Policewoman's ex-husband wins unlawful arrest case

A MAN who claimed his former wife used her position as a police officer to have him unlawfully arrested won his case for damages yesterday.

A jury at Derby Crown Court ruled that the officer who arrested Christopher Hackett on 24 June 1992 had done so to assist Helen Lodge, while she was working as a police constable.

They also ruled the reason for his arrest, on a firearms offence, was to get him back to Loughborough police station where he was re-arrested on a committal warrant in relation to unpaid maintenance.

However, the jury decided that Mr Hackett, who was suing the Chief Constable of Leicestershire, had not been assaulted during the arrest outside his farmhouse home in Woodhouse Eaves, Leicestershire. The hearing was adjourned until today when the level of damages is to be set.

A tearful Mr Hackett, 51, said after the verdict: "I have had to endure seven terrible years to finally prove this matter in court ... I have struggled for seven years - seven years of being vilified, seven years of being disbelieved - and seven years of misery."

He added of the police: "They have ruined seven years of my life and those concerned should go - I am calling for disciplinary action against them."

John Riddell, the solicitor representing Leicestershire Constabulary, said: "We would prefer to leave any comment until the overall picture is clear and the jury decides the verdict on exemplary damages."

The court had been told that Mr Hackett was arrested after his former wife expressed concern to senior officers over his mental state and the fact that he was in possession of a number of shotguns - despite the fact they were legally held.

On arrival at the police station, the custody sergeant said the firearms matter was not an arrestable offence, but Mr Hackett was then re-arrested on a committal warrant for non- payment of maintenance.

Mr Hackett claimed the purpose of his wife's actions was to allow her to visit the former matrimonial home.

Ms Lodge, 41, denied the claim and said she made her report amid concern there would be a breach of the peace.

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