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Following admissions made by the Defendant that officers of Cleveland Police had falsely imprisoned a leading criminal defence solicitor, Mr Watson, together with members of his family, and that they had unlawfully searched his premises and those of his firm, an out of court settlement was agreed in which the Chief Constable will pay Mr Watson, his family and his colleagues a total sum of £550,000 in damages, plus legal costs. Cleveland Police also accepted that it had no defence to the claim that officers maliciously procured the search warrants and had committed misfeasance in public office as a result of these events. The large sum of damages included £80,000 in exemplary damages.
The case has received considerable media attention.
Christopher Walker was Led by Tim Owen QC, instructed by Fiona Murphy, then of Bhatt Murphy.