Stephen Whenary gets police payout over baton strike

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A man has been given a five-figure out-of-court settlement seven years after being struck with a baton during a domestic row.

Stephen Whenary, 42, suffered head injuries after police were called to his Stockton home to reports of a heated row between him and his partner.

A police probe found that officers used "lawful force", but Mr Whenary sued Cleveland Police for assault.

The force said it hoped all parties could now "move on".

Mr Whenary, a former builder, said he was pleased the case was over and he could get on with his life.

The exact size of the payout has not been revealed.

Officers were called to Mr Whenary's home in Pine Street, on 21 August 2005 by a neighbour.

'Lot of worry'

Cleveland Police said Mr Whenary was sprayed with CS gas after headbutting an officer, then snatched the canister off the officer and went to shower off the spray.

Police said he was hit with a baton as officers mistakenly believed he was still in possession of the CS canister.

Mr Whenary was later cleared by magistrates of assaulting officers and resisting arrest.

He said: "It has been seven years and I can now move on with my life - it has been a lot of worry and I now want closure."

A police statement said: "Cleveland Police believe that the arrest and initial use of CS spray were lawful and proportionate to the circumstances.

"The claim was settled as we acknowledged that there had been a misunderstanding during the incident as to whether Mr Whenary was in possession of a CS canister which an officer believed had been taken from him."

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