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Last Updated: Thursday, 9 August 2007, 18:36 GMT 19:36 UK
Ex-captain must pay force's costs
Captain Edmund Carlisle
Capt Edmund Carlisle was put in the back of a police van
A retired Army captain who sued police after officers stopped him rescuing antiques from a blaze at his manor house is facing a large legal bill.

Capt Edmund Carlisle lost 500,000 of property in the fire in Powys.

On Thursday he was awarded 500, after the jury at Cardiff County Court found putting the 85-year-old in the back of a police van was "excessive force".

But he must pay 80% of the police legal costs after negligence and false imprisonment claims were dismissed.

The fire broke out in the boiler room of the 16th Century manor house at Llanigon, near Hay -on-Wye, at around 1630 BST on 14 November, 2002 which was at the time of a fire fighters' strike.

Captain Carlisle that evening lost his house, his home and pretty well all his possessions
Judge Hickinbottom

Capt Carlisle and his wife Rosemary, 84, dialled 999 and started removing valuables, but were outside the property when Pc Geraint Skyrme and Pc Michelle Swales arrived.

During the seven-day hearing, Pc Skyrme told the court there was already a lot of smoke and cinders were swirling around their heads.

He said the couple had re-entered the property when he and Pc Swales were not looking, and he had followed them inside.

The officer told the court how he found the captain trying to remove large pictures, which were chained to the dining room wall and that he helped take two of them outside.

The manor house was gutted in the fire
The fire spread from a boiler room to the rest of the house

But the retired captain did not follow him and the officer said he had no choice but to go back inside and tell him to leave.

He said the Capt Carlisle had continuously resisted, so the officers had escorted him outside in an armlock.

Pc Skyrme said Capt Carlisle subjected him to "a tirade of abuse" and swearing.

He said: "He was starting to shake his arms and legs and at that stage he kneed me in the testicles and elbowed me in the nose."

Pc Skyrme said the captain was arrested and put in the back of a police van for his own safety, but Mrs Carlisle had left the house of her own accord.

Capt Carlisle denied claims he kneed Pc Skyrme in the groin and elbowed his nose and kicked Pc Swales in the shins, saying that would not have been possible as his trousers had fallen around his ankles as he was pulled out of the house.

We are very pleased with the result which vindicates the actions of our officers
Dyfed-Powys Police spokesman

Although the retired captain was not hurt, the court heard that he was "humiliated" in front of his neighbours.

On Thursday, Judge Gary Hickinbottom told the jury: "Captain Carlisle that evening lost his house, his home and pretty well all his possessions.

"You have found that putting Captain Carlisle into the van was excessive force."

Capt Carlisle was refused leave to appeal.

Afterwards, he said: "Everybody in Hay supports me. I have had letters of support from all over the country.

"It's most important to protect our freedoms.

"I'm very disappointed, but not surprised (by the outcome)."

A Dyfed-Powys Police spokesman said: "We are very pleased with the result which vindicates the actions of our officers."

Pc recalls burning home struggle
02 Aug 07 |  Mid Wales
Retired captain, 85, 'kneed Pc'
01 Aug 07 |  Mid Wales

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