Nottingham

Nottinghamshire PC who pulled man by dreadlocks fined

Leicester Magistrates' Court Image copyright Google
Image caption Matthew Thompson was found guilty of assault by beating at Leicester Magistrates' Court

A police officer has been fined £700 for grabbing a man's dreadlocks and pulling him from a patrol car.

PC Matthew Thompson, of Nottinghamshire Police, was responding to a domestic violence report at a house in Nottingham in July last year.

The 40-year-old was sentenced on Tuesday after he was found guilty of assault by beating for pulling David Thomas from a car when arresting him.

PC Thompson's lawyer said he planned to appeal the conviction.

Leicester Magistrates' Court heard PC Thompson, from Derby, and a female colleague had responded to a 999 call from Mr Thomas' partner, saying she had been assaulted.

Mr Thomas was arrested and placed in the back of a police car but was seen using his mobile phone.

The court heard that after he was told to stop, PC Thompson opened the car door and pulled Mr Thomas out, cupping his head in what he believed to be a "controlled manner".

But he grabbed Mr Thomas by the hair and his face hit the ground, causing minor injuries.

Dale Harris, defending, said the verdict had had "some affect" on police officers who now question how to carry out arrests.

He added that PC Thompson was now facing a dismissal from the force because of the conviction, which he was planning to appeal.

Phil Matthews, from the Police Federation, said after sentencing: "We are very concerned about the outcome, which doesn't necessarily send a positive message to all those officers who... are faced with very similar situations on a daily basis."

Nottinghamshire Police said it "acknowledged the findings" of the court but would wait for the outcome of the appeal and a report from the Independent Office for Police Conduct before making a decision on disciplinary proceedings.

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