Police officer punched 70-year-old in road rage

A police officer punched and slapped an elderly motorist leaving him with a fractured jaw before he died weeks later.  

PC Stuart Box fled the scene after he attacked Peter Burgum, 70, who passed away weeks later from unrelated causes.

The victim’s wife, Caroline, was also injured in the attack and said her memories of her late husband have been ‘indelibly marked’ by what happened.

The incident unfolded after Mr Burgum overtook the cycling off-duty officer, then 44, in Gloucestershire in April last year, a misconduct hearing was told.

PC Stuart Box attacked Peter Burgum (pictured) who passed away weeks later from unrelated causes.

Box banged on the side of Mr Burgum’s Mitsubishi estate after he braked, and hit his wing mirror then screamed at Mr Burgum, calling him ‘a stupid b*****d’ who ‘nearly f*****g killed me’. 

He then slapped Mr Burgum, who took out his phone to film the incident as he backed away.

The former officer later claimed he had been hit first as he grabbed the phone and threw it over a fence, before punching the victim.

When Mr Burgum fell to the ground his wife shouted: ‘You’ve killed him’, the misconduct panel heard.

Despite her attempts to stop him, Box got on his bike and rode off without calling 999 or leaving his details.

Mr Burgum suffered two fractures to his jaw, requiring surgery that left him unable to eat solid foods as well as cuts and bruises.

A misconduct hearing held by Avon and Somerset Constabulary yesterday found Mr Box would have been sacked for gross misconduct if he had not already resigned.

The force said it had investigated the incident and presented its evidence to the CPS, which decided that no criminal charges should be brought.

Box has also been banned from the police for life.

Elliot Gold, representing Avon and Somerset Constabulary, said the officer was identified by dashcam footage.

He said Box lost his temper and used an ‘unreasonable level of force when he should have tried to de-escalate the situation.’ 

Caroline Burgum’s daughter said the family was still ‘too upset’ to talk about the tragedy which happened over a year ago.

She said: ‘The police made a public apology yesterday – my mother needs time to take it all in.

‘We will be making a statement in due course but my mother is a widow now. We need to grieve the loss of a husband and father before doing that.’

Mrs Burgum, 64, lives in the small village of Coalpit Heath, near Bristol, with her daughter and grandchildren. 

Panel chair Stephanie Beazley said Box may have acted on adrenaline but his culpability for the incident increased the longer it went on.

She added: ‘PC Box had 23 years of police experience, he should have known better.’

Andy Roebuck, representing the Police Federation, said the former officer had expressed remorse and ‘could only apologise’ for what happened. 

A CPS spokesperson told MailOnline: ‘We considered all the available evidence in this case including examining witness statements and the dash cam footage of the incident.

‘The independent CPS prosecutor concluded that our legal test for a prosecution was not met and so no charges were brought. Our sympathies remain with Mr Burgum’s family. ‘

Superintendent Simon Wilstead, head of Professional Standards at Avon and Somerset Constabulary, apologised to Mr Burgum’s widow.

He said: ‘Mr Box was not on duty at the time of the incident, but nevertheless we expect a high standard of behaviour by officers, whether they are in or out of uniform, and he failed to meet those ethical standards.

‘As a police force we believe in absolute transparency and Mr Box’s failure to report what happened at the earliest opportunity is at odds with what we stand for. 

‘Despite the officer resigning, it was important to hold a hearing into the very serious allegations against Mr Box to ensure that, if proven, he would be placed on the barred list.’

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk