Page last updated at 11:36 GMT, Friday, 11 July 2008 12:36 UK

Death assault officer spared jail

A policeman has been given a three-month suspended jail sentence for assaulting a man who later died.

Pc Gary Jay, 41, was convicted of assaulting 48-year-old Ronnie O'Reilly and his wife at a house in Clacton, Essex, in June 2007.

He was convicted of two counts of common assault after a trial at Southend Magistrates' Court.

Mr O'Reilly collapsed during the incident and died. It emerged he was suffering from heart disease.

The district judge was told that Jay, who works for Essex Police, had assaulted Mr O'Reilly and his wife Moira, 43, after discovering Mr O'Reilly had been chastising his 12-year-old son.

The officer had pushed Mr O'Reilly and his wife after entering their home.

Mr O'Reilly then collapsed and initially Jay thought he was faking, the court heard.

Lawyers for the policeman told the court the officer would lose his job.

Essex Police said Jay had been on restricted duties since the incident and would face disciplinary procedures.

Jay was also ordered to pay 2,000 prosecution costs.


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