Sussex

Eastbourne off-duty PC sentenced for attacking man

Robert Rangeley guilty of actual bodily harm Image copyright Eddie Mitchell
Image caption Robert Rangeley was found guilty of actual bodily harm

A police officer who attacked a man so violently it caused him to let out "screams of terror" after a row in a nightclub has been sentenced.

Robert Rangeley was convicted of actual bodily harm after the attack outside the club in Eastbourne in January 2017.

The Sussex PC was off duty when he injured Martin Lovett, who was found lying on the floor covered in blood.

Rangeley was given an eight month suspended prison sentence at Brighton Crown Court.

'Exact revenge'

Recorder Kenneth Hamer told Rangeley he had brought "disgrace on the police service that night".

Rangeley was ordered to pay his victim £1,500 compensation, complete 170 hours of unpaid work, and to pay £1,750 in court costs and a victim surcharge of £140.

The jury was told how barman George Baker heard a commotion in the street and found Rangeley and fellow officer Paul Bridger on top of the 33-year-old victim.

Mr Lovett was treated in hospital for a cut above his eye.

Both Rangeley, 39, from Eastbourne, and co-defendant Mr Bridger, also 39, from Polegate, who were off duty, denied a joint charge of occasioning actual bodily harm.

Bridger, a Lewes-based response officer, was acquitted after a trial where he maintained he had used reasonable force and was acting in Rangeley's defence.

The court heard Rangeley had a previously "unblemished" career.

Recorder Hamer told the Eastbourne-based officer: "You became embroiled in an altercation. You had been heavily drinking.

"I have no doubt you intended to remonstrate with him about words said between the two of you.

"You intended to exact revenge on Mr Lovett."

Det Supt Steve Boniface, of Sussex Police said: "While the incident occurred while the officers were off-duty, both were suspended from their posts and now the criminal proceedings have concluded we will consider what disciplinary action they should face."

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