Essex Police have been ordered to pay £4,000 in compensation to a retired lawyer who was wrongly arrested.Police vs lawyer? Who to root for?
Geoffrey Silkstone became involved in a boundary dispute with his former neighbour on the Essex/Suffolk border and got an injunction against him.Seems fairly normal.
However, at 6.15am one day he was arrested on suspicion of harassment and was questioned for six hours at a police station.
When he returned to answer his bail two months later, he was interviewed for a further six hours.
The matter was referred to the Crown Prosecution Service, which determined there was no criminal case to answer.Ah. Oh dear.
It also advised the dispute was a matter for the civil courts.
Mr Silkstone, 68, was not told of the decision for another six weeks.Whoops!
Now he has won almost £4,000 in compensation and damages from Essex Police after taking legal action against the Chief Constable for unlawful arrest and false imprisonment.Of course, this will ultimately get paid by….guess who?
Essex Police were also ordered to pay his costs, which totalled more than £43,000, as well as picking up the bill for their legal fees.
Mr Silkstone, who now lives in Stanway, said at the end of the judgment, the police’s barrister asked for the case to be referred to appeal on a point of law – a bid rejected by the judge.Double or quits?
After all, it’s not like they are gambling with their own money, is it? Or if there’ll be any real consequences, either.
Mr Silkstone said: “It was absolutely amazing.I wonder why..?
“After spending almost £100,000 of taxpayers’ money on this, they are seemingly prepared to waste even more money on this matter.
“At no point in the two years did the police try to settle this.”
A spokeswoman for the force said: “Essex Police are disappointed at the judgment, but will review the judge’s comments to see whether any lessons can be learned.”To see ‘whether’. So, there might not be any, then?
I can't help but wonder who Mr Silkstone's neighbour was. And what his contacts might have been with Essex Police...