Merseyside Police officer dismissed after telling woman ‘I’ll break your f*** neck’

Body cam footage showed the Merseyside Police officer holding a woman by her throat and pushing her against a wall.

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A Merseyside cop has been barred from policing after threatening to break a domestic assault victim’s neck.

PC Robert Marshall, a response officer, was dismissed on Wednesday, after appearing before an independent panel in relation to allegations that he had used excessive force against a woman, believed to be a victim of domestic assault.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) spent four months investigating the incident, which occurred when PC Marshall attended a report of a domestic assault at a hotel in Liverpool in July last year.

The investigation: The IOPC reviewed extensive body-worn video footage obtained from the incident, in addition to 999 calls, disciplinary records and local and national force policies, as well as obtaining accounts from the officers present at the incident.

Evidence gathered by IOPC investigators showed PC Marshall “used an angry and confrontational tone of voice before taking hold of the victim by her throat, pushing her against the wall and pinning her there momentarily after she had removed the officer’s tie.”

According to the IOPC: “Body-worn footage from another officer captured PC Marshall telling the woman: “Don’t f…. grab me, love, or I’ll break your f….. neck.”

“The footage also showed that after the woman became resistant to being handcuffed, PC Marshall reapplied his forearm to the woman’s throat and pinned her against the wall for a second time. She then fell to the floor in an apparent momentary loss of consciousness.”

Gross misconduct: In November 2022, the IOPC found that Robert Marshall had a case to answer for gross misconduct and referred the case to the Crown Prosecution Service, which decided not to authorise any criminal charges. 

Merseyside Police confirmed that Marshall was today (September 13) dismissed without notice and placed on the College of Policing barred register.

Merseyside Police response

A spokesperson for the force told LiverpoolWorld: “The hearing heard that Constable Marshall repeatedly used an excessive amount of force when restraining a woman, who was not under arrest, which was not necessary, proportionate, or reasonable.

“He also failed to treat the woman with authority, respect and courtesy in the way he aggressively spoke to her and failed in his duties and responsibilities as a police officer by not completing a use of force form following the incident. The hearing found that his actions would undermine public confidence in the police and amounted to discreditable conduct.”

Chief Superintendent Jennifer Wilson, head of Merseyside Police’s Professional Standards Department, said PC Marshall’s was “clearly unacceptable and further compounded by the fact that the woman he restrained had herself been the victim of a domestic assault.”

She continued: ”It is right that his actions on that night were examined by the Professional Standards Department and the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) and he was brought to task.

“Merseyside Police has been relentless in its efforts to improve the service we provide to women and girls by building trust and confidence; relentlessly pursuing perpetrators and establishing safer spaces and we have worked tirelessly alongside our partners including local authorities, support agencies and the third sector, to protect women and girls who are faced with violence and sexual abuse.

“Violence against women and girls in any form in not acceptable. We have made several changes in our policing response to improve the service we provide to women and girls, and we will continue to identify areas for improvements including the ongoing training and education of our officers and staff.”