Camden police make four-figure payout to “Samaritan” who fell foul of the law

A ‘GOOD Samaritan’ who was physically and verbally abused by a Camden police officer has received a four figure payout from the Met.

Terence O’Reilly, 48, was paid the compensation last month after a three-year battle to bring the officer he said assaulted him to account.

The Belsize Park resident claims he was mistreated by PC Andrew Armer while trying to help an unconscious man on Camden Road in the early hours of a September morning in 2008. Mr O’Reilly said he was subjected to a torrent of foul language and shoved violently while trying to help.

Speaking on behalf of Mr O’Reilly, his lawyer Sasha Barton, of Hodge, Jones and Allen in Euston, said after the settlement: “He felt extremely wronged. He felt like he’d been acting as a Good Samaritan.

“He felt police acted disproportionately, swearing at him and shoving him. It was never about the money – he just wanted some recognition that what the officers had done was wrong.”

Ms Barton said her client had been visiting friends in Camden when he came across a man in his 20s collapsed in the road.

“Mr O’Reilly dialled 999 on his mobile and informed the emergency services,” she said. “He put his jacket over the man to keep him warm and waited with the man for the paramedics to come.”

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But before the ambulance arrived, PC Armer walked past with a colleague and started to administer first aid to the injured man.

Ms Barton said Mr O’Reilly became worried that the officers were being too rough because they seemed to be pinching and shaking the patient. He protested they were hurting him and tried to call 999 again.

At this point PC Armer is caught on CCTV shoving him forcefully across the pavement, causing soft tissue injuries to his back.

Mr O’Reilly was then handcuffed and arrested for obstructing police duties but was later acquitted of all charges at Highbury Magistrates’ Court.

He then lodged two official complaints with the Met’s own standards department and the Independent Police Complaints Commission – both of which failed to be upheld – leading him to launch civil proceedings in May 2009.

On April 19 the Met agreed to pay damages but did not admit liability.

A spokeswoman for the Met confirmed that Mr O’Reilly’s complaint had been investigated but not upheld. His appeal to the IPCC was also rejected.