Drug case man accepts pounds 21,000

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The Independent Online
A MAN who claimed he was arrested on a fabricated drugs and assault charge yesterday accepted pounds 21,000 damages from the Metropolitan Police.

Marcel Mullins, 38, of Ladywell, south-east London, sued the police for false imprisonment, battery, malicious prosecution and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice following an incident nearly 10 years ago.

The High Court was told yesterday that three other men had also alleged that officers at a station in the West End of London had planted drugs on them during the same period. All three received out-of-court payments from the police following their arrests in 1984.

In December 1985, an inspector and a constable connected to the cases were given jail sentences for their part in the concealment of drugs found in a raid on a club.

The police denied all the allegations involving Mr Mullins but agreed to pay him compensation and costs.

Raju Bhatt, Mr Mullins' solicitor, told the court that his client was arrested by Constable Carl Bennett in November 1984 while he was standing in the doorway of a club in Soho and detained for eight hours at West End Central police station. PC Bennett produced a polythene bag of white powder and allegedly told the station officer it belonged to Mr Mullins, the court heard. He was also said to have falsely claimed that Mr Mullins had assaulted him, said Mr Bhatt.

Mr Mullins was charged with assaulting a police officer and possession of cocaine, but no evidence was offered against him when the case reached court in January 1986.

Mr Bhatt alleged that in concocting his case against Mr Mullins, PC Bennett was acting in agreement with other officers of D Serial at West End Central police station under the command of Inspector Norman McGowan.

In 1985 Insp McGowan and PC Michael Buchanan, both from West End Central, were sentenced to 12 months and six months respectively, Buchanan's sentence to be suspended for two years. They were found guilty of stealing a police bag containing a herbal substance. McGowan was also found guilty of instructing a police officer with the intention of perverting the course of justice.