Police force set to agree record damages: West Midlands to pay pounds 70,000 to man who claims Crime Squad detectives fabricated confession

WEST MIDLANDS Police is set to pay a record pounds 70,000 compensation plus costs of about pounds 250,000 to settle a civil action by a man who claims detectives in the force's discredited Serious Crime Squad fabricated his confession to armed robbery.

The settlement in the action being brought by Paul Dandy, details of which will be announced at a hearing at the High Court in Birmingham today, is believed to be a record for a civil claim over allegations of false arrest and malicious prosecution. It was offered by the West Midlands Police early in September, before the civil case was due to begin in October and after the force had defended the claim for four years. The force does not admit any liability.

At Mr Dandy's trial in November 1987, the prosecution offered no further evidence after Esda tests, whereby indentations on a page can be matched with the writing on the page above, suggested that a one- line admission to the offence had been added to his statement by interviewing detectives. Mr Dandy was released after spending eight months on remand in solitary confinement as a high security risk prisoner.

The Dandy case was one of several which collapsed after allegations about the evidence of squad detectives and which was raised in the Commons by Clare Short, the Labour MP for Birmingham Ladywood. After an inquiry, three other detectives, all of whom are still serving, were reprimanded after pleading guilty to minor discipline offences. One is a former head of the squad.

The squad was disbanded in August 1989 amid repeated allegations of fabricated confessions, but a two- year inquiry into the Squad by West Yorkshire Police failed to result in any criminal charges. A number of other officers have since been disciplined over unrelated minor matters.

Twenty men have had their convictions quashed by the Court of Appeal because of doubts about the reliability of evidence given by squad detectives. The Dandy case is the first civil claim to be settled as a result of the affair, although a number of those freed have already received substantial Home Office compensation payments, totalling more than pounds 90,000.

David Simon, solicitor for Mr Dandy, last night refused to comment in advance of the hearing before Mr Justice Popplewell today. However, it is known they have obtained fresh Esda tests which lawyers claim would cast further doubt on the reliability of the interviews with police.

West Midlands Police also declined to comment.

Mr Dandy said he accepted the settlement, although he was concerned his allegations against the detectives had not been tested in court. 'This money can never compensate for the stress and strain of the last six years and the time I spent in prison in solitary confinement for a crime I did not commit.'

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
people
News
Ed Miliband received a warm welcome in Chester
election 2015
Life and Style
Apple CEO Tim Cook announces the Apple Watch during an Apple special even
fashionIs the iWatch for you? Well, it depends if you want for the fitness tech, or the style
News
Astronauts could be kept asleep for days or even weeks
scienceScientists are looking for a way to keep astronauts in a sleeplike state for days or weeks
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Project Implementation Executive

£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Chiropractic Assistant

£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive - Midlands

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own