(CNS): A police officer has been convicted of assault ABH and common assault after he beat a suspect arrested in a traffic stop with his truncheon in the back of police patrol car and treated him aggressively at the police station. Michael ‘Bobby’ Peart is the third officer in a week to be convicted of using excessive force during an arrest. Peart denied the allegations but medical evidence and CCTV from the police station supported the claims by the man, who admitted he had initially resisted arrest because he was frustrated when he was stopped in November 2014.
Peart, who came to the RCIPS from Jamaica, was bailed to return for sentencing in March next year and is likely to lose his job.
CNS has contacted the RCIPS and is awaiting a response about the situation surrounding Peart as well as Cardiff Robinson and Austin Etienne, who are also awaiting sentencing for assault after they used excessive force when they tasered a suspect twice during an arrest in East End following a road pursuit.
Concerns have now been raised about the criminal cases that the officers have been involved in as all three have been found not to be telling the truth to the courts.
Both Peart and Robinson gave evidence in the case against former TV reporter Kenneth Bryan after he was accused of assaulting police during an incident last October when he came to the aid of an off-duty female officer and ended up in court. Bryan, a former political assistant to the premier and a candidate in next year’s elections, persistently denied the allegations and suggested that the officers involved, including Peart and Robinson, were not telling the truth.
While Bryan had phone video evidence that supported his claims, he was unable to get that admitted at the time of his trial. His requests for the details of the cases that were pending against the officers giving evidence against him were also denied.
Bryan told CNS that he had some concerns that officers who have now been convicted of criminal charges and who have demonstrably misled the court were believed in his case.
“While I wish to put what happened behind me and focus on the future, I have concerns about the credibility of these officers,” he said. “It is important that the RCIPS is transparent about the consequences regarding these officers and that cases in which they have been involved are reviewed as there may be others who have been wrongly accused.”
RCIPS management has remained tight-lipped over the issue but the new commissioner, Derek Byrne, has said that there is a process that must be followed and once that has taken its course, the public will be informed about the outcome.
While the case against Etienne and Robinson was made public through a press release from the RCIPS following enquiries from the press, the arrest and charges against Peart were never publicized at the time and the case simply emerged on the Summary Court listings.