Constable guilty of assault

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The Independent Online
A police constable was convicted yesterday of assaulting a student at a festival for the homeless. Paul Evans, 32, from Stoke Newington police station in London, was also convicted by a jury at the Old Bailey of affray.

Six other officers from the same station were all cleared of various charges relating to an alleged "brutal attack" they faced after the music festival for Hackney's homeless in north London in May 1994.

Police were called in after trouble allegedly erupted on the Saturday night. The defence claims that officers were called pigs and bastards and bottles thrown at them. Michael Austin-Smith QC, for Evans, said the officer "lost his cool" in the heat of the moment. He said the police had faced a "riotous situation. It was chaos".

The prosecution had alleged that Evans and other officers all from Stoke Newington police station had been involved in an unprovoked attack on festival goers and then tried to cover up their crime.

Evans, who will be sentenced today, was found guilty of assaulting Ben Swarbrick after the jury took seven days - deliberating for nearly 37 hours - to reach their verdicts.

Six other officers from Stoke Newington were all cleared of various charges they faced after the festival. Evans was also cleared of other charges of alleged assault and false imprisonment. All seven officers were cleared of plotting to pervert the course of justice by writing false accounts of what had occurred.

Evans will almost certainly be thrown out of the Metropolitan Police following his conviction, and lose his pension. The acquitted officers will remain suspended until it is decided whether there are any outstanding disciplinary matters against them.

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