A Metropolitan Police officer who punched a Romford shopkeeper after mistaking him for a suspect has been found guilty of assault. 

PC Jonathan Marsh, 34, was called to a shop in Atlanta Boulevard on November 13, 2022, by the shop worker who reported that someone was damaging his shop sign. 

While trying to find the suspect, PC Marsh mistakenly identified the shopkeeper as the culprit. 

He bundled the shopkeeper to the ground and PC Marsh then punched him to the back of the head. 

The shopkeeper was handcuffed and put in the back of a police car, before the officers realised their mistake and de-arrested him. 

He complained to the Met Police, and the force referred the case to watchdog the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) to investigate. 

PC Marsh, from Canvey Island in Essex, was found guilty of common assault at City of London Magistrates’ Court on Monday (January 29), and will be sentenced on February 29. 

IOPC regional director Charmaine Arbouin said: “Police officers may only use force when it is necessary, proportionate, and reasonable in the circumstances. 

“There was no policing purpose or justification for the officer to strike the man, who posed no genuine risk. 

“The shopkeeper was a law-abiding member of the public who had called the police to report a crime when he became a victim of mistaken identity. 

“We appreciate cases of mistaken identity can happen, however, PC Marsh made no attempt to establish the facts and the situation escalated quickly when he immediately used unnecessary force on the man who posed no threat to him or his colleague. 

“Now PC Marsh has a conviction against his name.” 

It has not yet been decided whether Marsh will face a disciplinary hearing over the case. 

Ch Supt Stuart Bell, in charge of policing in East Area, said: "All police officers know they will be held to account for any use of force, and any use of force must be reasonable. 

"On this occasion, PC Marsh went beyond the level of force necessary and it is right that he has to face the criminal consequences of his actions." 

Now that criminal proceedings have concluded, the misconduct process will commence. 

PC Marsh remains on restricted duties.