A Hounslow police officer who was accused of unduly striking a teenager with his baton has been acquitted.
PC Kieran Gell was charged with actual bodily harm (ABH) following an incident on May 14, 2003, when he responded to reports that a group of young people had broken into a caravan and were smoking drugs inside.
The youths fled when officers arrived, police said, and PC Gell chased after one of them, aged 15, onto the Ivybridge estate, off Summerwood Road, Isleworth .
The officer observed the boy through the glass window of a porch and believed he had something in his hand.
'Boy sprinted towards PC with arm raised'
He made his way round to the communal door to confront him, with his baton at the ready, at which point police said the boy sprinted towards him with his arm raised.
PC Gell maintained throughout the criminal investigation that he feared for his safety and had struck the teenager on the arm with his baton.
The boy ran away and headed to a local youth centre, from where he was taken to hospital.
He was subsequently arrested at the hospital by PC Gell on suspicion of causing criminal damage to the caravan.
The youth submitted a formal complaint to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) regarding facial injuries he said he had sustained at the hands of the officer.
'Officers sometimes have to make split-second decisions'
PC Gell was charged with ABH following an investigation by the Met's Directorate of Professional Standards (DPS), but the 33-year-old was found not guilty at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Wednesday (September 28).
Chief Superintendent Matt Gardner, head of the DPS, said: "Frontline officers do a demanding job to protect Londoners and they sometimes have to make split-second decisions to use force which they have to justify.
"PC Gell made such a decision and justified the force he used which was accepted in a court of law."
The officer is on restricted duties and now criminal proceedings are complete, a misconduct review will be conducted.