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  1. Published on: 12/10/2018 08:38 AMReported by: rogerblaxall
    Ormskirk's Paul Ponting has been telling QLocal of his relief after being acquitted, on appeal, of a Section 4 Public Order Offence on which he was convicted in April 2018 by Preston Magistrates Court.

    Yesterday, his appeal against his conviction was heard at Preston Crown Court, where the judge accepted Mr Ponting’s appeal and overturned his wrongful conviction; on leaving court, Mr Ponting shook hands with the CPS prosecuting barrister who told Mr Ponting that this was the correct decision.

    In June 2017, Mr Ponting was sitting in his car involved in a verbal altercation with a man. Another person approached Mr Ponting from behind and hit him in the side of the face before grabbing his mobile phone. Mr Ponting exited his car in an attempt to apprehend the thief, and was seen on CCTV making a number of attempts to grab the thief before being jumped on and beaten up by a number of people.

    Lancashire Constabulary charged Mr Ponting and his attackers with a Section 4 public order offences - and even though Mr Ponting's attackers were clearly seen kicking and punching Mr Ponting on the floor, police did not charge them with assault, only a public order offence. Mr Ponting was shocked that he was charged with a criminal offence for simply trying to apprehend a thief who had robbed his phone.

    He's recently been in the news after he successfully sued the force for wrongful arrest, unlawful detention, assault and malicious prosecution - he was awarded £35,000 and a letter of apology off the Chief Constable in that case.

    Last night, Paul of Yew Tree Road, told QLocal: "The justice system is a lottery.

    "I have had bad experiences with the police and the courts and truly believe if your face doesn’t fit and the police or judiciary do not like you they can determine your fate whether it is fair or not.

    "I have had to stand up to police corruption and now a wrongful conviction and thankfully have succeeded in both."
     

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