Jailed PCs to appeal against conviction

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THREE policemen who claim to have been victims of a miscarriage of justice have won the right to appeal against their convictions. John Walsh, Jonathan Lehrle and Nicholas Jones, who were all constables based at Chelsea station in west London, were sentenced to two years' imprisonment earlier this month after what they claimed was a jury's 'perverse verdict'.

This week, they were given leave to appeal in the High Court, although their application for bail was turned down.

At their Old Bailey trial, the prosecution said the three left a pub in Chelsea and stormed into the home of Francis Milburn, who had asked them to keep quiet, attacking him and his parents.

The court was told that Mr Milburn was a Sandhurst cadet studying for his final exams. Dressed in his boxer shorts and waving a long United States police truncheon, he leant out of an upstairs window and asked the officers to be quiet. He claimed they made indecent gestures, told him to come down, then ran into the house and attacked his parents. During the struggle, Mr Milburn admitted hitting Jones, but said he believed them to be hostile intruders.

Mr Milburn was cleared by magistrates of common assault. The officers all gave evidence, saying Mr Milburn had hit Jones outside the house and that they were trying to arrest him. At their trial, the officers repeated their story; Walsh was cleared of assaulting Mr Milburn's parents.