Dewsbury woman sprayed with CS gas awarded £7,000


A woman who suffered burns after she was sprayed in the face with CS gas has received £7,000 in compensation from West Yorkshire Police.

Debbie O'Reilly, 45, was sprayed by an officer during a night out with a friend in Dewsbury in August 2007.

She started legal proceedings after the incident, but the case has now been settled out of court.

A West Yorkshire Police spokesman confirmed damages had been paid to Ms O'Reilly.

The 46-year-old said they had met her friend's former partner on the evening of 26 August 2007.

He was later involved in an argument with her friend and was restrained by police in the town centre.

Burns and blisters

Ms O'Reilly said she had approached officers to ask them why he was being restrained.

When she asked for a second time, one of the officers sprayed her in the face with CS gas, she said.

Ms O'Reilly was then arrested on suspicion of obstructing a police officer and taken to Dewsbury police station, where she was held overnight.

The next day she was given a caution and released.

Ms O'Reilly said she had been left with burns and blisters after the incident, which was captured on a CCTV camera.

Internal investigation

"It was never about the money, it was just about them admitting that they were wrong," Ms O'Reilly told BBC News.

"I had done nothing wrong, and I was treated badly."

Ms O'Reilly's solicitor, Iain Gould, said as well as the compensation claim, the police had agreed to remove the caution on Ms O'Reilly's file, following an internal investigation.

A West Yorkshire Police spokesman said: "This incident was investigated thoroughly by the force's Professional Standards Department and the Office of the Force Solicitor.

"We can confirm that the matter has been dealt with and settled out of court to the complainant's agreement."

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