A POLICEMAN who endured ‘three years of hell’ has been found not guilty of assaulting a man he was arresting.
Weymouth police officer PC Andrew Thomson had been accused of smashing a man’s head into the road as he detained him for stripping off in the street following a drunken bet.
PC Thomson, from Portland, had always denied the allegation and said that the man he arrested outside Finn’s pub in Weymouth, Stephen Kink, had been aggressive and headbutted the road deliberately.
Following the not guilty verdict the Dorset Police Federation released a statement about PC Thomson’s fight for justice – the allegations have been hanging over him since 2009.
Following a trial at Winchester Crown Court, PC Thomson was found not guilty of assault occasioning actual bodily harm against Mr Kink, a Weymouth tattoo artist.
After the not guilty verdict was read out, the 39-year-old policeman embraced family, friends and workmates.
The jury of four women and eight men took just over an hour to reach their unanimous verdict.
The court had heard PC Thomson had never been the subject of any disciplinary action in his five years on the force.
Chairman of the Dorset Police Federation, Clive Chamberlain, said that nobody should have to wait as long as PC Thomson had to get justice.
He said: “It’s been three years of hell for a person that was doing their job properly. Nobody should have to wait that long for justice to be done, but we are glad it has been done.”
Mr Chamberlain added: “The length of time this case has taken is something we at the Police Federation will be taking up, we feel it’s wrong for anybody to have to wait that long for trial.”
The allegation of the assault dated back to May 2009 when PC Thomson was involved in arresting Mr Kink for outraging public decency outside Finn’s pub in Westham Road.
Mr Kink, who had been drinking, had been bet £50 to strip naked and direct traffic outside the pub.
He was arrested and dealt with for the incident in separate proceedings.
The prosecution had alleged that during Mr Kink’s arrest when he was on the ground outside the pub PC Thomson lifted his head up and slammed it down into the road.
Witness Susan Webb had told the jury she had seen the alleged assault – but it was suggested by the defence she had ‘seen aggression when there was not.’ Neither her or Mr Kink could pick PC Thomson from an identity parade.
PC Thomson had always denied the allegation and the defence alleged that Mr Kink had headbutted the ground deliberately.
A statement released on behalf of PC Thomson and his family through the Police Federation said: “For the last three years PC Thomson has had to have faith in the justice system.
“As a result of simply doing his job he has been placed in a position that has resulted in significant distress for himself and his family.
“That faith in the system has been justified.”
The statement asked that PC Thomson and his family were now given some privacy to allow them to put the events of the last three years behind them.