This search warrant compensation claim began at 8 a.m. in January, when Mr. H. A and his 24 year-old son A.A. were both asleep in their North London home.
They were woken by the sound of their front door getting smashed in.
Men ran into A.A.’s bedroom and:
- dragged him from his bed by his hair, pulling some out,
- scratched his face,
- punched him in the ribs, and
- gave him a black eye as he was pushed against the wall by his face.
The attackers only identified themselves as police officers after they had held A.A. on the bed for 5-10 minutes. Before then, A.A. had no idea who had raided his house and assaulted him.
A.A. was escorted downstairs and told to sit on the sofa where his father, H.A. was waiting.
H.A., who was on disability and incapacity benefit for chronic low back pain, had also been assaulted by the police in the raid.
The police then explained that they were executing a search warrant as they were looking for a suspect.
After a while they confirmed that they had gone to the wrong address. The search warrant said ‘8 [Blank] Close’. The police went to ‘8 [Blank] Avenue’.
A police officer apologised and said they would send someone round to fix the door. They left after 45 minutes.
Both men received medication from their GP after complaining of physical and psychological injuries.
Donoghue Solicitors Instructed to Make a Search Warrant Compensation Claim
Following an internet search, both claimants contacted Donoghue Solicitors to see if they could make a search warrant compensation claim. Kevin Donoghue personally took their police warrant claims and sued the Metropolitan Police. Specifically, he alleged:
- breach of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (right to respect for private and family life),
- assault, and
- false imprisonment.
Mr. Donoghue sought basic, aggravated and exemplary damages for his clients, to compensate them for the police’s conduct, injury to feelings and arbitrary & unconstitutional behaviour.
How the Metropolitan Police Defended the Search Warrant Compensation Claim
In response the Metropolitan Police denied liability, saying they had acted lawfully, but offered £4,000 compensation (to be shared between the two men), a letter of apology and costs. They objected to an independent medical examination of both men,saying that there was no evidence they had suffered any injuries.
(To support the claim for injuries, Mr. Donoghue, an experienced member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers, sent photographic and medical evidence to the police.)
Kevin Donoghue recommended that his clients reject the Metropolitan Police’s offer. They did.
The Metropolitan Police then admitted trespass but continued to deny the claims for assault, false imprisonment, breach of the Human Rights Act, and psychological upset. The Police also said the search only lasted 20 minutes, not 45.
Because the Police maintained they had acted lawfully, Kevin Donoghue had no alternative but to issue court proceedings. The Metropolitan Police formally filed a defence denying liability for everything except trespass.
Obtaining Maximum Damages for the Search Warrant Compensation Claim Against the Metropolitan Police
The case progressed towards trial but, following negotiations, Kevin Donoghue made the Metropolitan Police increase their initial offer of £4,000 total compensation for both men to £18,000. This was five times more than initially offered for A.A., and four times more for H.A. He also obtained an apology from the Police, which was important to his clients.
Both A.A. and H.A. were happy with the compensation paid, apology and knowledge that justice had been done.
Solicitors to Help With Search Warrant Compensation Claims
Donoghue Solicitors have many years’ experience in dealing with actions against the police, and in particular the Metropolitan Police. You can read more about our work by going to the actions against the police page.
If you have suffered as a result of an unlawfully executed search warrant and want to make a compensation claim contact us.
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