Police officer cleared of twice assaulting handcuffed suspect who needed stitches in his face

Paul McVeigh has been cleared of assault
Paul McVeigh has been cleared of assault

A police officer has been cleared of assaulting a handcuffed suspect who had spat in his face

PC Paul McVeigh, 48, from Hebburn, denied intentionally yanking Jack Moore out of the back of a police van on to the ground at Southwick Police Station, in Sunderland, and then deliberately throwing him head first on to the cell floor, causing him to land on his chin.

CCTV pictures of both incidents were shown to the jury at Teesside Crown Court, as well as body-worn camera footage of an earlier incident in which Mr Moore spat in the officer's face, after he was arrested for being drunk and disorderly in Washington, in January 2017.

The officer, who has served with Northumbria Police for 25 years, denied a "red mist" had descended, and Kevin Baumber, defending, said the father of two had not lashed out, kicked or punched the abusive suspect at Southwick police station, Sunderland.

Mr Moore, who required 15 stitches, later admitted assault and being drunk and disorderly.

After he was cleared by the jury of 10 women and two men, Pc McVeigh puffed out his cheeks then hugged his wife in the public gallery.

During the three-day trial, he spoke of his disgust at being spat at and said the detainee continued to threaten him as he was brought out of the van, at least 15 minutes after the arrest and initial spit.

The court had earlier heard Mr Moore first became the subject of police attention when an officer was called to an incident in Craddock Close.

Mr Moore was refusing to leave the premises despite the householder insisting he did so.

He was arrested for being drunk and disorderly, and the officer called for back up.

When interviewed about the incident, he said dropping Mr Moore was an accident.

Mr McVeigh said he acted lawfully throughout, and his response had been proportionate in defence of himself and his colleague.