Thanet police officer to appear at crown court charged with misconduct after claim to be victim of gang assault in St Lawrence

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A Thanet police officer charged with misconduct in public office, arming a taser and misusing his police radio while on duty following a claim that he had been attacked in St Laurence Church graveyard will appear at Canterbury Crown Court in October.

Michael Tovell of Margate Road, Ramsgate, appeared at Margate Magistrates yesterday (August 30) but no plea was entered.

The case has been referred to Canterbury Crown Court and an original date of September 27  for a pre-trial hearing has now been changed to October 1.

Mr Tovell, 45, was charged and suspended from duty following his claim that 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.

Police, armed officers, ambulance, fire crews and the National Police Air Service helicopter were called out to attend the scene and search for offenders

Mr Tovell remains suspended, on pay, as per national regulations governed by the Home Office and College of Policing.