Man receives £29,000 payout after police officer breaks leg in botched arrest

A man who was falsely accused of being responsible for a policeman who broke his leg has been awarded thousands of pounds in compensation.

The individual, who is not named, was charged with GBH following a fight outside Watford Junction station in March 2017.

The man was out at a party with friends in Watford town center when he was arrested for being drunk and disorderly.

He was removed from the scene and taken to the station where the property that had been confiscated from him during his arrest was returned to him.

It was then that the man claimed that some of his money was missing. According to a March 18 blog post by his attorney Andrew Frederick, the man questioned police about the missing money, but after failing to receive answers, he tried to stop the police from leaving the scene.

The situation then escalated with the man being grabbed by an officer who attempted to knock him down in a ‘judo-style throw’.

But Mr Frederick says his client’s weight was too much for the officer’s leg to bear and he ended up fracturing his leg near the ankle.

Watford Junction station. Credit: Watford Borough Council

The man would then be charged with GBH, which carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. According to Mr Frederick, the legal proceedings would take more than 18 months despite CCTV and footage carried by officers showing the man was not responsible for the broken bone.

After being found not guilty by a GBH jury, the man filed a complaint against Hertfordshire Police for assault, forcible confinement and malicious prosecution.

After several months, the force agreed to settle the matter.

A Hertfordshire Police spokesman: “After the criminal case was dismissed, Hertfordshire Police have admitted that, unfortunately, the arrest was unlawful.

“We were in contact with the plaintiff’s legal team and agreed to settle the matter in recognition of the distress caused.

“The case was settled out of court and the plaintiff was compensated for unlawful arrest and detention.”

Watford Observer: Hertfordshire Police headquarters in Welwyn Garden City.  Credit: Google MapsHertfordshire Police Headquarters in Welwyn Garden City. Credit: Google Maps

The man says he has ‘no animosity’ towards the officer who broke his leg and says he hopes he has made a full recovery.

Mr. Frederick wrote on his blog: “[My client] knows that the decision to prosecute him was made by other people. These are the people he holds responsible for the 18 months of worry he endured thinking he might go to jail for a long time for something he didn’t do.

“If it hadn’t been for the CCTV cameras and the video cameras carried by the officers, things could have ended very differently for him.”