British lawmaker charged with assault after trying 'to detain' alleged vandal

LONDON (AFP) - A British lawmaker was charged Monday with two counts of common assault and one of criminal damage, police said.

Eric Joyce, 54, who represents the town of Falkirk in Scotland, has insisted he was only trying to detain an alleged young vandal during an incident in London on Oct 17.

The member of parliament, who sits as an independent, will appear at Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court in north London on Dec 30.

Writing on his blog following his arrest, the former army major said: "I detained a youth in a shop in London. Damage had been done to the store.

"I asked the shopkeeper to call the police, and when officers arrived they arrested the youth and informed me that drugs had been recovered from the scene.

"The officers also informed me that the youth had immediately made a complaint that I had assaulted him by detaining him."

He added: "No alcohol was involved and I am not in the habit of summoning the police if I feel that I am in the wrong."

A Scotland Yard spokesman said at 14-year-old boy who was arrested for possession of cannabis was later given a youth reprimand.

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