Belfast Telegraph

PSNI officer cleared of assaulting delivery driver

A PSNI officer has been cleared of pushing a delivery driver so hard that the door of his van was ripped from its hinges.

The officer was also accused of banging the driver's head against a telegraph pole and stamping on his hand.

But following an investigation by the Police Ombudsman, the complaint was rejected.

The alleged incident happened in Larne in February 2016 after police stopped the man and two others as they were making deliveries in the town.

An investigator for the police oversight body interviewed those involved and reviewed police records, including a report by a police doctor who examined the driver in police custody following his arrest.

The report noted he had a cut to his forehead and swelling on a hand.

The officers involved denied assaulting him. They said the man had become verbally and physically abusive and had kicked out as they tried to restrain him against a wall to handcuff him.

An officer also reported the man had struck him with the van door as he got out of the vehicle, and had himself caused it to come off its hinges by opening it so aggressively.

Of the five witnesses to the incident - three officers and two civilians - only one supported the driver's account that police had damaged his van and assaulted him.

None supported his claim that an officer stood on his hand when he went to pick up his phone.

The Police Ombudsman investigator concluded, on the balance of evidence, that the complaint was not substantiated.

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