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A police officer who punched a suspected shoplifter in the head before pinning her to the ground has been sentenced to a community order.

PC James Kiddie, 45, was called to the Uniqlo clothing store in Regent Street, after Sarah Reed, 30, was held by security guards in November 2012.

Kiddie said “snarling” Ms Reed bit his finger and said she had the Aids virus.

Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard Ms Reed was later convicted of shoplifting.

Previous complaints

Kiddie, attached to Westminster borough, was found guilty of common assault by Judge Elizabeth Roscoe on 19 February after a three-day trial.

CCTV footage played to the court showed him pushing Ms Reed into a chair, grabbing her by the hair and hitting her on the head as she lay on the floor, before leaning on her neck until back-up arrived.

Judge Roscoe, sentencing Kiddie to a 150-hour community order, said she accepted his actions had been “an instinctive and immediate retaliation in anger”.

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