Custody officer who hit a 16-year-old suspect in the face before making him strip and locking him in a cell naked is convicted of battery

  • Thames Valley Police Sergeant Matthew Myers has been convicted of battery
  • He struck a 16-year-old suspect who was in custody and made him strip naked
  • Myers ‘abused his position as a custody sergeant’, the police watchdog said 

A police officer has been found guilty of battery after striking a 16-year-old suspect who was in custody in the face before making him strip and locking him in a cell.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said Thames Valley Police Sergeant Matthew Myers ‘abused his position’ by hitting the boy in January last year in Banbury, Oxfordshire. 

Myers, 49, was convicted of battery and sentenced to a community order and 200 hours unpaid work at Luton Magistrates’ Court – and now faces the sack as Thames Valley Police considers misconduct proceedings. 

Luton Magistrates’ Court heard how the boy, who was in care and did not speak English as a first language, was left naked until a detention officer came into the cell to assist him during the incident on January 4, 2020.  

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said Thames Valley Police Sergeant Matthew Myers ‘abused his position’ by hitting the boy in Oxfordshire

The incident was referred two weeks later to IOPC investigators, who reviewed CCTV and spoke to detention officers and the child before sending the case to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). 

An IOPC spokesman said: ‘During our probe, IOPC investigators reviewed and analysed CCTV from the custody suite and interviewed the detention officers present. An account was also taken from the child by the IOPC and Sgt Myers prepared a statement under caution, following Covid-19 guidance.’ 

IOPC regional director Graham Beesley said: ‘Myers abused his position as a custody sergeant to assault a child and he has now been convicted of that offence.

Myers, 49, was convicted of battery and sentenced to a community order and 200 hours unpaid work at Luton Magistrates’ Court – and now faces the sack. Stock used

‘His primary duty is to ensure the safety and welfare of all those who are detained and assaulting a looked-after child who was vulnerable, where English was not his first language, is the exact opposite of what the officer should have been doing.

‘The sentence shows that officers are not above the law and this kind of behaviour is not acceptable.’

A Thames Valley Police spokesman said: ‘A determination will be made regarding misconduct proceedings.

‘As such at this point, we would not be in a position to offer further comment.’       

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