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Serving and former Met officers found guilty of assault

A serving Met officer and a former officer have been found guilty of assault following an on duty incident in January 2020.

PC Jack Wood, 26, from the East Area Command Unit, was convicted of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and assault by beating following a trial at City of London Magistrates Court on Friday 14 May. He will be sentenced at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Thursday, 3 June.

Former PC Archie Payne, 27, also from the East Area Command Unit, was convicted of assault by beating. He was fined £600 and was ordered to pay £1,000 in costs in addition to a £34 victim surcharge.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct began its investigation in January 2020 after a referral from the Met of a complaint made by a man who sustained a serious head injury during the incident.

At around 2am on 5 January 2020, Met officers were outside the World’s Inn pub, on South Street, Romford. They were approached by the victim who said officers refused a request to help his friend. A fight then broke out near a railway bridge during which PC Wood used his baton resulting in the victim receiving a serious head injury, which required eight stitches.

A second man, also 26, was also physically restrained.

In June 2020 the IOPC passed a file of evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) who decided to charge the officers.

IOPC Regional Director Graham Beesley said: “Officers are trained to de-escalate volatile situations and have a variety of techniques they can deploy without resorting to the use of force seen in this incident.

“PC Wood’s use of his police baton was disproportionate, unnecessary and wholly unreasonable.

“This investigation serves as a powerful reminder of our role within the police complaints system to independently examine the circumstances of all deaths or serious injuries following police contact, and we will do so to the fullest extent of our abilities and powers.”

Commander Paul Betts, from the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards, said: “We recognise that officers face challenging situations on a daily basis and that the use of force is an unavoidable aspect of frontline policing.

“However it is essential that when force is used it is reasonable, proportionate and lawful. In this case, we felt that the force used by these officers was excessive and referred the matter to the IOPC.

“The criminal case has now concluded and a decision will be taken about what further misconduct proceedings should follow.”

Former PC Archie Payne resigned from the Met in November 2020.

PC Wood will now face a gross misconduct hearing for breaches of the standards of professional behaviour in relation to use of force.

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