No disciplinary action against officer

A POLICE officer who broke the arm of a Felixstowe teenager will not be subjected to internal disciplinary action, The Evening Star can reveal today.In December a judge at Norwich Crown Court threw out the case against Pc Stephen Warne, who was accused of assault occasioning actual bodily harm on 16-year-old Robbie Croft.

A POLICE officer who broke the arm of a Felixstowe teenager will not be subjected to internal disciplinary action, The Evening Star can reveal today.

In December a judge at Norwich Crown Court threw out the case against Pc Stephen Warne, who was accused of assault occasioning actual bodily harm on 16-year-old Robbie Croft.

Suffolk police have now agreed there is no case against the officer, more than a year after he was forced to take on administrative duties while the investigation took place.

Detective Inspector Jim Keeble, chairman of Suffolk Police Federation today welcomed the news and said the case had caused considerable distress to Pc Warne.

He said: “I think it was very traumatic for him as it would be for any officer under investigation in that way.

“Your life is put on hold until you are exonerated or otherwise.

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“With a police officer it is like having double jeopardy. You are looked at under a criminal court and then you have always got waiting for you the possibility of an internal disciplinary as well.”

The trial raised issues about the investigation of police officers when a judge threw it out of court before the defence had even started their case.

Pc Warne had admitted breaking Robbie Croft's arm when the youngster grabbed a wallet from his back pocket in September 2004 but denied using excessive force on the teenager, who had a brittle bone condition.

The incident, at Felixstowe pier, happened when the officer was not in uniform.

He was also unaware who had approached him.

DI Keeble added: “I think the right decision has been made.

“Obviously Pc Warne has done no wrong and used reasonable force in the circumstances and this has been shown to be so throughout the system of justice.

“I am extremely pleased that Suffolk police, having received the complaint, have investigated it properly and gone through the due process of law and, after him being exonerated, haven't decided to take out a discipline case against him as well.”

DI Keeble said in some cases police were investigated more stringently than members of the public following complaints.

He added: “I think this possibly fell into that category where it needed to be decided in a court of law so there wasn't some form of collusion alleged.”

Pc Warne did not wish to comment further on the case.

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