Miss Olivia Kilgallon, Solicitor within Irvings Law’s Actions Against the Police Department, has successfully represented a client in a claim for compensation against Greater Manchester Police (GMP) after ununiformed Officers stopped and searched the client, unlawfully detained him, and assaulted him on 10 January 2021 in a busy Metro Tram Station. The said client wishes to remain unnamed for the purposes of this case report so will be referred to as ‘FC’.
On 10 January 2021 FC was travelling for the purpose of attending mental health support via the Metro Tram. FC was exempt from wearing a Covid-19 face covering owing to the fact that he suffers with asthma and mental health conditions. Three ununiformed GMP Officers boarded the tram and asked FC why he was not wearing a mask. FC explained why but the Officers continued to probe. As the Officers had failed to identify themselves, FC asked who they were, and it was at this point that FC was forced to leave the tram.
Once ejected from the tram, FC was handcuffed, detained, and subjected to a search of his person. The justification for said search was to search for drugs, which was completely unconnected with the reason why the Officers stopped and spoke with FC initially. Throughout the stop, FC informed the Officers repeatedly that he was exempt from wearing a Covid-19 face covering owing to asthma and mental health but the Officers accused him of using this as an excuse, claiming that ‘mental health is a joke’.
The search of FC did not produce anything and after approximately 8 minutes, the Officers removed the handcuffs from FC but instead of allowing him to continue his journey for mental health support, they instead ejected him from the Tram Station.
FC approached Irvings Law for assistance with the above and Miss Kilgallon immediately identified that what happened to FC and how he was treated was completely wrong. Miss Kilgallon offered to act for FC without hesitation and sent a letter of claim to GMP alleging that the Officers did not form a reasonable or genuine suspicion that FC was in possession of a controlled drug therefore the stop and search was unlawful, the detention was unlawful owing to there being no lawful excuse to detain FC and the removal of FC from the tram and application of handcuffs constituted an assault.
Despite the above, GMP denied liability and made no offers of settlement, therefore a Barrister was instructed to settle Particulars of Claim for the issue of proceedings. When GMP were due to send a Defence, without prejudice correspondence was instigated and settlement was achieved by FC accepting an offer of £2,000.00 plus his legal costs.