Police break man’s arm in an unlawful restraint and leave him without medical attention for six hours

Wednesday 3 June 2015

The Metropolitan Police Service has been compelled to pay damages of £26, 500, as well as indemnity costs, to a man whom they assaulted during an arrest.

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The claimant, a 44-year-old man of good character, was brought to the ground during the course of an arrest for a minor public order offence. Maya Sikand, representing the claimant, did not challenge the legality of the arrest but argued that excessive and unlawful force was used by the Metropolitan Police in bringing the claimant to the ground by kicking him in the shins. The unlawful technique caused the claimant to fall forward and smash his arm on the pavement, fracturing his elbow. The police argued that they used a “Home Office approved” controlled technique to restrain the claimant and that all force used was reasonable and proportionate. They did not accept that the break occurred on arrest and said that it was probably self-inflicted whilst the claimant was alone in the police cell.

The judge found that from the moment the claimant arrived in the police cell, he repeatedly asked for a doctor to be called. Occasional calls were made by the police for a doctor, though with no real urgency, despite the claimant screaming out in pain and repeatedly telling them he was HIV positive and a haemophiliac. Once a doctor arrived, approximately six hours after the claimant arrived at the police station, the claimant was ordered to hospital.

Ultimately and damningly, the judge wholly rejected the police case and found that the police had assaulted the claimant;

“He brought the claimant to the ground with considerable force by taking his legs from under him. Absent was any control to protect the claimant from injury. This degree of force was unnecessary. P.C. Fong did not follow the recommended method and his account of a controlled manoeuvre does not explain the injury. The claimant’s account does.”

The judge also found that “that irrelevant prejudice was part of P.C. Fong’s mental process” and that “various comments made show that scepticism about his protests turned to contempt, even mockery of the claimant who was entirely dependent on the police for his care.”

The claimant was represented by Maya Sikand who was instructed by Felix Couchman of TV Edwards Solicitors.

Maya is a member of the Garden Court Chambers Claims Against the Police and Public Authorities Team.

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