Kent

Kent Policewoman not guilty of false attack claim

Fran Croucher
Image caption PC Fran Croucher said she was very angry her attackers had not been caught

A Kent police officer who was accused of falsely claiming she was attacked while on duty has been cleared of wasting police time.

PC Fran Croucher was found not guilty following a 10-day trial at Maidstone Magistrates' Court on Wednesday.

She was arrested after she reported being beaten unconscious in Crockenhill Road, Swanley, on 14 January 2010.

Kent Police said she remained suspended from duty until an internal investigation had concluded.

PC Croucher was found unconscious on the ground by colleagues and taken to hospital following a routine search of a van which had a missing rear number plate in 2010.

'Very, very angry'

She told the court she had been attacked by its two occupants.

The prosecution claimed the attack had never taken place, her injuries were not serious enough and could have been self-inflicted.

But District Judge Michael Kelly told the court: "I cannot accept that she injured herself and then lay in the mud pretending to be unconscious.

"She was assaulted and I therefore find her not guilty of this offence."

Following the verdict, PC Croucher, who always denied the charge, said: "I'm very, very angry and of course my attackers are still out there and that's never been resolved.

"I would like it to be, obviously, resolved and followed through after waiting this long for any sort of justice at all."

In a statement, the police force said: "The case has been heard by the court and we respect the verdict that has been reached.

"As this matter is still the subject of an internal investigation we will not comment further other than to say that we expect the highest standards of our officers and staff at all times.

"Any allegation that these standards are not met must be fully and thoroughly investigated - the public have a right to expect that.

"This matter is still the subject of a disciplinary investigation and therefore we cannot comment further."

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