West Midlands Police Officer Cleared Of Assault
7 June 2019, 16:13 | Updated: 7 June 2019, 16:16
A police constable who was alleged to have struck a driver over the head with a baton following a high-speed pursuit has been cleared of assault.
Jurors took just one hour and 20 minutes to find Pc Sunil Narr not guilty of the charge following the conclusion of his trial at Birmingham Crown Court.
The West Midlands Police officer was alleged to have left Joshua Ward's head "caked" in blood after an incident in the Hillfields area of Coventry in the early hours of August 1, 2017.
But a jury panel of nine men and three women concluded the 32-year-old was aiming at Mr Ward's shoulder and accidentally struck him over the head.
As the verdict was announced on Friday, Narr showed little emotion before Judge Philip Parker QC discharged him from the dock.
Mr Ward, who has previous convictions for theft, claimed Narr had made a phone call to inform a sergeant he had fallen over and grazed his head.
In the witness box, Mr Ward denied trying to get away from police and said he could not remember driving at more than 90mph.
He also denied telling ambulance staff he would "make police pay" after he was struck.
Mr Ward was taken to hospital by an ambulance after the incident but jurors dismissed the prosecution's claims that the blow to the head was intentional.
Narr, of Oldbury, West Midlands, denied assault occasioning actual bodily harm, claiming he was aiming at his shoulder rather than his head.
During the trial, the officer told jurors: "I am fully aware that the force I use against others has to be necessary, proportionate and justifiable.
"At no point did I believe a strike to the head was proportionate or necessary. I absolutely did not aim for his head."