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Monday, 3 September, 2001, 09:35 GMT 10:35 UK
Prescott punch decision expected
Prescott in brawl
Craig Evans has been urged to bring civil action
Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott should know this week if his famous pre-election brawl will result in a prosecution.

So far North Wales Police have spent around 9,000 on inquiries into the rumpus involving the deputy prime minister and egg-throwing protester Craig Evans at Rhyl last May.

Craig Evans and girlfriend Gwen Edwards
Craig Evans has been urged to bring civil action

When Chief Constable Richard Brunstrom returns from holiday on Monday, the file will be on his desk for consideration.

According to police, a decision is likely to be announced this week.

Millions of TV viewers saw footage of Mr Prescott lashing out at farm worker Mr Evans, of Llandyrnog, near Denbigh.

The right broke out after 29-year-old Mr Evans - a supporter of the countryside lobby - threw an egg at the politician.

He hit me because he was angry. It was pure anger

Protester Craig Evans

Detectives travelled to Hull a few days after the incident to interview Mr Prescott and statements have been taken from witnesses in numerous parts of the country.

After being arrested at the scene Mr Evans was granted police bail.

But soon after he was later sent a letter saying he was no longer subject to bail conditions.

Mr Evans was reported to have been offered up to 50,000 to fund civil proceedings against the politician.

'Instinctive' reaction

Mr Prescott has insisted that he had acted out of self-defence rather than anger.

Prime Minister Tony Blair said after the incident that his deputy had his full support.

He told the BBC: "As John himself said he regrets the whole incident.

"Most people who saw the film will realise that he acted instinctively."

He was responding to radio presenter Nicky Campbell's suggestion that had a teacher or policeman reacted in the same way they would have been sacked.

'He was angry'

Speaking to a national newspaper, Mr Evans said he saw a "mad glint" in the politician's eyes during the brawl.

"He was boiling with rage," he was reported as saying.

"He didn't hit me in self-defence, or because he was scared. He hit me because he was angry. It was pure anger.

"I saw it coming and rode the punch - but it connected and it hurt.

Police surgeon

"I hadn't been in a fight since the school playground, and suddenly I was being attacked by the second most powerful man in Britain."

His bloodied nose and bruising were serious enough for a police surgeon to be called in.

Mr Evans said he regretted throwing the egg, but said he did it to protest at what he saw as the erosion of rural life.

"We in the countryside feel excluded and alienated from the process of democracy and politics," he said.

See also:

20 May 01 | Vote2001
Egg protester warns: I'll sue
18 May 01 | Vote2001
Police quiz Prescott
17 May 01 | Vote2001
Prescott 'regrets' blow
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