Police officer charged with misconduct in connection with claim to be victim of gang assault in St Lawrence

Emergency services were called to Manston Road Photo Emma Owen

A police officer who prompted a huge emergency service response in Ramsgate after claiming he had been assaulted in St Laurence Church graveyard has been arrested and charged with misconduct in public office,

The officer claimed he had been knocked unconscious after being assaulted by a group of people in the graveyard at St Lawrence in Ramsgate on the evening of February 2.

He was taken to hospital for treatment and was discharged the following morning.

Kent Police today (August 1) confirmed a police constable had been charged.

The officer, Michael Tovell, 45, of Margate Road, Ramsgate, has been suspended from duty.

Police, armed officers, ambulance, fire crews and the National Police Air Service helicopter were called out to attend the scene on February 2 and search for the ‘offenders.’

Police outside Tesco Express, by St Laurence Church, Photo Kelly McCone

It was claimed that one of the people may have been in possession of a firearm, making it necessary to call in armed officers as a precaution.

Traffic was diverted on the evening of the alleged incident and a heavy police presence remained the following day as officers searched the graveyard and blocked off pedestrian access.

Two further police appeals were made to track down witnesses.

A Kent Police spokesman said: “Officers investigating an alleged assault of a police officer in Ramsgate have charged a man. Michael Tovell, 45, of Margate Road, Ramsgate, reported being assaulted on 2 February 2018 in St Lawrence Chase.

“He has been charged with misconduct in a public office.

“Mr Tovell is a serving police constable with Kent Police but has been suspended.”

Mr Tovell  is due to appear before Margate Magistrates’ Court on August 30..