A POLICEMAN who served an 18-month jail sentence for allegedly striking an innocent man with his baton and then lying about the attack was innocent all along, a court decided this week.
PC Jason Livesey had been found guilty by a jury at Preston Crown Court in March last year but the Appeal Court later ruled he did not have a fair trial and quashed his conviction.
It ordered he face a retrial at Liverpool Crown Court which concluded with his acquittal on three charges.
But in the meantime the 34-year-old officer, who was based at Accrington, has served his original sentence and lost his job.
His union, the Police Federation, which had supported Livesey during his ordeal, is now expected to press for his reinstatement to the force.
Livesey, of Walton-le-Dale, near Preston, who showed no emotion when the unanimous verdicts were returned following the six-day trial, refused to comment about the case outside court.
He was cleared of assault causing actual bodily harm, attempting to pervert the course of justice and perjury.
The jury heard that while on night duty in Accrington on the evening of Saturday 28 June 2003, he was sitting in his marked police car talking to two young women when Lee Sayers was pushed into one of them by friends as a prank.
The prosecution alleged that Livesey got out of the car and followed Mr Sayers, who had been out drinking with friends, and started shouting at him about pushing women about.
Mr Sayers said he had apologised to the women but while backed up against a wall the officer struck him five times on the legs, causing him to fall to the ground.
Mr Sayers, 24, was later prosecuted for assaulting PC Livesey and threatening behaviour.
The officer gave evidence against him but Mr Sayers was cleared.
Livesey told the jury that he had only struck Mr Sayers twice and that was to defend himself after Mr Sayers became aggressive and violent and pushed him.
He said Mr Sayers kept saying "come on" and came towards him again so he struck him twice with his baton while trying to arrest him.
He denied that he had given false evidence against him.
A spokesman for Lancashire Constabulary said: "Throughout the trial PC Livesey has remained an officer within the constabulary, albeit suspended from duties.
"We will now be reviewing his position."