A Lethbridge police officer has been found not guilty of assault causing bodily harm after punching a drunken man in the face during an arrest.

Const. David Easter was charged after he punched a drunken man in the face during an arrest outside of a nightclub. 

The judge in the case ruled in favour of the constable, who said he acted in self-defence because the man was about to punch him.

The man testified he could not remember what happened.

He ended up with a fractured eye socket and injuries to his head after falling on the sidewalk.

Justice Kim Nixon said she imagined herself in the officer's position and ruled Easter did not act unreasonably.

Easter had been suspended with pay following the incident but is now expected to be back to work on Monday.