Police officer sacked over assault

A POLICE officer who assaulted a tugboat captain and then refused to help him as he lay dying has been fired, the East Anglian Daily Times can reveal.

James Hore

A POLICE officer who assaulted a tugboat captain and then refused to help him as he lay dying has been fired, the East Anglian Daily Times can reveal.

Pc Gary Jay forced his way into Captain Ronnie O'Reilly's Clacton home after he heard the 48-year-old shouting at his young son.

Then during a confrontation with the family he assaulted both Capt O'Reilly and his wife, Moira.


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Capt O'Reilly collapsed to the floor and was later rushed to Colchester General Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

A post-mortem examination following the incident in June 2007 showed the popular 48-year-old granddad, who worked at Felixstowe Docks, had died from chronic heart disease.

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Jay, 42, had already been convicted at trial last year of two counts of assault but was kept on as an officer.

However, he has now been given an instant dismissal following a police misconduct hearing.

Jay did not turn up to Wednesday's hearing at police headquarters but a disciplinary panel dismissed him for the criminal convictions.

He was also sacked for the separate issue of failing to request and/or provide medical attention during Mrs O'Reilly's desperate attempts to help her husband as he lay dying on the kitchen floor.

The shamed policeman was also reprimanded for failing to treat the couple with respect and fined two lots of 10 days wages for forcing his way into the property and then lying to fellow officers about calling an ambulance.

Last night mother-of-three Mrs O'Reilly, who now lives in Felixstowe, said she felt relief at the decision.

She told the EADT: “He should not be a police officer and for Essex Police to agree with me means more than the criminal convictions.

“It has been two years since it happened and they have been a really hard two years, made harder by Gary Jay denying everything and telling lies in court about Ronnie.

“Then he appealed about it, so we had to give evidence a second time and now I have given evidence for a third time at the hearing.”

The family still have to face the inquest into the death, but Mrs O'Reilly said the hearing had restored some of the faith she had lost in the police.

“Ronnie did not deserve that end to his life - Gary Jay should not have even been in the house that night.

“He was totally in the wrong that night and everything he did was totally opposed to what a police officer should stand for.”

Mrs O'Reilly also said it was “disgusting” that Jay had been on full pay despite after the assault convictions and his failed appeal earlier this year.

Chief Supt Dave Folkard, head of professional standards at Essex Police, said: “We again extend our condolences to Mrs O'Reilly and her family for the loss of her husband and are aware of the difficult time they have experienced since his death.

“As a force, Essex Police is committed to ensuring the highest standards of professionalism and care are extended to the public and Gary Jay's actions fell far below what was expected of any member of our staff.

“We investigated his actions, put him before the court and have now dismissed him.”

Last July Jay stood trial at Southend Magistrates' Court and was convicted of two charges of assault and then at Basildon Crown Court this March his appeal against the convictions was dismissed.

He was sentenced to a 12-month supervision order, ordered to complete 200 hours community service and to pay �3,000 court costs in addition to the �2,000 costs from the initial trial.

james.hore@eadt.co.uk

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