Sunday, March 16, 2014

Police officer caught on camera punching woman suspect three times in the head avoids prison after judge hears 'she bit him and said she had Aids'

A policeman was caught on CCTV repeatedly punching a suspected woman shoplifter in the head. James Kiddie attacked Sarah Reed after she was detained by security staff at Uniqlo in Regent Street, London.

But despite being convicted of assault yesterday the 45-year-old constable escaped with just a community order.

The shocking camera footage shows the married father-of-two grabbing his 30-year-old victim by the hair and lifting her out of a chair, while another camera captured him punching her three times as she lay in a corridor trying to shield herself.

Kiddie was convicted of assault last month and was today sentenced to a 12 month community order, requiring him to undertake 150 hours of unpaid work.

The father-of two had been called to the Uniqlo branch, after Ms Reed was held by security guards in November 2012, the court heard. CCTV footage showed him removing his overcoat and jacket before searching the woman's handbag.

He was then seen forcing her back into a chair, before appearing to grab her hair with both hands, ripping off her hat and dragging her to the floor.

The pictures show him hitting her on the head as she lay on the ground, before leaning on her neck until back-up arrived.

Kiddie claimed Ms Reed, a drug user, had bitten him after telling him she was infected with the AIDS virus.

During the trial last month Kiddie had told the court that his strikes against Ms Reed were 'half power' and he had not wanted to hit her.

He had claimed the woman was ‘snarling like a dog’ and bit him after telling him ‘I’ve got AIDS and I bite tramps like you.’

Pointing to the CCTV footage, Kiddie had said: ‘She is now biting into my index finger and she’s telling me she’s got the AIDS virus.’ ‘I didn’t want to break a lady’s nose... I didn’t want to hurt her somewhere that is going to damage,’ he said.

Scotland Yard said fellow officers who had viewed the CCTV footage had been concerned by the level of force used by Kiddie during the arrest and had reported the incident to the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards (DPS).

Prosecutor Rupert Kent told the court that Kiddie had no previous convictions, but the Met officer had two previous disciplinary findings of 'incivility' against him on his police record.

He was investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission for deploying CS Gas during a UK Uncut protest on Oxford Street in January 2011.

Mr Kent also pointed out that it was Ms Reed who was initially charged with assault upon her attacker.

His defence counsel, Ben Brandon, told the court he would be dismissed from the Metropolitan Police as a result of the court’s findings.

Mr Brandon said the punches aimed by Kiddie had lasted a 'split second' and only one, in effect, had 'really made contact'. He said being bitten had come as a 'complete shock' to Kiddie.

He added that Kiddie had spent 12 years in the Met 'serving the people of London' and now faced losing his job.

‘Twelve years as a police officer gone in an instant - as a result of a momentary lapse of control,' said Mr Brandon.

Original report here




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