PC who head-butted Brixton suspect is sacked

Police handcuffs

A police officer who head-butted and punched a suspect in Atlantic Road in January last year was dismissed by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) in a misconduct hearing today (12 May).

Constable Gareth Knight, who was attached to Lambeth borough, was accused of having breached the Met’s standards of professional behaviour in relation to “Honesty and Integrity”, “Use of Force” and “Discreditable Conduct”.

The hearing heard that on 30 January 2016 in Atlantic Road, Brixton, PC Knight was on duty in plain clothes, in an operation to combat the sale of illegal drugs.

At about 1.20am he detained and arrested a man for possession of controlled drugs.

The arrest was observed and recorded by an operator from Lambeth council’s CCTV department.

The CCTV showed that, without any provocation, PC Knight head-butted and punched the arrested man. The detained person was not resisting and did not offer any violence towards PC Knight.

In a hearing at Southwark Crown in February this year, PC Knight was found guilty of actual bodily harm and common assault against the man. He was sentenced to three months’ imprisonment, suspended for 12 months. He was ordered to do 150 hours of unpaid work, and pay £500 costs and £500 compensation.

The officer was suspended from duty during an internal misconduct investigation and has now been dismissed without notice.

Assistant commissioner Patricia Gallan said: “The public rightly expects a high standard of their police officers and the MPS expects our employees to always act with professionalism and integrity whether on or off duty. This is in order to maintain the trust and the confidence of the public.

“PC Knight has broken this trust and brought discredit to the service through his conviction. His continued service with the MPS has been made untenable.”