Assault – Actions Against the Police, Unlawful
Arrest, Unnecessary Force
Court, Queen’s Bench Division: Judge Coe QC
The claimant sought damages for
assault and battery against the police in respect of a serious leg injury which
he had sustained while being restrained during a drugs search. The court held that the police officer involved
had used unnecessary and unreasonable force to restrain the claimant which
amounted to an assault.
The claimant was accompanied by
the comedian and television celebrity Noel Fielding when he was spotted by two
police officers while walking down Kentish Town Road at about 10.30 am having
been at a party the previous night. The
police officers believed that the two men were showing signs of drug use so
proceeded to restrain them. Mr Fielding
was restrained, handcuffed and searched and taken to the police station. No drugs were found on him and he was
released without charge.
In the course of his restraint
the claimant suffered a severe, comminuted fracture of his right tibial plateau
known as a Schatzker type 6 fracture.
He spent a month in hospital and underwent several operations. The judge found that the police officer had
followed the claimant into a convenience store prior to detaining him and that
when inside he had decided to use force to restrain him. He did this by using his
knee or leg to block the claimant’s leg, or forcibly bend it, and tackle the
claimant to the floor, causing the claimant to suffer a fracture to his right
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