A Nottinghamshire Police officer has been cleared of GBH following an investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct.
Following the six-day trial, PC Edward Gordon was found not guilty of inflicting grievous bodily harm during an incident in Foreman Street in the early hours of 3 November 2019.
The court heard how PC Gordon had been sent by his control room to look after a man who was reportedly drunk and unconscious near a pub on South Sherwood Street at about 02:15 hours.
But when the officer arrived on the scene, he found himself dealing with the aftermath of a fight.
When the officer was set-upon by David Thomas, he threw several punches to defend himself.
Thomas sustained a broken jaw, but it was not clear if PC Gordon’s punches caused the injury or if it had been caused during the fight that happened before the officer arrived on the scene.
The 21-year-old officer told jurors that he had escalated his use of force against Thomas because “that’s what you are taught in [officer] safety training.”
Jurors saw CCTV footage of the incident and were given legal guidance to acquit the defendant if they believed he “was or might have been acting in lawful self-defence” or if they were not sure that his punches had caused the fractured jaw.
A spokesperson for the IOPC said:
“Our investigation began in November 2019 after we received a conduct referral from Nottinghamshire Police, as well as a complaint from the man who was injured.
“After a thorough examination of the evidence, including CCTV, body-worn video and accounts of those present – we passed a file to the Crown Prosecution Service, who authorised a charge of Section 20 grievous bodily harm.
“Our investigation also concluded that PC Gordon has a case to answer for gross misconduct which Nottinghamshire Police agreed with.
“It will now be for the force to take forward disciplinary proceedings”.
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 that happened 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.
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.
However, 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. PC Knight unleashed several blows on Summers in order to defend himself from a sustained and violent attack.
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