No option but to sack Pc who punched man in face, says chief

Humberside Chief Constable Justine Curran
Humberside Chief Constable Justine Curran
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A POLICE officer who assaulted two men damaged the trust the public puts in the service to such an extent that a chief constable said today she had “no option” but to sack him.

PC Andrew Leggott, a police officer of nine years standing, was dismissed by Humberside Police’s Chief Constable Justine Curran at the first misconduct hearing held in public since a change in the rules.

PC Leggott, 32, assaulted two men when he was among officers called to a disturbance in Scunthorpe.

He pleaded guilty earlier this year to assaulting Nathan Fox and was also found guilty following a trial at York Magistrates of assaulting another member of the public, Glenn Brennan. He was given a 12-month conditional discharge for the assaults.

Ms Curran said his treatment of Mr Fox had “lacked legitimacy and exploited your position of power”, contributing to unrest that then developed.

“I find this failure so signficant and damaging to the trust we as a service need, I cannot mitigate it,” she said.

The hearing was told PC Leggott slapped Mr Fox across the face when he put him in the back of a police van.

Residents had taken exception to what happened to Mr Fox, among them Mr Brennan, who was swearing at the police officer.

The hearing was told PC Leggott grabbed hold of Mr Fox, who took him to the ground with a “leg swipe” and then punched him in the face causing his mouth to bleed.

PC Leggott, who is appealing his conviction in the case of Mr Brennan, admitted three of four allegations put to him, including slapping Mr Fox.

However his representative Ian Townsend said there was insufficent evidence relating to the charge in case of Mr Brennan, and it was submitted that the misconduct hearing was the wrong venue to hear evidence that had not been properly tested.

Mr Thompson said Mr Brennan was “not entirely truthful about the level of injuries he had suffered.”

He said PC Leggott had experienced “a momentary loss of control” in “cuffing” Mr Fox but the officer believed that the level of force used against Mr Brennan was reasonable.

PC Leggott was in the throes of divorce at the time.

Mr Thompson told the hearing: “He is human, he had his good and bad days; he has come to work with his marriage crumbling round his ears.

“The males didn’t suffer significant injuries - but the repercussions of his (the PC’s) actions are likely to be more disproportionately serious to him”.

However Ms Curran said she had no option but to impose the sanction of dismissal: “Whilst we are not robots and do suffer from human fraility, we must be worthy of the trust that our communities place in us and we must use the significant powers that they allow us to have with their consent fairly and legitimately.

In this case you failed to do this and fell far short of the standard that was acceptable.”