South East Wales

Ex-PC Mike Ballion's payout amount criticised

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Media captionPC Mike Baillon's on-board camera filmed him as he stopped the vehicle

A pay-out to an ex-police officer who was constructively dismissed after a video of him smashing a pensioner's car window was leaked on the web has been described as "ludicrous".

Gwent Police paid £430,000 to Mike Baillon after he won a tribunal.

Monmouth MP David Davies was supportive of Mr Baillon but critical of how much he was paid.

He said to "single him out as an individual is wrong" adding that Mr Baillon "has done nothing wrong".

Mr Baillon, from Torfaen, was cleared of any wrongdoing while arresting a 71-year-old after a 17-minute car chase.

He claimed he was sidelined after a film of him smashing the driver's window of a 4x4 vehicle which failed to stop was watched 30m times on You Tube.

A tribunal in Cardiff in 2013 heard Mr Baillon, 42, quit his job in August 2012 after being moved from his role as a front-line traffic officer because the force felt his "judgement may be impaired".

His complaint of constructive dismissal by Gwent Police was upheld.

The compensation consisted of pension payments and lost earnings.

Complaint ignored

The former traffic officer was cleared of any wrongdoing by both a criminal and professional standards investigation.

Mr Baillon, speaking on Radio Five Live, denied he left the force because he was being ridiculed by colleagues over the video.

He said: "The reason I left was because of the treatment I received from senior officers.

"There's a culture in the police of joking. I fully accept that. That was never a problem."

He said he took exception to something "personal" about his wife being written on his locker and the police force's response to his complaint about it.

He said: "My wife suffered a miscarriage. It was shortly after the video was leaked, and I hold the stress that was there at the time for her losing our baby.

"Somebody wrote something on my locker which was personal to us. They fully knew the impact of what they were writing on my locker and the effect.

"It was something that I found highly personal and that I found highly offensive and insensitive and the organisation did nothing about that."

'Difficult situation'

Meanwhile, David Davies MP said both he and Mr Baillon had urged Gwent Police to deal with the matter quickly.

He said: "I didn't take sides but I did say it was in everyone's interest to get this sorted out quickly and it wasn't.

"As a taxpayer I think the whole thing is ludicrous. But that particular officer was put in a very difficult situation by the force.

"To single him out as an individual it wrong. There was a lot more to this case than was reported. He has done nothing wrong."

Commenting earlier on the tribunal judgment, a spokesman for Gwent Police said: "Gwent Police defended itself against the claims during the employment tribunal process and is disappointed at the outcome.

"We will now reflect on the judgment."

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