London

Broken arm protester wins damages from Met Police

A protester whose arm was broken when a Metropolitan Police officer pulled her up from the ground in west London has been awarded £14,303 in damages.

Kelly Minio-Paluello, a pro-Palestinian demonstrator, was injured during a protest outside the Israeli Embassy in Kensington in January 2009.

The 29-year-old's arm was twisted and locked behind her back and she was then pulled up in that position.

The High Court said the force used was "neither reasonable nor proportionate".

Injury 'entirely avoidable'

Arguing against her claim, lawyers for the Met said there was a lawful basis for the use of force by the officer and that the degree of force used was reasonable and proportionate.

Mr Justice Eder acknowledged that the situation was "somewhat chaotic" but there were many police officers at the scene.

He said it was important to get Ms Minio-Paluello and her fellow protester off the ground but the operation employed and force used to get her to her feet "were neither reasonable nor proportionate".

He added: "On the contrary, both the operation itself and the force used were obviously dangerous.

"Given the expert evidence, it is hardly surprising that the claimant suffered the injuries which she did, which injuries were, in my view, entirely avoidable."

Mr Justice Eder said the injury has left Ms Minio-Paluello with a minor limitation of movement in her left shoulder and continued pain prevented her from doing sports - particularly swimming, rugby, self-defence and climbing - to the extent she did before.

But the judge said the injury did not justify awarding her exemplary damages. He also did not find any deliberate intention to cause any injury or indifference to the use of force towards the claimant.

"The fact is that this was a somewhat chaotic situation which arose in part at least by the fact - as I have found - that the claimant attempted to prevent or to frustrate what was - again as I have found - a lawful arrest."

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