Leslie Thomas and Sarah Hemingway secure damages for a man assaulted by a Surrey police officer

Wednesday 16 February 2011

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Jonathan Pannell v Chief Constable of Surrey Police

Leslie Thomas and Sarah Hemingway successfully acted for Jonathan Pannell who suffered injuries when he was punched to the face three times with full force by a police officer in March 2002. He received £40,000 in damages for false imprisonment, assault and malicious prosecution after a jury found in his favour in Guildford yesterday.

Leslie and Sarah, represented Mr Pannell in successfully claiming damages for false imprisonment, assault and malicious prosecution against the Surrey police. In a seven day trial, before HHJ Reid QC in the Guildford County Court, the jury found unanimously that Mr Pannell had not acted aggressively when grabbed from behind by PC Richardson and the officer had failed to tell Mr Pannell that he was under arrest or the reasons for the arrest at the time. Mr Pannell suffered psychiatric and physical injuries after PC Richardson punched him three times with full force to the head whilst he was detained on the ground. It was further found that PC Richardson knowingly gave a false account of the incident and supported the prosecution of Mr Pannell for an offence of resisting an officer in the execution of his duty.

An out of court settlement of £40,000 was agreed, beating an earlier part 36 offer made by the Claimant for £10,000. The damages were in respect of false imprisonment (£4,000 basic and £2,500 aggravated); assault (£16,000 basic - including £10,000 for psychiatric damage and £500 for handcuffs - and £2,500 aggravated and £4,000 specials plus interest); and malicious prosecution (£7,000 basic and £3,500 aggravated).

Leslie Thomas was the leading counsel in this case and Sarah Hemingway was the led junior. Both members of the Police Civil Actions Team at Garden Court Chambers.

Leslie and Sarah were instructed by Andre Clovis at Tuckers Solicitors.

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