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Race abuse trial Pc discharged

A Metropolitan Police constable accused of racially abusing a suspect following last year's August riots has been discharged after a jury failed to reach a verdict in his trial for a second time.

A mobile phone recording heard Pc Alex MacFarlane, 53, tell 22-year-old Mauro Demetrio: "The problem with you is you'll always be a n*****."

He also said: "Be proud of who you are. Don't hide behind your black skin."

The conversation took place after Mr Demetrio had been arrested on suspicion of drink or drug-driving and was taken to Forest Gate police station, east London, on August 11.

Southwark Crown Court in London heard MacFarlane admit to using the word "n*****" but said it was not intended as a racist insult.

He denied a charge of racially aggravated intentional harassment.

The jury, of five women and seven men, told Judge Gledhill QC they could not agree on a verdict after being told they could return a majority decision.

The retrial was ordered after a jury failed to reach a verdict in the case last week.

Prosecutor Duncan Atkinson told the judge it was "not in the public interest" for a third trial to take place and offered no evidence against Mr MacFarlane.

Richard Atchley, defending, said the officer would now face disciplinary proceedings following the case.

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