A Birmingham teacher who was unlawfully arrested after being accused of assaulting a pupil has been awarded £1,000 compensation at the High Court. Mark Richardson, 39, was arrested even though he volunteered to be interviewed by police. No prosecution was brought and he sued West Midlands Police, fearing the stain the arrest would leave on his record. As well as claiming he was unlawfully arrested, Mr Richardson also wanted West Midlands Police to destroy DNA samples, fingerprints and photographs taken at the time and for his arrest entry on the Police National Computer (PNC) to be deleted or amended.
However while Mrs Justice Slade ruled that Mr Richardson’s arrest was unlawful, she declined these other requests, noting that the force said it would “take it properly into account when making any decision as to a request by the claimant for destruction or removal” of fingerprints and DNA. The force said it was investigating the handling of the 2009 case.
Chris Keates, general secretary of the NASUWT, said she would be writing to the secretary of state for education and the home secretary to seek changes to national procedures.
“This is a landmark decision for teachers and others who are vulnerable to allegations made by children and young people,” he said. “New guidance for police is needed urgently to prevent these needless arrests that wreck innocent people’s careers. “Teachers are vulnerable to allegations made by pupils. “Such allegations frequently involve police investigation. “The overwhelming majority prove to be false but teachers are often deeply traumatised and their career is blighted.”