Race relations adviser Tasered by police after mistaken identity, court told

A police race relations adviser who was Tasered in the face by one of the force's own officers had frequently been mistaken for a suspect, a court has heard.

Friday, 18th May 2018, 2:57 pm
Updated Friday, 18th May 2018, 3:01 pm
Judah Adunbi, a police race relations adviser who was Tasered in the face by one of the force's own officers, as a court has heard he had frequently been mistaken for a suspect. Photo credit: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

Members of Avon and Somerset Police wrongly identified Judah Adunbi as a man with an arrest warrant against his name on several occasions before and after Pc Claire Boddie unlawfully discharged the weapon on January 14 last year, Salisbury Magistrates' Court was told.

Boddie, 47, believes she used reasonable force when she Tasered the 64-year-old in the street outside his Bristol home and is standing trial after denying assault by beating.

Richard Posner, prosecuting, said Mr Adunbi became increasingly frustrated and swore at officers when they approached him at around 9am as he walked to his back door off Colston Road in the Easton area of the city, because he had been mistaken for a suspect before.

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Pc Claire Boddie outside Taunton Magistrates' Court where she is standing trial after denying assault by beating. Photo credit: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

He refused to identify himself, as was his legal right, but a scuffle ensued and he was hit in the jaw with the Taser, the court heard.

There were gasps of "Oh my God" from the public gallery, which was packed with supporters of the black African, as they watched footage of their friend falling to the ground from the blow.

Giving evidence, Mr Adunbi said: "I heard a noise. Then it felt like my head was frying."

In body-worn camera footage shown to the court, both officers told Mr Adunbi they believed he looked like Royston McCalla - a suspect wanted by police for failing to turn up to court - who had warnings for violence and weapons on his file.

Mr Adunbi repeatedly shouts at them to leave him alone, claiming they were "victimising" him, he was being pursued for "no f****** reason" and the officers were "racist".

In the video, when asked to give his name he can be heard saying: "Why are you following me around?

"F****** leave me alone.

"Don't ask me any questions, I don't give a damn. Go and find who you're looking for.

"I'm not giving you my name, because it is my right. I have done no wrong.

"I don't have to tell you sweet jack. You wanna arrest me? Go on. Arrest me."

Mr Posner said Mr Adunbi had his hands by his side before the alleged assault, and in footage he appears to have pushed away from the officers and stands apart from them in the street.

As he fell to the ground, a bystander who was filming the incident, can be heard telling the police: "That was totally uncalled for and unnecessary."

At this point Mr Adunbi throws his wallet on the floor, pointing to it and repeatedly yelling at officers: "There's my ID, check my ID, why won't you check my ID," before giving his full name.

Mr Posner said: "He made it clear it was not him. He wasn't under arrest.

"He was upset and swore at the defendant.

"There was no good reason for (discharging the Taser).

"It was not in self-defence, it was not in defence of Pc Darren Weston, and in doing so Claire Boddie demonstrated an unlawful use of force to affect an arrest."

The trial continues.