Farleys were instructed on behalf of Mr E in connection with a claim for false imprisonment, assault and misfeasance following his arrest.
Mr E was in a public house when he was contacted by an officer of Lancashire Constabulary on his mobile. The officer, who was in a nearby police car, informed him he wished to speak to the Mr E concerning an allegation of assault, and asked if he would go outside and speak with the officer about this. He agreed to do so even though he did not know the officer.
The officer then asked him if he would agree to go with him to the police station and provide a statement about the matter. Mr E agreed to cooperate and got into the rear seat of the car. During the journey, Mr E checked his mobile phone for information to assist the officer whereupon the officer demanded that he hand over his phone, which Mr B refused, as he was entitled to do so, as he was not under arrest. The officer stopped the vehicle, got out, opened the rear door, told the Mr E to get out, and struck him twice across the face. Upon noticing that Mr E’s mother and friend had arrived at the scene, the officer got back into his vehicle and drove off again with the Claimant.
When at the police station, Mr E was arrested for being drunk and disorderly. Whilst the Mr E had consumed alcohol he was not drunk and had not acted in a disorderly manner. Subsequently, he was detained in custody; the charge was altered to an offence under Section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986. It was argued on behalf of the Mr E that had the officer believed he was drunk, he ought not to have asked him to attend the police station voluntarily. It was also argued that the charge was altered because the officer knew Mr E was not drunk.
Mr E was detained in custody for a period of almost 16 hours and subsequently released on bail. No further action was taken.
A formal complaint was made to the police as a result of Mr E’s arrest and his treatment by the officer. The findings of the police not to uphold the complaint were appealed to the IPCC. The IPCC made findings that upon viewing the CCTV footage of the custody suite, on the balance of probabilities, Mr E was not drunk, therefore could not have been disorderly.
A letter of claim was thereafter sent to the Chief Constable of Lancashire Constabulary alleging assault, false imprisonment and misfeasance in public office. Liability was firmly denied by the police throughout the case. Proceedings were issued against the Chief Constable and the case was timetabled to trial.
How Farleys’ Claims Against Public Authorities Department Helped
Mr E was not eligible for legal aid therefore Farleys and instructed Counsel agreed to take the case on, on a no-win-no-fee-basis, having been satisfied Mr E had a strong case.
Upon pursuing the claim Farleys argued that Mr E was of previous good character having been at the time of the incident serving in Afghanistan. During the course of the proceedings, the CCTV footage of the custody suite (upon which important findings were made as to the Mr E’s demeanour and behaviour) was lost by the police and/or IPCC, and the Constabulary failed to retain a further copy of this.
Shortly before the case was listed for trial, the police entered into negotiations to settle the claim eventually resulting in settlement in the Mr E’s favour. He was awarded £10,000, and his legal fees were also paid.