Costs eat up award against police

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The Independent Online
A MAN who won damages from a police force after proving he had been unlawfully arrested is not likely to benefit from a penny of the award. Leicestershire Constabulary, which was ordered to pay the damages, said Christopher Hackett had already incurred pounds 15,000 court costs after previous legal action against it failed.

The bill will more than swallow the pounds 11,500 that a jury at Derby County Court awarded him yesterday after accepting that he was the victim of a police "conspiracy". Mr Hackett, 51, has already said his legal challenge was fought on moral grounds and not for financial gain. He alleged his ex-wife, Detective Constable Helen Lodge, used her influence as a police woman to have him arrested by a colleague from Leicestershire police on a trumped-up firearms charge.

He said that although a custody sergeant refused to authorise his further detention, police had him arrested on another matter. Leicestershire Constabulary said that what Mr Hackett had won amounted to a fraction of a larger action. John Riddell, a solicitor for the force, said: "Mr Hackett was making a number of claims about matters stretching from 1988 to 1993.

"All these proceeded to the High Court where a judge dismissed the majority, and which he incurred the costs for."