17 June 2004

An incensed Turf Lodge man is to institute civil proceedings against the PSNI after charges that he assaulted cops were dismissed.

And the presiding Magistrate stated last Friday that a beating the defendant received from the PSNI members who arrested him was “unjustifiable”.

Peter Dorrian said last night that the ordeal is just the latest incident in a seven-year saga of harassment by the RUC/PSNI.

Speaking last night, Mr Dorrian voiced his delight that the charges were thrown out last Friday.

But he said that the RUC/PSNI has been harassing him since an officer fired a shot into his house in April 1997.

A number of months ago, PSNI members also made threatening remarks to Mr Dorrian that, fortunately, were overheard by his solicitor on the other end of a telephone.

“I am just sick of these people torturing my family,” said Mr Dorrian.
“Last Friday’s judgement proves that there is another agenda to the way I have been treated.

“In 1997 the RUC fired a shot through my front door as I was standing in the hallway and it lodged in the stairs.

“That was investigated by the Independent Commissioner for Police Complaints and we later heard that the guy involved had been ‘reprimanded’ and sent away for retraining.”

The assault charges brought by the PSNI against Mr Dorrian related to an incident in 2002 when the Turf Lodge man responded to a phone call from his father-in-law.

“It was ten o’clock on a Sunday morning when I got a call that the peelers had my brother-in-law down in Brittons Parade.

“We went down and the whole street was sealed off with jeeps and the car that my brother-in-law had been in had been rammed.

“There was blood on the windscreen and the side where they had trailed him out of the car and broken his collar bone.

“I went up through the jeeps and asked the peelers where they had taken him and a very heated argument started.

“Then they grabbed me, shoved my hands up my back and put a headlock on me over the bonnet.

“Another one began to beat me with a baton – over 30 times, particularly on the front of the legs and the base of the spine.”

Peter was then arrested and taken to Grosvenor Road barracks, where wrist restraints placed on him were so tight that a doctor ordered them to be removed.

After being charged with assaulting a number of PSNI members, he was then released.

In a subsequent incident some months ago, an altercation developed when seven PSNI members came to his front door and demanded the settling of an outstanding £25 fine.

When Mr Dorrian tried to hand over the money, he says the PSNI refused to accept it and claimed they could arrest him.

As Mr Dorrian’s wife argued with the PSNI, he phoned his solicitor.
And at that point a number of PSNI members started to threaten him and told him to come into the street, but Mr Dorrian declined.

Both Mr Dorrian and his solicitor have since made statements to the Police Ombudsman declaring that a PSNI member shouted at Mr Dorrian that he was “a weapons expert” and would “come back and do it”.

An official from the Ombudsman’s office was in court last Friday as the Magistrate cleared Mr Dorrian of assaulting the PSNI.

Following the acquittal, Mr Dorrian declared that, “enough is enough”.
“These people have got away with this for far too long, but I am going to ensure they are made properly accountable for their victimisation of me and my family.”

Journalist:: Jarlath Kearney

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