A Metropolitan Police Officer has been handed a 10-week prison sentence after he headbutted a bar manager for trying to enforce social distancing last year. Luke Wilson, 28, had been on a night out at a cocktail bar in Monument with colleges in July 2021 when staff asked the group to sit at different tables due to coronavirus regulations in place at the time.
CCTV footage showed the officer squaring up to the bar manager before launching an “unprovoked” assault, leaving the victim with minor injuries. After being found guilty by a district judge, Wilson was sentenced to ten weeks imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, 80 hours of unpaid community service, pay £700 in costs, pay £200 compensation to the victim and pay a victim surcharge.
The incident was investigated by the City of London Police, who reviewed CCTV footage of the attack. Wilson’s group of off-duty officers was seen arriving at the cocktail bar at around 7.30pm on Friday, July 2, 2021. Bar staff initially split the group across multiple tables but by 8pm CCTV footage showed members of the group moving between them.
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At one point, as many as 10 people were sitting at a single table. The bar manager explained to Wilson that this wasn’t allowed, informing the group of 10 that four of them would have to move. But instead of sitting down, Wilson was seen following the bar manager to another table and confronting the manager.
Wilson was shown footage of the bar manager with his hands in his pockets and not appearing to act aggressively towards him, but declined to comment further. After Wilson squared up to the manager, putting his face “within inches” of the victim, the manager took a step back to distance himself from the attacker.
The officer could then be seen stepping forward again to close the gap between them before headbutting the manager. Wilson was interviewed the following day (July 3, 2021) and denied the offence, claiming he felt threatened by the victim. Temporary Detective Constable MacLennan, from the City of London Police, said the victim’s trust in the police “has now been damaged by the attack.”
“This was an unprovoked assault on a victim who was simply trying to do his job,” he said. “The victim felt he could trust the group due to their profession, but his trust in the police has now been damaged by this attack. I hope that the sentence passed down today brings some justice to the victim and demonstrates that no one is exempt when it comes to upholding the law in the City.”
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