A traffic policeman in London, UK, who choked a driver for “hissing” at him has walked free from court according to an Evening Standard report.
William Eliot, 45, grabbed Adebowale Odumosu by the throat until his eyes bulged “like a cartoon character”.
Mr Odomosu begged “please don’t kill me” during the attack, Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard.
Eliot and colleague PC Robert Hughes had stopped Mr Odumosu in the Terminal Three car park at Heathrow Airport on suspicion of being a taxi tout last August.
Mr Odomosu was not arrested, but his car was impounded because his tyres were too worn.
PC Hughes said Mr Odumosu kept “hissing at him” or “kissing his teeth” – sucking air sharply through his teeth to make a loud tutting noise – while the officer was inspecting the car.
Eliot became angry and told Mr Odumosu: “If you kiss your teeth at me again I’m going to punch them into the back of your throat.”
PC Hughes said Eliot repeated the threat on five different occasions when Mr Odomosu continued to make the noise.
He added: “It took me by surprise, it was obviously quite an aggressive thing to say.”
PC Hughes said his colleague grabbed Mr Odumosu for no more than 10 seconds, but he was squeezing so hard Mr Odumosu’s eyes were bulging from his head.
“He held him around the throat with his hand, Mr Odumosu looked terrified, his eyes were cartoon-like in that they were bulging out of his head.”
Mr Odumosu denied ever kissing his teeth at Eliot but claimed the officer suddenly grabbed him round the neck and squeezed it hard for up to three minutes.
He told the court: “He got me around the neck with his right hand and he forced me against a metal barrier.”
He said the assault caused him long-term neck pain and made it difficult to eat for several days afterwards.
Eliot claimed he only restrained Mr Odumosu using a normal grip after Mr Odumosu spat at him.
He said PC Hughes was busy playing on his phone in the front seat of the car and did not see the incident.
“I was less than impressed by my colleague’s behaviour, I would have expected him to be keeping an eye on the individual we were talking to –
talking to him, explaining what’s going on, just keeping him in the area.”
Eliot claimed PC Hughes may have a grudge because he refused to support Hughes’ bid for a promotion.
PC Hughes reported the incident to a senior officer the same day but did not mention the assault.
Eliot was found guilty of common assault after a trial earlier this month.
District Judge John Zani handed Eliot a 12-week term, suspended for 18 months.
He also ordered him to undertake 200 hours of unpaid work and send Mr Odumosu £500 compensation.
Judge Zani told Eliot the assault amounted to “the gratuitous degradation of a victim in a public place”.
‘The evidence against you, as presented by the Crown, was in my view utterly overwhelming.’
Passing sentence, the judge: “Remorse is often very important, so that we acknowledge were we are wrong, but you seem either incapable or unwilling to do that.
“I am just of the view, but it has been within a hair’s width, that the term of imprisonment is going to be suspended.”
Judge Zani added: “I take into account in this matter that you have been a police officer of long-standing impeccable character, and I have read an array of references.
“I ask myself why would PC Hughes have come here and given me this evidence if it wasn’t truthful evidence.”
Eliot, of Charlton Road, Shepperton, Surrey, denied common assault by beating.
He now faces police disciplinary proceedings.