Protesters attacked by police awarded pounds 89,000: Wapping demonstrators call for sacking of six serving officers

THREE trade unionists yesterday called for the sacking of six London police officers who assaulted them during a demonstration outside the News International plant at Wapping in 1987.

The three were speaking after being awarded pounds 89,000 in damages plus costs after the Metropolitan Police Commissioner admitted liability for the assault, the men's wrongful arrest, imprisonment and subsequent malicious prosecution.

George Hickman, one of the three, said: 'Where is the justice, when the people who perpetrated this attack are still in the police force?'

Mr Hickman, 44, Martin Wheeler, 29, and Jeff Charlton, 40, had travelled from their home in Wednesbury, West Midlands, to take part in a demonstration to support printworkers on the first anniversary of the Wapping newspapers dispute. When the protest erupted into violence, the three took refuge in the nearby Brown Bear public house.

But Edmonton County Court was told that a short time afterwards a large group of uniformed officers surrounded the three men and forced them out into an alleyway. Mr Wheeler was thrown face first against the side of a police van. He was then thrown into the van, landing backwards with his head under a seat. When Mr Hickman protested, his right arm was twisted up behind his back and his hair grabbed forcing his head backwards. He was then forced on to the floor of the vehicle and punched on the head.

Mr Charlton was grabbed from behind by the neck and waist and thrown into the van.

On the way to Bow Street police station, Mr Hickman was again struck in the face. The three were released three-and-a-half-hours later.

The policemen falsely alleged they had tried to arrest Mr Wheeler for being drunk and abusive outside the pub and had arrested the other two as they intervened. Mr Hickman was charged with assaulting police and Mr Charlton with obstruction.

But all charges were eventually dismissed by magistrates when the prosecution offered no evidence.

Following an inquiry into the policing of Wapping, the six officers involved - PCs Ian Storrar, Nigel Pratt, Robert Goodger, Gavin Steff, Ivan Szubinb and Terence Chitty - were charged with conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. The case was thrown out because of the delay in telling the officers they were to be charged.

The High Court ruling also effectively put a stop to internal disciplinary proceedings.

Scotland Yard yesterday declined to comment. But sources suggested the High Court ruling effectively prevented any reopening of the case against the officers.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
peoplePair enliven the Emirates bore-draw
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark episode 8, review
News
Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband (R) and Boris Johnson, mayor of London, talk on the Andrew Marr show in London April 26
General electionAndrew Marr forced to intervene as Boris and Miliband clash on TV
Arts and Entertainment
Ramsay Bolton in Game of Thrones
tvSeries 5, Episode 3 review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistant - Accounts Payable - St. Albans

£26000 - £28000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistan...

Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Recruitment Genius: Installation and Service / Security Engineer

£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...

Recruitment Genius: Service Charge Accounts Assistant

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence