Published: 05:00, 08 December 2021
| Updated: 12:55, 09 December 2021
A man will be paid £2,000 by Kent Police after officers arrested him despite the fact he was 100 miles away at the time of the alleged offence.
Officers said Ben Spicer had entered a zone forbidden under a non-molestation order.
But he was in Woking at the time and the order had been amended to allow him in the area anyway.
He has now won more than £2,000 in an out-of-court settlement with the force.
Mr Spicer, 31, of Dorman Avenue North, Aylesham, told KentOnline: "All the officers had to do was check that the order was amended, as I asked them to, before doing a stupid thing like that."
Mr Spicer's solicitor, Kayleigh Littlemore, said: "There are grave concerns over how it has been dealt with as a whole.
"Although this should never have occurred in the first place, we welcome the force’s willingness to settle without the need of attending an expensive trial where the public purse would be on the line."
Mr Spicer, a father-of-two, was at home preparing for his daughter’s fifth birthday party on June 9 when three officers turned up and arrested him on suspicion of breaching his order.
It was alleged he had driven down Barton Road in Dover on May 9.
Mr Spicer told the officers that the order, originally imposed in November 2020, had been amended in February to let him pass there.
This was to let him get to his workplace, La Friends Pizzeria take-away in Maison Dieu Road.
Mr Spicer said that in any case on May 9 he was 95 miles away in Woking, Surrey, and that he had dash cam footage to prove it.
But the officers did not accept his story and arrested him.
'Although this should never have occurred in the first place, we welcome the force’s willingness to settle without the need of attending an expensive trial where the public purse would be on the line...'
Mr Spicer pleaded with them to check the update on the order but he was taken to a the police station and detained there for seven hours before being released under investigation.
About seven weeks later police found that Mr Spicer had been right about the amendment and their case against him was discontinued.
Mr Spicer then went to the personal injury lawyers firm, Irvings Law of Liverpool, to make a civil claim against Kent Police and Miss Littlemore sent a Letter of Claim to the force.
It then contacted her to say it was willing to settle the case accepting officers should have checked the status of the order with the court.
The final result was Mr Spicer receiving £2,250 in compensation plus the payment of his legal fees.
The non-molestation order had originally been imposed by Canterbury Family Court following a dispute with a former partner.
The same court amended it and then lifted it, last month.
Ch Supt Simon Thompson, Divisional Commander for East Kent, said: "On June 9 a man was arrested by Kent Police officers following reports he had breached a non-molestation order by driving through a road in Dover and verbally abusing a woman who lived there at the time.
"He was subsequently released under investigation following an interview in custody.
"It was later established that the man’s non-molestation order had previously been amended by a judge sitting at the Family Court at Canterbury, meaning he was permitted to drive through the road in question.
"Information received in relation to the alleged verbal abuse did not meet the evidential test and the investigation was filed pending further information coming to light.
"The man in question has since made a claim against Kent Police and accepted an offer made on a no admission of liability basis."