A policeman was caught on CCTV repeatedly punching a suspected woman shoplifter in the head.
James Kiddie attacked Sarah Reed after she was detained by security staff at Uniqlo in Regent Street, London.
But despite being convicted of assault yesterday the 45-year-old constable escaped with just a community order.
The shocking camera footage shows the married father-of-two grabbing his 30-year-old victim by the hair and lifting her out of a chair, while another camera captured him punching her three times as she lay in a corridor trying to shield herself.
Kiddie was convicted of assault last month and was today sentenced to a 12 month community order, requiring him to undertake 150 hours of unpaid work.
The father-of two had been called to the Uniqlo branch, after Ms Reed was held by security guards in November 2012, the court heard.
CCTV footage showed him removing his overcoat and jacket before searching the woman’s handbag.
He was then seen forcing her back into a chair, before appearing to grab her hair with both hands, ripping off her hat and dragging her to the floor.
The pictures show him hitting her on the head as she lay on the ground, before leaning on her neck until back-up arrived.
Scotland Yard said fellow officers who had viewed the CCTV footage had been concerned by the level of force used by Kiddie during the arrest and had reported the incident to the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards (DPS).
Prosecutor Rupert Kent told the court that Kiddie had no previous convictions, but the Met officer had two previous disciplinary findings of ‘incivility’ against him on his police record.
He was investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission for deploying CS Gas during a UK Uncut protest on Oxford Street in January 2011.
‘In light of recent media stories of police corruption, the conviction highlights a small step forward in the punishment of police officers who chose to act in this way.
‘It sends an important message to those police officers who are there to protect but instead abuse that power and fail to uphold the rule of law.’
The Met’s territorial policing assistant commissioner Simon Byrne said: ‘Police officers join the Met to protect and serve the public. Today his colleagues will be sickened by what they see.
‘Where an officer’s behaviour falls short of the very high standards that we and the public expect of them, then it is only right that they are held to account for their actions.