Policeman facing sack after attacking autistic schoolboy in row at kids’ football match

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PC Darren Moore faces the boot from Police Scotland after being found guilty of assaulting and injuring the 13-year-old boy by hitting him in the face

Darren Moore
Darren Moore

A police officer attacked an autistic schoolboy in a violent row after a children’s football match.

PC Darren Moore faces the boot from Police Scotland after being found guilty of assaulting and injuring the 13-year-old boy by hitting him in the face, Daily Record reports.

A sheriff told Moore she believed the child’s evidence was more credible and reliable than his and found him guilty after a trial at Dundee Sheriff Court.

Sheriff Alison Michie fined Moore £750 and said: “Both you and the complainer spoke to the fact he was wanting to tell you what happened during the course of the incident on the pitch.

“The issue is who is the aggressor and whether it is the complainer or yourself? Your position was that you did this in self-defence.

“I found the evidence of the complainer and other Crown witnesses to be credible and reliable, and I do not find the position outlined by you to be credible.

“I’m asked to accept that a 13-year-old has approached you for no apparent reason and tried to head butt you. I did not accept that.

“In your evidence you refused to concede that he was clearly a child at the time. You insisted on calling him ‘the male aggressor.’

“His mother speaks to your aggressive demeanour and derogatory remarks about her son and you told her you slapped him.

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“You denied that in evidence, but in your Facebook message to your supervising officer you referred to a ‘push / slap’ to get him away.”

Solicitor Ross Donnelly, defending, said: “Clearly the consequences that follow from conviction will be considerable in terms of his employment.”

Moore, 42, from Dundee, was found guilty of attacking and injuring the 13-year-old boy by “forcefully pressing his hand against his head, pushing him on the body causing him to fall to the ground and striking him on the face.”

He was found guilty of attacking and injuring the 13-year-old boy

The boy told the court a group of young children had been playing football in a park when the game ended after a bad tackle led to a stand-up fight.

He said he was walking one of the boys to a nearby shop to get a drink when he was confronted by Moore, who appeared to be aggressive and angry.

“I had never met him before,” the teenager told the court.

“He walked aggressively towards me. I tried to tell him what happened.

“He was bigger than me. He was broader. He put his head on me. I’m sure he grabbed me [on the collar] and punched me on the left cheek.

“It happened that fast I did not have time to think. I fell instantly from the force of the impact from the punch. I have got a picture of the handprint on my face. I went to the hospital.”

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The boy’s friend, now 15, said he saw the attack and noticed how the victim was left feeling anxious and had a large and obvious bruise on his face.

The victim’s mother told the court: “He was really upset, saying he had been assaulted. He had marks on his face. He was in distress.”

She went to Moore’s home to discuss the incident and said: “He was quite aggressive and swearing at me, telling me my son was a little s**t. He said he slapped him.”

Moore, who denied the attack and claimed he acted in self-defence, told the trial: “At the time he was a male aggressor. We now know he was a child.

“I put in a strike, from my training, and caught him in the upper chest and face. He lost his footing and has fallen on the ground.”

Moore messaged Sgt Rory Duncan, 44, and said: “Looking for advice. The lad put his head on my nose and pushed forward and my reaction was to push / slap him on the face to get away.

“Feel s**t mate. Could my job be at risk? I have to think about that.”

Sheriff Michie rejected former postman Moore’s claim that he acted in self-defence and said it would have been obvious that his victim was a young boy.

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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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