Kelly to sue over Land Rover incident

Published Monday, 24 February 2014
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Sinn Féin MLA and Policing Board Member Gerry Kelly is taking legal action against the PSNI Chief Constable.

Kelly to sue over Land Rover incident
The North Belfast MLA said he was trying to calm a tense situation. (© Sinn Féin)

It follows an incident in which the north Belfast politician was carried on the bonnet of a police Land Rover during a disturbance in the Carrick Hill area of Belfast last June.

Both he and the driver of the vehicle have received and accepted informed warnings over the incident.

On Monday Sinn Féin said: "Gerry Kelly has taken a civil case against the PSNI Chief Constable over the incident in Carrick Hill last year.

"Gerry Kelly, in common with any other citizen, is entitled to access the courts when he believes he has been wronged."

The PSNI said it would not comment on the matter.

However, DUP North Belfast MP Nigel Dodds said: "This is one of the most petty and small-minded actions ever witnessed from Sinn Féin. Gerry Kelly is a member of the Policing Board yet sees fit to waste further police time and resources with this civil case.

"Republicans have given support to the police but yet some members of Sinn Féin engage in posturing in an attempt to distract the most discontented elements. That can be the only explanation for this latest stunt, unless of course it is just a blatant attempt to perpetuate community tensions."

Tom Elliott, Ulster Unionist Justice spokesperson, said: "The level to which Mr Kelly will stoop knows no bounds.

"I trust the courts will realise the nonsense of this action and that Mr Kelly will not be facilitated with Legal Aid and any application for compensation will be rejected," the Fermanagh and South Tyrone MLA added.

The Police Federation for Northern Ireland, which represents rank and file officers, described the development as "sheer hypocrisy."

Terry Spence, the federation's chairman, said: "This claim is risible and shows the extent to which the claims' culture has taken root. Mr Kelly has accepted an 'informed warning' for his actions and therefore has no grounds for compensation.

"This is sheer hypocrisy, and it won't go unnoticed that it was Mr Kelly's party that questioned the payment of compensation to officers who'd suffered the life-long disability of hearing loss in the past."

He continued: "Mr Kelly should reconsider his decision. He's entitled to make a claim, but not to bring the system into disrepute. If he doesn't withdraw the claim, the hope is that it will be treated with the contempt it deserves."

© UTV News
Comments Comments
73 Comments
john in crumlin wrote (174 days ago):
Christine for someone who claims words fail you you have plenty to say
me in larne wrote (174 days ago):
Equality in Belfast if "kelly was in the right" then why was he cautioned ???????
Ryan in An Dun wrote (175 days ago):
@ observer online. So the driver was right to drive at Gerry Kelly? Do you drive? If the police saw someone doing that they would be in court. Wether he's on the policing board or not shouldn't make a difference. It doesn't matter if it was Gerry Kelly or Joe Blogs, it was dangerous.
Observer in Online wrote (175 days ago):
Ryan in An Dun - the difference is Kelly is on the policing board and should be setting an example as a public representative, not acting like a low life criminal and trying to sue the PSNI.
Equality in Belfast wrote (175 days ago):
To Seanie no the Policeman was in the wrong hence the caution given. He is supposed to abide by the rule of the road just like you and I. If you had someone surfing your car the Police would prosecute you. So to your response Mr Kelly is in the right.
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