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Last Updated: Thursday, 6 July 2006, 15:16 GMT 16:16 UK
Pcs cleared of assault at retrial
Robin Goodenough
Robin Goodenough died in hospital
Two police officers accused of beating a disqualified driver when he ignored their orders to get out of a car have been cleared of assault.

The driver, Robin Goodenough, 26, from Oxford, died later in hospital.

Policemen Robin Shane, 31, and John Shatford, 32, denied assault and were cleared at the Old Bailey on Thursday.

It followed an earlier trial in which the pair were accused of manslaughter. The jury at the time failed to agree a verdict and the case was reheard.

The Crown Prosecution Service dropped the manslaughter charges, and instead went ahead on a single charge of assault causing actual bodily harm.

The case against the Thames Valley Police officers is estimated to have cost more than 1m.

Banned hours earlier

The pair were accused of punching Mr Goodenough in the face and dragging him from the car so violently that his teeth were dislodged when he landed on his chin.

But the court heard that Mr Goodenough, a petty criminal with a string of convictions, was at risk of sudden unexpected death as he was addicted to inhaling butane gas and took ecstasy tablets.

He has been disqualified from driving just hours before the incident, which happened in September 2003.

'Unacceptable wait'

In a statement, Thames Valley Police said: "It is highly regrettable that a young man lost his life during this incident and we are aware that this has been a very difficult time for Mr Goodenough's family as well as our officers.

"For Pc John Shatford and Pc Rob Shane to wait nearly three years for the case to be resolved is unacceptable both for them and for Robin Goodenough's family."

The officers may now be investigated to see if police regulations were breached.


SEE ALSO
Policemen to face assault retrial
25 Nov 05 |  Oxfordshire
Pc cleared of killing motorist
15 Nov 05 |  Oxfordshire
Police face driver death charges
22 Nov 04 |  Oxfordshire
Family holds vigil for dead son
17 Jun 04 |  Oxfordshire
Police pay for man's funeral
25 Nov 03 |  Oxfordshire

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