London

Met PC to be charged with assault on 15-year-old boy

A Metropolitan Police officer will be charged over an assault on a boy of 15, the Crown Prosecution Service said.

PC Joe Harrington will face a charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm over an alleged assault on the black youth in police custody last August.

The CPS decided not to bring any charges after the original inquiry. But after reviewing the evidence in April the decision to prosecute was taken.

The alleged incident happened soon after riots in London.

Previous decision 'wrong'

The allegation was investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

Alison Saunders, the Chief Crown Prosecutor for London, said a review was undertaken in April.

She said: "That review is now complete and I have decided that there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction to charge PC Harrington with assault occasioning actual bodily harm contrary to section 47 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861."

Ms Saunders added that a review of the case showed that "a previous decision not to prosecute is clearly wrong" thereby prompting the CPS to reconsider prosecution to "rectify that error".

"It is clear that the allegation of using excessive force on a handcuffed 15-year-old in custody is a serious matter," she added.