Leigh Park man suffers burns as police use CS spray

A picture of Liam Elston (24) in hospital in Salisbury with third degree burns to his face and arms
A picture of Liam Elston (24) in hospital in Salisbury with third degree burns to his face and arms

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A man is in a specialist burns hospital after police used CS spray to break up a fight.

His mother Marie, of Rockbourne Close, Leigh Park, admits her son has been arrested ‘hundreds of times’ but says it was unnecessary to use the spray.

He is now in a serious condition at the specialist burns unit of Salisbury District Hospital in Wiltshire where he is being treated for third-degree burns to his face, neck, shoulders and arms.

Miss Elston said: ‘He’d gone to Fareham to meet a girl but it didn’t work out.

‘When he missed the last train home he decided to walk back to Leigh Park and on the way he bumped into these blokes.

‘The police came and used CS spray – even though he told them he was allergic to it.

‘He was obviously doing something wrong or the police wouldn’t have been there but they didn’t have to spray him. They could have handcuffed him. He didn’t deserve that.’

Mr Elston taken to hospital the next morning after spending the night in the cells. He is on a morphine drip to deal with the pain.

His mother said it was the third time he has had a reaction after being sprayed by police.

She said her son has battled with drink all his life and she hoped this would be the turning point for him.

He is on the waiting list for a place in a controlled house where drink and drugs are banned, to try and help him beat his alcoholism.

In a statement police said: ‘Police can confirm a uniform officer on patrol in the West Street area of Fareham witnessed public disorder involving a group of people shortly after midnight on the morning of Saturday, March 2.

‘CS spray was used by an officer to stop a fight between two men.

‘A 24-year-old man from Havant and a 23-year-old man from Park Gate were arrested on suspicion of affray. They were bailed until Monday, March 11, pending further enquiries.

‘An investigation is continuing to confirm the full circumstances surrounding this disorder.

‘The 24-year-old man from Havant is due to be interviewed by police today.’