A woman who was sprayed in the face with CS gas by police while on a night out in Dewsbury has accepted £7,000 in settlement of her claim for compensation.
Debbie O’Reilly, 45, was on a night out with a friend in August 2007. They met her friend’s former partner and he and her friend were later involved in an argument, which resulted in him being restrained by the police. Ms O’Reilly claimed that she intervened to ask police officers why he was being restrained. When she repeated her question, she was sprayed in the face with CS gas. She was then arrested for obstructing a police officer and held overnight at the police station. The following day she was given a caution and then released.
Ms O’Reilly said that the CS gas caused her to suffer blisters and burns to her face.
She brought a personal injury claim against West Yorkshire Police and the matter was settled out of court. In addition, the incident was investigated internally by the force’s Professional Standards Department and the Office of the Force Solicitor, with the result that it was agreed that the caution should be removed from Ms O’Reilly’s file.
On occasion, the police may take restraining action that appears to the person being restrained to be akin to assault. Just because you are unhappy with the way the police have treated you does not mean that you have a civil claim for compensation, however.