Payout for four held at gunpoint in bungled police swoop


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The Independent Online

Four innocent friends held at gunpoint in a bungled police swoop have won payouts from Scotland Yard.

James Barber, Claire Clarke, Nick Fairbairn and his wife Ruth were travelling in a car mistaken for a vehicle wanted in connection with an armed incident.

One officer was alleged to have used the butt of his gun to smash the driver's window before the occupants were dragged from the car in Harrow, north-west London.

The force apologised and agreed to pay compensation to the four of more than £23,000. The force said the incident was "an honest mistake".

A Scotland Yard statement said: "The MPS (Metropolitan Police Service) settled the civil claim brought by the occupants of the car amicably by way of an out-of-court settlement on February 20, 2012 to the satisfaction of the parties.

"The settlement was on a non-admission of liability basis but the MPS apologised for the distress suffered by the claimants.

"This was an honest mistake involving a fast-moving incident on 19th April 2010 in Harrow. Immediately after the incident a senior police officer apologised to the individuals at the scene."