Moment Durham Police officer slapped boy in face captured on video

PC Nicola Voke-Williams appealed her assault conviction after slapping a boy in the face. Credit: ITV/Handout

A police officer who was found guilty of slapping a boy in the face while on duty has seen an appeal against her conviction dismissed.

Durham Police officer Nicola Voke-Williams was convicted of assault after slapping the teenager in the face while on duty in Spennymoor in February 2022.

The officer, who had 21 years of experience, had attended an incident in the town centre, after reports of a large group of youths who had arranged a fight with weapons and glass bottles.

Teesside Crown Court heard how Voke-Williams had arrived at the scene with another female officer but their car started to roll with the handbrake off and the youths were reported to have laughed at them, with one allegedly shouting "useless".

A short video was shown at the constable's appeal which showed the officer slapping the boy in the face with her left hand. PC Voke-Wiliams claimed she thought the boy was about to spit in her face and so pre-emptively struck him in self-defence.

However, the boy told the court he had puckered his lips and blown her a kiss but could not remember if he had moved his head towards her or not.

When summing up, the judge said PC Voke-Williams had attempted to deflect her attention from her own conduct by repeatedly claiming the boy had assaulted her with his bike following the slap.

Only when the officer watched the video in a police interview did she admit that was not the case.

Her appeal was dismissed by the judge and she has been given a six-month suspended discharge, ordered to pay £50 compensation and court costs of around £425.

Detective Chief Inspector Yvonne Dutson, from Durham Police's professional standards department, said: "This officer was suspended while an investigation was carried out and they shall now face misconduct proceedings.

"The public and Durham Constabulary quite rightly expect the highest of standards from our officers and staff at all times, and the actions of this officer fell short of those standards."

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