Forest Gate police officer charged after alleged assault

A Newham police officer will appear in court accused of assaulting a 15-year-old boy at Forest Gate police station.

Pc Joseph Harrington has been charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm after the incident on August 24 last year.

The move to prosecute represents a U-turn by CPS London after prosecutors declared just last year that there was insufficient evidence to charge Pc Harrington.

However, the alleged incident was referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission last month.

This prompted a review by the CPS, which has now decided there is now enough evidence to start court proceedings.

“Occasionally, a new look at a prosecution decision shows that the wrong view of the evidence was taken,” said chief crown prosecutor for CPS London, Alison Saunders.

“That is regrettable.

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“In this case, the conclusion originally reached was not tenable on the available evidence.

“I hope the seriousness with which the CPS has taken this matter gives the public confidence that we are an organisation which will review our decisions, openly accept when we’ve got them wrong and then take the correct course of action.”

Pc Harrington will appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on June 8.

It is the second time the organisation has reversed a decision not to charge a Newham police officer with a criminal offence.

Pc Alex MacFarlane will appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, May 22 charged with a racially aggravated public order offence.

It followed an incident in which an officer was secretly taped by the alleged victim, 21-year-old Mauro Demetrio.