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Officer is charged

PUBLISHED: 19:00 06 September 2002 | UPDATED: 12:36 03 March 2010

A SUFFOLK police officer is to face charges after sparking an armed manhunt, The Evening Star can reveal today.

Officers with guns began searching for a masked gunman after Police Constable Dez Thompson claimed a shotgun had been brandished and then fired at him forcing the policeman to take cover.

A SUFFOLK police officer is to face charges after sparking an armed manhunt, The Evening Star can reveal today.

Officers with guns began searching for a masked gunman after Police Constable Dez Thompson claimed a shotgun had been brandished and then fired at him forcing the policeman to take cover.

Pc Thompson has now been summonsed by the Crown Prosecution Service to appear in court after detectives investigating the alleged shooting said they believed the incident did not happen.

A charge of wasting police time will be formally laid against the 32-year-old officer, who lives at Bardwell near Bury St Edmunds, when he appears before magistrates in Lowestoft on Monday.

The hearing is scheduled to take place at North East Suffolk Magistrates at 10am.

Suffolk police press officer Anna Woolnough confirmed charges were being brought and that Pc Thompson is currently suspended from duty and may also face internal action by a Suffolk police disciplinary panel.

Mrs Woolnough said: "Suffolk police can confirm that an officer has been summonsed to appear in the North East Magistrates Court on Monday September 9. This officer remains suspended from duty pending the outcome of the court hearing and any subsequent internal disciplinary proceedings."

A spokeswoman for the Crown Prosecution Service said: "I can confirm that Pc Dez Thompson has been summonsed to appear before Lowestoft Magistrates at 10am on Monday September 9."

The spokeswoman said Pc Thompson will be charged with wasting police time.

Pc Thompson who was based at Eye police station at the time of the incident has been suspended from his duties as a police officer until the outcome of his hearing.

The alleged shooting happened on a remote stretch of lane off the B1117 after the officer was called to a report of suspected car thieves in Stradbroke near Eye. It took place at about 8.50pm on March 12 just off the road between Stradbroke and Laxfield.

The 32-year-old officer was sent to investigate an anonymous report that people in a white car were looking in parked vehicles in Wilby Road, Stradbroke.

As the officer was travelling from Stradbroke along the B1117 at around 8.50pm on the night in question he came up behind a white Citroen Saxo car with no rear number plate with three occupants.

The Saxo is then said to have turned into a narrow country lane heading in the direction of Fressingfield and the officer followed. About a mile down the lane the officer said the car stopped suddenly at an isolated spot and the front seat passenger got out. The policeman stopped his vehicle 20 feet away and climbed out. Without warning a man is said to have pulled down his hat to create a balaclava mask and aimed what appeared to be a sawn off shotgun in the direction of the police officer.

The masked gunman apparently got back into the Saxo and it sped off with its lights off. The officer then said he tried to follow the car.

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