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Wednesday, 01 October 2014

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Ex-PCSO from Millom is cleared of assault

A FORMER police community support from Millom officer convicted of assaulting a woman has cleared her name after “a year-long nightmare”.

Lorna Brookes photo
Lorna Brookes

Lorna Brookes, 27, of Settle Street, had the guilty verdict overturned at Lancaster Crown Court.

Miss Brookes had been a PCSO for four and a half years before an incident in Millom’s Reflections nightclub on February 17 last year led to her being put on trial at Furness Magistrates’ Court in May. The prosecution alleged Miss Brookes had made an offensive remark towards two women in the toilets of the club.

Miss Brookes and her friend were then alleged to have become involved in an argument with the pair, which turned violent.

She had been accused of “grabbing” one of the women, Caroline Leonard, and dragging her to the floor after the dispute got out of control.

The incident was alleged to have left Ms Leonard with bruising to her arm.

Miss Brookes maintained her innocence throughout the trial and said she had been attempting to prevent a fight, and was trying to separate the complainant from another woman. She had no previous convictions and was considered of “good character”, the court heard.

But presiding magistrate Mandy Marshall delivered a guilty verdict, saying Miss Brookes was “significantly impaired” by drinking six vodkas and two or three bottle of beer before the incident.

Cumbria police had also suspended her following the conviction while an internal investigation into alleged gross misconduct took place. But Miss Brookes opted to resign in August.

Miss Brookes’s mum, who did not want to be named, said: “It has been a year of hell for her. She is a young person and she has been through a lot.”

On Facebook Miss Brookes posted: “Finally after a year-long nightmare I got the not guilty verdict I deserve. Couldn’t have done it without my awesome friends and family.”

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