Friday, 2 April 2010

Merseyside Police Pay Compensation to “Liverpool 13” Men for Unlawful Arrest

The Merseyside police have effectively admitted that their 2008 arrest and detention of 13 British National Party members who were leafleting in Liverpool, was unlawful and have paid out a first four figure compensation to the activists.

One of those arrested, Pete Molloy, who is originally from Liverpool, but now resides in County Durham and who is the party’s Parliamentary candidate for the North Durham constituency, said he “felt totally vindicated.

“Other police forces around the country should be made aware that the BNP will no longer tolerate this Labour Party-politically motivated harassment,” he said.

The incident arose after the BNP members were unlawfully arrested in Liverpool city centre by Merseyside Police for distributing the perfectly legal “Racism Cuts Both Ways” brochure.

The ‘Liverpool 13’ were arrested under Section 19 of The Public Order Act 1986, which is the “offence of publishing or distributing racially inflammatory written material.”

The men were incarcerated for 14 hours, had their DNA taken and their homes unlawfully searched by Merseyside Police. Some of those detainees had personal items removed from their homes as ‘evidence’.

A week later, just prior to a larger distribution and demonstration event, attended by the party leadership, the Liverpool 13 were advised in hand-delivered letters that no further action would be taken against them.

Not content with that, Mr Molloy started legal action against Merseyside Police for unlawful imprisonment and trespassing.

“Once I had been informed by my legal representatives that I had a case against Merseyside Police, many more of the Liverpool 13 started proceedings for compensation,” Mr Molloy said.

Merseyside Police have admitted liability and all those who sought damages have been awarded compensation in the form of a four figure sum.

“It was my arrest which allowed newspapers such as the Sunday Times, Daily Mail and Daily Star, to libel myself and four other BNP members last year after Nick Griffin’s appearance on Question Time,” Mr Molloy said.

“Now that we have received the payouts from Merseyside Police, we intend to ensure that those newspapers are forced to apologise for using this bogus case to tarnish our characters,” Mr Molloy concluded.

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