A robber who was part of a smash-and-grab motorcycle gang which broke into shops using sledgehammers is suing Scotland Yard, claiming he was injured in a police sting.
Dean Cole, 24, was part of a gang that stole more than Â£1â€‰million worth of goods from Londonâ€™s West End, including from Apple, Christian Dior and Dolce & Gabbana stores.
The Metropolitan Police launched an undercover operation to catch the gang involving stakeouts outside London shops for more than 100 nights. Cole was arrested during a raid on Chanel in Bond Street in August last year. He claims he suffered a leg injury when he was hit by an unmarked police car.
Cole has instructed solicitors to make a claim for compensation against Scotland Yard, alleging that it was police action that caused his injury.
A Scotland Yard spokesman said yesterday: â€œWe can confirm, as of late November 2012, the Metropolitan Police Service has been served with a claim form by solicitors who are representing Dean Cole. We await further details of that claim. As with all claims, once the full details have been received, then the Metropolitan Police Service will assess them. If a claim is without merit, we will defend it vigorously.â€
Cole, from Holloway, north London, has admitted conspiracy to commit burglary. A judge at Southwark Crown Court heard that he might not be fit to appear in court for sentencing on Jan 11.
The gang took mainly handbags, jewellery and computers in raids last year on 46 shops.
The case follows a number of compensation claims made by inmates.
In April, Rayden Simon Kullem, a failed asylum seeker from Zimbabwe, tried to claim up to Â£750â€‰million in compensation from the Government because he was not allowed to have sexual intercourse with his girlfriend in prison. Due to an administration error, he temporarily won his claim by default after Government solicitors failed to oppose his case. A judge later dismissed the â€œpreposterousâ€ claim.
Figures released last year suggested that taxpayers had paid out Â£16â€‰million in compensation to around 16,000 prisoners.
Nick de Bois, a Conservative MP and member of the Commons justice select committee, said: â€œIt beggars belief that yet another criminal thinks he can milk the taxpayer by trying to sue the police.â€
Jenny Jones, a member of the London Assembly for the Green Party, added: â€œIâ€™m someone who worries about police corruption and brutality, but itâ€™s hard to feel quite so sorry for someone who was injured when being caught during a smash and grab.â€
Last year, Kenneth Clarke, the then Justice Secretary, said convicted criminals should be banned from claiming compensation for injuries sustained in attacks in prison or after release.
Ian Huntley, the Soham murderer, claimed compensation over injuries sustained in prison during an attack by another prisoner.
Raider sues police for injuring him in sting
See also:Â Car thief is handed Â£2,000 in compensation after being bitten by police dog while he was being arrested
However in Spain….