Lawyer to appeal ‘no police assault’ ruling

A SOLICITOR who lost a compensation claim against an RUC officer who she claimed pushed her out of the charge room at a Belfast police station is to appeal the decision. Patricia Coyle, who is on the staff of Madden and Finucane, Belfast, will also take the case to the European courts if the appeal fails. Ms Coyle (32) sued Inspector Denis Reid and the RUC chief constable for assault and trespass to her person. During a four-day hearing in the high court in October Miss Coyle said she was pushed out of the room at Grosvenor Road station in December 1996. But in a reserved judgment delivered on Friday Mr Justice Sheil dismissed her claim saying he considered the officer used no more than “reasonable force in putting her out”. Madden and Finucane said yesterday the decision was “disappointing” but added it would lodge an appeal. The legal firm said it would take the case to Europe if it failed to have the decision overturned. Submissions on the case will also be made to the Patten commission on policing. “This case was highlighted recently by the UN special rapporteur on the independence of the judiciary and lawyers,” a spokesman for Madden and Finucane said.