PC Rohan Scarlett guilty of punching a man who had spat at him
Mr Uba was being transferred from Islington police station to custody in Lewisham, east London.
Before the assault, PC Scalett alleged Uba spat at his face from close distance.
“Without any warning, he just spits in my face. A big lump went in my mouth and left eye and spray went over my face and vest. Because I hadn’t heard him bringing it up I thought he was going to spit at me again so I struck him in the face area. It was a clenched fist but loosely clenched.”
PC Scarlett hit Uba to “distract him” from spitting a second time.
Consider Mr Uba distracted.
Highbury Magistrates Court was told that PC Scarlett ”launched” himself at Uba, punching him twice. There was some blood spilled.
PC Scarlett says fellow officer PC David O’Hara then “grabbed my right wrist and put some cuffs on saying I am under arrest on suspicion of GBH – I was in shock.”
Chair of the bench Sue Rose ruled:
“We do not accept that the defendant honestly believed that he needed to use force to defend himself in these circumstances.”
Sentencing was adjourned until 20 September, PC Scarlett has been given continued unconditional bail.
Scarlett’s defence barrister, Tom Godfrey, says his client would be appealing against the verdict.
The Daily Mail says PC Scarlett, 47, is “burly“. The Guardian gives his height:
The 1.85 metre (6ft 1in) defendant said he struggled with walking a reluctant Uba to the van…
No report tells us Uba’s size or age. Would it matter? The Standard says PC Scarlett is “a former nightclub doorman and security guard”. Is that relevant? Were Scarlett much smaller and older, would we reconsider the verdict?
The reporting seems loaded against the defendant. The only parts of the story that matter are that a serving policeman punched a man who, allegedly, had spat at him.