A Somali immigrant who was punched by a Toronto police officer in an attack two years ago couldn't get into a courtroom yesterday to watch as his attacker was found guilty of assault.

Said Jama Jama, 22, had to settle for standing outside, because the tiny Brampton courtroom was packed with as many as 40 police officers from Toronto's 23 Division, who had shown up in support of their fellow officer, Constable Roy Preston.

"They closed the door on my face," Mr. Jama Jama told reporters outside. "I can't do nothing about it. That's how they wanted it."

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He stood waiting for about an hour, while inside the courtroom Constable Preston was found guilty on one count of assault.

Police then ushered Constable Preston out the judge's entrance, and through the court's back door, avoiding the assembled media.

Elderly members of the Somali community were forced to stand at the back of the courtroom because police would not give up their seats, said Andrew Vaughan, Mr. Jama Jama's former lawyer."It was just ridiculous the nerve of the officers," he said, noting many of them were plainclothes, undercover police he recognized from his time as a criminal lawyer.

"They were acting like real thugs.

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"Some of them were genuinely surprised; you could hear them gasp as the verdict was read out."

The guilty verdict was handed down almost two years after tourists videotaped Constable Preston pushing Mr. Jama Jama onto the hood of a vehicle in an Etobicoke Tim Hortons parking lot, spinning him around and hitting him in the face with a black-gloved fist.

Initially, Constable Preston and three other officers on scene said Mr. Jama Jama had attacked them. Mr. Jama Jama was charged with assaulting an officer, but those charges were dropped when the tape was released to the media.

The video showed Mr. Jama Jama placing his arms in the air before he was punched. During the trial, officers testified Mr. Jama Jama was flailing his arms, irate and required several officers to get under control.

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"None of them was telling the truth and I was really disappointed," Mr. Jama Jama said.

He said he was "glad the judge believed my words."

In handing down his verdict, Mr. Justice Peter Wilkie said he found the police officers' testimony contradicted the evidence and was almost completely unbelievable.

Constable Preston had been on the force two years at the time of the attack on Aug. 4, 2003. Then police chief Julian Fantino ordered an internal investigation into the matter.

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Police Chief Bill Blair had no comment on the conviction yesterday.

Constable Preston has continued to work at 23 Division during the trial, and will remain on duty until he is sentenced, police spokesman Mark Pugash said. That court date will likely be in September.

The maximum sentence for a single count of assault is six months in jail.