Norfolk police officer accused of assaulting man is cleared

George Watty. Picture: James Bass

George Watty. Picture: James Bass - Credit: James Bass

A police officer who is alleged to have assaulted a man during an arrest has been cleared after the case was dismissed.

George Watty, 52, had alleged that PC Ben Pitman smashed his head into handcuffs during an arrest in Great Yarmouth on February 13, 2015.

PC Pitman had denied the claim, arising from a call to reports of a domestic incident at a home in North River Road.

A police misconduct hearing held at Norfolk Constabulary's Wymondham headquarters yesterday ended with the case being dismissed.

Susannah Stevens, counsel for PC Pitman, had made an application for the case against her client to be dismissed.

She said the evidence of other officers in the case had been 'inconsistent' and insisted there was nothing to support any suggestion that this is an officer who used 'gratuitous violence'.

Simon Walsh, counsel for Mr Watty, had argued that although there were inconsistencies there were also consistencies in the evidence, including how his client and PC Darren Cunningham - one of the officers who attended - described how Mr Watty's head moved during the arrest.

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But the misconduct panel, which was chaired by temporary assistant chief constable Nick Dean, agreed to dismiss the case.

Mr Dean said: 'In reaching our conclusion we accepted there's noting unusual in there being inconsistencies in the evidence presented but the number and degree of inconsistency were such that the panel couldn't properly make a finding that the misconduct had taken place on the balance of probabilities.'

A clearly emotional PC Pitman quickly left the room without saying anything.

Mr Watty did not attend the hearing.

As previously reported the case had heard Mr Watty had consumed a bottle of vodka and was resisting arrest at the time of the incident.