The Birmingham riots murder trial almost collapsed after the judge found a senior police officer “invented” evidence.
The court heard that witnesses had been offered immunity from prosecution in return for evidence.
Judge Flaux held a hearing in the absence of the jury where Detective Chief Inspector Anthony Tagg was asked to explain this. Afterwards the Judge said, “In effect he invented this story and then repeated that invention in the witness box.”
This sparked legal tussles over whether the trial could continue at all. Eventually all eight defendants were found not guilty of the murder and not guilty of manslaughter.
The case, in which three men died after being hit by a car during the riots last year, had come to symbolise the “horror” of the disorder.
Newspapers at the time said the three were “mown down” by “looters”. However, the case concluded that the deaths were an accident.
Tagg and another officer now face an investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.