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Cleared officer could face misconduct proceedings

February 19, 2013, 1:12 pm

A West Yorkshire Police officer has been found not guilty of assault and dangerous driving following a trial at Sheffield Crown Court.
The charges against Pc Mullaney followed an Independent Police Complaints Commission investigation into an incident in which the police car he was driving was in a collision with Anthony Shaw during a pursuit.

The IPCC independently investigated the incident and found that at about 2.25am on 18 March, 2012, Pc Mullaney and a colleague were on patrol in a marked police vehicle when they decided to stop a car being driven by Mr Shaw. Mr Shaw got out of the car and ran from the officers.

While Pc Mullaneys colleague pursued on foot, he followed in the police car.

Pc Mullaney caught up with Mr Shaw in Mary Street and drove the police car onto the pavement in an attempt to block his path. However, Mr Shaw managed to evade this and continued running along the middle of the road.

Pc Mullaney drove the police vehicle behind Mr Shaw and deliberately collided with him. He then collided with Mr Shaw on two further occasions after he got to his feet. Pc Mullaney admitted subsequently that he had deliberately driven into Mr Shaw with the intention of “nudging him off balance”. On the final occasion the officer who had been chasing on foot caught up with the man and detained him.

After returning to the police station the two officers viewed the footage from the in-car video system. A witness reported Pc Mullaney saying: “That looks bad, I cant show this.”

A sergeant subsequently inspected the damage to the police vehicle and asked Pc Mullaney where the hard drive from the in-car video system was. Pc Mullaney advised he had put it into a tray marked ‘hard drives to erase. The hard drive was recovered and the contents viewed. The matter was then referred to the IPCC.

His actions in relation to the hard drive prompted the charge of perverting the course of justice. He was found not guilty of this offence.

IPCC Commissioner Nicholas Long said: “The actions of Pc Mullaney needed to be independently investigated as they were of concern. A jury has concluded he is not guilty of the criminal charges brought against him. The IPCC will now consider with West Yorkshire Police whether the officer has a case to answer in relation to misconduct.”

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