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Shropshire police pair warned after using spray on man in toilet

Shrewsbury | Crime | Published:

Two police officers have been given written warnings for using incapacitant spray on a man at close range while he was on the toilet.

They are also alleged to have sprayed the man a second time as he walked barefooted to the police van and reportedly spoke to him in a belittling manner.

West Mercia Police constables Sharon Phillips and Simon Wilkey were found to have breached the force’s professional standards at a public misconduct hearing at Hindlip Hall police headquarters last week.

The two officers visited a home in Baschurch near Shrewsbury on July 20, last year, after receiving a call that a man had threatened to kill a family member.

Barrister Elliot Gold told the hearing that both officers used incapacitant spray PAVA on the man while he was on the toilet.

He also told the hearing that Pc Phillips sprayed the man again while he was being walked barefoot to the police van. “This was unnecessary in the circumstances,” he said.

Mr Gold said the officers had failed to show the man the appropriate patience, respect and courtesy by using insulting language.

Breach

He alleged Pc Wilkey called the man ‘sunshine’ three times in a derogatory manner.

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He also said Pc Phillips threatened to arrest the man for a sexual offence while Pc Wilkey is alleged to have threatened to arrest him for an offence of indecent exposure.

Both officers were found to have breached the standards of professional behaviour relating to authority, respect and courtesy, use of force, orders and instructions and discreditable conduct.

While Pc Phillips also breached the standard for duties and responsibilities.

Adrian Keeling QC, defending PC Phillips, said the man had a history of violence and problems with alcohol and drugs.

He said he had been drinking heavily the days leading up to July 20 and that he had threatened to kill his parents if they did not give him £1,000.

Pc Phillips was given a final written warning which lasts for 18 months while Pc Wilkey was given a 12-month written warning.

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