By Elham Asaad Buaras
Babar Ahmad has told a Southwark crown court how police officers beat him so severely in a dawn raid at his home that he had thought he was going to die.
Ahmad suffered injuries to his head, neck, chest, back, arms, feet and all over his body, said prosecutor Jonathan Laidlaw. “The defendants subjected him to a sustained and very violent assault – in effect they gave him a beating or they beat him up,” he added.
The court in south London heard from Ahmad, 37, how he was the subject of a prolonged and vicious attack, starting in the bedroom of his home and continuing in a police van and at a London police station.
Police constables Mark Jones, Roderick James- Bowen, Nigel Cowley and Detective Constable John Donohue deny assaulting Ahmad.
Giving evidence on the second day of the trial Ahmed said that one officer put him in a headlock in the back of the police van.
The jury heard from him that one officer straddled him and said: “You will remember this day for the rest of your life, you fu@king bastard. Do you understand me?” Ahmad said: “He squeezed and kept on squeezing. I remember the pressure to the side of my neck. He squeezed and squeezed and squeezed, and held it in that position.
“I thought he would hold it for a few seconds, and, if I hold my breath, I could bear it and he would let go. But he didn’t let go. I was panicking because I couldn’t do anything or move. It’s like drowning. There is nothing you can do. He kept squeezing to the point where I thought ‘This guy is going to kill me. He wants to kill me. I am going to die in this van’.”
Medical examinations carried out four days later showed blood in Ahmad’s urine and that there had been bleeding in the middle of both of his ears. Shortly after the arrest in December 2003, he was released without charge.
Earlier the jury heard Ahmad describe how he had been in bed with his wife at 5am when officers from the Met’s territorial support group smashed their way into his south London home.
The officers entered his bedroom, where they carried out what he called a “sustained and very violent assault.”
“It was complete confusion and shock. I had just woken up and lots of things were going through my mind: ‘Why have they come up here? Have they mixed me up with someone else? Is there a robber hiding in my house or have they come to arrest me?’ All these things were going through my mind.”
“I was completely compliant, because I had made my mind up when they came towards me I was going to co-operate and reassure them they had nothing to fear from me whatsoever.
“At no point did I struggle or make it difficult for them. At no point did I say anything to them, other than: ‘Can you stop hitting me’ I didn’t make it hard for them or provoke them whatsoever.”
At one stage, he told the jury, he was pushed into a praying position and asked “Where is your God now…pray to him.”
The security service, MI5, had Ahmad under surveillance and had bugged the room. A recording of the raid was played to the jury but the contents were largely inaudible.
The court had heard that the attack continued in a police van and at Charing Cross police station.
The hearing continues.