Maginnis not to face prosecution over assault claim


THE Ulster Unionist Party's security spokesman, Mr Ken Maginnis, will not face legal action over an alleged assault at his London home in August, he has been told by the Crown Prosecution Service.

Mr Maginnis had been carrying out DIY work at his Belgravia flat when, he said, a neighbour he did not recognise attempted to force his way through the door.

He was later questioned by the Metropolitan Police following an allegation made by his neighbour, Mr Charles O'Byrne, that he and Mr Maginnis had clashed at the door of the flat causing him a cut to his eye.

Mr Maginnis maintained he was defending himself in his own home, while Mr O'Byrne claimed he had attempted to complain to Mr Maginnis about the noise made at the flat. Referring to the CPS decision yesterday, Mr Maginnis said he "always knew this would be the outcome" of the legal action brought against him.

"I can't really say that I'm relieved since I always believed that this must be the outcome. I'm sorry Mr O'Byrne was injured. He's a big, strong six footer and was a stranger to me," he said.

In such cases a file is prepared by the investigating police officers and sent to the CPS which considers the allegation and the possibility of securing a conviction. It is believed that in this case the CPS was not satisfied there was sufficient evidence to provide a chance of conviction.

Mr Maginnis added: "Under such circumstances, late at night, I don't suppose there would be too many people who would have reacted differently from me."