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Monday, 10 September, 2001, 15:28 GMT 16:28 UK
Police report on Prescott punch
Prescott in brawl
The scuffle began after an egg was thrown
North Wales Police have passed a file to the Crown Prosecution Service on the general election campaign fracas in which John Prescott punched a member of the public.

A statement by North Wales Police Chief Constable Richard Brunstrom said a decision had been reached regarding the incident in Rhyl on 16 May this year.

Craig Evans and girlfriend Gwen Edwards
Craig Evans wants a 'conclusion' to the matter

But the CPS and Mr Brunstrom refused to comment on whether the report had recommended any action be taken against Mr Prescott.

The politician lashed out after farm worker Craig Evans, 29, of Llandyrnog, near Denbigh, threw an egg at him. Mr Prescott said he acted in self-defence.

Julie Seddon of the CPS said she did not know when a decision would be made over the case.

She would not disclose what action had been recommended by North Wales Police but said if one of the parties involved was charged with common assault, charges would be brought within six months of the date of the offence.

A North Wales Police spokesman said there were a "variety of scenarios" that could unfold in the case.

John Prescott led away from a scuffle in Rhyl
Party workers lead Mr Prescott from the scene

One or neither of the men could face charges. Or they could be cautioned, in which case, the person in question would have to attend a police station and be cautioned by a senior officer.

Another possibility is that police may have recommended to the CPS that no further action be taken.

A statement from Gwyn Jones - Mr Evans's lawyer - welcomed the news as "progress".

Mr Jones added: "But I am disappointed as to the length of time taken to get this far. I hope that the CPS will be able to expedite its advice in relation to this matter as it is not in anyone's interests for the matter to be delayed any longer.

"Craig Evans is extremely anxious to have the matter concluded. It is a stressful time for him and his family to be the subject of an investigation with the inherent media interest."

'Mad glint'

Mr Evans was arrested at the scene and almost instantly released while detectives travelled to Hull a few days later to interview Mr Prescott and statements were taken from witnesses in numerous parts of the country.


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

Farm worker Craig Evans

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."

In an interview with a 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.

Bloodied nose

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

"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.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's John Pienaar
"The CPS may yet take no action"
The BBC's Nick Robinson
"There was some cynicism that nothing would ever come of this"
Malcolm Fowler, Law Society
"The law will take a common sense view"
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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