Police Officer Cleared After Man Complained Of 'Oppressive Behaviour'

A police officer has been cleared after a man complained of his "oppressive behaviour" towards him as he attempted to collect his son from a concert in south Belfast.

The man, whose complaint has been rejected by the Police Ombudsman, had asked to park in a closed-off slip road before attempting to turn into a lane blocked off by a police Land Rover. He said the officer assaulted him before threatening to shoot him as he edged forward in his car.

He said the officer had grabbed him by the arms and stuck his knuckles into his throat after he got out of his vehicle at the Lisburn Road end of Stockman’s Lane in August last year. This, he said, had caused bruising under his chin which had been confirmed at the Mater Hospital.
News Image
However, Police Ombudsman investigators, who interviewed the officer under caution, took accounts from members of the public and other police officers, and reviewed Body Worn (BWV) video footage, rejected the man’s claims that the officer had acted oppressively.

The officer denied any wrongdoing but admitted to threatening to shoot after the complainant had driven towards him. He said his actions were necessary due to the man's "aggressive demeanour" and his failure to heed police directions.

He also stated that when he was putting the man into the Land Rover, where he cautioned him for a motoring offence, a struggle had ensued, but he denied assault.

Eyewitness accounts from several members of the public and other police officers supported the officer’s version of events. Body worn video did not capture the initial incident but did show the officer take hold of the man’s arm and jacket as he attempted to return to his car. It also showed that it was a notebook in the officer’s hand which come into contact with the man’s neck, rather than his fist as the complainant had alleged.

A report was sent to the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) which directed no prosecution of the officer.

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

06 August 2014
Police Vehicle Contracts Arrest - Man Released
A 54-year-old member of police staff who was arrested in County Antrim as part of ongoing investigations into the awarding of vehicle contracts has been released. The man was arrested on suspicion of misconduct in public office and has been taken to a police station in Belfast for questioning.
28 March 2007
House of Lords vote for ‘50/50’ police force
The House of Lords has renewed the 50/50 recruitment rule for the PSNI by a majority of 44. It puts into practice a recommendation made in 1999 by Lord Patten that the local police force should be split evenly between Catholics and Protestants. The result of the vote was 141 to 97.
07 January 2016
Police Officer Given Adult Caution For Bar Assault
A police officer assaulted a man at a bar while off-duty and unlawfully accessed information on police computer systems, according to a Police Ombudsman investigation. The officer was given an adult caution after he was found to have punched a man in the face during an argument at a bar in Belfast city centre in August 2014.
05 August 2014
PSNI Arrest Staff Member Over Vehicle Contracts
PSNI Detectives from the Serious Crime Branch have arrested a 54-year-old member of staff in County Antrim as part of ongoing investigations into the awarding of police vehicle contracts. The man has been arrested on suspicion of misconduct in public office and has been taken to a police station in Belfast for questioning.
03 December 2015
Two Officers Disciplined For Failing To Fully Investigate Attack On Woman
Two police officers have been disciplined for failing to properly investigate an attack on a woman in L'Derry in 2014, following an investigation by the Police Ombudsman. The victim reported that a man had punched her in the face in an apparently unprovoked attack after she left a bar in the early hours of the morning.