Emma Homer said that Oliver Banfield was ‘acting out a twisted fantasy’ (Pictures: Mirrorpix/Channel4)
A mum who was attacked by an off-duty policeman has spoken out about the man she says was ‘out of control’.
Emma Homer, 36, was put into a headlock, pulled to the ground and dragged along the pavement by Oliver Banfield at about 1am on July 26 last year. He then called her a ‘f****** slag’ as she made her escape.
After the trial at Leicester Magistrates’ Court, Ms Homer told The Mirror: ‘It was a violent assault, a man acting out a twisted fantasy, on a lone female.
‘He was out of control. I believe it would have been far, far worse if my attacker’s girlfriend hadn’t hauled him off.’
On Friday Banfield was spared jail over the assault. The court heard how he had shouted at Ms Homer to get ‘on the floor now’ and pretended to call for back-up.
After pleading guilty to assault by beating, he was handed a 14-week curfew, where he is not allowed to leave the house between 7pm and 7am. He also has to pay £500 compensation, a £95 victim surcharge and £85 court costs.
He has since been suspended from West Midlands Police, and will face gross misconduct allegations at a hearing which will determine whether he can continue to work for the force.
Ms Homer slammed Warwickshire Police’s handling of her case. She said it took more than 30 hours for an officer to take statement over the phone, nine days for an officer to come and see her and eight weeks for an officer to conduct house-to-house enquiries.
The CPS then chose not to prosecute last September, but changed their mind after Ms Homer and the Women’s Justice Centre had the decision reviewed.
Warwickshire Police has since personally apologised to Mrs Homer admitting its ‘initial response to the report of the assault was not as swift as it should have been’.
In a victim impact statement, Ms Homer said: ‘I often ask myself if the impact of the attack would have been so severe if my assailant was not a police officer.
Emma Homer said being assaulted by a police officer has ‘shook her belief system to its core’ (Picture: Mirrorpix)
‘During the assault as I struggled to get to safety, I was sure this drunk man was fulfilling a violent cop movie fantasy.
‘To be verbally abused with misogynistic slang, grabbed by the neck, and forced to the floor on a dark road by a drunk man a foot taller than me is terrifying, but to then find that he was a police officer shook my belief system to its core.
‘I considered myself a confident, relaxed, and independent wife and mother but since the attack I live with constant anxiety.
‘I have changed simple things like my route home, and I have had to ask my family not to discuss the case as it sends me into a panic attack – indeed whenever the subject is brought up I feel a rush of anxiety and a tightening at my throat.’
Oliver Banfield will have to live under a 14-week curfew from 7pm and 7am (Picture: Mirrorpix)
Warwickshire Police chief superintendent Ben Smith said he understood ‘the concerns relating to violence against women and girls nationally’. He added that the force had a review into how it handled Ms Homer’s case which ‘ultimately led to the charge and prosecution of the perpetrator’.
West Midlands District Crown Prosecutor Rachel Adams said: ‘The CPS takes violence against women and girls extremely seriously and will continue to robustly prosecute offences arising from this sort of behaviour.
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‘I authorised a charge of assault by beating against Oliver Banfield after a referral under the victim’s right to review process, and I have personally engaged with the victim and her family throughout the proceedings.’
Deputy Chief Constable Vanessa Jardine, of West Midlands Police, said: ‘To protect the criminal case we’ve not been able to carry out our own misconduct investigation until its conclusion.
‘Now sentencing has taken place, our investigation will be carried out and PC Banfield faces allegations of gross misconduct and is currently suspended.’
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