West Midlands Police officer convicted of assaulting woman resigns

  • Callum Watkinson reports

A police officer who was convicted of assaulting a woman as she walked home alone, has resigned from West Midlands Police. 

PC Oliver Banfield, from Bidford-on-Avon in Warwickshire, was drunk when he grabbed Emma Homer, tackled her to the ground and put her in a headlock, before shouting abuse in July last year, as this footage shows.

Emma, from Warwickshire says the incident turned her into a "nervous wreck" and she said in court she felt like he was fulfilling some kind of violent, cop movie fantasy.

She asks, why he wasn't suspended when she reported the incident, or when he pleaded guilty, and believes West Midlands Police should look into their recruitment policy. The force haven't said if this will happen, but he will still face a misconduct hearing in due course.

Banfield, who pleaded guilty to assault by beating, was sentenced to a 14-week curfew last week, which bans him from leaving his house between 7pm and 7am, and ordered to pay compensation and costs.

Solicitor Ian Jones says there are powers to discipline a serving officer, but as he's resigned, the disciplinary powers are limited.

The Home Secretary can get involved if she's satisfied a criminal offence has been committed, which would lead to serious loss of confidence in the public service.

Deputy Chief Constable Vanessa Jardine, of West Midlands Police, said,

I want to stress that former PC Banfield will still face an accelerated misconduct hearing, chaired by the Chief Constable, in the near future.

The misconduct process had had to wait until after criminal and court processes concluded, because of police regulations.

I will make the outcome of that hearing public as soon as I can.

I recognise the distress Emma Homer – who was assaulted and verbally abused by Banfield – has suffered during this time.

Emma Homer spoke to ITV News about the impact of the ordeal.

Read more: