Police officer found guilty of assault
PUBLISHED: 15:35 17 October 2011
A TOP Metropolitan police officer, found guilty of causing common assault to a man having an “affair” with his wife, has avoided jail.
West Herts Magistrates’ Court heard this week how chief inspector David Mann gave Brian Cox an eye injury when he found him with his wife of nearly 15 years, Paula.
Mann, who is leading investigations into 250 rioting cases in Ealing, told the court he discovered Brookmans Park Royal Veterinary College (RVC) colleagues Mr Cox and Mrs Mann had been having an affair in December last year.
On July 6, 2011, as the father-of-two was driving to watch his son play football near the family home in Potters Bar, he said he saw his wife in the RVC car park with Mr Cox out of work hours.
Mann, 42, said he got out of his car, parked on the roadside, to approach his wife, who was in his other 4x4 vehicle, to make her admit to the affair and tell her how it was breaking up the family.
As he approached, he said, Mr Cox met him and grabbed his wrist and he did the same.
Neither let go, and Mrs Mann was trying to split them up.
Mann, now of Hospital Hill, Chesham, Buckinghamshire, said he grabbed Mr Cox’s shirt by the collar, with his arm fully stretched, but said he “absolutely did not punch” him.
“I was frustrated and upset. Inside I felt very sad, I did not feel aggressive.
“I wouldn’t have said it was particularly aggressive from either of us,” Mann said. “I know I did not cause that eye injury.”
As the confrontation first started, onlooker and RVC worker Lopez Alvarez ran to get on-site security guard Robert Reeves, to alert him of a “fight”.
Mr Reeves told the court he separated the duo.
He took away Mann, who he described to be the aggressor and “kept repeating how he had lost everything”, from Mr Cox, who had a “swollen” right eye that “had already started to bleed”.
Off-duty Met police officer Linda Rothern, who was at the college for her ill dog, also tried to separate them.
She told the court that Mann seemed “angry” and Mr Cox “looked like he didn’t want to be there”.
“I could see the guy in the grey [Mr Cox] had just been hit in the face, he had a small amount of blood on his right cheek and a big lump on the corner of his eye,” she said.
Defending, Rebecca Smith argued it was a “tussle” between two men and the injury could have been obtained at any point as no-one saw a “punch”.
While detective chief superintendent Andy Rowell described Mann, who has received more than 20 commendations, as one of the most “exceptional” officers he had ever worked with in his 28 years in the force.
He spoke of his calm personality in situations, which have included having a sawn-off shotgun being pointed in his face.
Despite declaring his “exemplary” character and admitting it was a “very difficult, emotional time”, chairman of the bench Gayle Webster said the evidence was “sufficient” to suggest Mr Mann caused the eye injury.
He was given a conditional discharge for 12 months, and ordered to pay £620 in costs.
A Met Police press officer said: “He [Mann] remains on restricted duties, awaiting a misconduct review, after he was found guilty.”
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