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WIGAN POLICE BRUTALLY BATTER and TORTURE INNOCENT UK WAR HERO
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These pictures of police brutality will shock the whole of Britain. Three police officers beat up an innocent handcuffed Iraq war veteran.
These shameful and inexcusable scenes show a war hero who served his country in Iraq and Afghanistan fearing for his life amid a violent and unprovoked assault by the police. Lance Corporal Mark Aspinall, highly praised by his commanding officer for bravery against the Taliban in Afghanistan, was set upon by three uniformed officers on his home town High Street.
The sickening attack, caught in forensic detail on CCTV, led a crown court judge to label it one of the worst examples of police aggression he had ever seen. Yet, in a travesty of justice, it was Mark who was at first convicted by magistrates of attacking the policemen despite the video footage clearly showing he was the victim.
Last night, Mark, 24, who had 14 head and face injuries, said: I was scared for my life. I was being battered and my head was being pushed into the ground. I remember thinking Im going to die here. I cant believe Ive survived Afghanistan and Iraq and now Im going to die on this main road in my home town at the hands of the police. Yet I was the one who ended up in the dock, not the officers.
Mark was convicted by magistrates of two counts of police assault and his ordeal only ended when Crown Court judge John Phipps watched the damning footage and quashed the verdict on appeal.
He said: I am shocked and appalled at the level of police violence shown here, adding that he had great concerns about the footage and effectively branding the policemen liars by saying: I would go as far as to say the statements (by the officers) contain untruths.
The 9-minute video shows PC PETER LIGHTFOOT punching Mark eight times. Mark had been out for drinks with friends in Wigan and left the towns Walkabout bar at 2.40am on Sunday July 27. Police had been called to deal with a man said to be causing a nuisance to paramedics. SPECIAL CONSTABLE LIGHTFOOT, 39, a volunteer officer whose main job is as a van driver and his two colleagues wrongly believed Mark was their man. He explained he had done nothing wrong, but they chased him and threw him to the floor.
The footage opens with an unsteady Mark drunkenly standing in the street and calling out to the officers.
As can be clearly seen, he stands 10ft from them in the middle of the road as they stand on the pavement. Suddenly, the three officers move as one and start running across the road towards Mark. The vicious assault begins. Eventually, Mark was bundled into a police van in handcuffs, taken to Wigan police station and kept in custody for 20 hours.
He was charged with two counts of police assault and a public order offence swearing at the officers. On September 22, at Wigan magistrates court, the three officers read statements to the court that Mark had been behaving violently and issued challenges.
Three JPs found Mark guilty of the two assaults despite viewing the footage. In a final insult, he was ordered to pay PC Lightfoot £100 in compensation and one of the other officers £150.
He was also ordered to serve 200 hours community service and given a three-month suspended prison sentence. Mark, who returned from Afghanistan in February and was working his notice in the Army at the time of attack, said: I went in to the Army thinking this country was worth fighting for.
I put my life on the line every day in Afghanistan, so to come back and be treated like this for no reason was just so depressing. My plan was to join the fire service when I came out of the Army but I was rejected because of my conviction. It meant I was unemployable for anything I wanted to do.
Determined to clear his name, Mark lodged an appeal. And at Liverpool crown court on November 13, Judge Phipps saw the footage and asked incredulously: Where is this man of violence?
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