Met Police officer convicted after Brentwood taxi driver assault

The man will sentenced at Basildon Crown Court today. Pic: PA

Met Police officer Gareth Head was convicted at Basildon Crown Court on March 1 of causing actual bodily harm - Credit: PA WIRE

A Met Police officer has been convicted of causing actual bodily harm (ABH) after a taxi driver was assaulted in Brentwood.

Pc Gareth Head, who was off-duty at the time, was being dropped off by a taxi after a night out in May 2018 when he assaulted the driver, who was later treated for a jaw injury.

The driver left the scene and called police.

Two months later, the taxi driver recognised Pc Head, made note of his car registration and contacted the police again.

This led to the officer being identified before the matter was referred by the Met to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) to investigate.

The IOPC says during the investigation, the taxi driver alleged Pc Head punched him in the shoulder and face and accused him of drug misuse.

Pc Head later stood trial and was acquitted of racially aggravated ABH last October.

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But the jury was unable to reach a decision on a charge of ABH and a re-trial was ordered.

A friend who was with Pc Head on the night was acquitted of both charges.

On Tuesday, March 1, Pc Head was found guilty by a jury at the end of a five-day trial at Basildon Crown Court.

He was sentenced to a community order for 12 months and will be subject to a curfew from 9pm to 6am for three months.

Pc Head was also ordered to pay £1,750 towards the cost of the trial and a victim surcharge of £85.

IOPC regional director Sal Naseem: "Pc Head’s behaviour fell far short of what is expected of a police officer and he now has a criminal conviction to his name.

"Our thorough investigation found a case to answer for gross misconduct against the officer and we will now progress that with the force."

The IOPC says police records and medical evidence were recovered, further statements were taken from the taxi driver, the scene of the incident was visited and five further independent witness accounts were obtained.

Pc Head was also interviewed under criminal caution during the investigation, which was completed in nine months.

A file of evidence was then referred to the Crown Prosecution Service, which authorised charges against the officer.

The IOPC found a case to answer for gross misconduct for potentially breaching police professional standards relating to use of force.

A disciplinary hearing will be arranged by the Met, it said.