Police officer facing trial over attack on Sheffield Wednesday fan found dead

police tape
PC William Sampson's death has been confirmed by South Yorkshire Police

A South Yorkshire Police officer who was due to stand trial over an alleged attack on a teenage football fan has been found dead.

PC William Sampson was accused of wounding the 16-year-old Sheffield Wednesday supporter after a video of the incident was widely shared on social media.

The teenager suffered head injuries when he was allegedly hit with a baton on Midland Street, Barnsley, on Saturday, 8 February 2020 after watching the Owls play Barnsley at Oakwell.

PC Sampson – known as 'Billy' – was charged after the Independent Office for Police Conduct held its own investigation and referred its findings to the Crown Prosecution Service.

The officer, who was placed on restricted duties, pleaded not guilty to the charge at Leeds Magistrates' Court and was due to stand trial at Leeds Crown Court on 7 March.

But he was found dead in a property on Thorncliffe Lane, Chapeltown, on Friday afternoon. A cause of death has not been confirmed.

In a statement, South Yorkshire Police said: "We are incredibly saddened by news of Billy’s death.

"Our thoughts remain with Billy’s family and loved ones and they will be offered our full support."