Officers found not guilty of assaulting man during stop and search

Two Devon and Cornwall Police officers have been found not guilty of assaulting a man during a stop and search in Exeter last year.

May 10, 2024
By Paul Jacques

The officers – PC Emmit Wookey, 30, and PC Liam Dunn, 28 – had been charged with assault by beating following an investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

The investigation was launched following a complaint referral from the force regarding an incident in which the officers stopped and searched a man on New North Road, near to the junction with Longbrook Street, in Exeter city centre in the early hours of Sunday, March 19, 2023.

During the investigation, IOPC investigators interviewed the officers who carried out the stop and search and obtained witness statements from the complainant, from members of the public, and other police officers who had some involvement. The IOPC said it also reviewed police body-worn video and CCTV which captured the interaction.

Both PC Wookey and PC Dunn were acquitted on Thursday (May 9) after a three-day trial at Bristol Magistrates’ Court.

IOPC regional director David Ford said: “At the end of our investigation in September last year we referred a file of evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service who decided to bring the charges of common assault. It was appropriate for the evidence from our investigation of force used against the man to be tested in court. The district judge has now found the two police officers not guilty.”

Now the criminal trial has concluded, the IOPC said it will be liaising with Devon and Cornwall Police over any potential disciplinary proceedings for officers arising from the incident.

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