Met police officer charged with rape after alleged incident on Brighton beach

·1-min read
Metropolitan Police (Kirsty O’Connor/PA) (PA Wire)
Metropolitan Police (Kirsty O’Connor/PA) (PA Wire)

A serving Metropolitan Police officer has been charged with raping a woman on Brighton beach, Sussex Police said on Friday.

Sergeant Laurence Knight, 33, was arrested a week after the alleged assault on July 17, 2021.

Knight, attached to Met Detention, was not on duty at the time.

He is suspended from Stoke Newington Police Station, north London.

Knight was released on bail while enquiries continued and has now been charged by Sussex Police.

He will appear at Brighton & Hove Magistrates’ Court on June 23.

Chief Superintendent Pete Gardner, in charge of Met Detention, said: “We know people will rightly be concerned to hear about this very serious charge against a serving police officer.

“We absolutely share that concern and I am thankful to Sussex Police for their thorough investigation and the continued specialist support they are providing to the victim.

“The Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards are fully aware and misconduct matters will be dealt with once the criminal proceedings have concluded. The officer is suspended from duty.”

Following Sgt Knight’s arrest the Met made a mandatory referral to the Independent Office for Police Conduct.

The IOPC determined the misconduct investigation should be led by the Met.

A statement from Sussex Police said: “Sussex Police has arrested a man after a woman reported being raped on Brighton beach on Saturday, July 17 2021.

“Laurence Knight, 33, who is a Met Police officer, was arrested on suspicion of rape on July 28 and released on bail. On May 27 he was summoned to appear at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on June 23 to face a charge of rape.

“The officer was not on duty at the time of the reported offence.

“The victim will continue to receive support from specialist officers throughout the judicial process.”

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