A claim was brought for conversion against the police after their officers refused to return the claimant's seized vehicle, and authorised a third party to recover it from their car pound. The vehicle was never returned to the claimant.
The police defended all issues, pleading good faith and put the claimant to proof on ownership. At trial, a handwriting expert proved that the third party had forged the claimant’s signature on a sales receipt and DVLA documentation. The claimant also proved that the officer in the case had breached police standard operating procedures by returning a seized vehicle while ownership was in dispute.
Her Honour Judge Baucher awarded £19,000 in damages to the claimant following a trial at the Central London County Court. The police were also ordered to pay the claimant’s costs.
Ifeanyi Odogwu is a member of Garden Court Chambers’ Claims against the Police and Public Authorities team. He was instructed by G.M. Hewett Solicitors.