Manchester

Cheshire businessman Arran Coghlan cleared over police assault

Arran Coghlan
Image caption Aaran Coghlan said he acted in self-defence

A Cheshire businessman has been cleared of assaulting two policemen in Greater Manchester in August 2008.

Arran Coghlan, 39, from Alderley Edge, was accused of assaulting two officers outside Mottram Towers in Stockport.

Mr Coghlan said he reacted in self-defence and did not know the men were police when they approached him.

The Crown Prosecution Service told Liverpool Crown Court the charges were being dropped as the prosecution could offer no evidence.

Mr Coghlan was recently cleared in a multi-million pound drugs conspiracy case, after being accused of leading a cocaine-smuggling operation.

He was arrested by the Serious Organised Crime Agency in September 2010 and cleared in June after prosecutors offered no evidence at Liverpool Crown Court.

Mr Coghlan, who has denied any links with criminality, was charged with the murder of his friend Stephen Akinyemi after a fight at his home in Alderley Edge in February 2010.

But prosecutors dropped that case because they could not prove he had not been acting in self-defence.

Mr Coghlan was injured in the fight but Mr Akinyemi - who was known to police - was shot in the head and stabbed to the upper body, despite wearing a stab vest.

The businessman was also cleared in 1996 of shooting Chris Little dead at the wheel of his Mercedes in Stockport.

In 2003, he stood trial for the murder of drug dealer David Barnshaw, who was kidnapped and forced to drink petrol before being burned alive in the back of a car in Stockport in 2001.

He was cleared after it transpired police failed to pass on important information about another possible suspect.

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