CPS examines file on whether Prescott should be prosecuted

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The Independent Online

Police have referred John Prescott's scuffle with an egg-throwing protester to the Crown Prosecution Service.

The Chief Constable of North Wales, Richard Brunstrom, said the CPS had been asked to look at the evidence in the cases of Mr Prescott, the Deputy Prime Minister, and Craig Evans, the farm worker who threw the egg during campaigning for this year's general election.

A spokeswoman for the CPS said that all the evidence, including any television footage of the incident, would have to be assessed. To recommend a prosecution, lawyers have to be sure there is enough evidence and that a charge is in the public interest.

A Downing Street spokesman said last night that Mr Prescott continued to enjoy the support and confidence of the Prime Minister.

The fracas took place on 16 May outside the Little Theatre, in Rhyl, where Mr Prescott was due to address party members. He had emerged from his battle bus to jeers from protesters angry at Labour's treatment of farmers and fox-hunters. The first egg thrown at Mr Prescott missed but the second hit him on the left side of his head. He then turned and punched Mr Evans before the pair became locked in a scuffle.

Mr Prescott, who took part in amateur boxing bouts as a younger man, said he believed he had been punched and instinctively turned around to defend himself, describing the scuffle as "frightening and regrettable".

Gwyn Jones, the solicitor representing Mr Evans, said at the time that his client "threw the egg in pursuit of a peaceful protest which became rather heated".

A police spokesman said either of the men could face charges or they could be formally cautioned, in which case they would be required to attend a police station.