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Dad Had Fingers Broken By Police In Front Of Kids - For Driving Too Slowly Past Manchester Airport

14/08/2014 16:52 | Updated 22 May 2015

Dad roughed up by police in front of kids - for driving too slowly past airport

A dad had his fingers broken as he was wrongly arrested in front of his three kids and their mum for – wait for this - 'driving too slowly' past an airport.

Andrew Sinclair, 47, was stopped because he was not driving quickly enough as he waited for his partner Michelle Saddoo, 40, to catch up in another car as he collected his son from Manchester Airport.

When he pulled over, half a dozen police officers pushed him to the ground, then hauled him off to the cells where he was kept for three hours.

But even though officers later claimed he had been arrested for a breach of the peace, a jury at Manchester County Court ruled there had been no justification for detaining Andrew, who has now won compensation.

The court heard that after being pulled over by a motorbike cop, the dad, from Stockport, Greater Manchester, tried to explain the situation before being joined by police from a nearby Tactical Aid Unit - which had been called to manage an immigration protest at the airport.

Andrew told his local paper: "As soon as the Tactical Aid Unit officers came over they seemed to have adopted an aggressive, bullying attitude and started searching the car and pushing me around before they threw me to the floor.

"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."

Andrew 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.

His partner, Michelle, was supposed to be driving the family car home with their two young children Aliyah, three, and four-month-old Tayo in the back seat.

She said: "We were just a normal, everyday family going about our normal, everyday business and there was no reason whatsoever for them to behave in the way they did.

"It's affected us all deeply, my daughter in particular had nightmares and would have screaming fits every time she saw a police officer.

"It took a lot of courage to take on Greater Manchester Police but we knew that what happened was wrong and as citizens we shouldn't have to accept that.

"We've had great support from our friends and family and our legal team, and in the end it's a great vindication that a jury was able to see the truth and that we finally have justice."

Following a seven-day trial the jury ruled that Andrew had been assaulted and falsely imprisoned but did not uphold an allegation that officers had deliberately caused the injuries to his fingers.

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.

"Greater Manchester Police also notes that Mr Sinclair's claims for loss of earnings and that one of the officers involved deliberately caused personal injury were dismissed." The amount of compensation was not revealed.

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