Met police officer fined £1,500 for grabbing mother in wrongful arrest over bus fare

14 June 2024, 14:38

Perry Lathwood has been fined £1,500.
Perry Lathwood has been fined £1,500. Picture: Alamy

By Jenny Medlicott

A Metropolitan Police officer has been fined £1,500 for assault after manhandling and wrongly arresting a woman for bus fare evasion in front of her son.

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PC Perry Lathwood, 50, grabbed mother Jocelyn Agyemang by the arm, causing bruising injuries when she was wrongly arrested last year in Croydon, south London.

Ms Agyemang said the incident was "deeply humiliating and embarrassing”, in a victim personal statement read out at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Friday.

She said the events had a "devastating effect" on her and her young son, who have now both lost confidence in the police service.

Ms Agyemang was dropping her son off at her mother’s house before heading to an appointment in Marylebone scheduled for 12:30pm on July 21 last year.

Police officers had been helping ticket inspectors on a bus in Croydon at the time.

"She does not hand it over and she walks off," Mr Jarvis ahe had paid for her fare by a bus inspector, prosecuting Paul Jarvis told the court.

"She does not hand it over and she walks off," Mr Jarvis added.

"It is at this moment that PC Lathwood becomes involved."

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Perry Lathwood was handed the fine on Friday.
Perry Lathwood was handed the fine on Friday. Picture: Alamy

Lathwood then put a hand on her, but Ms Agyemang moved away, so he grabbed her arm and arrested her for fare evasion, Mr Javis added.

A crowd then gathered, with people filming the officer and asking why he had arrested Ms Agyemang.

Lathwood demanded she tap her Oyster card to check she had paid and handcuffed her.

Another officer then took Ms Agyemang's Oyster card to check if she had paid and she was de-arrested after the force confirmed she had paid her fare.

Deputy Senior District Judge Tan Ikram sentenced the 50-year-old officer, of Normans Bay, East Sussex, saying: "On this occasion in my judgement the officer crossed the line and got it wrong.

"It was not through bad faith.

"He faced a passenger who I have previously described as difficult and challenging but in my judgment he made a momentary error of judgment as it were in the heat of the moment."

The judge added that he did not find it was "an abuse of power", but was instead a "mistake".

The court heard that Lathwood does not accept the conviction and that he will appeal against it.

On top of the fine, he was ordered to pay £200 to the victim in compensation, £650 in costs and a victim surcharge of £600.

He will have to pay the total £2,950 within 56 days.

In Lathwood's defence, the court was told "there was no harm intended (and) he was trying to do his job".