Fan accepts pounds 21,500 from police after attack claim

A LOCAL government officer yesterday accepted pounds 21,500 in settlement of his claim for damages for false imprisonment, assault, and malicious prosecution against Metropolitan Police officers.

Stanley Dixon, 35, claimed that after being arrested at a West Ham football match five years ago he was thrown against a wall, his arms spreadeagled above his head, his legs kicked apart and his hat pulled off with such force that his hair was pulled out.

Croydon County Court was told he was arrested after Detective Constables Kim Overall and Ian James and Police Constable Paul Kemp claimed they had seen Mr Dixon let off a flare at the match against Arsenal, which had struck and injured another spectator.

Mr Dixon maintained it was fired by someone standing a few yards away.

At his four-day trial at Inner London Crown Court at which the police officers gave evidence, Mr Dixon was cleared of the two charges relating to the flare - malicious wounding and assault.

He sued the Metropolitan Police, alleging that the three officers 'fabricated the allegations against him, intending that he would thereby be wrongly convicted and punished for a criminal offence of which they knew him to be innocent.' The police deny all the allegations but agreed to pay the damages sum in settlement of the claim.

In a statement read to the court, Mr Dixon's lawyers said that he 'found his personal life devastated by the unlawful treatment which he has suffered at the hands of DC Overall, DC James and PC Kemp. 'Aside from the humiliation, indignity and pain of the initial arrest and assault, he had to endure the acute anxiety and distress of being accused of an extremely serious criminal offence and of being obliged to appear in public before the courts to be accused of that offence.'

Afterwards Mr Dixon, from Ilford, east London, said the incident had left him both shocked and disgusted. 'But I now feel wiser and fully vindicated by the damages award.'