Kayleigh Littlemore, Solicitor at Irvings Law, has successfully represented her client, Mr Shah Miah, in a claim against West Yorkshire Police for false imprisonment, assault and breach of human rights after he was wrongfully arrested just days after the birth of his child.
In July 2020, Mr Miah’s partner gave birth to a baby boy at home with the assistance of a midwife. After this, Mr Miah and his partner decided that they wanted to keep subsequent home visits to a minimum as they did not want strangers in their home during a national lockdown, especially as the effects of Covid upon children were unknown at the time. Unfortunately, the midwife misconstrued this request and reported Mr Miah to the West Yorkshire Police for controlling and coercive behaviour twelve days later.
Despite a Superintendent advising that this matter should be dealt with by Social Services rather than West Yorkshire Police, Police Officers from this Force attended Mr Miah’s partner’s property days later. Mr Miah’s partner answered the door and quickly became distressed when the attending Police Officers asked her several intrusive questions particularly as she suffers from serious learning difficulties of which affect her ability to understand and communicate. Mr Miah, upon learning of his partner’s anxiety, rushed to the door to assist and asked the attending Police Officers why they were there but they would not say; simply stating that they wanted to speak to his partner alone. Mr Miah explained to the attending Police Officers that his partner should have an appropriate adult present when being questioned by them and he was not comfortable leaving her alone with them especially as she was so upset and asking him to stay. After asking whether his partner was obliged to speak to them, the attending Police Officers retreated to their vehicle but remained in their car parked outside the property.
After some time, the attending Police Officers then returned and barged their way into the property without any consent. Mr Miah was then handcuffed and arrested for controlling and coercive behaviour despite what the Superintendent had said earlier and now his partner begging for the Police Officers not to take him as he had done nothing wrong. Mr Miah was then placed in the back of a Police vehicle where he remained whilst the attending Police Officers spoke to his partner inside the house. Mr Miah’s partner told the attending Police Officers that Mr Miah was the best partner and father to their children who would never hurt them but nevertheless, Mr Miah was taken to Police custody. At the Police Station, the Custody Sergeant refused Mr Miah his right to a copy of the Codes of Practice after wrongfully assuming he could not read and write. Mr Miah subsequently corrected the Custody Sergeant that he was in fact blind and asked for a copy of the same in braille but this was rejected. Eventually, Mr Miah was interviewed and released without charge.
After making an unsuccessful complaint to West Yorkshire Police about this incident, Mr Miah approached specialist Actions Against the Police Solicitors, Irvings Law, for assistance. Miss Littlemore, as part of this team, immediately acknowledged that what happened to Mr Miah was completely wrong and offered to act for him by way of “no win, no fee”. After obtaining all documentation, information and footage from West Yorkshire Police, Miss Littlemore alleged that Mr Miah’s arrest was unlawful, was assaulted during the course of that unlawful arrest and that his human rights to be free from discrimination had been breached too. In response, West Yorkshire Police denied liability and to make issuing expensive Court proceedings a last resort for Mr Miah, he instructed Miss Littlemore to make an offer to settle but this was ignored. Therefore, with no other option for recourse, Mr Miah then instructed Miss Littlemore to issue Court proceedings which were then served on West Yorkshire Police.
Despite West Yorkshire Police still robustly defending Mr Miah’s claim throughout Court proceedings and shortly before witness exchange, they accepted Mr Miah’s initial offer to settle. The offer that the Police accepted was £3,500.00 plus payment of Mr Miah’s legal costs and whilst the case should never have taken this long to reach a conclusion, we and Mr Miah are very pleased that West Yorkshire Police finally saw sense.