A serving Herts Police officer appeared in court yesterday accused of assaulting a man with a "wet fire" pepper spray.

PC William Owen, of Longman Court Stationers Place, Hemel Hempstead, appeared at Peterborough Crown Court on November 29 for the swearing in of the jury for a trial over the alleged attack in November 2021

The 30 year-old is accused of “administering a noxious substance” and causing a man “actual bodily harm”.

Both charges relate to an incident involving the same man, which happened in Watford on November 7, 2021, when PC Owen was on duty. He previously pleaded not guilty.

Owen is accused of using Pelargonic Acid Vanillylamide (PAVA), a synthetic pepper spray used by police officers, which is easier to target than conventional pepper spray and can be used from up to 15ft away.

Lincolnshire Police have described the spray as “wet fire” due to the feeling when it comes in contact with a person’s eyes.