Sunday, September 24, 2023

Dad wins £20k compensation from Derbyshire police

A Derbyshire dad has won almost £20,000 compensation in damages from Derbyshire police after he was headbutted by an on-duty officer during a traffic dispute.

Ben Joynes of Dronfield said he had to undergo counselling sessions after he was headbutted by former PC Mark Knights following a heated row in November 2019. The incident happened in front of one of Mr Joynes’ sons on Newbridge Road in Ambergate, near Belper, when an argument broke out.

Knights was convicted of assault and, as a result, was sacked from his role at Derbyshire Constabulary following a misconduct hearing held in March last year.

Now two and half years after the incident, it has now been confirmed that Mr Joynes has been awarded £19,950 in compensation from Derbyshire police.

A spokesperson for Derbyshire police said: “The force has settled a claim brought in relation to former PC Mark Knights which related to an assault, unlawful arrest and malicious prosecution.

“PC Mark Knights was prosecuted following this incident and dismissed from the force. We expect the highest level of professionalism from our officers and staff and on this occasion that level was not met.”

On the morning of November 21, 2019, Knights, then a Derbyshire police officer, called Mr Joynes a “fat ****”, then headbutted and handcuffed him.

Immediately prior to the assault, Knights had asked Mr Joynes to move his car to allow a police van through. Mr Joynes told the officer that his car was blocked in.

The officer started to take photos of Mr Joynes’ car, prompting Mr Joynes to take photos of the officer.

When Knights swore at Mr Joynes as he drove off, the victim got out of his car to demand the officer’s details. He was then headbutted, handcuffed and bundled into a police van.

Mr Joynes declined to comment about his five-figure compensation award when he was approached by the Local Democracy Reporting Service on Tuesday.

But it was reported last year how the father-of-three was seeking compensation from the police force due to the impacts the incident has had on his life.

He said at the time that news of Knights’ conviction and sacking was a “massive relief”.

Mr Joynes said: “I think the bottom line is justice has prevailed.

“It’s good that I can now put it behind me and get on with my life. The past year or so has been tough. There were many times when I thought justice was not going to come.

“It’s had quite an impact on my son who was 18 at the time. It’s been a tough time for us as a family but I’m trying to get back to normal.”

Mr Joynes’ solicitor Iain Gould wrote in a blog that the compensation reward for his client was “substantial”.

By Nigel Slater (Local Democracy Reporting Service)