Updated: Saturday, 14th December 2019 @ 6:16pm

Bolton EDL riot: GMP 'made mockery of system' over handling of alleged cop punch

Bolton EDL riot: GMP 'made mockery of system' over handling of alleged cop punch

| By Tommy Wilson

Greater Manchester Police have been slammed for making a ‘mockery’ of their complaints system, after saying an officer who allegedly punched an anti-facist protester had 'no case to answer'.

Bury pensioner Alan Clough claimed he was assaulted by an officer during a demonstration against the English Defence League (EDL) in Bolton in March 2010.

He attended a disciplinary hearing held on the direction of the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) yesterday, only to be told that the officer presenting the case against the officer would do so on the basis that there was no case to answer.

Michael Oswald, from Bhatt Murphy solicitors, who has been representing Clough since his complaint said: “The absurdity of these events should not be allowed to detract from their seriousness.

“GMP has made a mockery of the IPCC and the procedure set up by Parliament for handling police complaints.

"When the police decide they are no longer subject to the law, the implications reach further than this one case and should concern us all.”

Clough was originally accused of assaulting a police officer and the case against him was only dropped after Granada TV film footage emerged that allegedly appeared to show it was Mr Clough who had been hit by an officer during the demonstration.

Rick Coates, who was standing next to Mr Clough at the demonstration and claims to have witnessed the punch, said: “We have learned over the last four and a half years to expect almost nothing from the IPCC and GMP's Professional Standards branch.

“But, to be told by the officer meant to be presenting the case against the officer, moments before entering the hearing, that GMP had decided there was no case to answer, exceeded even our lowest expectations.

“It is a basic rule of natural justice in any court, or other tribunal, that both sides' cases should be given an equal hearing, and this was not the case. As we have learned from Rochdale, Rotherham, Hillsborough and Orgreave, the police simply treat victims with contempt.”

Image courtesy of Mikey, with thanks.