Wednesday 20 September 2017

Riot police lied over death of activist

Riot police deliberately lied to officers investigating the death of an anti-racism activist, a Scotland Yard report revealed yesterday.

Blair Peach (33) died after he was hit over the head by an officer at an anti-National Front demonstration in Southall, west London, in 1979.

The officers involved made "false statements" regarding details surrounding his death, a previously secret report found.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Paul Stephenson said the report made "uncomfortable reading" but despite this the force insisted that nobody involved would face prosecution.

Mr Peach's partner Celia Stubbs said the findings "vindicated" her belief that the activist was killed by police.

Prosecution

The document singled out the actions of the three officers, named as E, H and F.

"The most serious aspect of this case has, without doubt, been the obstruction of the investigating officer in execution of their duty."

The report recommended the three officers should face prosecution.

Mr Peach was struck on the head during the protest on April 23, 1979. He died in hospital of head injuries the next day.

Some 14 witnesses reported seeing him being hit by a police officer. The report said it could "reasonably be concluded that a police officer struck the fatal blow".

The decision to publish came after public pressure to reveal the almost forgotten review in the months after the death of Ian Tomlinson during G20 protests. The Met later released a statement confirming that nobody would face prosecution for Mr Peach's death.

Irish Independent

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