Policeman found not guilty

A SUFFOLK policeman cleared of attempting to pervert the course of justice, must now face a disciplinary inquiry into his conduct.Pc Craig Lannigan was found not guilty at Norwich Crown Court yesterday, before he was rebuked by a judge for making a misleading statement.

A SUFFOLK policeman cleared of attempting to pervert the course of justice, must now face a disciplinary inquiry into his conduct.

Pc Craig Lannigan was found not guilty at Norwich Crown Court yesterday, before he was rebuked by a judge for making a misleading statement.

The 33-year-old, of Polstead Close, Stowmarket, had been accused of making a false accusation against Lesley-Anne Brown.

Lannigan claimed Miss Brown had bitten him as he battled to restrain her along with three other officers at about 10.15pm on December 29, 2004.

Miss Brown had been arrested for smashing the window of a pub, in St Andrews Street North, Bury St Edmunds. She later admitted the offence but consistently denied biting Lannigan.

The constable had claimed initially that a cut on his right hand was caused by Miss Brown's bite. But in court, acknowledging the absence of any bite marks on his hand, he said the injury could have been caused by contact with her tooth, maintaining it was deliberately inflicted.

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Lannigan admitted telling two fellow constables he had made up the claim in a bid to secure £50 in compensation, but added the remark was intended as a joke.

After Lannigan was cleared, Mr Recorder Guy Ayers said: “The very best that can be said about the statement you made is that it is misleading. Your explanation for that seems to be it was down to some sort of adrenaline rush. If someone is going to face a criminal charge brought on your evidence it's vital your evidence is accurate.

“I hope that in future, if you go back into the force, you exert some more care.”

Following his acquittal, Lannigan, who is still suspended from his post, said in a statement: “I'm delighted to be rightfully acquitted in this case, having strenuously maintained my innocence throughout the investigation and proceedings.”

A spokesman for Suffolk Constabulary said it will now continue its internal inquiry into Lannigan's conduct.

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