PC faces no criminal charges after hitting Pompey fan with baton

A POLICE officer who hit a Pompey fan on the head with baton has been told he will not face criminal charges.

Saturday, 18th March 2017, 6:00 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 11:06 am
Arron Warren, 30, was hit over the head with a baton by a Devon and Cornwall police officer

Arron Warren had been at Fratton Park for the game against Plymouth Argyle but was punched by a rival fan on the way home in Carisbrooke Road, near the ground.

The 30-year-old was walking with his wife Heidi, 37, when rival fans chanted at them and Mr Warren swore back.

A man then came up and punched Mr Warren, who then got that man in a headlock, a Crown Prosecution Service letter seen by The News said.

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The wound on Arron Warren's head after he was hit with a police baton

It was shortly after this he was hit with a baton by a Devon and Cornwall police officer – who claimed he feared for his own safety, said Mr Warren was using a ‘guillotine choke hold’ and had told him to let the man go.

The railway worker said: ‘I felt a bang on the top of my head. I put both hands up to my head and saw them covered with blood.

‘As I went to stand back up the police officer on the horse grabbed my shoulder and said “stay where you are”.

‘The other one said “that one has just hit him on the head with a truncheon”.’

The wound on Arron Warren's head after he was hit with a police baton

Hampshire police officers arrived and Mr Warren was given first aid in a resident’s home.

He has praised the county force but criticised the Independent Police Complaints Commission, and the Devon and Cornwall force after learning the officer is to face no criminal charges.

Mr Warren, of Firgrove Lane, North Boarhunt, said: ‘I had to have time off work, if I don’t work I’ve got no money.’

In a letter a CPS lawyer said: ‘I have carefully reviewed all of the material and have ultimately concluded that there is insufficient evidence to prosecute the officer for the offence of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.’

None of the other three police officers with the PC who struck Mr Warren witnessed the blow but the officer in charge said there was a ‘confrontation’ between fans.

But the letter added: ‘Evidence from the other police witnesses supports the officer’s claim that the blow to your head was accidental.

‘He immediately said as much to his colleagues and is described as being shocked and upset by what happened.’

The officer first hit two men in the thigh who were punching Mr Warren, and then tried to drag him off the man before asking him to then hit him, the CPS letter said.

An IPCC spokeswoman said: ‘We referred the matter to the Crown Prosecution Service, which considered whether a prosecution should be brought.

‘We have also submitted our report to Devon and Cornwall Police.

‘The force has submitted its response, which is currently being considered.’

It happened after the match on May 12, 2016, which ended in a 2-2 draw.