Anwar Gillespie, a Bradford father-of-two, who was unlawfully arrested and assaulted by police officers after trying to help their colleagues has won £15,000 in compensation from the West Yorkshire force after he was dragged from a neighbour’s house, assaulted and racially abused , as he tried to act as a peacemaker.
Following the usual PSD deceit across two investigations, plus a further two years of legal stonewalling characterised by the denial of any liability at all until two weeks before trial , West Yorkshire Police agreed in March 2011 to pay Mr Gillespie £15,000 in damages over the incident which occured in October, 2007.
Anwar, who has two children aged 14 and 13, had been moving house in Great Horton, when a woman neighbour was arrested for non-payment of fines. Her 16-year-old son was seen crying and was given permission by a police officer to go into the house to calm down the teenager. But once inside, he was grabbed by an officer and dragged out of the house.
Anwar was pulled to the floor, struck above the eye by an officer’s knee, and hit on the back of the head while face down. He was kicked and punched a number of times, his arms handcuffed behind his back, and one officer put his hand over his face and pushed his fingers into Mr Gillespie’s eyes. He was also told that ‘You f*****g Pakis think you own the country’ by a police officer. He was then held at Bradford’s Trafalgar House police station, where he was detained for a full 24 hours. He suffered cuts, bruises, grazes and swelling.
Quietly spoken Mr Gillespie told uPSD’s Neil Wilby earlier this year: “A few police officers take advantage of the power they have. It shouldn’t happen. I hope they do learn lessons from this. More training is needed for officers. I hope some disciplinary action is taken against the officers concerned in my case”. His lack of anger towards the police was remarkable and bitterness was confined to the loss of his life partner as a result of the stress caused battling the legal case against WYP.
The Force Solicitor apologised in writing, on behalf of the now disgraced Chief Constable Sir Norman Bettison, to Mr Gillespie’s lawyers. The letter states: “West Yorkshire Police unlawfully arrested your client, assaulting him in the process, and thereafter conveyed him to Bradford South police station, where he was detained (for) a period of 24 hours.
“On behalf of the Chief Constable, I apologise unreservedly for the unlawful actions and for any pain, suffering, humiliation and upset that this caused your client. I would advise that lessons have been learned in order to stop a similar situation from happening again.”
Which would have a tiny amount of credence if a months later a six man gun-toting West Yorkshire Police Assault Squad hadn’t turned up at 1am on Anwar Gillespie’s doorstep. They left an hour later, after pointing carbines at Anwar and his two children and placing them in the back of a caged van. This second incident is now the subject of further investigation and legal action.