A former Peterborough officer who was cleared by a jury of dangerous driving after he accidentally ran over a suspect committed gross misconduct, a police panel has ruled.
PC Lee Rumsey from Peterborough was found unanimously not guilty by a jury after a four day trial at Cambridge Crown Court but quit Cambridgeshire police after discovering he would still face a gross misconduct hearing.
The 51-year-old served the public for 19 years but claims the “21 months of sheer hell” he went through before his acquittal in May forced him onto antidepressants and took a terrible toll on his family.
He also told the Peterborough Telegraph he had been “betrayed” by the force which he has quit to become a truck driver in Peterborough.
Today, he was found to have breached standards of professional behaviour by an independent panel which stated that he would have been given a final written warning had he remained a serving officer.
He had previously been charged after chasing down the suspect in Morley Way, Woodston - who he claims was doing 81mph in a 30mph zone - only for him to “accidentally” press the accelerator of his police car, resulting in him knocking over the suspect.
Speaking after his acquittal, but before the police hearing, Mr Rumsey told the Peterborough Telegraph his mum’s dying wish was for him to quit the force because of the way he had been treated and that he felt “tremendously let down” with no charges being brought against the Mercedes driver who had been arrested for failing to stop, driving a suspected stolen vehicle, possession of cannabis, driving with no insurance, theft of petrol and possession of a knife.
He said: “Mentally and physically I can’t go through a gross misconduct hearing.
“The court case was horrendous. I went into a very dark place I never want to go into again. I will not let them put me and my family through a three day trial for something I have been found unanimously not guilty of in court.
“The judge at the trial said I was completely exonerated and thanked me for my exemplary 19 years of public service.
“I’m on sleeping tablets and antidepressants when before I was always full of life and a joker. I’m a shadow of the person I was and I have the police to thank for that.
“They spent more than £100,000 (prosecuting) a good cop trying to do his job. I’m a human who has made a mistake which I have been honest and upfront about, but I still had to go through four days in a criminal court while the suspect was released.
“It’s not as if there was no evidence - it was all captured on the car video. Criminal papers were never sent to the Crown Prosecution Service to see if prosecutions should be brought. Where’s the justice?”