Page last updated at 11:44 GMT, Tuesday, 20 April 2010 12:44 UK

Comedian Mark Thomas wins police compensation

Mark Thomas
The comedian and activist is an opponent of the arms trade

A comedian who was illegally stopped and searched after a demonstration in east London has won compensation from the Metropolitan Police (Met).

Mark Thomas has received £1,200 and a "full apology" for having his wallet and shoulder bag searched by two police officers in September 2007.

One officer recorded in writing that he was suspicious of Mr Thomas because of his "over-confident attitude".

A Met spokesman said the force admitted the illegal search and questioning.

'Spotter's card'

The officer who conducted the search, a member of the force's territorial support group, has received "formal words of advice", a Met spokesman said.

He said that the force had issued a full written apology to Mr Thomas.

The decision came after an inquiry by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) sparked by Mr Thomas's original complaint.

The comedian was held for 12 minutes as he tried to catch the Docklands Light Railway home on 11 September 2007 after giving a speech against the arms trade in London's Docklands.

Mr Thomas is a long-standing opponent of the arms trade and appeared on a secret police "spotter's card" for surveillance officers several years ago.

He has demonstrated against restrictions on protesting outside Parliament, the use of torture and the impact of new legislation on individual freedoms.

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