DM V Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis
ITN Solicitors secures £18,500 in compensation for client against the Met Police
We acted for DM in a claim against the police following his arrest on 31 July 2020.
DM had longstanding mental health problems and at the time of his arrest he was suffering a mental breakdown which had caused a severe deterioration in his mental health. He was experiencing symptoms such as auditory hallucinations. This was the first time that he had suffered such a severe deterioration in his mental health, and he was understandably extremely distressed.
On the date of his arrest, he had intended to visit his family in Dalston. He mistakenly entered the wrong block in the building where his family lived due to experiencing confusion or disorientation. Our client ended up knocking on the wrong door and the occupant of the flat he was knocking at subsequently called the police.
When officers arrived at the scene, it was clear from what was recorded on their Body Worn Footage that they had little sympathy for the situation they were encountering. The four police officers then engaged with our client who was cooperating and attempting to explain why he was there. It should have been abundantly clear to the officers that our client was suffering mental distress and did not really understand what was happening to him.
Following a short conversation, one of the officers (despite our client showing no signs of aggression or violence) was forced to sit down on the steps and threatened to pepper spray him at close range multiple times whilst other officers adjusted his handcuffs causing him extreme pain.
Concerningly, one of the officers then stated over his radio that our client had been arrested for Threats to Kill. One of the officers continued to act in an inflammatory and aggressive manner towards our client and eventually carried out his earlier threats and pepper sprayed our client directly in the fact whilst he was handcuffed. He was taken to the police station where he was held until 3 August 2022. He was detained following the above incident for a period of approximately 3 days.
He was later charged with Assaulting an Emergency Worker. We claimed that the officers had maliciously prosecuted our client on the basis there was no evidence on the Body Worn Footage that our client had assaulted anybody but rather, he had been the one that had been assaulted. Had our client been found guilty, he could have faced a custodial sentence of up to 65 days. Thankfully, the case was dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service due to lack of evidence. However, our client was obviously caused further mental distress by the criminal proceedings.
Following pre-action correspondence with the Police, where we claimed damages for False Imprisonment, Assault and Battery, Malicious Prosecution and Misfeasance in Public Office, the case settled for £18,500.
DM was represented by Sam Hall of ITN Solicitors.
If you consider you have suffered ill treatment at the hands of the police following a mental health related incident, please do contact us for further advice.