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Police officer sentenced after drunken assault on Bidford woman

An off-duty police officer who drunkenly assaulted a woman in the street in Bidford was sentenced at Leicester Magistrates Court yesterday.

Leicester Magistrates Court (45316011)
Leicester Magistrates Court (45316011)

Oliver Banfield, 25, a probationary police officer at West Midlands Police, had previously pleaded guilty a charge of assault by beating relating to an incident in the early hours of the morning on 26th July last year.

The court heard at around 1am Banfield grabbed Emma Homer as she was alone on the street and forced her to the ground, with an eyewitness describing him as putting her in a headlock as he tried to restrain her.

During the assault Banfield used misogynistic language towards Ms Homer, before she managed to flee to her home nearby.

District Judge Nick Watson was told that Banfield used techniques he had learned in the police in his attempt to carry out an unlawful arrest, though he had never used these before in his day job.

In a victim impact statement read to the court Ms Homer said: "I often ask myself if the impact of the attack would have been so severe if my assailant was not a police officer. During the assault as I struggled yards from my front door to get to safety, I was sure this drunk man was fulfilling a violent cop movie fantasy.

“To be verbally abused with misogynistic slang, grabbed by the neck, and forced to the floor on a dark road by a drunk man a foot taller than me is terrifying, but to then find that he was a police officer shook my belief system to its core.”

Banfield was sentenced to a 14 week electronically monitored curfew, ordered to pay £500 compensation, a £95 victim surcharge and £85 costs.

He was removed from public facing duties following the assault, but has now been suspended from West Midlands Police and an investigation will take place.

Banfield faces allegations of gross misconduct.

For more on this story read next week’s Herald.

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