Liverpool

Merseyside Police pay Liverpool man for wrongful arrest

John Spencer
Image caption John Spencer was wrongly arrested on suspicion of assaulting a police officer

A 37-year-old man has received £40,000 compensation from Merseyside Police after he was punched and sprayed with CS gas during a wrongful arrest.

John Spencer, of Seaforth in Liverpool, was assaulted by an officer on 8 August 2010 after he denied making improper phone calls to a former friend.

His mother Susan, who witnessed the incident, was awarded £10,000.

The force said it remained "absolutely committed" to the professional standards of its officers.

Mr Spencer said: "It's mentally destroyed me - I can't trust the police again."

Mr Spencer had been asleep when the officers knocked on the door of his home in Sandhurst Close at about 01:30 BST but woke up.

His mother told two officers the claims made against her son were untrue, as their home phone had been disconnected and there was no credit on their mobile phones, DPP Law Solicitors said.

'Disgraceful conduct'

He refused to accept the warrant and went back to bed.

"The officer slammed the door open, grabbed me by the throat, started physically punching me and spraying me with CS gas.

"When the assault was happening my mum pulled the officers off me to stop them hitting me," he said.

Mr Spencer was arrested on suspicion of assaulting a police officer, of which he was later acquitted at Liverpool Crown Court, his solicitor Iain Gould said.

Mrs Spencer was also arrested for obstructing police.

Mr Gould said: "I issued court proceedings in which I alleged false imprisonment, assault, malicious prosecution and misfeasance in public office."

A Merseyside Police spokesman said: "The force can confirm that it sought external legal advice before a settlement amount was negotiated before the case went to trial."

"Merseyside Police remains absolutely committed to the highest integrity and the professional standards of its officers at all times."

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