A police sergeant jailed for hurling a woman headfirst into a concrete floor has been RELEASED from prison – just days into his sentence.
Vicious Mark Andrews, 37, was caught on CCTV dragging petit Pamela Somerville into a custody cell before roughly throwing her to the floor.
The footage shows him walking away as Pamela, 58, is left lying unconscious on the floor as blood pours from a gaping wound above her left eye.
The burly former soldier was jailed for six months by a District Judge last Tuesday but – despite a public dressing down from his force – Andrews walked free today.
Controversial Crown Court Judge Julian Hall, hearing an application from defence counsel Jeremy Barton behind closed doors at Oxford Crown Court, was persuaded Andrews should be freed.
He ruled Andrews could be let out of prison before an appeal against his conviction and sentence was heard.
Judge Hall heard a review hearing will be held on October 18 before a full appeal hearing, lasting five days, begins later in the year on a provisional date of November 15.
Andrews was not present for the half-hour hearing at Oxford Crown Court at which bail was granted.
Since his conviction he has been suspended on full pay by Wiltshire Police.
If his conviction is upheld he faces a formal disciplinary hearing, where he would most likely be sacked.
Speaking after the sentencing hearing Assistant Chief Constable Patrick Geenty of Wiltshire police said the constabulary had ”formally apologised” to Ms Somerville after the ”criminal assault”.
He said: ”This incident should not have happened and I am very sorry that we let this lady down.
”Although she had been lawfully arrested, she was not charged with any offence.
”I hope that she is able to accept that Wiltshire Police puts safety and respect at the top of its priorities and I also want to reassure the general public that this case shows that the police will always take positive action against any of its own members who act outside of the law.”
Describing her treatment by Andrews, Miss Somerville said: ”What happened to me was extraordinary, terrifying, and no-one should ever be treated in the same way again, no matter what they are said to have done.
”It’s the kind of thing that might go on in a tinpot dictatorship in Latin America, maybe, but not in rural Wiltshire.”
The decision to release Andrews is not the first time Judge Julian Hall has courted controversy over his lenient approach.
In 2007 he sentenced window cleaner Keith Fenn to just four months in prison, for twice raping a 10-year-old girl.
Sentencing the defendant, Judge Hall caused outrage by saying the young victim ‘didn’t look 10’.
Fenn’s sentence was then doubled on appeal by the Attorney-General.