Claim and counter-claim over officer reprimand in Gerry Kelly Land Rover incident

Gerry Kelly pictured during the incident last year.
Gerry Kelly pictured during the incident last year.

Confusion reigned late last night as the Police Federation said that the officer at the centre of the Gerry Kelly Land Rover incident had not in fact been given a reprimand.

The staff association’s chairman hotly denied that any “informed warning” (which is like a lighter version of a caution) had been offered to the PSNI officer for his role in the affair.

It all stems from the showdown between Sinn Fein MLA Mr Kelly and a police Land Rover in Belfast’s Carrick Hill last summer, where footage showed him blocking its path, only for the driver to accelerate and carry him on the bonnet.

The News Letter had previously reported that the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) decided to hand down an informed warning to the officer, but that it was unknown if the officer had accepted it.

But last night Police Federation chairman Terry Spence said: “This officer was never offered any form of informed warning or any sort of reprimand.

“That was never offered. That’s not to say he was going to accept it anyway. But it has never been offered.

“I spoke to the officer earlier on today and I can assure you that still hasn’t happened.”

It is “complete and utter balderdash”, he said, adding :“This officer has done nothing wrong”.

A PPS spokesperson last night said: “Contrary to the Police Federation’s assertions, the PPS notified the officer’s solicitors of its decision to offer an informed warning in mid-December.”

Mr Kelly announced on Monday that he himself had been given such a warning.