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Police Hearing Finds Convicted Officer Guilty of Gross Misconduct

Published on: 4 Jan, 2022
Updated on: 6 Jan, 2022

By Emily Coady-Stemp

local democracy reporter

A retired Surrey Police sergeant has been barred from policing after an assault on a restrained teenager while part of the force.

The former officer, who was part of Surrey Police’s Guildford neighbourhood team at the time of the incident, had already been found guilty of assault by beating at Brighton Magistrates Court in July 2021 and given a suspended sentence in October.

At a police misconduct hearing held in November, former Sergeant Terry Fry was found to have committed gross misconduct and was barred from returning to the police. The outcome was published this week.

The conviction related to the use of excessive force in June 2020 against a 15-year-old being held in police custody following his arrest for a number of offences, including assaulting police, racially aggravated public order and arson.

The teen had been restrained in a body cuff, leg restraints and a spit hood on the floor in his cell and, according to Surrey Police, was being extremely aggressive, violent and verbally abusive.

Sergeant Fry knelt on the floor next to the boy and put his left knee on his chest, before being pulled away by colleagues.

Chief Constable Gavin Stephens said had the officer still been serving, he would have been dismissed without notice and should be put on the College of Policing barred list.

He said that violence, even at the less serious end of the scale, and the fact the case involved a juvenile, “cause substantial damage to public trust and confidence in policing”.

He noted in a full adjudication document that he had heard in a submission on the former officer’s behalf that he did not intend to apply for any police roles in the future.

Chief Stephens added: “I find that this breach does amount to gross misconduct. That is a breach of the standards that is so serious as to justify dismissal.

“I find this on the basis that former PS Fry’s conduct led to a conviction, and that he was in a position of authority and control over a juvenile, who was in no position to pose any threat other than verbal.”

In October 2021, Sergeant Fry was sentenced to eight weeks’ imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, to 200 hours unpaid work, and to pay costs of £620 and a victim surcharge of £128.

He had retired from the Surrey Police in February 2021.

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