Pc case 'should not have gone to court'

A FATHER whose son was at the centre of an assault case against a policeman today told of his disappointment that the case had to go to court at all.Kevin Hutson, father of 16-year-old Robbie Croft who accused Felixstowe Pc Stephen Warne of twisting his arm and fracturing it in three places, claimed the family had not made a formal complaint in the case and had instead only sought an apology from the officer.

A FATHER whose son was at the centre of an assault case against a policeman today told of his disappointment that the case had to go to court at all.

Kevin Hutson, father of 16-year-old Robbie Croft who accused Felixstowe Pc Stephen Warne of twisting his arm and fracturing it in three places, claimed the family had not made a formal complaint in the case and had instead only sought an apology from the officer.

Mr Hutson was speaking after the case against the Pc was thrown out at Norwich Crown Court and the charges against him dropped, as revealed yesterday on The Evening Star website.

He said: “I'm really upset for Robbie because he is devastated. He thinks he's done something wrong now.

“We told the police at the beginning if Steve Warne apologised it was finished. We didn't even make an official complaint.”

Mr Warne, of Felixstowe, was accused of twisting the arm of the 16-year-old after Robbie approached him and took a pen from his pocket.

Most Read

The 45-year-old, who has been a police officer for 20 years, denied a charge of assault causing actual bodily harm and the judge dismissed the case during the third day of the trial after ruling there was no case to answer.

The court had previously heard how on September 16 last year, Mr Warne was talking to a group of youngsters near to Felixstowe pier when the teenager, of Vicarage Road, approached him and took a pen from his pocket.

The prosecution claimed that the officer turned to apprehend him by grabbing his wrist and elbow and pushing him forward, causing his upper arm to fracture in three places.

It was said in court that Robbie suffered from a brittle bone condition but Mr Hutson explained it is Noonan's Syndrome, a condition similar to Down's Syndrome which results in short stature, low set ears and other abnormal features.

He said: “Robbie was forever falling over when he was little and he's never broken a bone in his life.”

The decision to bring the prosecution has also been criticised by Phil Smith, secretary of Suffolk Police Federation, who said: “I'm concerned. The CPS has obviously looked at the evidence and felt there was a case to answer but quite clearly the judge has seen different.

“He has been vindicated and we wish him well. We think it's the right result.”

But a spokesman for Norfolk CPS said last night: “It was felt that there was sufficient evidence of a realistic prospect of conviction and when the defendant is in a position of authority or trust the code states that it is in the public interest to prosecute.”

Suffolk Constabulary's professional standards unit is now set to review the case as a matter of routine to decide whether the officer will face any disciplinary procedure.

A spokeswoman for the force said: “While the constabulary regrets the injury caused to the young man in question, it is very pleased that the court has reached this decision.

“It is right and proper that police remain accountable for their actions and are subject to the scrutiny of the court in these circumstances.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter