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Canterbury police officer Sgt Paul Coughlan denies assaulting suspect

By Alan Smith

A Canterbury police officer has denied assaulting a suspect in a cell at the city’s station.

Custody sergeant Paul Coughlan, 51, is accused of punching the man several times on the arm after leaning through a hatch on March 29.

On his release, the alleged victim made an official complaint about Coughlan’s actions, which was referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

Sgt Paul Coughlan leaving court

Sgt Paul Coughlan leaving court

The commission completed its investigation in July and handed its findings to the Crown Prosecution Service, which laid the charge.

Coughlan, from Westgate-on-Sea, appeared before Maidstone magistrates yesterday and denied assault.

The case was adjourned until April 10, when the officer is due back before the same court for trial.

Patrick Hill, defending, suggested the case would take about two hours, with just one witness to call and nine minutes of CCTV evidence to review.

Coughlan was released on unconditional bail.

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