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Lewisham cop guilty of punching prisoner who 'spat' in his face
A LEWISHAM police officer has been found guilty of assaulting a prisoner who allegedly spat at him.
PC Rohan Scarlett appeared at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court yesterday (August 27) where he was found guilty of common assault.
He has been bailed to appear for sentencing at the court on September 20.
The charge related to an incident in the early hours of February 20 when the 46-year-old was on duty and tasked with collecting a prisoner from Islington and transporting him to Lewisham.
When Scarlett was putting the prisoner in the police van at around 3am it is alleged the prisoner spat in his face.
In response Scarlett, having wiped his face, entered the van and punched the prisoner and was then pulled from being on top of the prisoner by two of his colleagues.
Having pulled him off the prisoner one of the officers arrested Scarlett on suspicion of grievous bodily harm.
Commander Allan Gibson of the Met Police’s directorate of professional standards said: "I appreciate there was alleged provocation in this case, but police officers are expected to remain professional at all times; irrespective of provocation.
"PC Scarlett failed to remain professional; he reacted and has paid the price of being convicted at court.
“Now the criminal proceedings are complete the misconduct process can continue."
Lewisham Borough Commander Chief Superintendent Russell Nyman added: "Whilst this case has highlighted that there was alleged provocation involved, police officers are expected to remain professional at all times and to act within the law, PC Scarlett fell short of this standard which has resulted in his conviction today.
"Whilst I in no way condone the actions of this officer, this was an isolated incident and PC Scarlett's actions are not representative of the MPS or of the dedicated officers who work at Lewisham serving the public day in and day out."
Scarlett remains suspended.
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