Police officer who was spared jail for attack on woman that was captured on CCTV quits the force less than a week later
- PC Oliver Banfield assaulted Emma Homer in Bidford-on-Avon on July 26, 2020
- He was given a 14-week curfew and ordered to pay £500 in compensation
- Banfield, 25, was facing a disciplinary hearing before West Midlands Police force
- Despite his resignation, Banfield will still face a police disciplinary hearing
A male off-duty police officer convicted of drunkenly assaulting a woman has resigned from West Midlands Police.
Pc Oliver Banfield was spared jail for the assault, which sparked criticism from MP Harriet Harman that the ‘system fails women and protects men’.
Pc Banfield, who had been suspended by the force, will still face a misconduct hearing in due course, police said.
PC Oliver Banfield drunkenly assaulted Emma Homer, right, in Bidford-on-Avon on July 26, 2020. He avoided a jail sentence after admitting assault by beating. He has just resigned from West Midlands Police ahead of a disciplinary hearing
The shocking assault was captured on CCTV. He was handed a curfew and ordered to pay compensation and costs at Leicester Magistrates’ Court
Deputy Chief Constable Vanessa Jardine, of West Midlands Police, said: ‘Today I have accepted the resignation of Pc Oliver Banfield.
‘I want to stress that former Pc Banfield will still face an accelerated misconduct hearing, chaired by the Chief Constable, in the near future.’
Pc Oliver Banfield admitted a charge of assault by beating on Emma Homer and was handed a curfew and ordered to pay compensation and costs at Leicester Magistrates’ Court.
Reacting to the sentence, Labour MP Harriet Harman said on Twitter: ‘Policeman attacks woman walking home alone after dark.
‘Must have been terrifying for her but no prison sentence.
‘He continues in post. @WMPolice (West Midlands Police) must review.
‘This is proof, if any needed, that system fails women and protects men.’
Banfield, 25, was given a 14-week curfew banning him from leaving his house between 7pm and 7am, and must pay £500 compensation together with a £95 victim surcharge and £85 court costs.
West Midlands Police said Banfield was ‘removed from public-facing duties after the assault’ while a criminal investigation into the incident in Bidford-on-Avon was carried out by Warwickshire Police.
Meanwhile, the 37-year-old victim, Emma Homer, hit out at Warwickshire Police’s initial handling of her complaint after she was attacked by a ‘drunk’ Banfield while walking home at about 1am on July 26 2020.
She said that despite reporting the assault within hours of it happening, it took ‘more than 30 hours for an officer to take a telephone statement’, ‘nine days for an officer to come and see her’ and ‘eight weeks for an officer to conduct house-to-house enquiries’.
In a victim impact statement issued through a relative, Mrs Homer said the effects of the assault had left her with ‘anxiety, insomnia and stress’ which had been ‘compounded by the slow response from Warwickshire Police’.
The force has since personally apologised to Mrs Homer stating its ‘initial response to the report of the assault was not as swift as it should have been’.
Banfield, 25, was given a 14-week curfew banning him from leaving his house between 7pm and 7am, and must pay £500 compensation together with a £95 victim surcharge and £85 court costs by Leicester Magistrates’ Court
Mrs Homer added that when the Warwickshire force presented a case file to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in September 2020, it was decided not to charge Banfield.
However, aided by the Women’s Justice Centre, Mrs Homer had the CPS’s decision reviewed and the CPS charged Banfield in December 2020.
He admitted assault by beating in court at Leamington Spa in January this year.
Describing the assault, Mrs Homer said: ‘I often ask myself if the impact of the attack would have been so severe if my assailant was not a police officer.
‘During the assault as I struggled to get to safety, I was sure this drunk man was fulfilling a violent cop movie fantasy.
‘To be verbally abused with misogynistic slang, grabbed by the neck, and forced to the floor on a dark road by a drunk man a foot taller than me is terrifying, but to then find that he was a police officer shook my belief system to its core.’
She said: ‘I considered myself a confident, relaxed, and independent wife and mother but since the attack I live with constant anxiety.
‘I have changed simple things like my route home, and I have had to ask my family not to discuss the case as it sends me into a panic attack – indeed whenever the subject is brought up I feel a rush of anxiety and a tightening at my throat.’
Source: Read Full Article