Monday 9th July 2018 BST 10.21
“Innocent” man donates substantial compensation to local charity.
- Falsely accused man donates compensation to local charity
- Twin gave brothers detail to avoid being arrested
A local car salesman who was falsely accused of fraud and blackmail was last night handed £643,527 for loss of earnings, stress, damages to property and gross negligence by the Metropolitan police.
Mr Harry Maktoum of Camden Road, North London, was arrested at his apartment on November 2015 and was detained overnight in the cells whilst he was interviewed.
It was only after the arrest and Mr Maktoum’s constant plea of innocence that officers realised they had the wrong man. Judge Cindy Ford of Southwark crown court was told that due to “errors in processing” by a newly recruited officer this then caused the false arrest of Mr Maktoum.
“We are deeply sorry to Mr Maktoum and his family for the distress we may have caused but I can assure everyone that it was an error which will not be made again,” said Pc H Cooper, head of public relations.
The Metropolitan police have since issued an apology to Mr Maktoum and have referred themselves to the Independent police crimes commission for further investigation.
The court heard how Mr Maktoum’s twin brother Haider, who was wanted in questioning for fraud and blackmail gave his brothers details to the officer at the time of the arrest. Haider who has a long list of criminal convictions which include possession of a firearm, importation of class A drugs and money-laundering was later arrested then jailed. The arresting officer, who was on the force just over a week, believed Haider, who is an identical twin, to be Mr Maktoum thus arresting the wrong person. Mr Maktoum spoke in court of his “frustration” and the “countless times” he kept telling officers they had the wrong person. “It was an absolute disgrace how so many officers surrounded me and didn’t for one second hear me out, it was a complete misuse of power,” said Mr Maktoum. The court heard how the ordeal, which coincided with his mother’s illness, had affected Mr Maktoum leaving him unable to work for a long time.
Judge Cindy Ford commended Mr Maktoum of how he had dealt with the situation and expressed her sympathy for the ordeal he had undertaken. “It is evident that you are a hardworking and honest man who has by some rotten luck fallen prey to a grave mistake by the Metropolitan police”. The court heard how Mr Maktoum was well engaged with the local community and charities. A total of twenty-one-character statements were handed in, all full of praise of Mr Maktoum.
A spokesperson from the Metropolitan police confirmed that the police constable in question “has been suspended with full pay whilst the IPCC investigates the matter further”.
Mr Maktoum, a former stock trader, turned car salesman was awarded £643,527 for loss of earnings, stress, damages to property and gross negligence by the Metropolitan police. “Your Honour, I would like to state that the only reason I bought this matter to the court was that I believed I was a victim of police misusing their power, these are the very people that are meant to protect us. The way I was dealt with was unacceptable and I hope this doesn’t happen to anyone, as for the compensation awarded to me I will be personally donating it all to the hospice that looked after my mother and by me doing this I hope it is clear that money wasn’t the reason why I came today and bought this matter to the courts” said Mr Maktoum in an emotional statement.
Speaking to a few people who came in support of Mr Maktoum during the case, “that’s the type of guy he is” said Molly Burton, a neighbour, “I’m happy for him and the police should really check before they arrest someone, it’s not acceptable.
It is believed Mr Maktoum will be donated the money he will be receiving to a anonymous hospice. The hospice is said to have looked after Mr Maktoum’s mother in the palliative care unit during her time there.
Mr Maktoum decided not to make any further comments when asked by our reporter.
Christopher Ward (reporting journalist)