Paul Faith/PA Archive
Northern Ireland

Unionist MLA hit his wife, not police - report

Michael Copeland’s wife was struck during a protest in August, but reports say that PSNI footage shows him delivering the blow accidentally.

A POLICE OMBUDSMAN’S report shows that a Belfast MLA, and not a PSNI officer, struck the man’s wife during a loyalist protest last year.

The BBC reports that East Belfast MLA Michael Copeland’s complaint to the Police Ombudsman, which is to be released in the coming days, contains PSNI footage that shows Copeland accidentally striking his wife.

He had told the BBC that he believed his wife had been struck with a baton or a shield during a loyalist protest in August.

He made a complaint to the Police Ombudsman.

The BBC report says that the investigation shows Copeland accidentally strike his wife.

It says that footage shows him with his back to police, pleading with protesters to stop attacking police, when an officer swings a baton at a protester.

Copeland sees this and, in the midst of attempting to dodge the strike, he accidentally strikes his wife with an elbow.

The PSNI told that they “do not comment on named individuals” and a contact for the Police Ombudsman could not be reached.

Copeland told the BBC he did not wish to comment until the report had been published.

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Read: NI Assembly criticised for ‘hostile climate’ towards the Irish language

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