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Met agrees payout to student hit on head by baton 13 years ago

The man suffered a brain injury after being struck by a police baton at a protest.

The Metropolitan Police has apologised and agreed to pay a settlement to a man who suffered a brain injury after being struck by a police baton 13 years ago.

Alfie Meadows, then a 20-year-old philosophy student, was injured on December 9 2010 during a protest against tuition fees hikes.

Mr Meadows was charged with violent disorder and faced three trials before being unanimously acquitted in March 2022.

The Met has now said that “unjustified” force had been used against Mr Meadows who was “protesting peacefully”.

The force said it had apologised to him in June and settled a civil action following a claim he made in August 2020, but the officer who struck Mr Meadows has not been identified and so not “held to account for their actions”.

The Met said that between 2010 and 2019, a number of investigations took place - including criminal investigations, independent investigations by the then IPCC and a misconduct hearing. None were able to identify the officer in question. 

It is believed the settlement, which has not been disclosed, may run to six figures.

Mr Meadows told Channel 4 News: “It felt like a process that was never going to end. It felt like I was on trial the whole time, that I was being punished for the crime of surviving this police assault.

“I’ve just been so aware of how I’ve been treated and how the police have been failed to be held to account.”

He added: “I don’t think it will make up for the pain I suffered at the time and the serious impact it has had on my life and my mental health over the last decade.

“All of the years I’ve lost fighting for truth and accountability and coming up against denial, blame and attempts to criminalise me.”

On Friday, a police spokesman said Mr Meadows suffered “very serious injuries” during the 2010 demonstration.

He added: “Although the situation in Parliament Square was chaotic and threatening, we acknowledge that Mr Meadows was protesting peacefully and the use of force against him was unjustified.

“We sincerely regret, despite extensive CCTV and witness inquiries, the officer who struck Mr Meadows did not come forward, could not be identified and has not been held to account for their actions.

“We have apologised to Mr Meadows for this.”

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