BWV footage clears woman of assaulting an officer

A woman accused of assaulting a Devon and Cornwall Police officer by throwing an Etch-a-Sketch toy at him has been cleared after the police constable admitted he had not issued the proper warning before entering her property.

Jun 19, 2019
By Tony Thompson

Laurie Burns, 31, had pleaded not guilty at Yeovil Magistrate’s Court to assaulting an emergency worker by beating him.

District Judge David Taylor was told that the officer, who has not been named, had gone to her address on April 6 after concerns had been expressed over a welfare issue.

During a conversation with Ms Burns at the back door to her house, the officer said that his concerns were raised after hearing her talking in an “erratic manner”.

He then grabbed her arms to “take hold of the situation” and Ms Burns responded by throwing an Etch-a-sketch that struck him on the side of the head. He then grabbed her by the arms as she was about to shut the door on him and placed her in handcuffs.

However, when body-worn video footage of the incident was played to the court, the officer admitted he had not issued her with the necessary section 17 warning under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 that he was going to enter her property. As a result, the prosecution offered no further evidence and the judge directed that the case against Ms Burns should be dismissed.

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