Special constable convicted of Wigan ex-soldier attack

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plum
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Special constable convicted of Wigan ex-soldier attack

Post by plum » Mon Aug 02, 2010 5:17 pm

A Greater Manchester Police special constable who repeatedly punched a man and then lied about the attack has been warned he faces jail.

Peter Lightfoot was filmed hitting Mark Aspinall after the former soldier had been thrown out of a Wigan club.

Mr Aspinall, 24, was himself found guilty of assaulting Lightfoot, 40, but the conviction was quashed on appeal.

Lightfoot has been convicted of assault and perjury in relation to evidence he gave at Mr Aspinall's appeal hearing.

Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court heard how Mr Aspinall, a former lance corporal, had been ejected from the nightclub when Lightfoot and two officers tried to arrest him.

He was caught on CCTV repeatedly punching Mr Aspinall as he holds him on the ground.
'Violent and unjustified'

The other two Greater Manchester Police (GMP) officers, Sgt Stephen Russell, 34, and Pc Richard Kelsall, 28, both denied assaulting Aspinall and were cleared on Friday.

The officers had been alerted after Mr Aspinall's drunken behaviour in the early hours of 27 July 2008.

The court heard claims the ex-soldier, who had drunk about nine pints of beer, had interfered with a paramedic who was trying to treat a woman and racially abused an Asian doorman.

CCTV operators recorded the three officers as they subsequently tried to arrest Mr Aspinall in the middle of King Street.

In the footage, Lightfoot can be seen punching the ex-soldier up to eight times in the back as he holds his head on the ground.
Special Constable Peter Lightfoot Lightfoot will be sentenced next month

Mr Aspinall was initially convicted by magistrates of assaulting the police officers, but the charges were quashed on appeal.

Charges were later brought against the three officers, in July 2009, following an investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

Lightfoot's perjury conviction relates to the evidence he gave at Mr Aspinall's appeal hearing in November 2008.

Speaking after Monday's hearing, IPCC Commissioner Naseem Malik said it was clear that Mr Aspinall was "drunk, aggressive and causing a nuisance".

"He was exhibiting the kind of behaviour that police officers have the unfortunate duty to deal with on a regular basis," she said.

"However, in this incident Special Constable Lightfoot's training would appear to have been replaced by a red mist. His actions were violent, excessive and unjustified."

Ms Malik said the IPCC "respected" the decision of the jury to acquit the other two officers, who could still be subject to misconduct action.
'Well below standard'

GMP's Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan said Lightfoot's conduct "fell well below the standard" expected by the force.

He added: "His actions in no way reflect the committed and professional attitude shown by the vast majority of our special constables, who are highly trained in the best ways to safely detain prisoners.

"We are even more disappointed that he knowingly lied before a criminal court."

Mr Shewan said GMP's Professional Standards Branch carried out an investigation into the incident and will decide what disciplinary action to take against the three officers involved in the case.

Lightfoot will be sentenced on 1 September and the "overwhelming likelihood" is that he will be sent to jail, the judge said.
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Re: Special constable convicted of Wigan ex-soldier attack

Post by steve999 » Mon Aug 02, 2010 5:52 pm

:slwo: Just found the video. Looks like an assault at first sight but also looks like he was punching the suspect on the upperarm for his colleague to move his arm from the side to the rear of his back, so he could be handcuffed to the rear.

If the Special had put all this in his statement then it would never have got to court. He was using force to numb the left arm so the officer (near to camera) could move his arm to the small of the back to apply handcuffs. Handcuffs can only be applied once a prisoner is compliant.

I would not say it was red mist, as he knew what he was doing and doing what was required in the heat of the moment, it was that his evidence was not written up right.

I wonder if the force are looking at his training record !!!

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Re: Special constable convicted of Wigan ex-soldier attack

Post by plum » Mon Aug 02, 2010 7:43 pm

From the CCTV that I have seen so far I dont feel able to offer a view on the SCs guilt
the court will have seen and heard a lot more than will ever be reported .

The big
Q is with the Goverment looking to bring in 50,000 new SCs how does this look to joe public
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Re: Special constable convicted of Wigan ex-soldier attack

Post by steve999 » Mon Aug 02, 2010 8:16 pm

It does not really matter what was on the video, he lied, that is the point. Why did he do this, should be the question people are asking....... Is it to cover up his tracks or did he not know what he was suppose to be doing and how to write evidence. I think that is the issue & how much training had he received etc.

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Re: Special constable convicted of Wigan ex-soldier attack

Post by typecastboy » Mon Aug 02, 2010 10:16 pm

Nice to see the spotlight taken off of us for a change, I will say nothing more, most of you know my opinion of Specials!
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Re: Special constable convicted of Wigan ex-soldier attack

Post by steve999 » Mon Aug 02, 2010 10:28 pm

It could be you tomorrow...who knows. I don't like seeing anyone lose their job / position, it is bad enough out there with Joe public, never mind the IPCC. That is why in all my posts I state that we should all make sure we follow the rules & Laws so all cases at court are watertight. I do have to question why the other officers did not look after their colleague.

Just seen it: Sky News shows more of the clip and names a Sgt & PC with the Special. I laughed when the reporter says the officer assaulted the defendant with his helmet......it fell off his head during the fight.

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