Page last updated at 16:20 GMT, Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Officer cleared of racial abuse

Pc Mark Jones

A Metropolitan Police officer has been found not guilty of racially abusing two teenagers.

Pc Mark Jones, 42, was accused of subjecting the youths to a physical and verbal attack while on patrol in a police van in west London in June 2007.

He allegedly accused a Kuwaiti youth of "robbing people while British soldiers are getting killed in Iraq".

Mr Jones and four colleagues were also found not guilty of misfeasance in public office.

Kingston Crown Court heard that Mr Jones was travelling with colleagues from central London's Paddington Green police station to Lambeth when officers saw a group of youths allegedly mouthing obscenities at them.

They came to a stop and three teenagers were allegedly taken into the van one by one and subjected to taunts by the officers.

'Walked over'

"Whistle-blower" Pc Amechi Onwugbonu, who had been in the van, gave evidence against Mr Jones, a member of the force's Territorial Support Group, during the trial.

He said the officer swore at one teenager, Omar Mohidin, who was aged 16 at the time, before kicking him off the carrier.

Mr Onwugbonu accused Mr Jones of walking over another youth, Ahmed Hegazy, when he lay handcuffed on the floor of the vehicle.

He said a third teenager, Basil Khan, was brought onto the van before he was sworn at, punched, kneed and slapped in the face.

During the trial Mr Onwugbonu admitted that he and Mr Jones were "not best buddies".

Mr Jones was charged with two counts of racially aggravated common assault against Mr Mohidin and Mr Khan, both of which he denied. He was found not guilty of both charges.

He was also cleared of misfeasance in public office with Pc Neil Brown, 33, Sgt William Wilson, 52, Pc Steven White, 31, and Pc Giles Kitchener, 31.

Outside court, solicitor Colin Reynolds read a short statement from the officers.

He said: "On behalf of all five officers, I am instructed to express their appreciation to the jury for the way they have clearly, so carefully and conscientiously considered the evidence over the past four weeks and returned these verdicts."

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