LONDON -- A police department in central England agreed Wednesday to pay 70,000 pounds ($106,000) in damages to a man who claimed detectives made up his confession to an armed robbery six years ago.
Details of the settlement accepted by the West Midlands police were announced at the High Court in Birmingham, central England. It was one of the largest damage payouts ever made by British police.
In 1987 Paul Dandy spent 10 months as a high security risk prisoner while awaiting trial on an armed robbery charge.
Two days into his trial the prosecution dropped the case when the defense presented forensic tests suggesting detectives added a one-line admission of guilt to Dandy's statement.
The Dandy case, which resulted in him seeking legal redress for wrongful arrest, unlawful detention and malicious prosecution, was one of several that collapsed after allegations about the quality of evidence from the force's Serious Crime Squad. The squad has since been disbanded and discredited.
Superintendent David Claydon, a West Midlands police spokesman, released a statment Wednesday saying the settlement was made 'without an admission of liability.'
Claydon said three police officers involved in the case were disciplined for neglect of duty following the 1987 allegations. Recent developments have lead to a report being submitted to the Crown Prosecution Service in connection with the officers' actions, Claydon said.
Dandy, who is trying to change his appearance, gave television interviews following Wednesday's decision, but only on condition his face not be shown.
'The settlement is OK,' Dandy said. 'But the police have got off scot free. Seventy thousand pounds does not justify me being in prison for 10 months....There is no justice in it.'
Dandy's lawyer, David Simon, told reporters on the steps of the courthouse that the case represented a significant breakthrough.
'The compensation he (Dandy) will now receive is full public acknowledgement that there has been serious police misconduct,' Simon said.