Merseyside Police CS face spray man awarded 4,000

A schizophrenic man who suffered from burns due to a police officer spraying him in the face with CS spray has been awarded 4,000 in compensation. The individual, David Johnston, aged 39, from Kirkby, began legal proceedings against Merseyside Police after the incident in January 2006. Mr Johnston was sprayed in the face, neck, ears and chest by officers after they found him in a distressed state at a friends home. The Merseyside Police force defended this case as they feel that the officers behaviour was proportional to the event. Mr Johnston won his civil case at Liverpool County Court on Thursday following a four day hearing. The amount of compensation to be awarded is yet to be decided. The jury of the court hears that Mr Johnstons friend had contacted the ambulance service over concerns for his welfare on 8 January 2006. In line with standard procedure, the police were also sent by the operator, they then attempted to detain Mr Johnston by using CS spray at close range. The solicitors representing Mr Johnston have stated, This case is a stark reminder to police officers that CS gas is a potent weapon that should only be deployed when an officer is faced with violence or the threat of violence. Comments in court also stated that the action of the police had exacerbated a delicate situation and only served harm to Mr Johnston.