Non-portfolio officer Liam McCafferty is facing almost £1,000 in legal bills and fines after losing an appeal against his conviction for fear or provocation of violence at an Unite Against Fascism protest against the EDL in Bolton in March 2010.
Initially charged with assaulting a police officer, McCafferty, who is heavily involved in many student campaign issues, described the atmosphere at the initial protest as “chaotic”. Caught in the crush of protesters and concentrating on keeping his balance, he admits: “I probably did make some sort of contact, but my arms were everywhere, I wasn’t even thinking about it.” However, this was misinterpreted as a direct assault.
No specific police officer has been identified as the one allegedly attacked, with witness statements from the two officers against McCafferty appearing inconsistent. The original charge was therefore changed, and McCafferty fined £100.