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Actions Against The Police

Actions against the police claim for police assault, false imprisonment and malicious prosecution: S.M.-v-Chief Constable of Merseyside Police (“CCMP”)


S.M. instructed David Phillips and Partners solicitors to pursue an action against the police compensation claim following his acquittal at trial for being drunk and disorderly. CCMP defended his claim all the way to trial, which they lost, resulting in S.M. being awarded substantial damages and costs.

S.M. and a friend visited his girlfriend one night after they had been drinking. Her father refused to let S.M. see his daughter, and an argument followed. S.M. and his friend walked away but were stopped a short time later by the police, who accused them of kicking cars along the road.

Both men were arrested. S.M. attempted to discuss the charges with the arresting officer while his friend got in the police car. At this point the officer grabbed hold of S.M., dragged him to his knees and banged his head on the ground.

Other police officers arrived who also struck or kicked S.M.. He was dragged along the pavement before finally being handcuffed and pushed into the back of the police car.

Fortunately, the incident was observed by an independent witness.

S.M. was charged at the police station with being drunk and disorderly and police assault.

He accepted being drunk and disorderly but denied the police assault charge. The police pursued this charge to trial. S.M. continued his denial and was found “not guilty” at court.

S.M. instructed David Phillips and Partners solicitors to investigate a potential civil claim. We advised him that he should pursue an action against the police compensation claim for police assault, false imprisonment and malicious prosecution.

CCMP denied liability for S.M.’s claim, alleging that he was aggressive, non co-operative and assaulted the police officer by punching him in the face. S.M. denied this allegation.

We advised S.M. that there was merit in his claim, particularly given the presence of the independent witness. At jury trial it was established that the arresting police officer had deliberately banged S.M.’s head on the ground and that he fabricated the allegation that S.M. assaulted him.

As a result of these revelations S.M. was able to prove to the jury that he had been assaulted and that the subsequent prosecution for police assault was malicious.

Following out of court negotiations conducted on S.M.’s behalf by David Phillips and Partners solicitors, CCMP settled S.M.’s actions against the police claim for £6,000 plus full legal costs.

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