Greater Manchester protest charge PC formally cleared

A police officer accused of making false statements against a protester has been formally cleared.

York Crown Court heard the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) had decided to offer no evidence against Greater Manchester PC Alan Glover, 31.

He was said to have provided false or misleading evidence which resulted in anti-EDL protester Alan Clough being charged with public order offences.

The CPS said it was because "enhanced video footage" had become available.

Mr Clough, 64, was at a demonstration against the English Defence League in Victoria Square, Bolton, in March 2010 when PC Glover arrested him, the court heard.

'Sudden movement'

The PC was alleged to have later made false statements relating to the arrest in which he said he had seen Mr Clough hit his colleague, Insp Robert Cantrell.

The charges against Mr Clough were later dropped.

Prosecutor Paul Mitchell said the new video shed more light on the physical positioning of the police and protesters.

He said Insp Cantrell is seen during the demonstration facing Mr Clough and PC Glover is behind the inspector looking at his back, at a distance of about three or four yards.

"On the enhanced video it's plain that Cantrell makes a sudden movement back with his head," Mr Mitchell said.

"After his head moves back, Mr Clough's hand is seen raised close to Mr Cantrell's head.

"My own view is that Mr Clough's hand is not in a fist, it is open, but it appears he's making a shooing gesture with the back of his hand.

"Considering it from Glover's viewpoint, it appears to the Crown that what Glover would have seen is that backwards movement of Cantrell's head, followed by a flash of white against dark background, which is Mr Clough's hand."

Mr Mitchell said the Crown was required to prove two charges against PC Glover - that he made a false statement and tried to pervert the course of justice - but was not confident it would be able to do so because of the questions the footage might raise in the minds of jurors.

PC Glover pleaded not guilty to both charges before the Recorder of York Judge Stephen Ashurst found him not guilty and discharged the case.

Insp Cantrell had faced the same charges but that case was quashed at York Crown Court in February after Judge Shaun Spencer ruled the evidence did not support the charge.

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