Page last updated at 13:05 GMT, Monday, 16 June 2008 14:05 UK

Pc was 'maliciously prosecuted'

A policeman who was accused of dangerous driving after a pursuit in which a passenger died was "maliciously prosecuted", a court has heard.

Michael Alford, of Lincolnshire Police, was charged after Gareth Moore, 21, from Peterborough, died when his car was pursued by a patrol car in 2004.

Pc Alford was cleared of the charge and began civil proceedings against the investigators Cambridgeshire Police.

Cambridge County Court heard the Pc also claims false imprisonment.

The court was shown footage from the 20-minute chase and crash, in December 2004, which started in the police officer's home town of Spalding.

'Lethal weapons'

Mr Moore was a passenger in a Vauxhall Cavalier which was seen weaving in and out of traffic before leaving the road near Peterborough.

The Cavalier's driver, Ambrose Farrell, 19, was convicted of dangerous driving and jailed after the incident.

Stephen Cragg, representing Pc Alford, said the claimant's arrest four months after the incident was intended to make an example of him.

Initially handled by Lincolnshire Police, the case was transferred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) and Cambridgeshire Police, the court head.

Publicity at the time about deaths involving police officers included a newspaper cutting with the headline "Police drivers killed 30 people a year" in which police cars were described as "lethal weapons".

Mr Cragg said: "We say that this prosecution was a misguided attempt by the IPCC managing the investigation to essentially make an example of a case which came up around about this time."

The case against Pc Alford was dropped in September 2005 after expert evidence suggested he had done nothing wrong.

The case continues.

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