£35,000 dam­ages for man stripped by po­lice

Ormskirk Advertiser - - Front Page -

AN ORM­SKIRK man pep­per-sprayed in front of his chil­dren be­fore be­ing stripped naked and “in­ti­mately searched” was paid £35,000 in dam­ages by po­lice.

Shock­ing footage showed Paul Ponting, now 48, be­ing stripped by po­lice and then re­fus­ing to put on a “pa­per suit” of­fi­cers tossed him as they left his cell at Skelmers­dale Po­lice Sta­tion.

Mr Ponting says he feels “vin­di­cated” af­ter a fouryear le­gal bat­tle with Lan­cashire Con­stab­u­lary, which de­cided not to fight a civil claim for wrong­ful ar­rest, false im­pris­on­ment, as­sault and ma­li­cious prose­cu­tion.

The force con­firmed it ar­rest­ing of­fi­cer. Mr Pont- al­ways right and they are had set­tled with­out li­a­bil- ing said the stress of the never wrong, and don’t ity, mean­ing it made no ar­rest and le­gal bat­tle left get me wrong they do a for­mal ad­mis­sion of him need­ing med­i­ca­tion. great job in a lot of ar­eas, wrong-do­ing, although He said: “I have al­ways but they’re not per­fect the set­tle­ment in­clud­ing a said I’m not anti-po­lice, and they can be pretty evil let­ter of apol­ogy. I’m anti-po­lice cor­rup- when they want.”

Mr Ponting, of Yew Tree tion. Ac­cord­ing to the terms Road, was later charged “It has never been about of the set­tle­ment, agreed with as­sault­ing the of­fi­cer money. It was a mas­sive at Liver­pool County who ar­rested him, ha­rass­ing weight on our shoul­ders. Court, Lan­cashire po­lice an­other of­fi­cer and It is that frus­tra­tion when have un­til Oc­to­ber 10 to pub­lic or­der of­fences. you know you are right send a let­ter con­tain­ing

But he was cleared of all and you are not be­ing the fol­low­ing apol­ogy: charges at Chorley Mag­is­trates’ be­lieved. “The Chief Con­sta­ble Court, with the “Peo­ple have this view wishes to apol­o­gise to you bench crit­i­cis­ing the of the po­lice that they are for the way the in­ci­dent was han­dled. The Chief Con­sta­ble hopes now your ac­tion against the force has been set­tled you will be able to re­gain your health and, in time, your faith in Lan­cashire Con­stab­u­lary.”

Iain Gould, of DPP Law, who spe­cialises in ac­tions against the po­lice and rep­re­sented Mr Ponting, said: “This was a case of a law-abid­ing fam­ily man sub­jected to gra­tu­itous vi­o­lence, un­law­ful ar­rest and prose­cu­tion – a huge waste of po­lice time and pub­lic re­sources – and as a re­sult his faith in the po­lice was shat­tered.

“Paul is man of prin­ci­ple and the most im­por­tant thing about this set­tle­ment is not the level of dam­ages but the apol­ogy he has now re­ceived from the Chief Con­sta­ble.

“I ap­plaud the Chief Con­sta­ble for do­ing so; a sense of jus­tice be­ing done is the pri­mary ob­jec­tive for peo­ple like Paul.”

Some of the in­juries Paul Ponting suf­fered, above, and, main pic­ture, Mr Ponting at his Orm­skirk home

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