Met cop found guilty of shield attack

Pc Andrew Ott
Pc Andrew Ott

A policeman has been found guilty of knocking a man’s tooth out with his riot shield during the 2010 student protests.

Royal Holloway student William Horner tried to break free from a kettled area on Parliament Square, in Westminster, London, when Andrew Ott struck out with his shield, knocking the student’s tooth out.

Pc Ott, 36, was found guilty of one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, but cleared of perverting the course of justice, London’s Southwark Crown Court said.

Pc Calvin Lindsay and Pc Thomas Barnes were both cleared of perverting the course of justice, the court said.

Jurors heard that Ott was taped on his personal recording device threatening violence towards the crowds that had gathered near the Houses of Parliament.

He talked about “getting” the protesters.

The jury heard the assault happened after Ott chased Mr Horner as he tried to scale a fence.

Giving evidence, Ott said: “I believed he had done something wrong or was about to do something – I wanted to contain him.

“I bring my shield around – I believe it was on my left arm – and momentum, and also the fact that I bring my shield around my body, I collided with him.

“I struck him with the shield, yes. At that moment in time my threat assessment was high. He was a threat to me – I dealt with it as I saw fit.”

He added: “I struck his upper body. If his head got hit, then it got hit – I didn’t aim for his head. To get a chipped tooth from a shield like that – unlucky.”

Jurors heard the incident was captured on the audio device Ott had on his uniform.

In one clip he was heard saying: “Poked the little c*** right in the eye.”

The violent protests saw riot police pelted with missiles, including rocks and concrete blocks, and statues in Parliament Square were daubed with graffiti.

No further action was taken against Mr Horner.

Ott, of Rochester, Kent, will be sentenced at Southwark Crown Court at 9.30am tomorrow

An investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission found all three officers have a case to answer for gross misconduct and they will now face disciplinary hearings, which will be carried out by the Metropolitan Police Service.

Shield-Smash Cop says his alleged victim was “unlucky”

Pc Andrew Ott
Pc Andrew Ott

A policeman who allegedly smashed a man’s tooth out with his riot shield during the 2010 student protests said that it was “unlucky” he had been caught in the mouth.

Pc Andrew Ott, 36, was taped on his personal recording device threatening violence towards the crowds that had gathered near the Houses of Parliament.

It is alleged that when Royal Holloway student William Horner tried to break free from a kettled area on Parliament Square, Ott struck out with his shield, knocking out the student’s tooth.

He is also accused of conspiring with two colleagues to come up with a reason to falsely arrest the student after he was injured.

Recordings captured on the day showed that on a number of occasions Ott had talked about “getting” protesters.

Giving evidence at London’s Southwark Crown Court, he said that after a short break at around 8pm he heard another officer shout out, saying “stop”.

“The shout alerted me and I knew straight away from the tone and pitch, I knew something had happened or was about to happen. I was immediately alerted, I turned to my right and I saw someone running,” said Ott.

Jurors heard that he gave chase, eventually catching up with Mr Horner where he was trying to scale a fence.

Ott continued: “I believed he had done something or was about to do something – I wanted to contain him. I had full knowledge of what I could and couldn’t do and I wasn’t about to start attacking him.

“I bring my shield around – I believe it was on my left arm – and momentum, and also the fact that I bring my shield around my body, I collided with him.”

Jurors heard that Ott used the riot equipment to “create distance” between himself and Mr Horner.

“I struck him with the shield, yes. At that moment in time my threat assessment was high. He was a threat to me – I dealt with it as I saw fit.

“Hindsight is fantastic, would I have done something different? Absolutely. I wouldn’t be here. But I did what I did,” Ott told the court.

He continued: “I struck his upper body. If his head got hit, then it got hit – I didn’t aim for his head. To get a chipped tooth from a shield like that – unlucky.”

The incident was captured on the audio recording device that Ott had on his uniform, as were the clashes that took place earlier in the day.

Jurors heard one clip in which Ott was heard saying: “Poked the little c*** right in the eye”.

He admitted that he had also struck out with his shield on this instance, but added that he had “over-exaggerated” in his description of the incident.

When asked if he had poked the protester in the eye, he replied: “Probably, by accident.”

Ott denies one count of occasioning actual bodily harm, and one count of perverting the course of justice.

Pc Calvin Lindsay and Pc Thomas Barnes, both 31, also stand accused of the second offence.

It is said that after the alleged assault they came up with a reason to arrest Mr Horner and justify the attack.

Ott explained that on December 9, officers were under “intense attack” from the crowds that had gathered to protest against the increase in tuition fees, and described one particular protester as a “nightmare”.

The violent protests saw riot police pelted with missiles including rocks and concrete blocks, and statues in Parliament Square being daubed with graffiti.

Although questioned by police, no further action was taken against Mr Horner in connection with the incident.

Ott, of Rochester, Kent, denies one charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and a further charge of perverting the course of justice.

Lindsay, of Leytonstone, east London, and Barnes, of Greenhithe, Kent, both deny perverting the course of justice.

All three men are on restricted duties pending the outcome of proceedings. The trial continues.

Jury sworn in former cop £113,000 theft trial

Paul Greaves
Paul Greaves

 

A jury has been sworn in to try a retired police officer accused of stealing £113,000 from his former force’s headquarters.

Paul Andrew Greaves, 56, was charged with stealing cash from Warwickshire Police in May 2013 after an inquiry into the disappearance of money seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Greaves, from Carlton, Nottingham, denies a single count of theft alleged to have been committed between June 2009 and September 2011.

The Crown is expected to open its case against Greaves to a jury at Birmingham Crown Court next week.

PC jailed for 3 years for sex on duty

PC Adam Rushton
PC Adam Rushton

A police officer who had oral sex with vulnerable women while on duty has been jailed for three years.

Pc Adam Rushton, branded “a disgrace to the police service” on conviction last month, was sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court today for five counts of misconduct.

The 37-year-old, of Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, was also found guilty of breaching data protection laws while a Staffordshire Police officer based in Longton, Stoke-on-Trent.

During his three-week trial, Rushton conceded that some of his actions were “not very professional” but denied that it amounted to criminal conduct.

Judge Murray Creed, sentencing, said: “This case is personal tragedy for you and your family. As a police officer you were in a position of trust with the public.”

The court heard in mitigation that Rushton attempted to resign his post but was sacked by the force, with whom he served for 10 years, on Monday under a fast-tracking procedure.

Judge Creed said Rushton had come across his victims “at a stage when people were in vulnerable periods of their lives”.

He added: “There was distress caused to those victims, some of them, self-evident during their evidence”.

Judge Creed said it was concerning to hear colleagues had tried to warn Rushton over his behaviour, and that on one occasion “you did not tell the truth to senior officers seeking to help you”.

The offending spanned four years, from 2008 to 2012, and involved five women in all.

Judge Creed said the most serious incident involved a very vulnerable victim whom he visited in uniform at her home.

Rushton made up the reason for the visit, accusing her over a “bogus cyber bullying issue”, and convinced her to show him her private parts under the auspices of his fake investigation.

Judge Creed said: “Plainly that must have been humiliating, but the incident didn’t emerge until two years later when she was seen by officers in connection with another matter and referred, in passing, to that.

“As a result, this whole inquiry was commenced. It is a troubling episode as far as she is concerned.

“She was plainly vulnerable – indeed she said she did not think she would be believed because of her history.”

In relation to the other counts, Rushton met what the judge described as another “vulnerable young lady” through a police incident, befriending her and eventually entering into a relationship.

He was convicted of conducting a social visit to her home.

Another woman he met through an internet dating site and he was found guilty of receiving oral sex from her during a work-time break.

He was also convicted of going to her home, while in uniform, with the intention of having some sexual contact.

The judge said: “She believed you wanted to have sex, but in any event it didn’t take place as she found you smelled of garlic.”

There was another encounter with a fourth woman while on duty and in uniform, whereRushton received oral sex, later texting her saying “You’re ace”.

Judge Creed said: “The texts were graphic. Those details were studied and plainly, at the time, you were on duty.

He added: “There were calls to your unit, while you were engaged in the activity or shortly thereafter.”

“Prior to that there were two calls which had been ignored from control.”

He was also convicted of looking up a fifth victim’s details on the police computer system.

During the trial, Rushton was acquitted of five other counts of misconduct in a public office and a single charge of breaching the Data Protection Act.

The former neighbourhood police officer, wearing a grey suit, made no reaction as he was sentenced and seemed prepared for the possibility of custody by bringing a holdall of belongings with him.

Kevin Baumber, in mitigation, described Rushton as “a hard-working conscientious police officer, achieving results, involved in charity work, and a doting father and husband, still in the long process of rehabilitation but someone who has the support of his family”.

He added: “The impact, sadly, will fall most brutally upon his wife and his children and that is something he will have to live with and continue to make amends for.”

Afterwards, Deputy Chief Constable Nick Baker, of Staffordshire Police, welcomed the sentence, saying Rushton had “brought shame” on himself and the force.

“I have apologised personally to those victims of his actions on behalf of Staffordshire Police,” he said.

“I would also like to thank those individuals who supported the investigation and gave evidence during the recent trial; their bravery should not be underestimated.

“Adam Rushton brought shame on himself, his colleagues and Staffordshire Police.

“There is simply no excuse for Rushton’s actions and we will not tolerate such disgraceful behaviour in this organisation.

“The public must be able to trust their police officers, and on this occasion they were badly let down. He has been dismissed from the force.

“I want to reassure the public of Staffordshire lessons have been learned from this matter and we will take robust action against any officer or member of staff whose behaviour falls below the high standards expected.

“We are proud that the overwhelming majority of officers and staff members work hard and with integrity to serve the people of Staffordshire.”

Six Baltimore police officers charged with prisoner death

Freddie Gray
Freddie Gray

Six officers in the police custody death of Freddie Gray are facing multiple charges including murder and manslaughter, Maryland’s state attorney has announced.

One officer faces a second-degree murder charge while the other officers face manslaughter or assault charges, among others, according to Marilyn Mosby.

She said the officers failed to get Mr Gray medical help even though he requested it repeatedly after he was arrested on April 12. She called his arrest illegal.

At some point while he was in custody, he suffered a mysterious spinal injury and died a week later.

Meanwhile, the Baltimore police officers union is asking Ms Mosby to appoint a special independent prosecutor for the investigation.

Fraternal Order of Police local president Gene Ryan told Ms Mosby in a letter that the union is concerned about her ties to the Gray family lawyer Billy Murphy.

Mr Murphy was among Ms Mosby’s biggest campaign contributors last year, donating the maximum individual amount allowed, 4,000 US dollars, in June. He was also on her transition team after the election.

The union says none of the six officers suspended in the investigation is responsible for Gray’s death.

Policeman faces misconduct sentence

PC Adam Rushton
PC Adam Rushton

A police officer from Newcastle-under-Lyme who had sex with vulnerable women he met while on duty will be sentenced by a Crown Court judge today.

Pc Adam Rushton was branded “a disgrace to the police service” last month after being convicted of five misconduct charges.

The 37-year-old was also found guilty of breaching data protection laws while based in Longton, Stoke-on-Trent.

During a three-week trial at Birmingham Crown Court, Rushton was accused of engaging in sexual activity with four different women while on duty.

The officer, who admitted being unprofessional but denied acting unlawfully, was found guilty of five counts of misconduct in a public office and a charge of illegally obtaining personal data.

But jurors cleared Rushton of five other misconduct allegations and a second offence under the Data Protection Act. Rushton, who is on bail, will be sentenced at the same court by Judge Murray Creed.

Police officer in court charged with wife murder

PC Otis Goldsmith
PC Otis Goldsmith

A police constable has appeared in court accused of the murder of his wife.
Pc Otis Goldsmith, 49, is charged with killing his wife Jill within police grounds.
Goldsmith, who has 28 years’ service with Northamptonshire Police, was arrested after police were called to a house in Wootton Hall Park, Northampton, on Thursday.
He appeared at Corby Magistrates’ Court this morning and was remanded in custody to appear at Northampton Crown Court on Tuesday, the force said.
A forensic post-mortem examination of the victim took place yesterday and the cause of death was confirmed as a head injury.

Sex pest cop told he faces jail

PC Darren Heath
PC Darren Heath

A police officer has been told to expect a prison sentence after admitting sexual relationships with three women he met while on duty.

Pc Darren Heath, 45, who is suspended from all duties at Gloucestershire Police, pleaded guilty to five counts of misconduct in a public office.

Bristol Crown Court heard he bedded one woman just minutes after informing a family that their loved one had been killed in a car crash.

Heath, of Taynton, Gloucester, always wore his police uniform while visiting his “vulnerable” victims and turned off his radio during intercourse.

Three of the misconduct charges relate to sexual relationships Heath had with three women between July 2002 and December 2013.

The police constable also admitted misconduct by pulling down his uniform trousers and exposing himself to one victim.

He pleaded guilty to “continually attending” the home of a woman under the guise of investigating an allegation her partner was harassing her.

The mother-of-two was horrified when Heath replied “but you had good sex with him, didn’t you?” after she told him about her partner’s violence.

Prosecuting, Sarah Regan said Heath had been warned about his behaviour a year after joining Gloucestershire Police in 1996 following a complaint by a student.

“He asked her personal questions and then asked whether she fancied a bit of fun before she left for university,” Ms Regan said.

“From his body language and tone she believed he was suggesting that they had sex.

“She subsequently made a complaint which was dealt with by Pc Heath being given advice.

“It is obvious that he ignored that advice and the second chance he was given.”

Ms Regan said Heath met his first victim in July 2002 after she was arrested for a drink driving offence.

A sexual relationship began and continued until after she had attended court and was disqualified from driving for two years.

Six years later, Heath was sat in his police car when his next victim approached to report that a man was unconscious in the street.

He asked for her number and attended her home four days later, when he stripped from his uniform and asked “are we going to bed then?”.

Heath visited his victim up to four times a week while working, with phone records showing that he called her at the site of a fatal car crash.

“Having been to deliver the news to the family of the deceased, he went to her home,” Ms Regan said.

“He had the paperwork from the incident with him and they had sex before he returned to work.”

The victim later became pregnant with twins but Heath convinced her to have a termination, revealing he had two children of his own.

His next victim called police after her ex-partner began stalking her and attacked her teenage daughter.

Heath visited her dozens of times but refused to attend her ex-partner’s house, telling her “the police work in strange ways”.

“He told her she had a nice top on and asked if she liked to dance,” Ms Regan said.

After the woman explained the violence she had suffered at the hands of her ex-partner, Heath replied: “but you had good sex with him, didn’t you?”.

The woman refused to open the door to Heath after he sent her a text message reading “It wasn’t coffee I wanted, it is your body”.

In September 2012, Heath met a woman after arranging a restorative justice programme for her son and began visiting her regularly.

On one occasion, he dropped his trousers and exposed himself to the woman. She refused but had sex with him during another visit.

“He had his uniform on and turned his radio off when they had sex,” Ms Regan said.

In January 2013, the woman ended the relationship after realising Heath was “only interested in a sexual relationship”, the court heard.

He was arrested last year and suspended on full pay after one of his victims complained to police.

In interview, he denied wrongdoing but later admitted five counts of misconduct in a public office.

“The behaviour and actions of Pc Heath have caused great damage to the good name of Gloucestershire Constabulary,” Ms Regan said.

Representing Heath, Ed Burgess said his client was remorseful and had caused pain to his partner of five-years and two children.

“He stands in the dock situation of shame and ignominy and he has only himself to blame for that,” Mr Burgess said.

“His reputation is in tatters, his career is over and his life is in pieces.”

Judge Neil Ford QC, the Recorder of Bristol, adjourned sentencing until Monday, telling Heath he faced “an inevitable custodial sentence”.

Heath’s victims, all of whom attended court, wept and clapped as he was led to the cells.

ends

Sex on duty Cop on trial

PC Adam Rushton
PC Adam Rushton

A policeman from Newcastle-under-Lyme engaged in sexual activity with four different women while on duty and “groomed” a domestic violence victim for sex at a hotel, a court has heard.
A jury was told that Pc Adam Rushton even used the “subterfuge” of a fictional crime to trick a woman who had reported a domestic incident into exposing herself.
On another occasion, Birmingham Crown Court heard, the officer checked that the coast was clear before taking a lover into a police station, where she handcuffed him in an office.
Rushton, who was based at Longton police station in Stoke-on-Trent, denies 10 counts of misconduct in a public office and two offences under data protection laws.
The 37-year-old is alleged to have committed the offences between June 2006 and October 2012.
opening the case at the start of what is expected to be a seven-day trial, prosecutor Duncan Bould said the allegations all related to Rushton’s sex life.
Mr Bould told the court: “We say that over the years his activities as a police constable have brought him regularly into contact with vulnerable and frightened females, often in extreme circumstances, who he has met during the course of his duties.
“We say he sought to take advantage of those situations to have sexual activity of some kind with them.”
Describing Rushton’s alleged conduct towards a total of seven women as a serious breach of trust, Mr Bould took jurors through the details of each of the 12 charges.
The Crown claims Rushton, who joined the police service in 2003, paid social visits to some of the women while on duty and gave one of them cash in return for oral sex.
The jury of 10 men and two women was told that Rushton developed a friendship with one of the women, who was 21, in 2006 and went on to have sex at her home while on duty.
Another woman, who was 17 when she met Rushton, allegedly kissed him in a police car and engaged in sexual activity after being taken to Longton police station.
“He picked her up in a marked police car,” Mr Bould told the jury. “When they got to the police station, she had to wait in the car, presumably whilst he made sure the coast was clear.
“He took her into the police station and they went into an office.
“Once inside, the door was locked, he spun her round and began to kiss her, and then she put his own handcuffs on him.
“Clearly sexual activity was taking place that was intended to go further but for the fact that somebody disturbed them.
“They had been there for probably 30 to 40 minutes. He told her afterwards that she shouldn’t say anything about what they had done because he could lose his job.”
Jurors were also told that Rushton was alleged to have called at the home of another member of the public while on duty and told her that he needed to identify the sender of an abusive message from a tattoo on her thigh.
Rushton is then alleged to have threatened to handcuff the woman, who had reported a domestic incident, before she lowered her clothing for him to examine her.
In 2012, the court heard, other police officers spotted Rushton visiting a hotel where a victim of domestic violence was staying.
Rushton is alleged to have had sex with the woman, who the prosecution claim was “groomed” while he was on duty and later sent a series of text messages.
Concluding his opening remarks, Mr Bould stressed that none of the women had made complaints to the police about Rushton.
After the officer’s arrest in April 2013, he was interviewed about the misconduct allegations.
“In essence, apart from (an incident with one of the women) he denied the allegations that were put to him,” Mr Bould said.
“He said he had not had sexual relations with people he had met through work and that he had not conducted sexual relations on duty at all.”
The trial continues.

Former top cop jailed for harassment

5758337-large

A former high ranking and highly decorated police chief has been jailed for 12 months for a campaign of harassment against two women.

Former Detective Chief Superintendant Colin Andrews, 58, showed no emotion as he was led from the dock at Manchester Crown Court.

Andrews, who led a series of high profile investigations for Humberside Police, was found guilty at a trial of aggravated stalking, witness intimidation, common assault and harassment.

The judge, Mrs Justice Patterson, told Andrews: “You thought that not only you were above the law but you could manipulate the course of justice to your own ends.”

She said his actions to try and stop one woman’s attempts to report his behaviour were a deliberate attempt to intimidate her “that was as arrogant as it was ill-judged”.

The judge said Andrews’s behaviour had affected both women’s lives. Referring to one, she said: “The quality of her life has been seriously affected by your bullying and inappropriate conduct.”

Considering the impact on the other woman, the judge said: “She feels she will always be watching over her shoulder and living in fear.”

Andrews, of Brough, East Yorkshire, was found guilty of the offences by a jury in January. But he was cleared of charges of rape, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and a further charge of common assault.

The assault he was sentenced for today happened when a passer-by, Owen Phillips, tried to intervene in an altercation in the street between Andrews and one of the women, who cannot be named.

The trial heard that Andrews slapped Mr Phillips in the face as he was making a 999 call and called him an “unemployed knob”, despite the fact he was on his way to work.

Mr Phillips, who was praised as a “good Samaritan” by the judge today, managed to make the emergency call and the jury heard the defendant was ranting, calling the woman a “lesbian” and a “slag”.

The jury heard Andrews’s behaviour towards the first woman spanned a year between August 2012 and August 2013 and included bombarding her with hundreds of text messages.

The judge said: “No one could doubt the serious impact of your behaviour on her.”

She told Andrews his behaviour had nearly driven the woman to a breakdown as he refused her pleas to leave her alone, requests repeated by friends and colleagues.

The judge said Andrews also bombarded the other woman with unwanted messages – including 37 calls in one day and 111 text messages. She rejected Andrews’s claims that he was “smothering her with attention”.

Andrews stood in the dock to listen to the judge’s final remarks dressed in a light grey suit, white shirt and grey tie.

The judge told him he had made a success of his life after a very difficult start, being brought up in an orphanage.

She said that after his retirement as a high ranking police officer he had secured a high-level civilian role with Humberside Police as a crime and justice manager.

The judge said: “At the moment of your life you should have been enjoying the fruits of your endeavours, all of these endeavours you, and you alone, have thrown away.”

Andrews was in charge of a number of high profile investigations for Humberside Police in a 36-year career, including the inquiry into the mysterious death of Army cadet Stephen Hilder in a parachuting incident in 2003.

He also led the long-running investigation into the murder of Keith Slater who was stabbed to death in Hessle, near Hull, in 1988.

Mitigating today, Tania Griffiths QC, defending, said: “This man has saved many lives. Not everyone can say that. He’s put his own life on the line in order to do that.”

Ms Griffiths said he was once commended for tackling an armed gunman.

“He didn’t need to do that,” the barrister said. “Why did he do it? Because he’s a brave man.”

Ms Griffiths said her client had saved lives on the Humber Bridge due to his negotiating skills.

But many women watching from the public gallery shook their heads when the barrister told the judge: “There’s givers and there’s takers in life and Mr Andrews is a giver.”

Ms Griffiths asked the judge to spare Mr Andrews jail saying there was “just no way” he would ever be before a court again in his life.

She said prison would “break him”, especially due to his police background.

Earlier, prosecutor Owen Edwards said Andrews used his high police office to intimidate the women.

Mr Edwards said Andrews “used that position to add to the distress and concern caused to both complainants by the acts of harassment and stalking.

“In both cases he was to imply and, indeed, expressly say that they would never be believed, that he had the power to prevent an effective investigation taking place and that he had knowledge that would allow him to ensure that should any complaints be made they would never be believed. ”

The prosecutor summarised impact statements from both women.

One said she had been left “emotional and tearful, particularly at work, and unable to deal with conflict”.

She said she “struggled to understand how Mr Andrews could have behaved in the way he did and continue to hold such a senior position within the police force and thereafter, and not show signs at work.”

Mr Edwards said the woman felt Andrews really did have the power he suggested he did to the extent that she wrongly believed her home was bugged.

The other woman said she believed Andrews was “motivated by a need to control and to bully” – “effectively having his way, no matter what.”

The judge imposed five year restraining orders on Andrews in respect of each of the women. But she rejected an application from Mr Edwards that the defendant should pay the £122,000 cost of the prosecution.

Andrews’s solicitor Damian Kelly issued a statement after the hearing which said: “Mr Andrews accepts the verdicts of the jury.”

It stressed the not guilty verdicts brought in by the jury and added: “In relation to the other allegations which he has been found guilty, he wishes to place on record his sincere apology to those complainants affected.

“Mr Andrews now realises, in hindsight, that his actions were inappropriate and misguided. He regrets that, despite his previously unblemished police career, he made wrong decisions.”

The former detective criticised what he said was a £1 million investigation into the rape allegation, of which he was acquitted.