A father of three who was wrongly locked up by police for ‘driving too slowly’ outside Manchester airport has been awarded compensation.

Andrew Sinclair, 47, suffered broken fingers and was thrown into a cell at Cheadle Heath police station after being pulled over as he drove away from the terminal in March 2009.

Officers said that Mr Sinclair was detained for a breach of the peace but a jury at Manchester county court has now ruled there was no justification for the arrest.

Mr Sinclair had been waiting for his partner to catch up in a following car as he collected his son from the airport. As Mr Sinclair explained the situation to a motorcycle officer, police from a nearby Tactical Aid Unit, which had been called to manage an immigration protest at the airport, became involved in the dispute.

The situation quickly escalated and Mr Sinclair was pushed to the ground by several officers and arrested in front of his partner and their young children before being brought to a cell at Cheadle Heath station.

Mr Sinclair told the court that the officers were aggressive in their attitude towards him and did not, at any point, explain that he was being arrested.

Mr Sinclair was eventually released without being questioned or charged and has fought for answers ever since. He said “I’m just a normal person and for four years this has always been at the back of my mind and caused me a lot of stress but it was something I didn’t want to just let go, because they abused their power and like anyone else the police need to be held to account.’

Following a seven-day trial the jury ruled that Mr Sinclair had been assaulted and falsely imprisoned but did not uphold an allegation that officers had deliberately caused the injuries to his fingers.

A Greater Manchester Police spokesman said: “Greater Manchester Police notes the decision of the jury to award compensation to Mr Sinclair after he was successful in his claim that he was unlawfully detained for two hours and 42 minutes as a result of a wrongful arrest following an incident that took place on 21 March 2009. The Force fully respects the decision reached by the court and Mr Sinclair has been compensated accordingly’.

At Farleys we have an Actions Against the Police department which specialises in claims of this nature and we have a wealth of experience in bringing claims against the police where they have acted inappropriately. For further information or to speak to us about pursuing a claim, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us.