Fresh inquiry into force’s role over Pc’s assault conviction

A FRESH inquiry is to be held into allegations of a “cover-up” at West Yorkshire Police over the assault conviction of one of its officers seven years ago.

Danny Major, then a constable with the force, was jailed for 15 months in 2006 after being found guilty of assaulting a drunken teenager in custody.

His family claim the original investigation was tainted and led to an unsafe conviction.

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After meeting the family to hear their concerns, West Yorkshire Police Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson has asked Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) to appoint another force to look into the case.

Mr Burns-Williamson said: “I have directed that this investigation take place and sought the help of HMIC in identifying an appropriate police force to undertake it.

“This is not about reopening the case which has been reviewed by the Criminal Cases Review Commission – it is about reviewing specific elements of the investigation. We want to ensure a proportionate review of the relevant aspects in response to matters raised directly with me by the family.”

A spokesman for HMIC said: “HMIC has been contacted by the Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire Police asking for assistance in securing the services of another police force for an independent investigation into the matters raised by the Major family. We are in the process of doing this.”

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Major was jailed for assaulting Sean Rimmington, then 18, after a fracas in the early hours of September 6, 2003, in the foyer at Millgarth police station in Leeds.

A jury failed to reach a verdict in April 2006, but Major was convicted at a retrial the same year.

The judge at Bradford Crown Court was highly critical of the force, calling the station where the incident occurred “not fit for purpose” and the custody set-up a “shambles”. He said Rimmington had effectively become a “non-person” for about 40 minutes because no proper custody records had been kept for that time.