Disabled woman convincted after struggle with four police officers

It took four police officers to control a disabled woman after she became violent and abusive. The fracas took place at 2am in an Islington Police station, Highbury Corner Magistrates Court heard this week.

Natalie Coulson, who lives on the Bemerton Estate at King’s Cross, has been convincted of assault and behaving violently in a police station. The court heard how the 44-year-old, who suffers from scoliosis, a spinal deformity characterised by a curvature of the spine and walks with the aid of a stick, lost her temper with Alex Scorgie who manages Bemerton estate on behalf of Bemerton Villages Tenant Management Organisation, spitting at him and prodding him with her stick on October 30, 2009.

Ms Coulson denied the allegations claiming instead that she had been struck on the face twice by Mr Scorgie after an ongoing row about the management of the estate turned into a violent confrontation. She then reported the incident to police, but spent the entire weekend ignored, she said.

On November 2, Ms Coulson voluntarily went to Islington Police station at 2:00am in an attempt to find out what was being done about her allegations where she became involved in a struggle with police. In CCTV footage showed in court, Ms Coulson is seen screaming in the public waiting area of the police station.

After several attempts to calm her down, she was restrained by four officers who pinned her to the ground before moving her to a cell, where she continued to unleash a tirade of abuse and insults. PC Bethal of Islington Police station, said: “I could hear ranting, shouting and a metallic banging before Ms Coulson came into view. And then I could see her; she was banging against the glass with her crutch and thrusting it through the wicket reaching for an officer.”

“For safety we kept her in a restraint manner. There seemed to be no logic or sense of reasoning with her. The only thing we could do was to keep her restrained for our safety and her own safety also.” Taking the stand, Ms Coulson said: “They [the police] were grabbing me and I was just in shock; they did not make it clear why they were grabbing me. It was completely outside my experience. I remember they were handcuffing me. I was screaming and telling them not to handcuff.”

“I couldn’t understand how I was coming to the police station because somebody had assaulted me and then this was happening to me… I was begging them to stop…Suddenly I was being assaulted by the police.” Ms Coulson was granted conditional bail and told not to approach Mr Scorgie or visit his office unaccompanied as part of her bail conditions.

Sentencing has been adjourned to allow for a pre-sentence report due March 30.