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Gloucestershire officer’s assault by beating conviction overturned

A Gloucestershire PC has successfully appealed his criminal conviction of common assault by beating.

PC Richard Smith, 50, had been charged with assault by beating in connection with the use of force while he was detaining a man in Dursley on November 22, 2020.

PC Smith was given an eight month suspended sentence after he and a colleague detained a man who had been reported to be acting suspiciously around a house.

The two officers restrained the man and handcuffed him with what was deemed to be a reasonable use of force. PC Smith then pushed the victim’s arms up towards his shoulders while he was handcuffed which resulted in him being found guilty of assault by beating.

Bodyworn video was shown to the Magistrates' Court. 

PC Smith, who has been with the force for more than 15 years, had denied the charge and chose to appeal his conviction.

Following the hearing where his appeal was upheld, Assistant Chief Constable Rhiannon Kirk said: “We acknowledge the decision made in court on Friday.

“The officer remains suspended as he is still subject to misconduct proceedings as these could not take place until the appeal process had concluded.

“We will take full account of the observations made in Friday’s hearing.”

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