THE WRONG MEN; Cops at Race Attack Used CS Spray and Cuffs on Victims, Court Hears

The Mirror (London, England), April 16, 2003 | Go to article overview
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THE WRONG MEN; Cops at Race Attack Used CS Spray and Cuffs on Victims, Court Hears


Byline: JON KELLY

A BOXER told a court yesterday how cops arrested him and used CS spray after he was attacked by racist skinheads.

Francisco Borg, 22, who will fight for Wales in the Four Nations championship on Saturday, was left "screaming with pain" after he was held down by officers.

At the time, the Society of Black Lawyers described the case as the "most explosive expose of police inaction during a violent racial attack" since the murder of Stephen Lawrence.

Francisco and a friend flagged down a police officer after they were attacked by a gang of white thugs in Cardiff.

As police arrived the attackers struck again, smashing their car window and trying to put a pitbull terrier into the vehicle.

But the court heard police arrested the two victims and charged them with violent misconduct.

Francisco is claiming damages against South Wales Police for unlawful arrest, false imprisonment and malicious prosecution.

He told the hearing at Cardiff Civil Court: "I couldn't see properly.

"I was blinded, my eyes were burning, and I had bits of glass over my T-shirt.

"I was shocked. I said: 'We're the victims, what are you arresting us for?'"

He admitted throwing two punches in self-defence before he was "flung to the floor".

He added: "I realised there were two police officers holding me down. I was getting attacked by skinheads and attacked by police."

Earlier, he picked up a stick to defend himself but he insisted he had not done anything which would force the officers to take hold of him.

The court was shown shocking CCTV footage of the gang launching its attack on the car.

The incident took place on August 1997 when Francisco was 17 and his friend Marcus Walters was 19.

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