Police agree £10,000 settlement with King’s Lynn man over wrongful arrest claim

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A man from Lynn is set to receive £10,000 in compensation from Norfolk Police after he claimed he was assaulted, wrongly arrested and maliciously prosecuted.

The out-of-court settlement relates to an incident in the town five years ago in which Donatas Leinartas was subsequently charged with assaulting officers, but was eventually acquitted.

However, despite the payout, the force says an internal investigation has concluded there is no case for disciplinary action against any of the five officers involved in the affair.

The case relates to an incident in Lynn’s Tuesday Market Place in March 2013.

Lawyers representing Mr Leinartas, 32, say a female police officer used an incapacitating spray on him when he was trying to collect his belongings and medication from a car, after his brother was arrested on suspicion of drink-driving.

They claim that she and another male officer dragged Mr Leinartas from the vehicle and that two more male officers joined in, restraining Mr Leinartas.

One of them was also said to have struck Mr Leinartas several times with his baton.

Terence Channer, a solicitor who specialises in claims against the police at national law firm Scott-Moncrieff, represented Mr Leinartas.

He said: “Mr Leinartas was assaulted, handcuffed, and unlawfully detained at King’s Lynn Police Station for seven hours.

“Our client needed hospital treatment for an eye infection caused by the spray used on him and we sued Norfolk Police for assault, wrongful arrest, unlawful detention and malicious prosecution, as the police claimed it was Mr Leinartas who assaulted them.”

Mr Channer claimed that, by acquitting his client, magistrates had accepted that police had acted illegally.

He added: “When Mr Leinartas was arrested this was done unlawfully, too, as the officers held and restrained him without first arresting him. Thus his detention was also unlawful.

“We are pleased that the force has agreed to settle this claim without further opposition, though it is worth noting that Mr Leinartas required hospital treatment for his injuries.”

Mr Leinartas said: “This was a terrible display of police aggression from the moment I was trying to gather up my medication to them spraying me in the face, holding me in a cell and even prosecuting me.

“I am glad this has been resolved.”

A Norfolk Police spokesman said yesterday: “We can confirm this claim was settled by the Constabulary in October 2017.

“Following a complaint the matter was investigated by our Professional Standards Department.

“All parties were interviewed as part of this process and, based on all available evidence, it was concluded that officers had no case to answer for misconduct.”