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Last Updated: Thursday, 26 January 2006, 06:35 GMT
Convicted terrorist wins damages
A convicted terrorist, who sued police for wrongful arrest after he was held for the attempted murder of an IRA spy, has won 100 damages.

Scott Monaghan was held in custody, following a failed attempt by unknown gunmen, to murder Martin McGartland in North Tyneside more than six years ago.

His main claims for false imprisonment, assault and wrongful interference with goods were rejected at the High Court.

However, a judge awarded him 100 for a delay in returning items of property.

No one was charged with the attempted murder of Mr McGartland, who survived being shot six times outside his home in Whitley Bay in June 1999.

Mr Monaghan, who had been released under the Good Friday agreement the year before, after being jailed for his part in the IRA terror campaign, was arrested the following November.

Forensic evidence

The then 33-year-old was released on bail and eight months later the bail was cancelled.

In 2003 he began proceedings against Northumbria Police.

The court heard Mr Monaghan matched the description of a suspect believed to have been involved in planning the attempted murder, and a tape recording of a suspect sounded like him.

Mr Justice Bean, sitting at the High Court in Newcastle, said police had been justified in handcuffing the suspect for a three-hour journey and keeping him in a sleeping bag-style suit to preserve forensic evidence.

However, he said Northumbria Police should have returned around 100 items of his property more promptly, having held them for four years.

Northumbria Police deputy chief constable David Warcup said today: "We felt from the outset that the arrest of this man was legitimate in the light of intelligence gathered during the inquiry into the shooting.

"We apologise for the issue around his property and trust the judge's award fairly compensates Mr Monaghan for this."


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