Surrey

Surrey police constable sacked for punching handcuffed man

A Surrey police officer who punched a man in the head as he lay handcuffed on the ground in Epsom has been sacked.

PC Matthew Fitzgibbon was found guilty of assault by beating at Westminster Magistrates' Court last month.

A panel has now ordered his dismissal without notice for gross misconduct.

He was a temporary sergeant when he carried out an arrest over suspected burglary and criminal damage in 2017 but punched a man who lay handcuffed on the ground, the police watchdog said.

'Posed no threat'

After his conviction at Westminster Magistrates' Court in January, IOPC regional director Sarah Green said: "PC Fitzgibbon has been convicted of assaulting a young man who was posing no threat and lying down in handcuffs."

She said officers could use force to carry out their duties but "should only use force that is necessary, reasonable and proportionate".

Ms Green praised Fitzgibbon's colleagues who were the first to raise concerns.

Following the court case, Surrey Police Deputy Chief Constable Gavin Stephens said: "Policing is a challenging job and I have no doubt that every officer comes to work to do their best; however there are moments when those normally high standards fall below what we expect."

He said the colleagues that raised concerns had showed "a great amount of integrity" and it showed officers were willing to "do the right thing".

Fitzgibbon was sentenced to 180 hours' community work and also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £85.

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