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Everton fans fail in court action after clashing with Arsenal supporters at the Emirates

10:32 28 May 2014

Emirates Stadium

Emirates Stadium

Archant

Four Everton football fans who claimed they were falsely imprisoned and maliciously prosecuted by the Metropolitan Police following crowd trouble at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium have failed in a court action against officers.

Four Everton football fans who claimed they were falsely imprisoned and maliciously prosecuted by the Metropolitan Police following crowd trouble at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium have failed in a court action against officers.

Christopher Dutton, 25, Alex Ramsden, 34, and twins Jamie and John Martin, both 35, were arrested during the Premier League clash on October 18, 2008.

They were removed by officers, arrested and charged, but later acquitted of any wrongdoing at a magistrates’ court in 2009.

They then launched a damages claim against the force. But a jury at Central London County Court rejected claims that the four had been unlawfully detained and subjected to prosecution on “fabricated evidence”.

Coins

During a 10-day trial overseen by Judge Simon Freeland, the court heard that Everton fans in the lower tier were subjected to “unpleasant” behaviour from Arsenal fans who threw coins and spat from the tier above.

The Martins, of Liverpool, and Ramsden and Dutton, of Bootle, who were sat beside a segregation barrier, were drawn into a melee that was sparked off as angry Everton fans remonstrated with Arsenal stewards to take action.

They told the court that they were “in the wrong place at the wrong time”, subjected to “excessive and unjustified force” and prosecuted with “fabricated and elaborated” police evidence.

But the Met’s legal team insisted that officers had used entirely reasonable force and had reasonable grounds both to arrest and charge the four men.

All four Everton fans had their false imprisonment and malicious prosecution claims rejected.

While the jury unanimously rejected John Martin’s claims that he was falsely imprisoned and maliciously prosecuted, they remained locked on the issue of whether a blow he received from a police baton amounted to assault.

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