Kenilworth police officer admits common assault after kicking teenager twice in head in Rugby

A police officer from Kenilworth admitted common assault in court this week after kicking a teenage boy twice in the head during an incident in Rugby last year.

Thursday, 1st November 2018, 5:20 pm
Updated Thursday, 1st November 2018, 5:35 pm
She was sentenced at Worcester Crown Court

Pc Laura Lawson, 31, of Red Lane, pleaded guilty to the charge at Worcester Crown Court on Tuesday October 30.

She was sentenced to three months in prison suspended for 12 months. Lawson was also given a three-month curfew order and costs were awarded against her.

The outcome follows an investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) into the incident in Avocet Close, Rugby on April 16 last year.

Police officers had been called to a disturbance involving a number of young people, and while detaining the 17 year-old boy Pc Lawson was seen to kick him twice to his head while he was on the ground.

The matter was referred to the IOPC following a complaint from the boy that the officer had used excessive force against him and two other teenagers.

The IOPC referred its investigation report to the Crown Prosecution Service in autumn last year who authorised charges against Pc Lawson.

IOPC regional director Derrick Campbell said: “During the incident in Rugby last year the actions of PC Lawson in our view strayed well beyond force that was proportionate and reasonable.

"As a result of a complaint made by the young man this matter has now resulted in her conviction for assault. In addition to our referral to the CPS which led to the criminal case, we also found the officer has a case to answer for gross misconduct.”

PC Lawson resigned from the force following the court proceedings.

The police force will now determine whether the officer, who was based at Rugby police station, should face misconduct proceedings for the alleged excessive use of force against the 17 year-old and two others during the incident.

Following the hearing, Assistant Chief Constable Martin Evans of West Mercia Police, said: "A serving police officer receiving a criminal conviction for assault brings discredit on the force and is completely unacceptable when we are responsible for protecting the public from harm.

"As soon as we became aware of the complaint, we referred it to the IOPC, who carried out a thorough investigation."

Two other alleged assaults by the officer against other individuals arising from the same incident were ordered to lie on file by the judge at Worcester Crown Court.