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Head of the Actions Against the Police and Data Breach Departments at Irvings Law, Mr Matthew McConville, has successfully represented a client (Mr Nigel Rush) against West Yorkshire Police in a claim for false imprisonment arising from a data breach.

Mr Rush was in a relationship but the same unfortunately ended. After this, an acquaintance to his ex-partner made a number vexatious complaints of harassment to the Police against Mr Rush. Mr Rush attended Court on that day and the CPS offered no evidence as his ex-partner decided to decline to give evidence. Happily, Mr Rush agreed at Court to accept a Restraining Order which would prohibit him from contacting his ex-partner.

After the hearing, Mr Rush and his brother-in-law, who had accompanied him to Court, went to a café. Unbeknown to Mr Rush and his brother-in-law, his ex-partner was in the same café and was a mere coincidence. Mr Rush’s ex-partner decided to then leave a few minutes later and drove away but her acquaintance telephoned the Police once more about Mr Rush. The Investigating Officer sought advice from CPS lawyers, who advised Mr Rush’s actions did not breach the said Restraining Order but that they could constitute the offence of stalking if there were any evidence of Mr Rush following the complainants and so, the Police decided to create a crime report for the offence of stalking against Mr Rush.

Subsequently, another Investigating Officer reviewed the matter and decided that Mr Rush should be arrested by appointment for questioning. Mr Rush was then telephoned and was only too happy to agree to attend the Police Station. However, later that day, Mr Rush decided to voluntarily attend the Police Station to provide a statement as to what happened but upon his arrival, he was arrested because the said Officer had erroneously circulated on the PNC that he was ‘wanted’ despite his agreement to attend the Police Station voluntarily which he did so albeit early. After over thirteen hours in custody, Mr Rush was later charged to attend Court for the offence of stalking but yet again, the charges against him were dropped by the CPS.

Representation & Resolution

Rightly, Mr Rush wanted compensation for what happened to him and after previous Solicitors declining his instructions because they believed that his case had no prospects of success, Mr McConville thought differently and offered no win, no fee terms to Mr Rush without hesitation. Despite Mr McConville inviting the Police to settle Mr Rush’s claim before Court proceedings were begun, they refused to do so which left Mr Rush with no other option but to go down this path alleging that he was falsely detained because it was unnecessary given the inaccurate information circulated on the PNC. In response to the serve proceedings, the Police finally realised what they had done and the parties then engaged in settlement discussions which resulted in Mr Rush concluding his claim for an undisclosed sum plus his legal costs.

Author: Matthew McConville