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Colin Barker

Brutal Assault on Pickets –
Stockport Police Pay Damages

(8 February 1969)

From Socialist Worker, No. 108, 8 February 1969, p. 4.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

MANCHESTER: – Police were ordered by the assizes last week to pay £2,280 damages to three men who acted as pickets during the strike at Roberts-Arundel factory in Stockport for trade union recognition.

All three had fractured noses. One spent several weeks in hospital with severe neck and spine injuries.

The facts only came to light because one of the three, Ron Cook, a Manchester University student, was legally still a minor. A shocking account of his treatment was given to the court. His counsel told the judge:

‘Cook was placed in a van and he was punched twice in the face by a police officer. When he arrived at the police station he was punched in the face.

‘He was placed in a cell with a police officer, a PC Leigh. He was punched in the face and kicked on the body, and the assault persisted until he was asked to beg for mercy.’

The Stockport police settled out of court in the other two cases and in this way sought to hush up the whole dirty business. The Director of Public Prosecutions has to date refused to prosecute.

The internal police report has not yet been published. It seems that the names of the other officers involved are being covered up.

The Stockport labour movement is demanding a full public enquiry. Without it, Stockport people can only assume their police force includes uniformed thugs.

Every form of pressure must be brought to bear to force Stockport police out of their official hiding.

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Last updated: 14 January 2021