Two security guards today denied false imprisonment after a 15-year-old boy was handcuffed at a Superdrug store face down on the ground.
Jake De-Geus and Edwin Hirst appeared at Portsmouth crown court for the first time accused of jointly pinning down the teenager in the shop and detaining him there.
The incident happened in a Superdrug in Chichester in March this year while the pair were working as high-street ‘rangers’ for the Business Improvement District (BID).
De-Geus, 29, and Hirst, 39, both face charges of false imprisonment and assault by beating following the incident in West Sussex.
As part of the alleged false imprisonment, the pair were said to have acted ‘unlawfully and injuriously’.
Hirst is also accused of assault by beating in relation to another teenager who was with the 15 year old. He denies the charge.
De-Geus and Hirst, both wearing black suits and ties, appeared at Portsmouth Crown Court today for the first time.
They spoke only to confirm their identities and deny the offences and then a trial date was fixed for August next year.
Portsmouth Crown Court’s resident judge His Honour Judge Michael Bowes KC said: ‘This will be tried by a circuit judge.
‘I think if we allow six days [for a trial] that will be sensible.’
Addressing the defendants, Judge Bowes KC said: ‘Your trial is now fixed for August 19 for next year and you will both remain on unconditional bail.
‘The failure to provide sufficiently detailed defence statements may count against you, the failure to attend may be a separate offence.
‘If either of you fails to attend it may proceed in your absence.’
De-Geus, from Chichester, and Hirst, from Fareham were both working as high-street ‘rangers’ for Chichester Business Improvement District (BID) at the time of the incident on March 22 this year.