Westgate police officer to appeal conviction for punching suspect

Maidstone Crown Court

A Kent Police officer from Westgate is appealing his conviction for punching a man in a cell.

Sergeant Paul Coughlan was found guilty of assaulting a detainee at Canterbury police station on March 29 last year.

The victim was said to have been struck by Coughlan through the cell door hatch.

The officer, who is in his 50s, denied assault by beating but was convicted by magistrates earlier this month.

At a hearing today (April 26) to fix his appeal date, Maidstone Crown Court was told it took the magistrates two hours and 45 minutes of deliberation to reach their verdict.

Judge Philip Statman also heard that the detainee did not give evidence.

Coughlan was sentenced to a 120-hour community order. His appeal against conviction will now be heard at the crown court on August 10.

The sergeant did not attend today’s hearing.

He was prosecuted following an investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

The watchdog concluded that a tribunal could find PS Coughlan’s actions constituted gross misconduct.

Report by Julia Roberts