London

Police officer convicted of assaulting teenager

A police officer has been convicted of assault after pushing a 16-year-old boy through a shop window in south east London.

Pc Marcus Ballard grabbed Onyeka Obi and shoved him off his feet during a stop and search on High Street, Bromley, in February last year.

CCTV footage showed Mr Obi was not behaving threateningly at the time.

Ballard was sentenced to 150 hours community service at Westminster Magistrates' Court.

He was also told to pay £1,000 in compensation and costs.

Ballard, who had denied two charges of assault, was on duty with the Metropolitan Police's territorial support group when two women expressed concern about a pair of young men walking behind them, one of whom was Mr Obi.

Lifted off feet

Ballard and another officer approached Mr Obi in order to stop and search him at around 1130 GMT.

CCTV footage showed Mr Obi with his hands in his pockets as Ballard walked towards him. The officer then grabbed the teenager and pushed him backwards towards a shop window.

A witness said Mr Obi was lifted off his feet by the force of the push.

The footage showed Mr Obi's head snapping back, although he was not seriously hurt during the incident.

Ballard - who has resigned from the Met - was found not guilty of a separate assault charge for using excessive force when he initially grabbed Mr Obi's arm.

Commissioner Mike Franklin, from the Independent Police Complaints Commission, said: "I hope this case gives young people the confidence to engage with the complaints system and police forces so their experiences can help improve how sensitive procedures like stop and search are performed."

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