Settlement in claim against West Midlands Police

Friday 28 August 2015

On 6 August 2011, Carl Morgan attended a football match between Birmingham City and Derby County, after which he was arrested, assaulted and subsequently charged and prosecuted. Mr Morgan brought claims for damages for false imprisonment, assault and malicious prosecution against West Midlands Police.

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Following the match on 6 August 2011, Mr Morgan was targeted by officers of West Midlands Police and asked to provide his details. Mr Morgan was then accused of the crime of violent disorder and, despite protesting his innocence and complying with the officers, PC Mick Chapman sprayed Mr Morgan in the face with CS spray and arrested him for the offence.

Once at the police station, Mr Morgan was booked into custody and it was recorded that he was under arrest for an offence under section 4 of the Public Order Act 1986, a different offence to violent disorder, and resisting arrest.

Mr Morgan was employed by the Probation Service at the time and also worked on a self-employed basis on projects relating to social inclusion and young people. Mr Morgan was subsequently charged and prosecuted at Derby Magistrates’ Court, which left him placed on restricted duties at the Probation Service and impacted on the work he was able to do with young people, because of the suggestion that he had been involved in disorder at a football match.

Mr Morgan also received a ban from attending Birmingham City matches and had to contact the club himself to have the ban lifted.

An Inspector of Derbyshire Constabulary, who was policing the game between Birmingham City and Derby County as a football match commander, made a complaint about the conduct of the officers when dealing with Mr Morgan and the force used on him. The same Inspector raised concerns about the fabrication of evidence against Mr Morgan by West Midlands Police officers, owing to the contents of their statements.

The prosecution was discontinued before trial and the Crown Prosecution Service also raised issues about the credibility of the officers.

Mr Morgan now assists his club by stewarding matches and regularly sees some of the very same officers who were involved in policing the match on 6 August 2011.

PC Chapman, now deceased, was later investigated in connection with unrelated allegations of financial irregularities in expenses claims.

Following a meeting on 26 August 2015, West Midlands Police agreed to pay Mr Morgan £21,000 and his legal costs in settlement of his claim. Mr Morgan has never received an apology.

Mr Morgan was represented by Una Morris of Garden Court Chambers’ Claims Against the Police and Public Authorities Team, instructed by Chris Topping of Broudie Jackson Canter.

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