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Wrongly jailed Pc returns to duty

3 March 08 11:55 GMT

A police officer, jailed for 18 months when colleagues suppressed evidence, has returned to work after 12 years.

Pc Sultan Alam had his 1996 conviction for conspiracy to steal motor vehicle parts quashed on appeal last year.

In 2004, four Cleveland officers were accused of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, but the charges were dismissed by a crown court judge.

Pc Alam, 45, returned to work with the Cleveland force on Monday and was welcomed by Chief Constable Sean Price.

The father-of-two has said he was targeted by fellow officers when he brought a racial discrimination case against the force in 1993.

At his appeal court hearing in November last year, Lord Justice Moore-Bick ruled that police officers had "deliberately misled" the court "in order to suppress evidence".

Pc Alam will spend time undergoing refresher training, covering the 12 years since he was last an officer.

Welcoming Pc Alam back to work, Mr Price said: "Clearly what happened to Pc Alam in the past was wrong and it was right that I as chief constable apologise for what went on.

"But today is all about looking forward and I am delighted to welcome Pc Alam back to Cleveland Police.

"I applaud his dedication and resolve, it will be hard work and a unique challenge but I'm sure he is capable of a successful return."

Pc Alam said: "It is with great pride that I return to Cleveland Police. It was very important for myself and my family and friends who have supported me over the years to see this day.

Back pay

"If you dwell on the past you become consumed with anger and bitterness and it will just destroy you.

"I have made a very conscious decision to move on in my life and focus on the future. I am just looking forward to getting back to work."

Pc Alam, who joined Cleveland Police in 1984, was dismissed upon conviction and served nine months of his 18-month jail term.

He is now entitled to 12 years back pay and is likely to return to the force's traffic section, where he was previously employed.

All but one of the four officers accused in the case - two detective constables, a control room inspector and a detective inspector - were disciplined by Cleveland Police after Pc Alam's successful appeal, following an investigation by neighbouring Northumbria Police.

Only one of those officers is still serving with the Cleveland force.

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