Gwent police have had to pay out nearly £100,000 in legal costs, repairs and compensation after they smashed in 73 year old Robert Whatley’s car in 2009 when he wasn’t wearing his seatbelt.
One police officer hit the window glass 15 times with his baton, whilst another jumped on the bonnet and kicked in the windscreen.
The grandfather claimed he was not wearing his seatbelt as he had been reversing earlier and was fined for failing to stop for police and not wearing his seatbelt to a cost of £235. However, Mr Whatley said ‘The police went completely over the top – you would have thought I had robbed a bank…I feel the rogue officers were too quick to turn to aggression. I brought this claim as a matter of principle and not for compensation’.
Mr Whatley sued the police for post traumatic stress disorder and was awarded £20,000 out of court, along with having his car repaired and his legal fees paid.
Gwent police force, removed the two officers from front-line duty to carry out internal enquiries but they were allowed back on duty after the force claimed they ‘met the highest standards of professional behaviour’.
Yet Mr Whatley’s solicitor feels that by the police paying outside of court, they were concerned that an independent court would not reach the same conclusions as they had.
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