Northamptonshire PC who kicked handcuffed man keeps job

Wootton Hall
Image caption The hearing at the force's Wootton Hall headquarters heard the officer kicked the man after he was bitten by him

A police officer who kicked a man as he lay handcuffed on the ground has been given a final written warning nine days before he is due to retire.

PC Ian Hearne, who admitted breaching professional standards, had been bitten on the arm by the assault suspect after his arrest in Northampton town centre.

A disciplinary hearing was told he had 30 years of "impeccable" service.

Northamptonshire Police Chief Constable Nick Adderley said the officer had "acted on instinct."

"I accept no physical harm was caused but reputational harm to the police service has occurred and I have no doubt this is a matter of gross misconduct," he said.

"You suffered a great deal of provocation but you have shown great remorse and you are an officer with an impeccable record. "

'Two seconds of madness'

Mr Adderley said officers must only use "proportionate and appropriate force" and that the force used in this case was unlawful.

PC Hearne and another officer had arrested a man in Gold Street, Northampton, who was later convicted of assaulting his partner.

The man was uncooperative and bit PC Hearne as he tried to get him into the police van, the hearing was told.

He was then placed on the ground, still handcuffed, and was kicked in the torso by PC Hearne.

His defence barrister, James Keeley, said: "He dealt with the situation by the book apart from two seconds of madness.

"He made one mistake after a savage attack on him."

A number of references from colleagues were read out at the hearing at the force's headquarters and spoke of a "consummate professional" and a "caring, ethical officer".

The officer, who pleaded guilty to common assault at Loughborough Magistrates' Court in November, is due retire later this month, the hearing was told.

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