TWO men are making formal complaints against police after they were found not guilty of assaulting off-duty officers at a town centre nightclub.

Wasi Khan, 48, of London Road, Blackburn, and David Wilson, 34, of Bolton Road, Blackburn, had both denied assault.

Three police officers who were part of a party of 12 off-duty police at Utopia in Blackburn on Wednesday, August 19, last year claimed they were set upon in two separate incidents.

But in a trial at Blackburn Magistrates' Court, both men claimed they were assaulted and abused by police officers.

Mr Khan said he was threatened with racist remarks, and said PC Mark Baines and PC David Blyth had told him to leave the nightclub.

He denied flooring PC Blyth with a punch and said off-duty officers sprayed beer at him.

Lisa Savage, a door supervisor at Utopia nightclub said in evidence: "I saw two off-duty police officers kicking Khan on the floor, kick after kick. I did not see Khan punch PC Blyth or punch PC Baines in the face."

PC Baines and PC Blyth both denied that they had kicked Mr Khan about the body.

PC Baines denied squirting beer over Mr Khan, and denied making racist remarks.

PC Tim McDermott said Mr Wilson shouted threats at him, while trying to grab him and throw punches, before a member of staff pulled Wilson away. Mr Wilson said he offered to get Mr Khan away from the disturbance, but was then threatened by PC McDermott. He denied threatening and punching PC McDermott. He said one officer jumped on him and kept him in a headlock for 10 or 15 minutes.

Paul Schofield, representing David Wilson, said: "Mr Wilson has already lodged a formal complaint, and he has received advice from ourselves about any civil action that may be open to him."

A spokesman for the Racial Equality Council in Blackburn said: "An official complaint has been made by Mr Wilson and Mr Khan, and advice was given to them. They were advised of their options, and chose to make an official complaint to the police."

Mr Khan's solicitor Basharat Ditta said: "He did not make a complaint at the time, but he has since instructed me to make a formal complaint with regards to behaviour of off-duty police officers and the racist remarks made towards him. He is also making a civil claim for unlawful arrest, malicious prosecution and false imprisonment."

A police spokesman said: "All complaints will be investigated thoroughly."

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