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Protestor given compensation from Essex Police
A DALE Farm protestor has been given £15,000 in compensation by Essex Police for how she was treated during the traveller site evictions.
Ellen Yianni, 29, from Hounslow, claimed she was assaulted after being wrongly arrested and then held in poor conditions by police during the mass eviction at the Crays Hilll site in October 2011.
Ms Yianni also said she was maliciously prosecuted and had her details made public in breach of the Data Protection Act which led to online threats and abuse.
A court case against Ms Yianni was dismissed in January 2012 and afterwards she launched a complaint and civil case against Essex Police.
Essex Police have not admitted liability, but have given Ms Yianni £15,000 in compensation.
Ms Yianni said: “The court made it clear that I had no case to answer, but the ordeal really took its toll on me and my family.
“I am pleased that the case has been settled and I am now able to move on.”
Ms Yianna said she was grabbed by two officers after scaling scaffolding, who threw her down a steep ramp.
When she tried to get up she alleged she was hit with a shield before being hauled from the ground by police.
She was then later arrested for refusing to remove a scarf, which was allegedly covering her face.
Ms Yianni said she was wearing it because of the cold weather.
Police are only allowed to make the request to remove a scarf if they reasonably believe the person is trying to conceal their identity.
She alleged she was then held in a police van for several hours before being taken to Basildon Police Station where she was held for a further five hours without being allowed to call anyone to tell them where she was.
Natalie Sedacca, solicitor at Hodge Jones & Allen, which fought her case, said: “There will obviously be situations where real criminality arises and the police need to act, but in this case my client was a peaceful protestor who had not committed any acts of violence or disorder and simply declined a request to remove a scarf.
“The fact that this young woman of good character spent nearly 13 hours in police custody and a further three months being subject to a stressful prosecution as a result, is in our view unacceptable.”