Police officer who told man ‘it hurts, doesn’t it?’ as he pressed his face against a car during arrest is sacked for gross misconduct
- Stephen Dalton of Hertfordshire Police used ‘unnecessary force’ to detain a man
- He pushed his face against a parked police car in Watford in October 2019
- PC Dalton has been banned for life from the force after the IOPC investigation
A police officer who asked a man ‘it hurts, doesn’t it?’ after pushing his face against a car during an arrest has been sacked for gross misconduct.
Stephen Dalton, now 53, constable for Hertfordshire Police, used ‘unnecessary’ excessive force while detaining a man in Watford on October 4, 2019, following reports of attempted bike shed break-ins.
The man was pushed against a parked police car, his face struck the vehicle and he was taken to the ground, an independent panel found.
He was treated in hospital and was later released without charge.
PC Dalton has been placed on a barred list as a result of the investigation, meaning he cannot work in policing again.
Stephen Dalton, constable for Hertfordshire Police, used ‘unnecessary’ excessive force while detaining a man in Watford on October 4, 2019
An independently chaired disciplinary panel found the officer was in breach of the police professional standards of behaviour relating to conduct, and the use of force, authority, respect and courtesy for saying ‘it hurts doesn’t it?’.
Graham Beesley, regional director of the the Independent Office for Police Conduct, said: ‘PC Dalton did not demonstrate self-control or professionalism and allowed the incident to escalate.
‘Our investigation found the officer had a case to answer for gross misconduct and today a disciplinary panel has concluded the amount of force used was unnecessary and the officer has now lost his job.
‘His conduct fell far below the standards expected and clearly had the potential to damage public confidence in the police.’
Last year PC Dalton was acquitted by a jury following a trial at St Albans Crown Court (file image)
Gross misconduct was found proven against PC Dalton who has been placed on the barred list, meaning he cannot work in policing again.
During the four-month investigation, which began after the IOPC received a referral from the police force in October 2019, CCTV footage was gathered and reviewed.
The man who was arrested during the incident made a complaint.
The police watchdog passed a file to the Crown Prosecution Service, which authorised a charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
On November 5, 2021, PC Dalton was acquitted by a jury following a trial at St Albans Crown Court.
He was found not guilty of causing actual bodily harm to the suspect.