andrew sinclair

A man has successfully managed to sue the police for wrongful arrest after they broke his fingers, and dragged him out of his car for driving too slowly past an airport.

Father-of-three Andrew Sinclair, 47, was apprehended by officers and detained in cells for the crime of driving away from an airport terminal at a speed that was deemed too slow by police.

But a County Court jury ruled there had been no justification for detaining him outside Manchester Airport. Sinclair was detained for not driving quickly enough as he waited for his partner Michelle Saddoo, 40, to catch up in another car as he collected his son.

Despite trying to explain his circumstances to the police officers present, police from a nearby Tactical Aid Unit – which had been called to manage an immigration protest at the airport – became involved in the dispute in March 2009.

He was then shoved to the ground by half a dozen officers, and handcuffed in front of his partner before being whisked away to a police station.

Officers later claimed he had been arrested for a breach of the peace outside Terminal Two. But a jury at Manchester County Court ruled there had been no justification for detaining him.

Mr Sinclair said: “They never explained to me that I’d been arrested and they just locked me up, then a few hours later they released me without any explanation. I knew what had happened wasn’t right and that night I decided I was going to fight it.

“I’m just a normal person and for four years this has always been at the back of my mind and caused me a lot of stress but it was something I didn’t want to just let go, because they abused their power and like anyone else the police need to be held to account.”

Mr Sinclair was collecting his son, Reis, and the 23-year-old’s Honda Civic car as he was unable to drive himself home after suffering head injuries, a broken wrist and broken collarbone in a motoring accident while on holiday in Dubai.

He reported how his daughters still continue to have nightmares and screaming fits due to flashbacks of the incident.

A Greater Manchester Police spokesman said: ‘Greater Manchester Police notes the decision of the jury to award compensation to Mr Sinclair after he was successful in his claim that he was unlawfully detained for two hours and 42 minutes as a result of a wrongful arrest following an incident that took place on 21 March 2009. The Force fully respects the decision reached by the court and Mr Sinclair has been compensated accordingly.”

The amount of compensation received remains undisclosed. Juries are rarely used in the County Court, but can be used in cases of false imprisonment.

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