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Bradley Hughes

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Footage of the arrest was widely circulated on social media

A police detective struck a teenager with a metal baton using “unlawful” force while the boy asked him to stop, a court has alleged.

Det Con Kevin Rowley, of the Met, denies assault by beating following the incident last April in which he struck the teenager five times.

The incident happened after the officer stopped two youths on Heath Park Road in Romford, east London.

Footage of the incident was shown to a jury at Hendon Magistrates’ Court.

The mobile phone recording taken by a member of the public appeared to show Rowley striking a black male outside a cafe as the youth shouted, “you can’t do this” and “I’m a child… this is illegal”.

It also showed members of the public shouting at Rowley to stop as the teenager cried out.

‘Agitated and aggressive’

Prosecutor Arabella MacDonald said there was “no dispute that force was used”, but alleged an “unlawful application of force by violence” was used.

Rowley told the court he and another plain-clothed officer had been carrying out a stop and search after seeing the 18-year-old, who was 17 at the time, holding a “wad of cash”.

He was walking with another youth and the officers told the pair they were going to search them for drugs after smelling cannabis.

Mr Rowley described putting the teenager into a headlock before trying to get him onto the floor to handcuff him.

The boy’s friend fled and was chased by the other officer.

The detective said the boy became “agitated and aggressive” and, despite trying to calm him down, “he just lost it”.

Knee strikes

He delivered “two to three” knee strikes to the teenager on the thigh adding: “I wasn’t trying to hurt him. All I was trying to do was detain him.”

“I had gone through handcuffs, verbal commands, knee strikes – my only option was to draw my baton.”

He said he used his baton to strike him “five times on the thigh as per our officer safety training”.

Eyewitness Anthony Bailey told the court Mr Rowley looked as if he was “trying to restrain” the teenager.

He said he saw the policeman produce a baton and strike the youth “three times… behind the knee and calf area”.

Another witness Terri Vigors described how the teenager let Rowley put him in handcuffs.

“He removed his stick baton thing and he had repeated quite a lot of times he didn’t want to use force,” she said.

Mr Rowley, 37, from Southend, Essex, denied assault by beating.

The incident was referred to the police watchdog, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

The trial continues.

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