A SHOP manager has told of his anger after being charged with assault - for making a citizen's arrest on a suspected robber.

George Lonsdale, 27, of Claremont Terrace, Nelson, "detained" the suspect after seeing a girl being beaten up who said she'd had her mobile phone taken.

But, after the suspected robber told police he had thrown her against a car bonnet, Mr Lonsdale was arrested, held in a cell for about four hours, had fingerprints and DNA taken, before being put through the court process.

This week Mr Lonsdale, a manager of Greggs bakery in Burnley, walked free from Burnley magistrates after the case was thrown out.

Mr Lonsdale, who had no previous convictions, was found not guilty of assault and impersonating a police officer or special constable.

Speaking after the case Mr Lonsdale, a former special constable, told of his "sixth months of Hell" waiting to prove his innocence and said he had lost his faith in the judicial process.

He said pursuing the allegations against him were a waste of police time and money, although he does not blame officers, but the Crown Prosecution Service for taking the case to court.

Mr Lonsdale added: "I just acted in the way that I have been brought up to act, in a responsible, caring manner and I feel I can't be myself anymore to some degree.

"I will never be in that situation ever again. I will not get involved.

He added: "If somebody sees something going on, the best thing to do is to keep away and call the police."

Mr Lonsdale said he had been driving in Belverdere Road in Burnley, about 7pm, on April 17, when he saw a girl being set upon on the ground.

He said he stopped his car, shouted to the two girls and they walked off.

The alleged victim, who was in tears, told him her mobile had been taken.

Mr Lonsdale said he chased after the two girls, caught up with one, asked for the phone back and tried to detain her.

He claimed he told the alleged attacker he used to be a special constable as he was trying to make a citizen's arrest and she swore at him.

But he said he had to defend himself when she lashed out.

He said he explained to the mother what he had witnessed but was met with "a load of abuse."

Mr Lonsdale's soli-citor, Lee Hamm-ond, said: "Mr Lons-dale is an up-stand-ing citizen who was the Good Sam-aritan but ended up getting arr-ested."