Chadwell Heath police officer denies assaulting pro-Brexit protester
PUBLISHED: 12:31 29 August 2019 | UPDATED: 14:07 29 August 2019
A serving police officer based in Chadwell Heath accused of elbowing a pro-Brexit protester in the face before punching him four times has appeared in court.
Connor Pennery, 27, is alleged to have assaulted Terrence Dwyer after a scuffle between so-called yellow vest activists and police during a march between Whitehall and Piccadilly on February 16.
Prosecutors accept Mr Dwyer used force against police before running away but said Mr Pennery used "excessive force" as the alleged victim was being detained by other officers.
The Metropolitan Police officer is said to have hit Mr Dwyer with an "elbow strike" to the face and punched him four times to the face as he lay on the ground.
Mr Pennery, wearing glasses, a white shirt, red tie and dark blue trousers, appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Wednesday (August 28) charged with assault by beating in Jermyn Street, central London.
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He stood in front of the dock to confirm his name, date of birth and nationality as British before being asked to give his address in Sawston, Cambridgeshire, following a failed application by his lawyers to have it withheld.
Mr Pennery, who is attached to the Met's Territorial Support Group at Chadwell Heath, pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The court heard he will say he used "reasonable force that was not unlawful" after he was twice punched in the face by Mr Dwyer.
District Judge Michael Snow granted Mr Pennery unconditional bail until his trial at Westminster Magistrates' Court at a date to be set.
Mr Pennery, who has been placed on restricted duties, was charged by postal requisition earlier this month following an investigation by the police watchdog, the Independent Office for Police Conduct.
Six other people were also charged over the February 16 demonstration - when activists wore yellow high-visibility vests like those worn by protesters in France during anti-Government rallies - it was announced at the time.