Whitty cleared of assault on policeman after chase

THE LABOUR PARTY's general secretary, Larry Whitty, was yesterday cleared of assaulting an armed policeman hours after his party's general election defeat.

Mr Whitty was arrested for assaulting a police officer only after passing a breath test at a police station where he had been taken on suspicion of drink-driving, Bow Street magistrates' court in central London was told.

After the case Mr Whitty said: 'I am delighted with the result. I have always asserted my innocence and now I am glad that my name has been cleared.'

However, he was fined pounds 50 and had his licence endorsed after being found guilty of jumping a red light during the incident.

The prosecution alleged that Mr Whitty, 49, of Peckham, south London, had tried to escape because he feared he was over the drink-drive limit after a party following Labour's election defeat.

A uniformed police officer suspected him of drink-driving and asked him to get out of the car. Mr Whitty was alleged to have said: 'Leave it out, I have had a fucking bad enough night already.' He then sped off through a red light pursued by a police van and officers from an Armed Response Unit passing on routine patrol.

Jeffrey McCann, for the prosecution, said Mr Whitty was stopped only after the armed response car blocked a road following a high-speed car chase. Police claimed he was abusive and struggled violently when they tried to arrest him. While trying to handcuff him he threw his arms about and kicked out with his feet, injuring one officer.

Mr Whitty denied assault. He said he was driving to meet Neil Kinnock at Labour Party headquarters with Eileen Ryan, his assistant, and Mary Docherty, a party fundraiser. He said his driving was normal and denied swerving across the road.

While stopped at a red light a police officer banged on his boot and 'aggressively' asked him to get out of the car. After an exchange he said he made the mistake of driving off at speed.

Geoffrey Robertson, QC, for the defence, said there were 'manifest discrepancies' in the police versions of the story.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
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

Recruitment Genius: Home Care / Support Workers

£7 - £10 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This care provider is looking for Home ...

Recruitment Genius: Web Team Leader

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading web des...

Recruitment Genius: Client Manager

£27000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A growing, successful, friendly...

Recruitment Genius: Property Negotiator - OTE £20,000+

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This family owned, independent ...

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'