A police officer who kicked a 15-year-old like a “free kick in football” during the first lockdown has been convicted of assault.
PC Declan Jones was found guilty of assaulting a man and the teenage boy on consecutive days last year, starting on 20 April, while on duty in Birmingham.
Jones, 30, had been on trial at Coventry Magistrates’ Court, and was cleared of a third assault.
District Judge Shamim Qureshi watched CCTV images of the assault on the 15-year-old submitted by prosecutors.
The crown’s lawyers said Jones was “angry” the young man had “broken free” after being stopped.
Jones had wrongly accused him of being in possession of drugs.
He told the court that it was his “honest belief” the teenager made a downward movement, and this made him fear for his safety.
However Judge Qureshi said that in the third incident, which took place on 23 April, the use of force was proportionate.
He went on to criticise the officer and his colleagues at the time for not wearing masks, despite the country being in lockdown and police stopping people for being in public when they were not supposed to be.
Speaking of the attack on the 15-year-old, Judge Qureshi remarked how the constable initially bent back the fingers of the boy.
Jones is due to be sentenced in September
He added: “The next stage of this incident is shown on camera when (the youth) stops and stands with his hands wide open in the surrender pose.
“PC Jones then punches him to the ground, orders him to roll over on to his stomach and then kicks him, in my view like taking a free kick in football.
“PC Jones claimed that people have hidden weapons and even with their hands in the air or behind their head, they might reach for something.
“He said it was not safe to walk the streets of Handsworth and neighbouring areas.
“After hearing PC Jones’s repeated justification of intelligence and high crime area for all his actions, I consider that PC Jones has a paranoia that everyone in a high crime area has concealed weapons all over their body and I query whether he was suited to this type of work in those areas.”
Jones is due to be sentenced at a later date, and will also face a misconduct hearing with West Midlands Police