A shocking video shows the moment a Metropolitan Police officer pepper sprays a robbery suspect twice while he is climbing down a tower block drainpipe. 

PC Luke Wenham, 31, has been found guilty of assault after the incident which took place in Elephant and Castle in August 2022. 

The suspect was 12 floors high when he was sprayed the first time and was seven floors high the second time.

The police watchdog has said the incident could have had fatal consequences. 

PC Wenham and other officers attended the high-rise building at 8.20am on August 17 to locate a man wanted in connection with multiple robberies. 

They forced entry to a twelfth floor apartment, at which point the suspect climbed out of a window and began scaling down the side of the building via a drainpipe. 

PC Wenham leaned over and sprayed PAVA at the man as he dangled from the drainpipe. A court heard that when his spray ran out he took possession of another officer’s spray. 

The man continued to climb down so officers gained entry to a second apartment on the seventh floor. PC Wenham again sprayed the man as he climbed down to the balcony below. 

The suspect climbed to the next balcony where he remained and was eventually detained after hours of negotiations. 

PC Wenham, of the Central South Basic Command Unit, was found guilty of two counts of common assault at the end of a one-day trial at Westminster Magistrates’ Court.  

He will be sentenced at a later date. 

IOPC (Independent Office for Police Conduct) director Steve Noonan said: “Officers are instructed that any force they use must be necessary, reasonable and proportionate. 

“At the time he was sprayed, the man was not posing an immediate risk to the officers or anyone else. 

“The national guidance on PAVA spray lists some of the most common reactions on being exposed to it to include the individual moving their hands to their face, their legs becoming weak and temporary blindness. 

“It is clear that in spraying the man twice at considerable heights, PC Wenham exposed him to the genuine risk he could have lost his grip on the pipe and fallen, which would have likely had fatal consequences.” 

PC Wenham will now face a misconduct hearing accused of gross misconduct.