Former police officer who assaulted teen becomes first to forfeit pension
- Credit: Sumner
A former police officer who was jailed after kicking a handcuffed teen in the face has been made to forfeit part of his pension – the first case of its kind in Avon and Somerset.
Colleagues were left “upset and disgusted” when Adam Kitchener “used his foot as a weapon” and told the 15-year-old boy sarcastically: “Oops, sorry mate, I didn’t see you there.”
He resigned from Avon and Somerset Constabulary the day before he was jailed for 14 weeks after admitting assault.
He had been in uniform for 10 years and joined the force in 2016 after previously working for Thames Valley and the Metropolitan Police.
Chief constable Andy Marsh told a misconduct panel in November 2019 Kitchener, then 36, would have been sacked if he had not already resigned.
Police officers can be made to forfeit their pensions if they are convicted of a criminal offence committed in connection with their service as a member of a police force that could result in a serious loss of confidence.
In her final weeks as police and crime commissioner, Sue Mountstevens ruled that Kitchener should lose 10 per cent of his pension.
A spokesperson for her office said this was the first pension forfeiture in Avon and Somerset.
The decision notice said: “Having taken into consideration all relevant factors, details of the pension of which Mr Kitchener is entitled, and considering the pension regulations, it is my decision that Mr Kitchener should forfeit 10 per cent of his pension forthwith.
“The forfeiture is not greater than 65 per cent of the pension remaining after taking into account the officer’s own contributions to the pension, which cannot be subject to forfeiture.”
The value of the forfeiture is dependent on many variables and was considered by several people including the PCC, the chief executive of her office and an independent panel member, alongside legal advice that considered stated cases.
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Following a complaint, inspectors at the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) launched an investigation into Kitchener’s use of force on the boy.
A colleague told investigators he was in “disbelief” and he had “never seen such use of force in 10 years of policing”.
Following the investigation, IOPC regional director Catrin Evans said: “Police officers should only use force when necessary, proportionate and reasonable in the circumstances.
“We carried out a thorough investigation after complaints were made about a 15-year-old boy being kicked in the face by former PC Kitchener during an arrest.
“The evidence strongly suggested the level of force used by the officer was disproportionate.”