Five Sussex Police officers are cleared of assaults

First published in News by

Five Sussex Police officers have been cleared of attacking a family at their home.

The officers, a sergeant and four constables, were accused of attacking members of the High family at their home near Horsham after they had rowed with a taxi driver over £2.50.

Eighteen months later, and after a three-day trial at Brighton Magistrates’ Court, the officers were told the force they had used was reasonable.

Sergeant Chris O’Leary and PCs Lucy Fenney, Natalie Jennings, Jacqueline Peel and Oliver Pullen were all based at Horsham Police Station at the time of the incident on Saturday, June 25, last year.

They arrived at the High family home in Mile Ash Road, Barns Green, Horsham, at 1.40am.

‘Stamped on’ A taxi driver had complained that Jamie and Joshua High, aged 26 and 24, had refused to pay his £27.50 charge, offering only £25 instead.

Police at the time believed he was reporting an assault.

Wrists marked

Jamie High claimed when he answered his front door to officers minutes later, they said: “£27.50 now, or you’re nicked.”

He claimed that during the struggle that followed he was hit with punches and a baton, sprayed with Captor spray and stamped on while handcuffed. He said the cuffs were so tight it took two officers to unlock them, and his wrists were marked afterwards.

Police said they had heard Jamie High tell Joshua High to “get the shooter”, which Jamie High denied.

When police dropped their inquiry in December last year, the Highs launched their own private prosecution, which was taken over by the Crown Prosecution Service in July this year.

James, Joshua, the men’s father, Andrew, and their mother, Jane, all claimed they were assaulted.

Denied charge

PC Fenney, 30, PC Jennings, 28, PC Peel, 42, PC Pullen, 30, and Sgt O’Leary, 34, all denied counts of assault.

Giving evidence, PC Pullen said Jamie High had taunted the officers when they threatened to use their Captor spray, by swearing and saying: “Go on, spray us.”

PC Fenney described how she sprayed Jamie High, saying: “I thought he was going to injure Sergeant O’Leary. I did it in defence of him.”

She described Jamie High as “revved up, sparring for a fight”.

PC Peel said she was “devastated” by facing the charge.

Reasonable force

She confirmed she had been disciplined in the past with a final written warning for giving conflicting evidence at a coroner’s court.

Lee Harris, prosecuting, said: “I’m not saying you are a bad officer, or any of you are bad officers, I’m saying you and your colleagues got the wrong end of the stick to start with and went over the top.”

PC Peel said: “No.”

Deputy District Judge Andrew Lewis considered the evidence yesterday afternoon (December 20). He acquitted all the officers of assault, saying the force they used was reasonable.

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Comments (12)

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1:18pm Fri 21 Dec 12

D360 says...

They sound like a wonderful family...
They sound like a wonderful family... D360
  • Score: 0

1:21pm Fri 21 Dec 12

Algeria Touchshriek says...

Whilst searching the house the police found a banjo.
Whilst searching the house the police found a banjo. Algeria Touchshriek
  • Score: 0

1:47pm Fri 21 Dec 12

still waiting says...

Just waiting for the resident trolls to trot out their All Cops Are Guilty Anyway posts. But I bet nobody who lives near this family is going to question the verdict....
Just waiting for the resident trolls to trot out their All Cops Are Guilty Anyway posts. But I bet nobody who lives near this family is going to question the verdict.... still waiting
  • Score: 0

2:16pm Fri 21 Dec 12

markiemark1 says...

Well IF the family are correct (although a DJ has of course found the officers not guilty), it begs the question why they were prepared to fund a private prosecution, only for the matter to be taken over by the CPS. I'm not surprised at the verdict at all....although I do think that many coppers overstep the mark of reasonable force these days, especially taking into account the number of have a go heroes who are nicked for using less force to apprehend a villain.
Well IF the family are correct (although a DJ has of course found the officers not guilty), it begs the question why they were prepared to fund a private prosecution, only for the matter to be taken over by the CPS. I'm not surprised at the verdict at all....although I do think that many coppers overstep the mark of reasonable force these days, especially taking into account the number of have a go heroes who are nicked for using less force to apprehend a villain. markiemark1
  • Score: 0

4:48pm Fri 21 Dec 12

lorrie1 says...

Police 1, citizens 0, Same old, same old.
Why do the police ALWAYS get away with incidents like this?
Police 1, citizens 0, Same old, same old. Why do the police ALWAYS get away with incidents like this? lorrie1
  • Score: 0

5:02pm Fri 21 Dec 12

AmboGuy says...

lorrie1 wrote:
Police 1, citizens 0, Same old, same old.
Why do the police ALWAYS get away with incidents like this?
Ha ha still waiting was right.

Well done lorrie1 for the first really stupid post of the thread.
[quote][p][bold]lorrie1[/bold] wrote: Police 1, citizens 0, Same old, same old. Why do the police ALWAYS get away with incidents like this?[/p][/quote]Ha ha still waiting was right. Well done lorrie1 for the first really stupid post of the thread. AmboGuy
  • Score: 0

5:10pm Fri 21 Dec 12

angrymonkey says...

sounds like scum family good the cops got the all clear . This country is so silly the police work hard and get no support when come to getting scum off the streets and have to worry about doing one little thing wrong in any other place even the euro this would not wasted tax payers money for a scum family and stand up for the cops.
sounds like scum family good the cops got the all clear . This country is so silly the police work hard and get no support when come to getting scum off the streets and have to worry about doing one little thing wrong in any other place even the euro this would not wasted tax payers money for a scum family and stand up for the cops. angrymonkey
  • Score: 0

11:19pm Fri 21 Dec 12

greeg2 says...

still waiting wrote:
Just waiting for the resident trolls to trot out their All Cops Are Guilty Anyway posts. But I bet nobody who lives near this family is going to question the verdict....
"Ambogay" you're so smart you should be involved in the space program ! You obviously have never stepped over the threshold of your front door if you think the cops can do no wrong.Mendacity is part of their game,if you don't know that,you don't know anything.
[quote][p][bold]still waiting[/bold] wrote: Just waiting for the resident trolls to trot out their All Cops Are Guilty Anyway posts. But I bet nobody who lives near this family is going to question the verdict....[/p][/quote]"Ambogay" you're so smart you should be involved in the space program ! You obviously have never stepped over the threshold of your front door if you think the cops can do no wrong.Mendacity is part of their game,if you don't know that,you don't know anything. greeg2
  • Score: 0

2:13am Sat 22 Dec 12

funkyyoyo says...

lets not forget hillsborough, they crossed the line in a monster way,and these big wigs will goto prison,not forgetting plebgate too!! the sweeney days are far from over,the corruption is rife and just hidden in a different way,which always surfaces in the end,so theyve only got themselves to blame,time to ween out the bad apples once and for all
lets not forget hillsborough, they crossed the line in a monster way,and these big wigs will goto prison,not forgetting plebgate too!! the sweeney days are far from over,the corruption is rife and just hidden in a different way,which always surfaces in the end,so theyve only got themselves to blame,time to ween out the bad apples once and for all funkyyoyo
  • Score: 0

1:41pm Sat 22 Dec 12

elephantsandowls says...

thank the Lord Judge Lewis has his head screwed on right.....
@funkyyoyo: go live next to the notorious High family, would you? They might actually be able to assist you with your spelling.
thank the Lord Judge Lewis has his head screwed on right..... @funkyyoyo: go live next to the notorious High family, would you? They might actually be able to assist you with your spelling. elephantsandowls
  • Score: 0

3:13pm Sat 22 Dec 12

D360 says...

funkyyoyo wrote:
lets not forget hillsborough, they crossed the line in a monster way,and these big wigs will goto prison,not forgetting plebgate too!! the sweeney days are far from over,the corruption is rife and just hidden in a different way,which always surfaces in the end,so theyve only got themselves to blame,time to ween out the bad apples once and for all
And I suppose all the armed forces are evil murderers too because of bloody Sunday? What does Hillsborough have to do with anything? The story here is the police were called to a family of scummy parasites who then made a malicious complaint, likely for some compo. It's just a shame the cost of the Court hearings can't be deducted from their benefits.
[quote][p][bold]funkyyoyo[/bold] wrote: lets not forget hillsborough, they crossed the line in a monster way,and these big wigs will goto prison,not forgetting plebgate too!! the sweeney days are far from over,the corruption is rife and just hidden in a different way,which always surfaces in the end,so theyve only got themselves to blame,time to ween out the bad apples once and for all[/p][/quote]And I suppose all the armed forces are evil murderers too because of bloody Sunday? What does Hillsborough have to do with anything? The story here is the police were called to a family of scummy parasites who then made a malicious complaint, likely for some compo. It's just a shame the cost of the Court hearings can't be deducted from their benefits. D360
  • Score: 0

7:10pm Sun 23 Dec 12

AmboGuy says...

greeg2 wrote:
still waiting wrote:
Just waiting for the resident trolls to trot out their All Cops Are Guilty Anyway posts. But I bet nobody who lives near this family is going to question the verdict....
"Ambogay" you're so smart you should be involved in the space program ! You obviously have never stepped over the threshold of your front door if you think the cops can do no wrong.Mendacity is part of their game,if you don't know that,you don't know anything.
And the runner up prize for moronic comments goes to greeg2. This silly little student needs to grow up and live in the real world.
[quote][p][bold]greeg2[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]still waiting[/bold] wrote: Just waiting for the resident trolls to trot out their All Cops Are Guilty Anyway posts. But I bet nobody who lives near this family is going to question the verdict....[/p][/quote]"Ambogay" you're so smart you should be involved in the space program ! You obviously have never stepped over the threshold of your front door if you think the cops can do no wrong.Mendacity is part of their game,if you don't know that,you don't know anything.[/p][/quote]And the runner up prize for moronic comments goes to greeg2. This silly little student needs to grow up and live in the real world. AmboGuy
  • Score: 0

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