RETIRED police officer Alan Weedon has told of his family’s year of hell after he was convicted of assault and falsely branded a paedophile.
The 66-year-old spoke to The News after the conviction was overturned by an appeal court judge following a dogged campaign to clear his name.
The trouble started in September 2012 over parking problems outside of the Montessori Nursery at the neighbouring Rowlands Castle Parish Hall, in Links Lane, close to his house.
Mr Weedon and his wife were accused by parents at the nursery of pointing a CCTV camera at the nursery from an upstairs window in their home.
But Mr Weedon claims one of the parents, Kevin Vance, subsequently turned up at his home and subjected his wife Joan, 68, to a tirade of abuse, calling her a paedophile.
Despite police investigating the alleged verbal assault and finding no evidence of a crime, Mr Weedon says they felt vulnerable from that moment onwards. He later made a complaint to police about their handling of the incident, but the complaint was not upheld.
On October 23, 2012 Mr and Mrs Weedon were taking their dog for a walk when they came across Mr Vance and his wife dropping their child off at the nursery.
The original court case heard that an argument took place between the two men after Mr Weedon alleged he was again called a paedophile.
Mr Vance told Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court in May 2013 that he was punched by Mr Weedon, who was subsequently found guilty of the crime but has always protested his innocence saying he was defending himself.
Last month, Mr Weedon’s appeal was upheld at Portsmouth Crown Court by Judge Ian Pearson.
Mr Weedon, a grandfather, said: ‘I was absolutely determined to clear my name. My wife is seriously ill with osteoporosis, myalgia, asthma and arthritis.
‘She was alone when Mr Vance came to the house as my sons don’t live here and I was in France. She was breaking her heart when she rang me and told me what happened. I got the first ferry back but the police did nothing about it.
‘They came round and checked my wife’s camera – the pictures were of our family. The only thing in the window was an old-fashioned ornamental telephone.’
Mr Weedon claimed in the original court hearing, and again after the appeal court hearing, that he was effectively blind at the time of incident because he’d had a major cataract operation.
He said his arm was weak from being hit by a lorry in the 1980s which forced him to be medically retired from the police force. He said he was too weak to attack Mr Vance, and was defending himself.
Although the crown witnesses turned up at the appeal hearing they left court before the case started and the appeal was upheld.
Mr Weedon said: ‘I would have preferred the witnesses to come in and give evidence. This has been a nightmare for me and my family. I’ve lost a stone in weight. It’s been an incredible strain on my wife. I was determined not to let this go.’
Mr Vance was approached to respond to Mr Weedon’s claims but he did not want to talk to The News.