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PC sacked for punching urinating French student

Monday, February 11, 2013
2:09 PM

A police constable has been sacked for using excessive force after he chased and punched a French student who had been urinating in bushes.

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Pc John Caulfield, 33, has been dismissed for gross misconduct over the arrest in Bowling Green Walk, Hoxton, in August 2009.

He chased Charles Quichaud, then 19, and hit him in the face.

The officer said he feared for his safety and this was a legitimate technique to restrain him.

Mr Caulfield faced trial twice for assault occasioning actual bodily harm - the first jury failed to reach a verdict and the second cleared him in November 2011.

Today Mike Franklin, from police watchdog the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), said: “A disciplinary panel has concluded on the balance of probabilities that Pc Caulfield breached police professional standards in that his use of force was unnecessary, disproportionate and unreasonable and he has rightfully been dismissed.

“The panel also found that his written account of the incident was false, misleading and inaccurate and was, in all likelihood, written to justify his excessive use of force.

“This was a unique case in that the young man who was arrested, who suffered serious facial injury, did not lodge a complaint but Pc Caulfield’s actions were witnessed by a local resident who was so disturbed by what he saw he contacted the IPCC to complain.

“I would like to thank that resident, the victim in this case and the other witnesses from Hoxton Square that evening who willingly gave their time to give evidence in two criminal trials and this misconduct hearing. Without them, this officer would still be serving.”

A second officer, a female constable, who failed to write up what had happened quickly enough, was given a written warning.

Commander Allan Gibson, Directorate of Professional Standards at Scotland Yard, said: “There is no doubt that the actions of Pc Caulfield brought discredit on the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) and, although acquitted at court, reflect badly on the thousands of officers who are honest and work tirelessly for the people of London.

“The panel found his use of force was unnecessary, disproportionate and unreasonable and was additionally found to have produced a misleading written account of the incident.

“Given the finding, there was only one appropriate outcome in this case and Pc Caulfield was dismissed from the MPS without notice.”

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