Police misconduct compensation for Moss & Co client
Our clients instructions were that he was out shopping with his young daughter. He was given incorrect change which the assistant refused to correct. A dispute developed over about twenty minutes which concluded with attempted assaults on our client. Eventually he was given the right money and left the shop.
In the confusion his daughter had gone missing and he had to run down the road to find her. Two police cars with their sirens and lights flashing then pulled up and asked whether our client had been in a row in a local shop. He tried to explain that he was desperately trying to find his daughter but was ignored. A female officer came over and asked him for a description of his daughter which he gave. The other three officers kept telling him to shut up and said they would arrest him if he did not stay quiet. He was then grabbed and handcuffed he was forced to lean forwards due to the way his arms were being held and his head pushed into the windscreen of the police car which then shattered causing cut to his face and nose.
A large crowd had gathered around the police cars. The members of the public were shouting at the officers and saying they wanted to give statements. At the hospital our client was told that his nose was broken. After treatment he was taken to the local police station, interviewed and then charged with an offence of putting other in fear of unlawful violence contrary to the Public Order Act. He was taken to Court later the same day and granted bail.
When the case eventually came to trial the Judge asked the Prosecution to review the matter as it appeared doubtful that the officers could be in fear of violence whilst our client was in handcuffs. The Prosecution indicated that they would be continuing with the matter. After hearing the evidence of the police officers the court held that there was no case to answer. The court was not satisfied that the police officers believed that violence would be used.
We advised our client that he had a strong claim for damages for false imprisonment, personal injury, assault and malicious prosecution. A police complaint was made but inadequately investigated by the IPCC. We then obtained legal aid to bring a claim. After issuing proceedings the case was settled with payment of compensation to our client and his costs.
Cases of this type of police misconduct, where there are independent witnesses, injuries which can be documented and a positive outcome in the criminal proceedings should encourage speedy settlement. However the cases are almost always contested by the police and very low offers made in the first instance. It is only as trial approaches that the offers increase and acceptable settlements can be reached.