Page last updated at 15:40 GMT, Friday, 25 July 2008 16:40 UK

Pc convicted of assaulting child

Daniel Gaffney
Daniel Gaffney had pleaded not guilty to assault

A police officer has been convicted of assaulting a 12-year-old boy at a Manchester police station.

Pc Daniel Gaffney, 30, of Greater Manchester Police, admitted punching the boy, but said he was acting in self-defence.

He had pleaded not guilty to assault, but Warrington magistrates rejected his defence claim.

Gaffney attacked the boy in November last year at Didsbury police station after the boy was arrested.

Gaffney, of Northwich, Cheshire, a response officer with Greater Manchester Police for nearly seven years, initially lied to his bosses, claiming the boy fell.

A day later he admitted punching him with a force equivalent to seven or eight out of 10, he said, bursting the boy's nose.

He is a highly-trained police officer, yet he chose to resort to this type of violence against a 12-year-old boy
Naseem Malik
IPCC Commissioner

He told deputy district judge Timothy Gascoyne that the child had intimidated him.

The boy was arrested at a children's home in Wythenshawe after drinking vodka with a friend and threatening staff with a fence post.

At the police station the boy claimed to have a gun and Gaffney took him off to be strip-searched.

But by the time a colleague arrived to help, Gaffney had assaulted the boy.

'Totally unacceptable'

The judge said: "My rejection of the self-defence argument is reinforced by the fact Pc Gaffney immediately, having been spoken to about the matter, lied - and there is no other word for it.

"He lies to his federation representative, he lies to the inspector and he lies to the police surgeon called out to examine him."

"I accept there might have been an initial wish not to make the matter clear but by the third telling of events he is sticking to his story.

"He panicked because his actions would have resulted almost certainly in the end of his police career."

Following the verdict IPCC Commissioner Naseem Malik said: "Pc Gaffney's actions were totally unacceptable.

"He is a highly trained police officer, yet he chose to resort to this type of violence against a 12-year-old boy.

"It is notable that Pc Gaffney's colleagues raised concerns about his actions and that should be commended."

The case has been adjourned until 27 August 2008 for pre-sentence reports. He is also due to face a police disciplinary hearing.

Pc punched boy 'in self-defence'
16 Jul 08 |  Manchester
Pc denies boy's custody assault
12 Jun 08 |  Manchester

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