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Actions Against The Police

Actions against the police claim and police complaint: L.H.-v- British Transport Police (“BTP”)


L.H. instructed David Phillips and Partners solicitors to deal with his claim against BTP and a police complaint following the erroneous publication of a picture of him in a local newspaper. As a result, he recovered substantial compensation, a formal apology, and an assurance that BTP’s procedures were amended to ensure other people did not suffer in a similar manner.

L.H. was 24 years old when his photograph appeared alongside an article in the Liverpool Echo describing a sex attack on a young girl on a train. The picture was produced by BTP following their meeting with the victim when she identified her attackers from CCTV footage taken on the train. They authorised the press release, but sent the wrong photograph with it.

On the day of the publication and afterwards L.H. was subjected to verbal abuse and received a number of phone calls and text messages from people branding him a sex attacker. When he found out why he immediately made an appointment to see BTP to clear his name. At the meeting they confirmed their mistake and that they were satisfied he was not to blame.

3 days later the newspaper published a retraction but the damage had been done. L.H. was deeply traumatized by what had happened, avoided social contact and stayed indoors.

He instructed David Phillips and Partners solicitors to pursue his action against the police claim and a police complaint. We sent BTP details of L.H.’s claim to which they responded with an offer of £5,000 compensation and an apology, but no explanation for the incident. We agreed with L.H. that without an explanation the apology was insufficient, so pursued the police complaint. This was formally upheld.

An explanation was eventually provided, together with confirmation that procedures had been put in place to prevent a recurrence of this sad situation.

We also advised L.H. that, in our opinion, the offer of compensation was too low. Following the issue of court proceedings we continued negotiations on L.H.’s behalf.

David Phillips and Partners solicitors
eventually settled his action against the police compensation claim for £27,000 together with full legal costs.

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