A police officer has denied assaulting a teenager with his baton while carrying out a stop and search.

Met police officer Detective Constable Kevin Rowley, from Southend, appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court today charged with assaulting Tyrell Vassell by beating him.

The court heard Rowley had stopped Mr Vassell in Heath Park Road in Romford, east London, on April 22, and had hit him with his baton when he refused to comply with the search.

The arrest follows a video posted on social media which appeared to show a police officer striking a black male, who was being held in handcuffs. 

Police said the incident had occurred following the arrest of a 17-year-old male on suspicion of possession of class B drugs.

Rowley, of Southend, was released on bail to attend Hendon Magistrates' Court for trial on January 23.

The Metropolitan Police confirmed that the officer, who is based at the East Area Command Unit, was currently on restricted duties.

The incident was referred to the police watchdog, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

Ken Marsh, chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation, said its legal team will be "vigorously defending" Rowley in court.

He added: "We are aware of the charge brought against our colleague DC Kevin Rowley in relation to an incident in Romford.

"What we can say is that in these testing times for Metropolitan Police officers, it is vital that there is not trial by social media - a short clip of an incident does not always tell the full story.

"And we would remind that everyone has a right to a fair trial."