Barrie police officer found guilty of assault

TORONTO –  A police officer charged with the vicious beating of a man at a mall in Barrie has been found guilty.

Const. Jason Nevill was convicted on Friday of assault causing bodily harm, fabricating evidence against the victim and obstruction of justice.

The Barrie police officer initially said that Barrie resident Jason Stern attacked him at Bayfield mall in 2010.

But charges against Stern were dropped when video surveillance emerged appearing to show Nevill attacking him.

“This was a brutal assault,” Stern said on Friday. “Nevill assaulted me, with no provocation.”

Nevill also appeared to beat Stern after he was handcuffed.

The judge rejected Nevill’s argument that he thought Stern had a knife and said Nevill used excessive force “right from the outset.”

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The 14-year veteran of the Barrie police service, Nevill, was suspended with pay while the trial was underway.

Barrie Police Chief Kimberley Greenwood apologized Friday afternoon during a press conference.

“I have extended, on behalf of all of the members of the Barrie Police Service, our apologies,” she said.

She described the beating as a “rare incident.”

Stern is also suing Nevill and the mall for $1 million alleging that he suffered permanent physical and emotional damage from the beating.

–        With files from The Canadian Press