Page last updated at 15:41 GMT, Monday, 23 March 2009

Off-duty officers 'attacked' man

Three drunk off-duty police officers attacked and racially abused a passenger on a Tube train in London, Southwark Crown Court heard.

Ernest Domfeh, a Ghanian, suffered a head injury in the attack on a Circle Line train at King's Cross last May.

Pcs Eddy McGarty, 24, Mark Lynch, 28, and Joanna McCormack, 25, are accused of racially-motivated assault.

All three officers deny racially-aggravated actual bodily harm and causing racially-aggravated fear.

Mr McGarty, of Edgware, north-west London, Mr Lynch, from Potters Bar, Hertfordshire, and Miss McCormack, from Finchley, north London, and Mary Rigley, another officer, had been drinking through the afternoon and evening.

Members of the public had to stop them from leaving the station after the incident, the jury heard.

'Centre of attention'

The court was told Mr Domfeh, who is black, was returning home and had dozed off on the train when he woke up to find what he said was a "rowdy" group staring at him.

Mr Domfeh told the court: "It seemed as if I was being stared at and it felt as if I was the centre of their attention.

"It was uncomfortable. You don't normally sit on a Tube and stare at someone but as soon as they got on I was feeling it constantly. It was intimidating."

As he was getting off he called Miss McCormac "a slag", causing her boyfriend Mr McGarty to confront him.

Mr Domfeh said: "We sort of stood in a stand-off for what seemed to be about a minute.

"I was looking at him thinking I'm not going to push this matter, he smacked me in the mouth. I don't know how many punches were thrown."

David Durose, for prosecution, said the other male officer then joined in with the assault.

Mr Durose told the court: "One particular punch was strong enough to send him staggering back through the open carriage doors and he fell backwards onto the platform banging his head as he did so."

The case continues.

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