A PEMBROKESHIRE man has received a £40,000 payout after he was arrested on the basis of a police officer’s witness statement that led to the PC charged with perverting the course of justice.

Richard Roberts, formerly of Wentworth Close, Hubberston, was arrested by PC David Norman for a public order offence in January 2016, and PC Norman later wrote a witness statement alleging that Mr Roberts had behaved in an extremely abusive manner.

However, the incident was captured on CCTV, contradicting aspects of PC Norman’s statement.

PC Norman was subsequently prosecuted for perverting the course of justice but ultimately found not guilty.

Richard Roberts brought claims against the police including assault, false imprisonment, and malicious prosecution and/or misfeasance in public office.

He sought basic damages, damages for personal injury, special damages and aggravated and exemplary damages following an incident that occurred on 21 January 2016.

The police agreed to a settlement of £40,000 in damages, plus legal costs.

Iain Gould, a solicitor who specialises in police misconduct cases, who represented Mr Roberts, said: “It is highly disappointing that despite the weight of this evidence, PC Norman was ultimately acquitted of perverting the course of justice.

“Although the police professional standards investigation found him guilty of misconduct, he was, remarkably, only issued with a final written warning rather than being dismissed from the force, which in my opinion was the sanction his conduct merited.

“I am saddened, but not surprised, that Mr Roberts’ valid complaint against PC Norman had such an unsatisfactory outcome.

"I believe that the police disciplinary system (nationwide) is inherently biased in favour of the police; in fact I would go as far as to say that the unwritten mission statement of most professional standards departments is not to root out, but rather to protect corrupt officers and to make excuses for police misbehaviour. Certainly this seems to be the practical result of most police complaint investigations that I have witnessed.

“I believe this culture of protecting officers from complaints, rather than carrying out properly impartial investigations, is what leads officers such as PC Norman to behave with such impunity and flagrant disregard for the very laws they are supposed to be upholding.

“Ultimately, Richard Roberts was failed by both the criminal justice system and the police complaints process, and I am very satisfied to have secured settlement for him through the civil courts, which goes some way to resetting the scales of justice in this matter.”

A Dyfed-Powys Police spokesman said: “We can confirm the force made a settlement payment in relation to this matter.

“The circumstances have also been dealt with under police misconduct regulations at a misconduct hearing. Following an investigation by the Professional Standards Department, a public misconduct hearing was held. This was chaired by an independent legally qualified chair, and concluded that the officer’s actions amounted to misconduct. The PC was issued with a final written warning.

“Dyfed-Powys Police as an organisation advocates positive action in respect of any behaviour which falls below the standards expected by the public and the force. The force encourages both members of the public and colleagues to report any concerns in respect of the conduct of officers or staff members so that appropriate action can be taken, and any learning can be identified.”