BTP Officer handed suspended sentence after assault conviction

A British Transport Police (BTP) officer who used a Taser and incapacitant spray while detaining and arresting a man at Derby railway station has been handed a suspended sentence after being found guilty of common assault.

Jun 13, 2019
By Tony Thompson

Police Constable Andrew Spiby had been sent to deal with a reported disturbance at the station on 28 May last year. The suspect later complained about the level of force during the altercation.

A charge of common assault was brought following an investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC). PC Spiby denied the charges but following a two-day hearing at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court, the officer was found guilty of common assault and given a 16-week prison sentence suspended for one year. He was also ordered to undertake 120 hours of unpaid work. He must also pay £500 compensation to the victim, £775 court costs and a £115 victim surcharge.

Another BTP officer involved in the incident was cleared of assault after the case against him was dismissed.

Adrian Hanstock, deputy chief constable at BTP, said the force will review the court’s findings. “It is disheartening that a serving officer has been convicted of a criminal offence when carrying out their duties,” he said.

“On this occasion, however, an officer’s actions have been scrutinised in court and judged to have been unreasonable, and the force will now have to consider the officers’ motivation and the objective implications of this.”

IOPC regional director Derrick Campbell said: “Police are entitled to use force but only if it is necessary, reasonable and proportionate in the circumstances. The public have to have confidence that officers will conduct themselves appropriately and in this case the court took the view that PC Spiby did not do so.”

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