A British Transport Police (BTP) officer has successfully appealed his conviction for using unreasonable force when making an arrest.
PC Andrew Spiby was convicted of common assault following a trial at Birmingham Crown Court earlier this year.
PC Spiby was summoned to appear before the judge following a complaint to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) about the level of force he used during the arrest of a man at Derby railway station back in May 2018.
The IOPC conducted an independent investigation of the complaint.
The court concluded that the use of force was unreasonable and disproportionate to the threat that the officer and his colleagues faced.
However, PC Spiby appealed the decision and the Crown Court successfully overturned the judgment on Thursday 7 November.
A spokesperson for the British Transport Police said:
‘[the] BTP is in communication with the IOPC regarding its direction in respect of any potential misconduct findings and will consider how to respond to any recommendations they make”.
A spokesperson for the IOPC said:
“We determined that PC Spiby had a case to answer for gross misconduct.
“Following the quashing of the conviction against PC Spiby steps are now being taken to progress the associated disciplinary matters with the force.”
Nigel Goodband, Chair of the BTP Federation, said:
“We are pleased by this verdict, but we must question why the matter got this far.
“We hope the IOPC use this case as guidance when considering similar circumstances in the future.
“It is extremely difficult to fully understand what goes through an officer’s mind as they assess what’s happening in front of them.
“There is a world of difference between an officer acting with an honestly held belief about the threat facing them or others, and an officer deliberately and recklessly intending to harm someone.
“The latter is completely unacceptable, but the former is a split-second decision made with the benefit of both training and experience.
“We are pleased this has been recognised and that PC Spiby’s appeal has been upheld by the courts.
“This has been an extremely difficult and stressful time for him and this Federation will continue to support him”.
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