Police were 'hasty and ill-informed' when they restrained teenager after he jumped into a pool, high court judge rules
A severely autistic epileptic teenager who was pulled out of a swimming pool and restrained after he jumped in fully clothed during a school trip has won £28,250 damages from the Metropolitan police.
The 19-year-old, who can only be identified as ZH, had established his claim for trespass to the person, assault and battery and false imprisonment under the Disability Discrimination Act and the Human Rights Act, ruled the judge, Sir Robert Nelson, at London's high court.He said that, although the officers attending the September 2008 incident in Acton, west London, were acting as they genuinely thought best, their responses were "over-hasty and ill-informed".
Matters escalated to the point where a "wholly inappropriate" restraint of ZH, who has learning disabilities and cannot communicate by speech, took place.
By failing to consult his carers, the police failed to understand the potentially serious consequences of applying force and restraint to ZH, who suffered moderate post-traumatic stress disorder.
He said: "The case highlights the need for there to be an awareness of the disability of autism within the public services. It is to be hoped that this sad case will help bring that about."
He refused permission to appeal although counsel for the Met commissioner said the application would be pursued directly with the court of appeal.
Source : The Guardian