Court orders R2-million payout after police arrest wrong twin brother

10 Mar 2016

Mr Shane Smith, a father of two, is set to receive R2,145,464.00 in damages from the Minister of Police.

“On 1 March 2016 the Minister of Police was ordered by the Honourable Justice Legodi to compensate the ex receiving-clerk for the damages he suffered as a result of his unlawful arrest and assault by members of the Barrage Police Station”, says Jean-Paul Rudd – Partner – from the Commercial, Property and Litigation practice of law firm Adams & Adams, who is representing Smith.

 On 11 March 2011, several members of the Barrage Police Station arrested Smith without a warrant. He was mistaken for his twin, whilst looking after his brother’s house, who was away for the weekend.

Despite Smith indicating to the police officers that they had mistaken him for his twin brother by presenting his identity document and driver’s license, the police officers proceeded to handcuff and assault Smith in front of his minor child and wife, who were in the house at the time of the incident.

Thereafter, he was detained for a period of 29 days at the Leeuhof correctional facility before finally being released. He sustained a concussion, lacerations and a neck injury as a result of the assault. He was further subjected to additional “traumatic events” during his detention.

Smith was ridiculed by his colleagues upon his return to work and was given considerably fewer responsibilities. Prior to the incident, he was set to receive a promotion, but was thereafter informed that the position was no longer available. This prompted Smith to resign and take up a position in his father’s panel beating business.

He is now suffering from behavioral problems, anxiety, a short temper, flashbacks, sleep disturbance, loss of self confidence, social withdrawal, which symptoms represent the typical sequelae of a severe, chronic Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

See also: State sets up trust to compensate victim after four year battle

(This article is provided for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. For more information on the topic, please contact the author/s or the relevant provider.)

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