Ex-Met Police officer, 28, who grabbed a man by the throat and threw him to the floor outside a Wetherspoons in unprovoked attack while on duty is spared jail
- Archie Payne was sentenced four months in prison, suspended for 12 months
- The ex-officer grabbed Scoot Rooney by the throat and threw him to the ground
- Payne was convicted of assault by beating over the unprovoked attack
- He would be ‘serving an immediate prison sentence’ if not for a case delay
A former Met Police officer who grabbed a man by the throat and threw him to the ground while on duty was spared jail.
Archie Payne, 28, was responding to reports of a fight in east London when he attacked Scott Rooney, unprovoked, outside a Wetherspoons on January 5, 2020.
Bodycam footage showed Payne grab Mr Rooney’s throat, push him to the wall and lie on top of him. The ex-officer was charged with assault by beating in July 2020 and ultimately convicted in May 2021 following a trial.
Payne was ordered to pay a total of £1,632 in compensation to Mr Rooney, 26, and court costs last June. The former officer – who left the force to become a train driver – appealed his conviction in June of this year but the appeal was not upheld and he was re-sentenced on Tuesday.
Payne was handed a four-month prison sentence suspended for 12 months.
The judge noted that if it were not for a case delay, Payne ‘would be serving an immediate prison sentence.’
Former Met Police Officer Archie Payne (pictured in 2020) was spared jail on Tuesday
Payne had grabbed Scott Rooney (pictured) by the throat and threw him to the ground, unprovoked, outside an east London Wetherspoons on January 5, 2020
Mr Rooney had told a court how he was attacked after he tried to take a picture of Payne’s colleague, PC Jack Wood, and his officer number outside the Worlds Inn in South Street.
The railway engineer had touched PC Wood’s jacket lapel to which Payne told him ‘there’s no need to touch him.’
Video of the incident shows Payne said ‘tell you what mate, we’ll deal with you’ as he took Mr Rooney to the ground.
PC Jack Wood, struck Jake Smith, 26, with his baton during the same incident, causing a gash to his skull.
The Met received a formal complaint about the force used by both officers.
Payne had denied assault by beating but was convicted of common assault against Mr Rooney. He was re-sentenced in court on Tuesday after losing a prior appeal.
The judge, Mr Recorder Ben Douglas-Jones, KC, sitting with magistrates, said: ‘But for the delay in this case, the judgement could not be suspended.
‘If we were sentencing the appellant in the magistrates’ court all those months ago, he would be serving an immediate prison sentence.’
Last month a Met Police misconduct panel had found Payne had breached the standards of professional behaviour in relation to ‘discreditable conduct’ and ‘use of force’.
The panel decided former PC Payne would have been dismissed without notice.
Mr Douglas-Jones concluded the sentencing and said: ‘I am very sorry it has taken so long for these proceedings to conclude.’
Bodycam footage showed Payne grab Mr Rooney’s throat, push him to the wall and lie on top of him. The ex-officer was charged with assault by beating in July 2020 and ultimately convicted in May 2021 following a trial
Nicola Shannon, prosecuting, argued the assault on Mr Rooney was ‘instigated by the appellant.’
‘Mr Rooney approached officers in a peaceful manner and asked whether he could take their shoulder number- and he was permitted to do so,’ Ms Shannon said.
‘He gently lifted Mr Wood’s shoulder number and Mr Payne intervened saying to him not to touch PC Wood.
‘Mr Rooney said ‘that’s a bit overkill’ and stepped back putting his hand behind his back.
‘Mr Payne pushed Mr Rooney against a wall, and Mr Payne and Mr Wood had hands on Mr Rooney, initially around his neck then a punch by Mr Wood to the head area.
The prosecutor added: ‘Mr Rooney was then taken to the ground, face to the pavement with three officers on top of him.
‘He spent 19 hours in the police station under wrongful arrest before a senior officer intervened.
‘This was a protracted abuse of power and an abuse of trust.’
‘There was nothing in Mr Rooney’s behaviour that could have acted as provocation.’
Nicholas Yeo, defending Payne, claimed Mr Rooney had not suffered any physical or psychological harm as a result of the incident.
He said: ‘We should also have regard to how horrendously difficult policing the night time economy in Romford is.
‘It used to be policed by 30 officers- now it has come down to three. It is a hugely demanding multitasking exercise when the pubs throw out and so many people who may have been split up by bouncers have the opportunity to come together again.’
‘The circumstances are tiring, difficult and prone to error. The defendant spent five years doing that, this is one night literally in a thousand.’
He said Payne is of good character and has an exemplary record of service.
Scott Rooney being pinned to the ground by officers following a bust-up in Romford, Essex
PC Jack Wood (left) hit Jake Smith (right) over the head with his baton during the row. PC Wood denied but was convicted of assault occasioning actual bodily harm against Mr Smith and assault by beating against Mr Rooney
The judge earlier said: ‘Mr Rooney was calm and not disorderly throughout. He was seeking evidence and information from the officers.
‘We are sure that Mr Rooney asked for permission to take the photograph. His hands were behind his back demonstrating that he was not threatening.
‘He came back and wanted to gather information and did that in an orderly manner.
‘PC Payne acted violently and there was no basis for doing so.
‘Mr Rooney’s body language showed no sign of threatening behaviour.’
‘There was no basis for an arrest and no reason, rightly or wrongly, to arrest [Mr Rooney].
‘[PC Payne] caused a violent episode that was completely unnecessary.’
PC Wood, based at Romford Police Station, denied but was convicted of assault occasioning actual bodily harm against Mr Smith and assault by beating against Mr Rooney following a trial at City of London Magistrates’ Court last year.
He was sentenced to six months imprisonment suspended for 12 months.
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