Page last updated at 12:05 GMT, Friday, 23 May 2008 13:05 UK

Redknapp police raid was unlawful

Portsmouth Boss Harry Redknapp
Harry Redknapp recently led Portsmouth to victory in the FA Cup

A police raid at the home of Portsmouth Football Club boss Harry Redknapp was unlawful, High Court judges have ruled.

The City of London Police, who carried out the raid, have also been ordered to pay 1,000 damages to Mr Redknapp and part of his legal costs.

Mr Redknapp and his wife Sandra started proceedings after the raid at their home in Sandbanks, Dorset, in November.

The police force said it accepted the judgement and had reviewed procedures but added it did not act maliciously.

Mr Redknapp, who denies any wrongdoing, was arrested by police investigating alleged corruption in football.

The judges quashed a warrant for the raid, stating it was issued unlawfully by the City Of London Magistrates' Court.

This was an outrageous abuse of power by the police
Mark Spragg
Redknapp's solicitor
They also said there had been "wholly unacceptable" procedural failures by City of London Police in applying for the warrant.

Lord Justice Latham, sitting with Mr Justice Underhill, said: "The obtaining of a search warrant is never to be treated as a formality.

"It authorises the invasion of a person's home."

The execution of the warrant was invalidated because the copy shown to Mrs Redknapp did not specify the address of her home, the court heard.

The couple's solicitor, Mark Spragg, said after the hearing: "This was an outrageous abuse of power by the police who ignored the rule book and executed an unlawful search warrant at 6am in the full glare of media coverage which they no doubt organised or at least did not discourage."

But in their ruling, Lord Justice Latham said there was no material to justify claims the police colluded with the media, who covered the raid, or the search was carried out at an unreasonable hour.

In a statement, City of London Police, said: "We accept the judges' decision.

"We have already reviewed our procedures and we will be working closely with the City of London magistrates to ensure that warrants meet current guidelines.

"Having consulted with the Fraud Prosecution Service, we are satisfied that nothing contained within the judgment has any impact on the main body of evidence being gathered in relation to the investigation."

'Bitter disappointment'

At an earlier hearing, the High Court was told Mr Redknapp was abroad at the time of the raid.

When he arrived home later, he voluntarily attended Chichester police station, where he was arrested and detained for seven hours, before being bailed.

After he was released on bail Mr Redknapp gave a press conference where he spoke of his "bitter disappointment" at the way the raid and his arrest had been handled.

Nine people are on bail in connection with the continuing police inquiry, which has involved searches at a number of football club premises, including Portsmouth.

Portsmouth Football Club said it would be releasing a statement later.




SEE ALSO
Redknapp warrant ruling delayed
02 May 08 |  Hampshire
Redknapp taking police to court
16 Apr 08 |  Hampshire

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