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POLICE PAY UP OVER ATTACK; Man alleged he was beaten and kicked by North Wales cops.

Byline: HUGO DUNCAN

A LEGAL executive has won a five-year compensation battle after claiming he was beaten up by North Wales Police.

James Skeffington,of Prestatyn, told a court he was assaulted by an officer, wrongly arrested,and then attacked again at Mold Police Station in 1998.

North Wales Police denied allegations of assault and battery, false imprisonment and malicious prosecution.

But a jury at Llangefni County Court found in Mr Skeffington's favour and Judge Elystan Morgan awarded him pounds 5,000 compensation plus costs.

Last night 30-year-old Mr Skeffington, who represented himself in court last week, told of his five-year fight for justice. He said: ``It has been a David and Goliath case and it was very stressful to make the police accountable for their actions.

``I wasn't after a pot of gold. I just wanted this brought to justice to make sure it wouldn't happen again.''

Mr Skeffington, who also has a flat in Liverpool city centre, said he was permanently scarred and movement in his neck reduced by 50pc.

He said he was drunk and asleep in his car in Chester Road,Sealand,Flintshire, when two police officers confronted him on May 23,1998.

In a statement to the court,Mr Skeffington claimed: He was pushed to the floor by an officer and his head was slammed into the ground.

He was taken to Mold Police Station but not told the reason for his detention until he got there,amounting to false imprisonment.

He was again assaulted at Mold Police Station.

When he complained his handcuffs were too tight he was taken out of view of CCTV cameras, where his arms were pulled high behind his back and his head and neck were forced downwards.

He was punched and kicked to the back of his legs.

Mr Skeffington also told the court he was prosecuted for acting in a violent manner but acquitted by Flintshire magistrates in September 1998. A charge of being drunk in charge of a motor vehicle was also dropped.

He claimed the ``malicious prosecutions'' against him were ``fabricated'' to ``cover up'' the assault on him.

He filed his complaint in June 2001,and at the end of last week a jury at Llangefni found in his favour.

Mr Skeffington said: ``It took five years and many people might have lost interest and heart but I stuck to my guns throughout the long and drawn out process of suing them.''
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:May 29, 2003
Words:406
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