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Metropolitan Police officer guilty of assault after punching shopkeeper in case of mistaken identity

A police officer who punched a shopkeeper after mistaking him for a suspect has been found guilty of common assault.

Metropolitan Police officer Jonathan Marsh, 34, was called to a shop in Romford after the man said someone was damaging his shop sign.

Marsh attended with a colleague but mistakenly identified the shopkeeper as the vandal, bundling him to the ground and hitting him in the back of the head.

He was handcuffed and put in a police car before they realised the error.

The man complained about the November 2022 incident and the Met Police sent the case to police watchdog the IOPC.

Marsh, from Canvey Island in Essex, was convicted of common assault at London Magistrates' Court on Monday and will be sentenced on 29 February.

The officer will be investigated by the Met now the criminal case is over and he remains on restricted duties.

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"There was no policing purpose or justification for the officer to strike the man, who posed no genuine risk," said IOPC regional director Charmaine Arbouin.

She added: "We appreciate cases of mistaken identity can happen.

"However PC Marsh made no attempt to establish the facts and the situation escalated quickly when he immediately used unnecessary force on the man who posed no threat to him or his colleague."