Police compensation paid for false arrest of cleaner just doing their job.
Our clients claim related to an incident where he was doing a cleaning job in Enfield. His wife was a cleaner but at that point she was heavily pregnant and it was agreed with her and her boss that our client would do the cleaning on her behalf. The premises that he was cleaning was a large office block. He had entered the main building but put in the wrong alarm code so the alarm went off. He telephoned his wife and by entering the access code the alarm stopped ringing. He thought nothing further about it and carried on cleaning the offices.
Suddenly he heard loud banging on the door to the building. He saw someone standing there who appeared to be a policeman. He carried on hoovering as he answered the door. Two police officers asked him what I was doing in the building. He explained to them that he was cleaning the building and carried on cleaning the building whilst talking to them.
The police officers told him to step outside the building, which he did, and then the door slammed which locked him and the police officers out. The police officers asked him to demonstrate how he had got into the property. As he had the keys on him he put the key in the door and showed them that the keys worked. He explained that they could call the employer and they could speak directly to the employer if they were not satisfied with his explanation. Whilst on the phone he heard one of the police officers shout “Let’s search his bag”. The police officer pulled the bag off his shoulder. Our client fell down onto the floor hit his head and his nose started bleeding. There were about four to six officers by now and one told him to told him to “Shut the fuck up”. Our client was mistreated and assaulted. Eventually they handcuffed him and kept pulling him down as he was walking with his head being forced toward the ground. He was put into a police van.
At this point the employer did arrive on the scene and confirmed that our client was on the premises for a valid reason and with his permission. The employer told them to release him immediately as he was his employee working there in place of his wife who was heavily pregnant. The police refused to release him.
On arrival at the police station our client asked which officer he was supposed to have assaulted, they looked at each other, and one officer came forward and claimed he had been kicked in the back. Our client was interviewed with a duty solicitor present and answered the questions and gave a full account explaining what he had been doing and denying any wrongdoing.
Our client was released and shortly after received a bail cancellation notice stating that no further action would be taken.
Moss & Co made a complaint against the police and it was disclosed in the investigation of this complaint that the Crown Prosecution Service felt that there were no grounds to continue the Prosecution and that the case would not reflect well in Court. It was apparent from the note made by the Crown Prosecutor, who had access to the officers, that unreasonable force had been used in the arrest and also that there were no reasonable grounds for arrest in the first place.
Moss & Co advised that there were good grounds to bring a civil claim against the police in order to obtain damages for assault and false imprisonment. Our client had been held for approximately 11 hours and then waited to see whether or not he would be charged.
Moss & Co obtained legal aid and prepared a civil claim. They took witness statements from the wife and employer as well as obtaining medical evidence in relation to muscle damage and PTSD. Because of the strength of the evidence from the employer and our clients wife as well as the compelling medical evidence we were able to settle the case for a substantial sum in damages and costs.