Highgate comedian Noel Fielding bundled to ground and handcuffed by police in Kentish Town, High Court hears
- Credit: Archant
Comedian Noel Fielding has told the High Court of the “trauma” of ending up handcuffed on the ground clad in “gold boots and a boiler suit” while a friend was allegedly violently assaulted by police.
Mr Fielding – giving evidence in the £80,000 assault claim brought by his friend Jimmy Browne against the Metropolitan Police – said he was left deeply “shocked” by the April 2010 incident in which Mr Browne claims to have suffered a broken leg.
Mr Browne, a one time minder to the late singer Amy Winehouse, says he was injured after a police officer “grabbed him from behind”, repeatedly kicked him in the leg, and bundled him out of a shop in Kentish Town, the court heard yesterday.
The defence case is that the officers were acting within their powers and used reasonable force in the exercise of their powers.
Highgate resident Mr Fielding – who created and starred in the cult TV show The Mighty Boosh – admitted he had no clear view of Mr Browne being manhandled by police or of any “violent behaviour” by officers.
But he added: “It was pretty obvious what was going on, although I was face-down on the floor.”
The clash with police followed a late-night gig performed by Mr Fielding at the 100 Club in Oxford Street the previous night, the court heard.
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The 41-year-old comic was still in his stage attire when he and Mr Browne were stopped by police the next morning in Kentish Town.
He felt “tired and blurry” and had not had any time to change, he told the Met’s barrister, Andrew Buckett, adding: “I wouldn’t normally march down the street in golden boots and a boiler suit.”
You must have stuck out like a sore thumb on that Easter Sunday morning?” Mr Buckett suggested – to which the comedian countered: “It was Kentish Town so there were quite a few brightly coloured people around”.
He and Mr Browne, 53, both ended up handcuffed and face-down on the ground after police officers stopped Mr Browne on suspicion of possessing drugs – although that turned out not to be the case.
Mr Fielding agreed that he had not witnessed any “wanton, gratuitous violence” by the police against his friend, but went on to say “I could definitely tell there was a struggle”.
He told the court: “I was handcuffed myself so it was very difficult for me to see what was happening to him, but I could tell what was happening because I could hear it.”
“I was in quite a lot of shock,” added the comic, who said he had never experienced anything similar and described the episode as “traumatic”.
Asked by Mr Buckett if Mr Browne had been his “minder” and “out there to watch your back”, Mr Fielding insisted that they were simply friends who knew each other from the pub and had “mutual friends”.
His evidence came on the first day of Mr Browne’s lawsuit against the Met. He alleges assault and battery over his arrest outside the convenience store.
Mr Browne – sometimes known as “Jimmy the poet” – once acted as bodyguard to Amy Winehouse and even penned an ode in her honour following her death.
The case continues.