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Passenger says police beat him unconscious in row over £22 train ticket

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A passenger who says he was beaten unconscious by British Transport Police after claims he was ‘rude’ in a row over a £22 train ticket is now suing for over £200,000 compensation.

Engineer Cameron McArthur, 62, was on his way to Heathrow from Paddington station in March 2016 when he became embroiled in an argument with a rail worker after having to switch from the tube to a train due to industrial action.

When he was asked to pay a £22 additional fare, it is claimed Mr McArthur was ‘rude’, telling the male member of station staff: ‘I wouldn’t pay for a go on your mother and daughter for that f*****g price’.

Mr McArthur told Central London County Court that he was handcuffed and ‘beaten unconscious’ by a BTP constable and community support officer.

Cameron McArthur, 62, says he was beaten unconscious by British Transport Police after claims he was ‘rude’ in a row over a £22 train ticket, and is now suing for over £200,000 compensation

But he denies threatening or doing anything to harass anyone and is now demanding damages of over £200,000 after launching a court claim against the Chief Constable of British Transport Police.

BTP are defending the action, claiming Mr McArthur was drunk and accidentally knocked himself out during the scuffle with the officers.

In documents submitted to the court, Mr McArthur told Judge Heather Baucher that he ‘was beaten unconscious whilst detained in handcuffs at Paddington station’ on March 24 2016.

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‘The defendant police officers assaulted the claimant. He was handcuffed unlawfully…He was beaten unconscious by the defendant police officers whilst detained in handcuffs at Paddington Station,’ the documents state.

The engineer was on his way to Heathrow from Paddington station in March 2016 when he became embroiled in an argument with a rail worker after having to switch from the tube to a train due to industrial action

The engineer was on his way to Heathrow from Paddington station in March 2016 when he became embroiled in an argument with a rail worker after having to switch from the tube to a train due to industrial action

Outside court, he added that he was attempting to switch from the tube to a train due to a strike on the Piccadilly Line but now has only a hazy recollection of the incident due to suffering a head injury during the clash with the police officers.

The Chief Constable, in his defence to the action, told the judge that an officer had attended after a report that Mr McArthur was being rude and refusing to pay for a ticket.

‘The officer asked the claimant what was wrong. He noticed that the claimant was intoxicated and unsteady on his feet.

‘The claimant replied “So I will tell you what I told him – I wouldn’t pay for a go on his mother and his daughter for that f*****g price.” The claimant was warned that his behaviour was unacceptable and the officer began to escort him out of the station.’ 

When he was asked to pay a £22 additional fare, it is claimed Mr McArthur was 'rude', telling the male member of station staff: 'I wouldn't pay for a go on your mother and daughter for that f*****g price'

When he was asked to pay a £22 additional fare, it is claimed Mr McArthur was ‘rude’, telling the male member of station staff: ‘I wouldn’t pay for a go on your mother and daughter for that f*****g price’

The Chief Constable claims that Mr McArthur then ‘became aggressive and was swearing loudly’ and went on to tell the BTP officer: ‘I’m going to punch you in the f*****g mouth’.

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‘As a result of this threat of violence, the claimant was arrested for a public order offence and cautioned…the officer had a reasonable belief that the claimant would punch him and therefore applied handcuffs to prevent the claimant assaulting him,’ the defence states.

‘As he was applying the handcuffs, the claimant suddenly flung his head backwards in an attempt to head butt the officer,’ the defence continues, adding that the officer assisted by a PCSO then ‘went to manoeuvre the claimant to the floor to prevent any further injury’.

‘However the claimant pulled away, lost his balance and fell to the floor hitting his head. It is understood that the claimant may have lost consciousness for a short period of time.

‘The officer used reasonable and proportionate force. It is denied that the claimant was assaulted.’

Responding to the Chief Constable’s account of the incident in his claim form, Mr Mcarthur told the judge: ‘The allegation that I refused to pay for a train ticket is a lie.

Mr McArthur told Central London County Court that he was handcuffed and 'beaten unconscious' by a BTP constable and community support officer. British Transport Police say Mr McArthur was drunk and accidentally knocked himself out after the scuffle

Mr McArthur told Central London County Court that he was handcuffed and ‘beaten unconscious’ by a BTP constable and community support officer. British Transport Police say Mr McArthur was drunk and accidentally knocked himself out after the scuffle

‘I had merely enquired about the cost of a ticket and because it was too expensive chose not to buy it.

‘I had no intention to use the train service without a ticket.

‘Contrary to reports, I was not drunk.

‘I deny threatening the officer or anyone else,’ he stated, also denying he ‘behaved in any manner which could have caused anyone to feel harassed, alarmed or distressed.’

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He added that he ‘disputes the defendant officers had an honestly held reasonable suspicion to arrest him for any offence’.

‘Each and every laying of hands on the claimant by any officer was unlawful and each constituted a battery.

‘The use of handcuffs constitutes an assault.’

Mr McArthur says he ‘sustained head injuries including but not limited to cuts, bruises and concussion. These were caused by the British Transport Police officers beating (me) unconscious.

‘There was a violent assault on (my) person…The assault took place in full view of the public,’ he adds.

On 9 September 2016, Mr McArthur was brought to trial, accused of a public order offence and assaulting a police officer in relation to the incident.

However, the case against him was dismissed after no witnesses appeared for the prosecution.

The Chief Constable told Judge Baucher that occurred because of an ‘error made by the court’.

Mr McArthur however told her that he was ‘maliciously prosecuted’.

‘The defendant continues to fail to apologise,’ he stated, adding that he wants ‘overall damages in excess of £200,000’.

The case appeared in court for a brief pre-trial hearing, and has now adjourned until a later date.

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