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Met Police officer ‘broke taxi driver’s jaw’ after demanding he hand over keys

A Metropolitan Police officer allegedly broke the jaw of a taxi driver after forcing him to pull over and insisting he hand over the keys to his car, a court heard.

According to Essex Live, officer Gareth Head allegedly flew into a fit of rage when the driver questioned whether not he was a policeman after pulling up near the copper’s home on Westbourne Drive, Brentwood.

The 45-year-old, who was a constable at the time of the assault, reportedly kept repeating that he was a police officer after he and a friend hailed the taxi in the early hours of May 28, 2018 on Brentwood High Street.

But when the driver asked to see his police identification, Head allegedly grew more and more angry before attacking the driver after the car pulled over.

Head, along with Paul Roden-Flame, 44, of Oathall Road, Haywards Heath, deny religiously aggravated grievous bodily harm and are standing trial at Basildon Crown Court.

Taking to the witness box on Monday (October 4), the taxi driver told the jury that he had finished work at a restaurant in Brentwood at around midnight.

He then decided to put on his taxi light to pick up a quick fare as he drove down a busy high street before he went home at around 12.15am on May 28.

He said a man had flagged him down, and then Head and Roden-Flame got into the blue Ford Mondeo, with Head in the back and Roden-Flame in the front.

The driver said he didn’t believe either man to be drunk, but that they had both “had a drink”. Comments were then allegedly made by Head about the state of his car.

The driver said: “He said ‘Your car is dirty’. I said ‘I have just finished work, I didn’t have time to clear it up.’

“I tried to keep my head down and just drive.”

The driver then asked to see identification after Head told him he was a serving police officer.

The driver added: “I said can you show me your badge please. At that point he was more aggressive.”

“When we pulled into the road, he said it again that he was a police officer. At that point he had already hit me three times on the shoulder.”

The driver said he did not know why Head was telling him that he was a police officer, but then as they neared the destination he demanded the car be stopped and for the keys to be given to him.

He said: “If he had shown me the badge I would have given him the car keys but he didn’t.

“He told me to turn the engine off.”

The driver said that up to that point, Roden-Flame “hadn’t done anything” and was “just smirking and laughing”.

The court heard that Head then got out of the rear car door, walked around the vehicle and opened the driver’s door.

The driver continued: “The first thing he did, he said ‘give me the car keys you f***ing c***’. I said to him to show me his ID.

“At that point he got more aggressive and was pounding into me straight away.”

Ms Nash, prosecuting the case, asked: “How many times did he punch you?”

The driver said: “About seven to eight times.

“It was very hard force.”

Ms Nash said: “What were you doing at that point?”

The driver said: “I told him to stop it. The last few punches I started screaming because it was really painful.

“I was putting my hands up to cover the blows. The guy in the other seat was putting my hands down.”

The driver said with both men out of the car, he took the chance to reverse away and flee the scene, and later called the police at about 1.47pm.

He then saw a GP about his injuries, and was referred to hospital.

The trial continues.

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