A police officer’s career lay in tatters after he was found guilty of viciously beating up a man on a night out.
Martin Lovett, 34, was left covered in blood and required hospital treatment after he was jumped on by the officer.
He was repeatedly kicked in the face and was heard letting out ‘screams of terror’ as he was attacked.
The former cage fighter was left covered in blood from a laceration above his eye and had to have hospital treatment.
Hove Crown Court heard PC Robert Rangeley (left) and his colleague PC Paul Bridger (right) had been had been enjoying a night out in Maxim’s Bar in Eastbourne when the incident took place. Rangeley was found guilty of assault causing actual bodily harm following an 11 day trial
Today PC Robert Rangeley, 39, was found guilty of assault causing actual bodily harm following an 11 day trial.
He narrowly avoided a jail term was told he will face a community penalty when he is sentenced next month.
Hove Crown Court heard PC Robert Rangeley and his colleague PC Paul Bridger, 39, had been had been enjoying a night out in Maxim’s Bar in Eastbourne.
They had been sat at a bar with Mr Lovett, a former cage fighter, Sean Kinsella, a martial arts instructor, and his girlfriend Karis.
The group were seen laughing and joking together but as they spilled out onto the streets after last orders at 2pm an argument broke out.
The jury heard Mr Kinsella became involved in a heated argument with his drunken girlfriend and appeared to ‘manhandle’ her.
PC Robert Rangeley objected and said he was going to ‘batter’ Mr Kinsella unless he stopped.
But Mr Lovett stepped in and said: ‘That’s not going to happen’ and there was an exchange which resulted in PC Rangeley being punched and falling to the floor.
The court heard Mr Lovett walked off down the street but was followed by both officers who were intent on exacting revenge.
When Mr Lovett had walked some way down the street they allegedly jumped on him, dragging him to the floor and subjected him to a punishment beating.
Giving evidence, Mr Lovett, said: ‘I was being attacked. They were on top of me. I was on the floor, in the foetal position with my hands trying to cover my face.
‘I was being kicked in the face by one of them. I couldn’t move. My face and head were still being kicked. One of them was saying he was going to kill me.’
The court heard one officer had Mr Lovett in a headlock while the other was trying to restrain him by holding his arms behind his back.
Martin Lovett, 34, was left covered in blood and required hospital treatment after he was jumped on by PC Rangeley
Eventually bar staff from Maxim’s intervened and PC Bridger, who was already on a final warning from Sussex Police, walked off.
Mr Lovett told the court: ‘I was absolutely caked in blood. I couldn’t see out of my right eye and I couldn’t hear out of my left ear.’
An ambulance was called and Mr Lovett was taken to hospital suffering from a laceration above his right eye.
PC Rangeley was arrested at the scene and his colleague was arrested later the same day.
Both officers claimed they were acting in self-defence after Mr Lovett was aggressive towards him.
But after deliberating for eight hours and 39 minutes, the jury of seven men and five women found PC Rangeley guilty of assault. They found PC Paul Bridger not guilty on a majority verdict.
PC Rangeley will be sentenced next month on June 25.
Detective Superintendent Steve Boniface, head of the Professional Standards Department, said: ‘Sussex Police expects the highest personal and professional standards of anyone who works for us and any allegations of behaviour that do not meet those standards are rigorously investigated.
‘On rare occasions, these investigations are of a criminal nature, leading to trials such as this and it is entirely right that they should. While the incident occurred while the officers were off-duty, both were suspended from their posts and we will now consider what disciplinary action they should face.
‘It is important to show that the force has the ability to fairly investigate its own staff and this highlights our determination not to allow the name of Sussex Police to be tainted, nor bring into disrepute the enormous amount of good work carried out day-to-day by thousands of hard-working and enormously dedicated police officers and staff.’