A Metropolitan Police Service officer has been found not guilty of causing serious injury by dangerous driving following an Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) investigation.
PC Eugene Acheampong had denied the offence and was acquitted on 5th November by a jury at Southwark Crown Court following a trial that started on Wednesday.
The court heard how PC Eugene Acheampong had been driving a marked police car on Hawke Park Road, Haringey, before an incident occurred on August 3, 2019.
He was responding to a 999 call made about a theft in Sirdar Road, N22.
When the officer arrived on the scene, a male made off on his bicycle after spotting the police vehicle.
PC Acheampong, a trained Immediate Response Vehicle driver, followed the suspect and ended up making contact with him as he continued to try and flee from the police.
The suspect was taken to hospital with various injuries to his head and body.
The IOPC investigation found that the officer was ‘driving above the speed limit’ when the incident happened.
Police officers with the appropriate ‘blue light‘ driver trainer are exempt from speed limits when responding to emergency incidents, including when pursuing suspects.
Despite being found not guilty in court, the officer now faces a lengthy internal investigation.
A spokesperson for the IOPC said:
‘We found that PC Acheampong has a case to answer for misconduct for breaching police professional standards for duties and responsibilities, orders and instructions and use of force.
‘The MPS will now schedule a misconduct meeting in due course.’
The not guilty verdict comes following a spate of other ‘not guilty’ verdicts handed to police officers who have been put before the courts for what many people see as the officers simply trying to do their jobs.
On 12th October, a jury cleared a Met Police officer of causing death by dangerous driving following an incident five years ago.
The jury returned their verdict after just one hour of deliberation.
18-year-old Lewis Johnson died after the motorcycle he was driving crashed during a pursuit in east London on 9th February 2016.
PC Paul Summerson had initiated the pursuit after Johnson, and his accomplice had been allegedly spotted trying to steal a bag from a lone female in east London.
His passenger, Louis Kyriacou, who was aged 19 at the time, was also seriously injured.
Despite being found not guilty, the officer now faces a lengthy and drawn out misconduct process.
The day before, on 11th October, two specially trained Metropolitan Police firearms officers were cleared of any criminal wrongdoing following an investigation led by the Independent Office for Police Conduct.
Firearms officers shot Brooklyn McFarlane at around 08:00 hours on 3rd December 2018 on Haydons Road in Wimbledon, south-west London.
Officers had received intelligence that McFarlane and his accomplice were going to carry out an armed raid on a ‘cash in transit’ vehicle.
During the operation, Brooklyn McFarlane was shot in the chest by officers. He was later charged and convicted of conspiracy to commit robbery.
Abdirahman Mohomad Omar was also charged and convicted of the same offence.
Following the incident, one officer, identified as NX1, was charged with wounding with intent, while the second, identified as MY55, was charged with attempted wounding with intent.
The Crown Prosecution Service charged the two officers following a referral of evidence from the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), which investigated the shooting.
However, the CPS offered no evidence on the first day of the trial, and the two officers were acquitted. Despite this, both officers now also face a long and drawn out misconduct hearing.
30-year-old PC Rowan Knight was accused of assaulting Christian Summers by using ‘excessive force’ when he tried to arrest him for being drunk and disorderly during an incident on Northern Avenue, Whitchurch, at around 2 am on Saturday 9 January this year
During the trial, the court heard how PC Knight reacted when Summers “lunged” towards him and said: “Who the f*** are you?” whilst grabbing his neck and pushing him against a police car.
PC Knight explained to the court that Summers then resisted arrest by trying to gouge the officer’s eye out.
The officer struck Summers several times in order to defend himself from a sustained and violent attack.
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