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PC Steve Haines accused of kneeing man in groin in Codfather takeaway in Ashford High Street

A police constable accused of a late-night assault in a kebab house appeared before a disciplinary panel last week.

PC Steve Haines faced an allegation of gross misconduct at the three-day hearing held at Kent Police headquarters in Sutton Road, Maidstone.

It comes after an incident in June 2013 when he was accused of assaulting Lewis Taylor in the Codfather in Ashford High Street.

The takeaway where the fight happened. Picture: Paul Amos
The takeaway where the fight happened. Picture: Paul Amos

The 43-year-old from Hamstreet was accused by Kent Police of using “excessive” force against Mr Taylor during the incident.

He had been called to the takeaway after reports of a disturbance.

Mr Taylor, who has ADHD, had been drinking heavily and was also on medication at the time. He claimed to be minding his own business eating chips.

PC Haines acted alone as there were no other officers available. He was accused of looking “wound up and aggressive” before pushing Mr Taylor across a table and hitting him with a truncheon.

The constable was also accused of pushing Mr Taylor against a wall before thrusting his knee into his groin.

PC Haines was originally convicted and given a 12-week prison sentence in September 2013, but the constable successfully appealed against the conviction in 2014.

A judge and two magistrates watched CCTV footage of the incident, and decided he had acted reasonably.

However, last week the police disciplinary panel decided the allegation against PC Haines was proven to be misconduct, but not gross misconduct.

Kent Police Headquarters
Kent Police Headquarters

A police spokesman said: “The panel felt his conduct fell below the standard that is required from Kent Police officers, who are expected to uphold the law and treat all people with respect and dignity.

“At the conclusion of the hearing it was found that the allegation was proven to be one of misconduct. He was issued with a final written warning which will remain on his file for 18 months.”

The criteria for gross misconduct allegations include failing to treat people with respect and courtesy, using unnecessary, disproportionate or unreasonable force, and conduct which would discredit or undermine the public’s confidence in Kent Police.

PC Haines now has the right to appeal the ruling of the panel.

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