'Carousing' officers convicted of affray

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The Independent Online
THREE police officers were convicted at the Old Bailey yesterday of taking part in a rampage at the home of a cadet Army officer whom they later accused of assault.

Police constables Nicholas Jones, 28, John Walsh, 30, and Jonathan Lehrle, 26, were found guilty of affray and perverting the course of justice last June.

They were remanded on bail for pre-sentence reports.

The three off-duty officers had been drinking at the Anglesea Arms in Chelsea and were 'carousing' noisily outside the home of Francis Milburn, 22, after closing time, the court had heard.

Mr Milburn was studying for his final exams at the London School of Economics.

When he looked out he saw three men arm in arm, carousing and singing, he told the jury.

After he told them to shut up they had made indecent gestures and told him to come down. He had taken a truncheon with him because he found the situation threatening and he did not realise they were police officers.

The officers then barged in to his house. 'I did not know who these people were. To me they were hostile intruders. I thought they wanted to kick my head in.'

Mr Milburn, who hit one of the officers on the head, was arrested and charged with assault. He was later cleared of the charge.

Walsh was cleared of assaulting Mr Milburn's mother, Angela, and his stepfather, Robert Scott, who were allegedly pushed down the steps outside the family home in Neville Terrace, Fulham.

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