.

He said he had in fact said words like: “I’m not talking to you” and “I don’t have to make a statement” and “I don’t want you here”.

The officers told the court it was the doctors aggressive demeanour and screaming and shouting that led to the arrest, rather than the words he used.

Magistrates dismissed an application his arrest had been unlawful but agreed there had been no breach of peace.

Giving evidence Dr Wijethilleke said his relationship with his wife had been strained and that his son, who suffered schizophrenia, often got upset about it, triggering an argument.