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Saturday, 16 October 2010

Protester cleared of assaulting policeman (UK)

An English Defence League activist has been acquitted of assaulting a police officer at the organisation’s Bolton protest earlier this year.

Amanda Rutland was accused of “lashing out” at a police dog and its handler as officers tried to disperse the crowds in Le Mans Crescent on March 20.

The mum-of-four, aged 36, walked free from court yesterday after Bolton Magistrates found her not guilty of using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour and assaulting PC Simon Ritchie.

The court heard that Rutland, of West Turville, Buckinghamshire, was bitten on the arm by a police dog during the protest and was later approached by PC Ritchie.

PC Ritchie claimed Rutland was aggressive, shouted at him, tried to headbutt him and scratched his face.
She said she had not kicked the dog and denied assaulting him. Magistrates said they had seen no evidence of Rutland being violent or abusive.

Her husband, Ben, told the court that PC Ritchie had demanded his wife came with him for medical attention and, when she refused, stopped her walking away by grabbing her wounded arm “right in the middle of the bandage”.

Speaking outside court, Mrs Rutland said: “I’ve been vindicated.”

This is Lancaster