Police face quiz over ‘kicks that shattered BNP protest woman’s leg’
By Tom Wall and Justin Devonport
Detectives are to interview two Met police officers in connection with an alleged assault on a teacher whose leg was broken during a protest against the British National Party.
English language tutor Amy Jowett claims she sustained “life-changing injuries” after an officer kicked her three times below the knee during the Unite Against Fascism demonstration in Parliament Square.
She has been operated on seven times and warned by doctors that she will require knee replacement surgery before she is 45.
Ms Jowett, 35, from east London, was part of a group of about 1,000 people blocking BNP supporters trying to march on the Cenotaph in June last year. Police started pushing back the anti-fascists, and when a snatch squad tried to arrest a man linking arms with Ms Jowett, she claims another officer kicked her left leg.
She suffered a compound fracture and was treated by police medics before being taken to hospital.
Now Scotland Yard says the Directorate of Professional Standards has identified two officers who may have information about the assault.
“Once the interviews are complete a report will be compiled for the Crown Prosecution Service,” the Met said. Investigators have examined hundreds of hours of CCTV to “seize images frame-by-frame”.Felix Couchman of legal firm TV Edwards, who is representing Ms Jowett, said it was an important step forward: “Although the internal police investigation is still ongoing, two officers who were in the police line at the moment she was kicked have now been identified.”
Ms Jowett, who has only recently returned to work teaching immigrants in Hackney, said that she was frustrated with the pace of the investigation but determined to see her attacker charged.
“I can only hope these concluding stages will be conducted as quickly as possible and that the man who assaulted me will be brought to justice,” she added.
She said the injury, which hospital doctors compared to being hit by a car bumper, had caused her the most pain she had ever experienced. “The last year of my life has been completely consumed with recovery from the assault, now my priority is doing everything I can to prolong the need for the inevitable knee replacement surgery.”
Ms Jowett said she decided to attend the protest because she feared the far Right was “making political mileage” out of the murder of soldier Lee Rigby by Islamist fundamentalists in Woolwich.
Mr Couchman urged anyone who was at the scene to contact him or the Met: “It remains of vital importance that the perpetrator of the assault on Amy, who was taking part as a peaceful demonstrator and who sustained life-changing injuries as a result, is fully held to account.”