A former police officer who was filmed smashing the driver's window of a Range Rover has won more than £400,000 in damages for constructive dismissal after claiming the viral video forced him out of the force.
Mike Baillon, a former Gwent PC, claimed he was side lined after the film of him smashing the window of the vehicle which had failed to stop was watched 30million times on YouTube.
A tribunal hearing heard that the 42-year-old quit his job in August 2012 after being transferred away from front line duties because senior officers believed his “judgement may be impaired”.
The incident in 2009 was at the end of a 17-minute pursuit after driver Robert Whatley drove off without warning while being questioned by Mr Baillon.
Mr Whatley was found guilty of failing to stop, failing to wear a seatbelt and other offences and was fined £235. But he brought a civil claim against Gwent Police which was settled without liability for £65,000 in compensation and costs in 2012.
Commenting on Mr Baillon's £440,000 award, Mr Whatley told The Daily Mail: “It's totally unreasonable behaviour rewarded by a totally unreasonable pay-out.”
Mr Baillon said his subsequent relocation to a local policing unit after the incident was “punishment” for having “the perceived audacity to write complaints and make protected disclosure to senior officers”.
Mr Baillon, from Torfaen, said the impact of the publicity surrounding the case had caused stress for his family.
“I felt to draw a line under the incident I needed to make the organisation aware of how they dealt with the incident and the effect that had on me and my family,” he said.
Referring to Gwent Police, he added: “They've cost me my job and they've cost the taxpayer an awful lot of money. I was highly trained and highly committed, but it counted for nothing in the end.”
A spokesman for Gwent Police said: “Gwent Police defended itself against the claims during the employment tribunal process and is disappointed at the outcome.”Reuse content