PC fined for assault in wrongful bus fare arrest

Media caption,

Bodycam footage shows the moment Jocelyn Agyemang was arrested by PC Perry Lathwood

  • Published

A Metropolitan Police constable has been fined £1,500 for assaulting a woman when he wrongfully arrested her for bus fare evasion in front of her young son.

Perry Lathwood "manhandled" Jocelyn Agyemang in Croydon, south London, in July 2023, his trial heard.

During the arrest, the officer, from Norman's Bay, East Sussex, called Ms Agyemang a "daft cow", Westminster Magistrates' Court heard.

Ms Agyemang previously told the court she felt "very violated" during the arrest and was left with pain in her wrist and a bruised shoulder.

Image source, PA
Image caption,

Perry Lathwood was found guilty of assault in May

Lathwood was found guilty of assault in May and was sentenced on Friday.

But the court was told he does not accept the conviction and he will appeal against it.

During the trial, Paul Jarvis, prosecuting, said Ms Agyemang was dropping her son off at her mother's house on 21 July before heading to an appointment in Marylebone scheduled for 12:30 BST.

After she and her son disembarked the bus at about 11:00, she was asked to show she had paid her fare by a bus inspector.

"She does not hand it over and she walks off," Mr Jarvis told the court.

"It is at this moment that PC Lathwood becomes involved."

He said Lathwood put a hand on her, but she moved away, so he then grabbed her arm and arrested her for fare evasion.

A crowd gathered, with people filming the officer and asking him why he had arrested her.

Mr Jarvis said Lathwood continued to hold her, demanding she tap her Oyster card. He also handcuffed her.

Another officer took her Oyster card from her hand and went away with it to see if she had paid.

She was de-arrested at the scene after the force confirmed Ms Agyemang had paid her fare.

Sentencing Lathwood, Deputy Senior District Judge Tan Ikram said: "On this occasion in my judgment the officer crossed the line and got it wrong."

The judge added he did not find it was "an abuse of power", but was instead a "mistake".

On top of the fine, he was ordered to pay £200 to the victim in compensation, £650 in costs and a victim surcharge of £600.

He will have to pay the total £2,950 within 56 days.

Matt Twist, the Met's Assistant Commissioner, said after Lathwood's conviction that it was a "huge setback to our ability to rebuild trust with Londoners".

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