Police must pay out to man evicted from home

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A judge has ordered police to fork out thousands of pounds in taxpayers money after one man won an eight year legal battle against Herts Constabulary.

But Peter Mahon says he was not motivated by money but simply wanted to clear his name after officers went to his Hemel Hempstead home in Adeyfield Gardens in the early hours of the morning and ordered him to leave.

Officers say they were responding to a domestic dispute between Mr Mahon and his now ex-partner in December 2004 but he claims he was asleep when police arrived.

“Everybody believed them. I was fed up of listening to ‘you must have done something otherwise the police wouldn’t have evicted you,” said Mr Mahon, who was threatened with arrest if he refused to leave.

At Luton County Court on Thursday, after a three day hearing, the judge granted a declaration that Mr Mahon’s ‘right for respect to be home’ had been contravened, which breached the European Convention of Human Rights.

Mr Mahon was awarded £3,937 and the judge also ordered the constabulary to pay 80 per cent of his legal costs – which could see the police bill soar to around £30,000.

The constabulary will also have its own legal fees to pay on top of this figure.

A police spokesman said: “We treat all incidents of potential domestic violence seriously. We accept the decision of the court.

“The judge found that the officers who attended the incident had acted in good faith. The police officers were attending a difficult situation at the time and they took a pragmatic approach.”