Lincolnshire

Police Interceptor James Woolerton cleared of misconduct

A traffic officer who starred on the TV show Police Interceptors has been cleared of misconduct after he was accused of making a homophobic remark.

Allegations of misconduct against PC James Woolerton were dismissed at a public tribunal in Lincolnshire.

It was alleged he had used excessive force to detain Keith Saunders at the end of a high speed chase last July.

He was also accused of making a homophobic slur against Saunders, who was later jailed for dangerous driving.

The pursuit was shown on the Channel 5 show - but Saunders, who was jailed for 15 months, complained of being hit in the face after he was dragged from the car.

Another officer at the scene, PC John Seal, also said he heard PC Woolerton make a homophobic remark to Mr Saunders, who is not gay, which he thought was offensive.

CCTV played at the hearing showed officers restraining the driver, pinning him to the floor and handcuffing him.

Footage then showed PC Woolerton delivering one knee strike to Mr Saunders and leaning towards him while he was being restrained over the bonnet of a police car by two other officers.

A panel at Lincolnshire Police headquarters decided video footage from the scene was not inconsistent with PC Woolerton's account of events.

It also found that PC Seal was not in an ideal position to hear what was said, adding there had been no visible reaction "from any person to the alleged comment".

The hearing was told Mr Saunders hit speeds over 100mph as he approached Lincoln and then raced through the city centre at 70mph.

Giving evidence, PC Woolerton, who is now a rural beat officer after deciding to leave his high profile role as a road traffic officer, described the pursuit as the worst piece of driving he had seen in his career.

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