A POLICEMAN jailed for attacking a man with his baton in Accrington town centre has had his conviction quashed by Appeal Court judges.
PC Jason Livesey, 34, who has already served his 18-month sentence, now faces a retrial.
Lord Justice Hughes, sitting in London with Judge Brian Barker QC and Mr Justice Irwin, said it was in the public interest to resolve whether Livesey was innocent or not.
He had been found guilty, after an eight-day trial at Preston Crown Court in March last year, of perverting the course of justice, perjury and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
All three charges related to an incident in June 2003 when Livesey was alleged to have struck oil rig worker Lee Sayers, of Accrington, with his baton.
The prosecution claimed that Livesey was talking to two attractive mini-skirted women who were leaning into his patrol car parked in Holme Street, Accrington, when Mr Sayers bumped into them.
After an altercation, the police constable was accused of hitting Mr Sayers up to five times.
Livesey, a police officer for seven years, claimed that he used the baton because he was in fear of attack, but Mr Sayers said the officer over-reacted to a bit of horseplay and he had tried to walk away from any trouble after apologising.
The conviction for perverting the course of justice related to the fact that Mr Sayers was arrested by Livesey following the incident.
The PC, who is married wth a young child and lives in Walton-le-Dale, was also found guilty of perjury after the prosecution claimed he had lied under oath at Mr Sayers' subsequent trial for police assault and threatening behaviour, which resulted in the 23-year-old's acquittal.
Lord Justice Hughes said the jury at Livesey's trial had been misdirected by Judge Anthony Russell QC after a key witness inadvertently gave evidence he shouldn't have done.
All three convictions were therefore "unsafe'', ruled the appeal judge.
Although he said he had "enormous sympathy'' for Judge Russell because he had to act on the spur of the moment, Lord Justice Hughes said his directions to the jury should have been much fuller than they were.
No date was set for Livesey's retrial, which is likely to take place at Preston Crown Court.