03 August 2023

Ex-Met officer jailed for stag do assault would have been sacked, hearing rules

03 August 2023

A Metropolitan Police officer would have been sacked from the force if he had not resigned after being convicted of sexual assault, a misconduct hearing has ruled.

Former sergeant Laurence Knight, 34, who was attached to Met Detention, was jailed at Southwark Crown Court on July 28 for 12 months for sexually assaulting a woman in the sea following his stag do.

Knight, of Leyton, east London, resigned from the Met after his conviction in June for sexual assault by a jury who also found him not guilty of rape.

On Thursday Scotland Yard said an accelerated misconduct hearing had found that Knight would have been dismissed without notice were he still in post.

Chief Superintendent Peter Gardner, responsible for Met Detention, said: “Knight’s actions were thoroughly reprehensible and I recognise his behaviour would have further damaged the public’s trust in the police.

“The Commissioner has been clear that there is no place in the Met for officers who corrupt our integrity.

“Knight was suspended as soon as his offending came to light and had he not resigned he would have been dismissed with immediate effect.”

Knight will now be added to the Barred List held by the College of Policing. He cannot be employed by police, local policing bodies, the Independent Office for Police Conduct or His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services.

At his crown court sentencing, Knight was given an additional 12 months on licence, issued with a restraining order and placed on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.

Knight is said to have met the woman, a stranger, in Brighton city centre in the early hours of July 17 2021.

Prosecutors said they walked to the beach together, stripped down to their underwear and ended up in the sea, where sexual activity took place.

Scotland Yard said Knight was arrested on 28 July 2021.

The Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards was informed and he was suspended from duty.

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