Mark Thomas successfully defends necessity to arrest and fair trial grounds in Court of Appeal on behalf of Cambridgeshire Police

In the case of Kandamwala v Cambridgeshire Police, the appellant appealed against a County Court judge’s order dismissing his claim for damages for false imprisonment by false arrest against the respondent police.

In August 2009, the appellant had called the police after he was slapped by a mother who believed that he had touched her daughter inappropriately. The appellant was arrested on suspicion of sexual assault on a female. The mother later admitted that she had slapped him. She was not arrested for assault, but the appellant was arrested for the alleged sexual offence. No further proceedings were taken against the appellant.

The appellant submitted that (1) the trial judge had erred in failing to give proper consideration to whether it had been necessary to arrest him under s.24(5), and the outcome might have been different if that had been done; (2) the judge had erred in failing to give proper consideration to his claim for race discrimination and breach of his human rights; (3) the judge’s conduct of the hearing meant that he did not have a fair trial because of serious procedural or other irregularities under CPR r.52.21(3)(b).

The Court (Hamblen LJ, McFarlane LJ) held that there was ample evidence for the trial judge to conclude that the police officer subjectively believed the appellant’s arrest was necessary. After the arrest, the police officers acted promptly. The judge applied the correct test and reached a decision that was open to him.

In relation to the discrimination ground, it was found that the claim had been withdrawn before trial.

Despite robust trial management by the trial judge, the Court of Appeal also found that the appellant did receive a fair trial.

Mark Thomas acts for police forces throughout the full ambit of police law.