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Cop cleared of using force in jewel bust

Probe: Preston-born police chief David Baines was cleared of using excessive force. Below, the robbery suspect is wheeled into court on a hospital trolley

Probe: Preston-born police chief David Baines was cleared of using excessive force. Below, the robbery suspect is wheeled into court on a hospital trolley

Hero Preston cop David Baines has been cleared of using excessive force to foil an armed raid in a daring ‘Dirty Harry-style’ bust in the Cayman Islands.

The former Lancashire detective, now Police Commissioner in the Caribbean island, has been told he has no case to answer after a four-month investigation.

The probe was launched after one of three suspects Commissioner Baines arrested single-handedly outside a jewellery store suffered injuries when he became trapped under the off-duty officer’s car.

But the Cayman Director of Public Prosecutions has now issued a statement saying “no criminal conduct was revealed or disciplinary actions warranted against Commissioner Baines in relation to his actions during the detention and arrest of the offenders involved.”

The Preston-born cop, who took up the post as Commissioner in 2009 following a 31-year police career in the north of England, sprang into action when he spotted a jewel robbery in progress as he waited for a friend in his car in the capital George Town, just hours after being awarded the MBE in the New Year’s Honours List.

Three men fled from the store, one of them armed with a handgun. He gave chase and trapped them against a fence with his vehicle. One of the men, 35-year-old Jonathan Ramoon, received injuries to both legs, hip, upper body and an arm. Two months after the drama he appeared in court on a hospital trolley to answer charges of robbery and possessing a firearm.

Commissioner Baines, who was applauded by witnesses at the scene for his bravery, welcomed the investigation and said: “I did my job – it’s as simple as that. I went after them and hit two of the guys up against a fence. The third one somehow slipped beneath my car and was trapped. I’m told he’s OK, nothing life-threatening.”

 

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