West Midlands Police officer who assaulted woman on her way home avoids jail
20 Mar 2021
PC Oliver Banfield, 25, from West Midlands Police has avoided jail time after admitting to drunkenly attacking a woman who was walking home alone whilst off-duty.
Instead he was given a 7pm-7am curfew and ordered to pay £680 at Leicester Crown Court on Friday, for his assault by beating on Emma Homer, 37.
In what the victim Mrs Homer believes to be him “fulfilling a violent cop movie fantasy”, CCTV played in court showed Banfield using techniques taught during police training to grab his victim around the neck and try to pull her to the ground as she walked home, even calling her a “fucking slag” for good measure.
“To be verbally abused with misogynistic slang, grabbed by the neck, and forced to the floor on a dark road by a drunk man a foot taller than me is terrifying, but to then find that he was a police officer shook my belief system to its core,” the victim said.
She also said it had taken “more than 30 hours for an officer to take a telephone statement”, “nine days for an officer to come and see her”, and “eight weeks for an officer to conduct house-to-house enquiries”.
Banfield’s lawyer argued against a sentence of community service, claiming it would difficult for his client to work with criminals.
West Midlands Police, Deputy chief constable Vanessa Jardine said: “Oliver Banfield was removed from public-facing police duties after the assault and while the investigation by Warwickshire Police was being carried out.
“We understand the strength of feeling surrounding the desperately sad death of Sarah Everard and concerns on the issue of women’s safety but it would not be appropriate for us to comment further at this stage.”
Banfield is currently suspended from his post with West Midlands police and faces allegations of gross misconduct.