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Policeman to face assault charge

A police officer is to be charged over an alleged assault on a teenager while he was in custody, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said.

An original investigation into the incident, which happened soon after the London riots in August last year, decided there was insufficient evidence to charge Police Constable Joseph Harrington but a review was then undertaken.

Alison Saunders, chief crown prosecutor for CPS London, said: "That review is now complete and I have decided that there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction to charge Pc Harrington with assault occasioning actual bodily harm contrary to section 47 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861."

Ms Saunders added: "It is clear that the allegation of using excessive force on a handcuffed 15-year-old in custody is a serious matter.

"Accordingly I have advised the IPCC to summons Pc Harrington."

All parties have been informed and proceedings are now active.

She said the incident had been investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) with CPS involvement but in February it was decided there was no realistic prospect of conviction in the matter.

However a review was ordered last month.

Ms Saunders added: "I hope the seriousness with which the CPS has taken this matter gives the public confidence that we are an organisation which will review our decisions, openly accept when we've got them wrong and then take the correct course of action."


From Belfast Telegraph