Northern Ireland news

Man (39) acquitted following face-mask row to take civil action against PSNI

File photo of a woman wearing a face-mask. Jonathan Cloete was stopped by police in a Derry supermarket because he was not wearing a face-mask

A 39-year-old man is to launch a civil case against police after he was acquitted of all charges linked to an altercation in a Derry supermarket over a face-mask.

Jonathan Cloete, from Kinsale Park in the Waterside area of Derry, was stopped in a Tesco outlet by police because he was not wearing a face-mask.

He was shopping with his family when the incident happened in January.

Mr Cloete was later charged with two counts of assault on police, obstructing police, resisting police and disorderly behaviour.

Footage of the incident was widely distributed online.

Mr Cloete was acquitted of all charges at Derry Magistrates Court on Thursday.

Following the acquittal, Mr Cloete's defence solicitor Ciaran Shiels, of Madden & Finucane, welcomed the court's verdict.

Mr Shiels confirmed that his firm will now "be issuing civil proceedings on behalf of our client and also his family, who can be heard in a highly distressed state throughout the incident".

The PSNI has been contacted for comment.

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Northern Ireland news