Ex-Cleveland PC Sultan Alam to sue Police Federation
A former Cleveland Police officer who won an 18-year legal fight against the force after he was wrongfully jailed is to take further court action.
Former traffic officer Sultan Alam, 48, was jailed for 18 months in 1996 for conspiracy to steal car parts, but was cleared by the Court of Appeal in 2007.
He was awarded £400,000 damages and is now taking action against the Police Federation claiming it "abandoned" him.
The federation said it believed Mr Alam had been happy with the support he got.
Cleveland Police admitted the malicious persecution of Mr Alam and he was awarded the damages at Leeds Crown Court, in January.
However, Mr Alam claims the federation - which represents the interests and welfare of police officers - "abandoned" him three weeks before the compensation hearing and he had to represent himself.
He said: "The only way I can describe it [is that it] was victimisation, pure and simple.
"Not only was I fighting Cleveland Police for justice, but I was also fighting the Police Federation."
During the damages hearing, Andrew Keyser QC said Cleveland Police had tried to "destroy" Mr Alam's reputation.
Mr Alam said the worse thing about his treatment was the loss of his career and the pain it had caused his young daughters.
"It has destroyed pretty much every facet of my life," he said. "None of this should have happened, it was malicious and deliberate.
"My daughters have suffered things no children should suffer.
"That is probably the most painful part of it, as most parents can appreciate - parents can tolerate pain but not when it comes to their children."
But Stephen Matthews, chairman of the Cleveland Police Federation, said he understood Mr Alam had been happy with the support he got.
"It is my understanding that Mr Alam was happy with our support locally throughout the legal proceeds and that this is about legal issues with the Federation on a national level," he said
The damages hearing was told Mr Alam, who served half of his prison sentence, was "stitched up" by fellow officers.
His problems began when he initiated industrial tribunal proceedings in 1993, complaining of racial discrimination.
In 2003, four fellow officers involved in Mr Alam's original prosecution were charged with conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and other offences, but were acquitted.
After being released from jail, Mr Alam was reinstated to Cleveland Police, but retired in 2009 on health grounds.
The Cleveland force admitted liability and accepted it had acted with "impropriety".
"I will never know how my career would have gone, and not knowing is very painful," Mr Alam said.
"I always wanted to make my mark on the police service and some will say I have, but it wasn't the mark I wanted to make."