Police officer punched taxi driver and strangled him with seatbelt during drunken row

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PC Jonathan Leighton attacked the taxi driver following a night out in Hull in 2019 and a three-day misconduct hearing found him guilty of three counts of use of force and discreditable conduct

PC Jonathan Leighton
The officer claimed the taxi driver took his phone – and the altercation spilled out onto the street

A police officer who strangled a taxi driver with his seatbelt while on a drunken night out with friends has been sacked.

PC Jonathan Leighton, who was off duty at the time of the altercation, also punched the man and refuse to pay for the trip as a fight spilled out onto the street.

The officer, from Hull, slammed a 15-year-old boy to the ground in a separate incident months before, HullLive reports.

Humberside Police acted after the conclusion of a three-day misconduct hearing.

He was found guilty of three counts of use of force and discreditable conduct and one count of discreditable conduct and honesty and integrity.

The row started after the taxi driver took PC Leighton’s phone, as he believed he was recording him.

Goole Magistrates Court heard how we strangled the taxi driver with his seatbelt
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Image:

Hull Live via Geograph)

When police arrived, PC Leighton claimed he was never in a taxi and that he was attacked randomly by the cab driver while walking down Anlaby Road, Hull.

Two other allegations were made against PC Leighton, which allege his use of force “was not necessary, reasonable, or proportionate.”

A spokeswoman for Humberside Polie said: “Following a three-day misconduct hearing at the Old Magistrates’ Building in Goole, concluding on Wednesday, November 24, PC Jonathan Leighton has been dismissed from the Force for three counts of use of force and discreditable conduct and one count of discreditable conduct and honesty and integrity.

“PC Leighton’s conduct was alleged to have breached the standards of Professional Behaviour in respect of Use of Force, contrary to Police (Conduct) Regulations 2012, on three separate occasions.

“The first was on Wednesday, July 10, 2019 whilst responding to reports of a burglary at a property in Scunthorpe.

“The second incident was on Sunday, September 29, 2019 whilst assisting officers with an arrest in Scunthorpe. The third incident took place on Tuesday, October 1, 2019 when speaking to a teenage victim of an alleged assault.

“It was also alleged that PC Leighton’s conduct breached the standards of Professional Behaviour in respect of Honesty and Integrity on Wednesday, October 2, 2019 when he allegedly refused to pay upfront for a taxi ride before getting into an altercation with the taxi driver.

“The three-day hearing was scheduled in front of a misconduct panel comprising of an independent member, a senior police officer and a legally qualified chair person.

“PC Leighton’s actions were found to have amounted to gross misconduct and he was dismissed with immediate effect.”

Head of Professional Standards, Detective Superintendent Matt Baldwin said: “Our officers are expected to act with integrity and professionalism at all times. In this case PC Leighton’s actions were repeatedly unacceptable and discreditable.

“We will not accept any officer or member of staff behaving in a way that fails to uphold or maintain their responsibility to serve and protect the public in our area. It is of paramount importance that we maintain the public’s trust and confidence by removing those who behave in a way that undermines this from the force.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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