A police officer threw at least two "unprovoked and unnecessary punches" at a pro-hunting demonstrator during protests in Parliament Square, a court was told yesterday.
Neil Latteman, 43, assaulted Mark Faulkner, 34, an arable and game farmer, after he had been pulled from the crowd during violent clashes between police and protesters on Sept 15 last year.
He lunged towards Mr Faulkner, behaving according to one witness like "a football hooligan", Bow Street magistrates' court was told.
Mr Faulkner, who had travelled to London from North Yorkshire, was at the front of the protest when he was hit twice by a police officer with a baton, causing him to fall to the ground and lose consciousness.
He was then pulled from the crowd, pushed against a police van and, according to footage studied by the Independent Police Complaints Commission, assaulted by Latteman.
Stephen Jackson, a resources technician and private investigator who filmed the incident, said he saw Latteman leave the police line to hit Mr Faulkner.
"I was quite dismayed because the person who had been arrested did not appear to be struggling," he said.
Pc Latteman (Pictured) said he had used approved police tactics to help subdue Mr Faulkner who was going "berserk".
Dismissing the case, District Judge Timothy Workman said he could not be sure the officer was acting unlawfully.
"I cannot be sure that the defendant was lying when giving his evidence that he was acting lawfully in striking Mr Faulkner, therefore the case is dismissed."
The court heard that Pc Latteman had used a police-approved technique to stun a struggling suspect with a hard blow to a cluster of nerves in the neck and face.
This isn't about a rioter being smacked over the head after charging a poilce line, this is about someone in police custody who has been knocked unconcious, is groggy and is being held up against a van. Luckily the PC was the only one on the ball enough to notice he was going beserk and launched himself from 8 feet away to give him this special Police Punch causing "several injuries, including a black left eye, and .. needing hospital treatment". Now of course a white farmer protesting about hunting isn't exactly the flavour of the month for the Civil Rights movement, but I presume their silence is because they also know how lucky we are to be in the safe protective hands of PC Latteman and his ilk.