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Monday, 14 March 2011


Police accused of false arrest at fees protest

IPCC investigating claims that officer colluded with colleagues to arrest man on false grounds during December protest

Parliament square student demos
Mounted riot police clash with protesters during student demonstrations in Parliament Square in December. Photograph: Carl Court/AFP/Getty Images

A police officer has been accused of colluding with colleagues to arrest a young protester on "false grounds" during a student fees demonstration last year.

The police watchdog said it was investigating the "serious allegation" that an officer abused his position after a 20-year-old breached a police cordon during the high-profile demonstrations in Parliament Square in December.

According to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), the student attended the demonstrations in Parliament Square on Thursday 9 December 2010. He broke through police lines and was chased and caught by an officer.

The police officer was wearing sound-recording equipment, which recorded the chase and detention as well as a subsequent conversation between the officer and a number of colleagues.

The investigation will look at an allegation that the officers conspired to falsely arrest the 20-year-old, as well as how he sustained a chipped tooth.

Three officers have been served with notices advising them they are being investigated for alleged criminal and gross misconduct matters.

Rachel Cerfontyne, commissioner at the IPCC, said: "We are investigating a serious allegation that an officer colluded with colleagues to abuse his position by arresting a young man on false grounds. We will also be looking at the circumstances of how the man suffered a broken tooth during his detention."

Tens of thousands of young people took to the streets in a series of demonstrations at the end of last year to voice their opposition to the government's plans to raise university tuition fees and cut funding for post-16 education.

Friday, 17 December 2010

Jody McIntyre - My Hero

‘Supervision’ is not enough; the IPCC must handle this investigation themselves

Jody McIntyre

‘Supervision’ is not enough; the IPCC must handle this  investigation themselves, editors choice

Jody McIntyre (Photograph: Hamde Abu Rahme)

When yesterday’s headlines announced that the police would be ‘probing’ my official complaint to the IPCC, after being dragged out of my wheelchair by an officer at Thursday’s student demonstration, some kind of medical examination was the first thought that popped into my mind. But upon closer examination, it becomes evident to me that the IPCC have no interest in getting to the truth of the matter, let alone handing out some kind of justice.

Of course, I will be fully co-operating with the investigation, and will be offering my help in any way possible, but if the IPCC were intent on ensuring this incident was independently and fairly investigated, then they would manage the thing themselves. Instead, they have left the matter to the Metropolitan Police Service’s Directorate of Professional Standards, under their ’supervision’. Essentially, the police are being left to investigate their own actions. Sound a bit suspect?

IPCC Commissioner for London, Deborah Glass, said in yesterday’s statement – “There is no doubt that this footage is disturbing…” But why is this footage in particular disturbing? Surely it is no more disturbing than the footage the Metropolitan Police must be in possession of? Footage of what happened to Alfie Meadows? Footage of mounted police charging into crowds of students and school children?

The government certainly isn’t disturbed, calling for the police to be “more robust” at future demonstrations. This provoked shock throughout the country, with the suggestion of water cannons proving one step too far, even for Theresa May. But British forces have been using water cannons for decades in Northern Ireland, and far more dangerous weapons in Iraq and Afghanistan. Of course, under the ideology of imperialism, they are the “unpeople”, and any amount of violence can be used to deal with them, without a second thought. By the sounds of the government’s increasingly threatening rhetoric, however, it seems that it won’t be long before we are treated to similar measures.

I am not the real victim of police violence; the cases of real concern are Sean Rigg, Ricky Bishop and Blair Peach. The real victims are all those who have died in police custody, but never got a front page story. Their families will never get justice, until this out-dated system is drastically reformed.

The IPCC may not consider the attack of a disabled man by police officers as sufficiently “serious” for them to investigate themselves, but, with 5000 complaints against the BBC, and 1000 complaints against the Daily Mail for their coverage of my story, it is becoming increasingly clear that the majority of the public thinks that it is.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Challenging my MP about the Tomlinson decision

Follow this link to see the correspondence between myself and my MP regarding the Tomlinson decision.!/topic.php?uid=177560675203&topic=17452

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Sean Rigg

In Remembrance of Sean Rigg Saturday 21st August 2010
Vigil outside Brixton Police Station 5pm sharp.

Followed by a Public Meeting, 6 - 8pm, The Karibu Education Centre, 7 Gresham Rd, Brixton, London SW9 7PH. (Karibu Centre is directly opposite Brixton Police Station on Gresham Rd)

Other Family Campaigns will be present as well as Death in Custody campaign organisations, who will speak about the curren...t issues surrounding this controversial topic, and what we can do to bring about CHANGE. There will be an open floor discussion.

Video clips of the second memorial

Wednesday, 21 July 2010




Tomorrow, Thursday 22 July, on the fifth anniversary of the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes at Stockwell Tube station, we expect to hear the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) report into the death of Ian Tomlinson, the newspaper seller killed in the City of London as he tried to make his way home past the police during the G20 protests on 1 April 2009.

If a police officer is charged with manslaughter it will be the first time this has ever happened in Britain, despite over 1,000 people dying in police custody since the late 1960s. This should be seen as a step forward for those campaigning for justice.

But if it is a whitewash we don’t want them to get away with it. No matter how much they talk about a new era of policing and enshrining the right to protest, the establishment will once again have allowed police officers to kill an innocent man.

We want as many people to gather as possible to either celebrate a victory or step up our campaign for justice.

Gather at 1pm outside New Scotland Yard, 8-10 Broadway, Westminster, London SW1H 0BG.

This is short notice! Spread this message far and wide: phone, email, text, Tweet, Facebook, chalk on the pavements and bring your friends!

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Attack on War Hero heard in court

I said that I would be watching this case with interest.

I called Oldham to try and find out the results but they were very vague and gave me the run around by requiring me to ask the press office. The press office was not t their desk and has not returned my call.

I looked at the online newspaper that released the footage in the first place, but they had no information. So I called them and asked if they could make enquiries.

Lo and behold the following article has appeared:

Three police officers 'attacked Afghanistan veteran like a scene from Life on Mars'

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 5:06 PM on 6th July 2010

Three policemen violently assaulted a soldier who had served in Iraq and Afghanistan in 'a scene worthy of the TV programme Life on Mars' as they tried to restrain him, a court heard today.

Mark Aspinall, 25, was on a night out with his military rugby team on a farewell tour before he was due to leave the army in September 2008.

But it was alleged when he became a drunken nuisance in a nightclub, he was 'frogmarched' by senior officer Sgt Stephen Russell, 34, PC Richard Kelsall, 28, and special constable Peter Lightfoot into the street.

Sgt Stephen Russell
Special Constable Peter Lightfoot

Accused: Sergeant Stephen Russell, left, and Special Constable Peter Lightfoot

He was then 'launched' across the road in a scene worthy of the hit BBC 70's cop drama 'Life on Mars' starring Philip Glennister as Det Ch Insp Gene Hunt.

When Mr Aspinall remonstrated with the three officers from Greater Manchester Police, the jury heard that he was subjected to a violent assault while he was held down on the ground in the middle of a main road with his face being pressed into the tarmac.

But it was Mr Aspinall, a former Lance Corporal with the Royal Mechanical Engineers, who was arrested, charged and convicted of two counts of assaulting a police officer based on false witness statements, the court heard.

Mr Aspinall, who had been in the army for seven years, appealed, and during the hearing Lightfoot gave evidence under oath - denying that he had done anything wrong during the arrest.

But Mr Aspinall won his appeal and had his conviction quashed.

In the aftermath, new CCTV evidence emerged of the officers assaulting him as he lay in the street.

Mr Ian Unsworth QC, for the prosecution, told the jury, 'The acts of these three police officers were unjustified, unwarranted and, we regret to say, unlawful.

'On any view, they were acts unworthy of police officers whose primary function that night was to restore good order, not to cause it to break down entirely.

'This was a scene worthy of the television programme, Life on Mars. Unfortunately for the victim, this was real life.'

He added, 'The case for the prosecution is that these three police officers engaged in an act or acts of unlawful violence and then plotted to cover up by submitting false witness statements which they knew to be false and which they knew would be used to support a prosecution of their victim.'

He told the jury that Mr Aspinall had been playing rugby league for the army against Shevington Sharks, and had gone out drinking following the match in Wigan town centre.

Mark Aspinall

'Victim': Mark Aspinall, pictured with his girlfriend, was allegedly subjected to a prolonged attack by the three men

Over the course of the evening, he had consumed a large amount of alcohol and by the end of the evening was drunk at the Walkabout pub.

Mr Unsworth said that Mr Aspinall was behaving in an 'aggressive, rude and completely unacceptable' fashion to staff at the pub as they tried to assist a girl who had fainted.

He was asked to leave, but once outside continued to make a nuisance of himself.

By the time paramedics had arrived, Mr Aspinall continued to be abusive and around 2.30am police were called.

The jury were shown CCTV footage of Mr Aspinall as he appeared to be thrown into the road by Lightfoot and Kersall, landing in the far lane.

In their original witness statements, the officers claimed that they had pushed the victim with their hands and that he had tripped and fallen over.

Mr Unsworth said, 'To describe this as a stumble or a trip is stretching the use of language to breaking point. There is clear evidence that he was launched.

'Let us be blunt, the CCTV evidence does not bear out the description given by the three officers in their statements.

'We suggest that each and every one of these defendants lied about that aspect of the incident.

'The similarity of their statements leads us to the inevitable conclusion that they had put their heads together to create an official version of events.

'Official, it may have been. Honest it was not.'

The jury were then shown CCTV of Mr Aspinall appearing to remonstrate with the officers in the middle of the road.

As the three uniformed officers moved towards him in a 'concerted and deliberate move to detain him', he turned to move away tripped and fell and was 'wrestled to the ground'.

Mr Unsworth said he showed little sign of a struggle yet Lightfoot, rubbed his face into the tarmac and knocked his head to the ground, while Kelsall appeared to punch or slap Mr Aspinall - prior to being bitten by the victim.

Russell restrained the victim's feet.

Mr Unsworth added, 'Sgt Russell didn't express his dissent. On the contrary, his statement made in this matter sought to vindicate and justify the behaviour of his junior officers and diluted or omitted their behaviour.

'He did not simply turn a blind eye. By his actions (or inaction) at the time and thereafter it is clear that he was integral to both the assault and to its aftermath.

'We suggest that these and other factors provide positive support or the contention that Sgt Russell wilfully encouraged the behaviour of his colleagues and so aided and abetted the.

'He may not have been the person who actually physically carried out the assauilt but he was part and parcel of a joint enterprise which did so.'

Russell, Kelsall and Lightfoot all deny assault occassioning actual bodily harm, and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

Lightfoot also denies one count of perjury.

The trial continues.