Thomas wins £1,200 from police

Comic held for looking 'too confident'

Mark Thomas has won £1,200 compensation after being stopped and searched for looking ‘over confident’ at a demonstration.

The Metropolitan Police has admitted falsely imprisoning Thomas for 12 minutes after he gave a speech at a rally against the arms trade in 2007.

A constable from the Territorial Support Group, needing to give a reason for stop and search, said he had been alerted by the comedian’s ‘over-confident attitude’. The officer searched Thomas’s bag a for weapons he feared could cause criminal damage, but nothing was found.

The comic told The Guardian: ‘£100 a minute is slightly more than my usual rate. If over-confidence is a reason for a stop-and-search, Jonathan Ross should never leave his house.’

He added that he would donate some of the money to the Miscarriages of Justice Organisation and use the rest to help fund his next stand-up tour, with posters thanking the police for their financial support.

Thomas’s version of events, submitted on legal papers, were not challenged by police.

His picture had been on a ‘spotter card’ for suspected trouble-makers, handed out to officers at the demo. The one who stopped Thomas noted that he was ‘believed to be an influential individual’ and told him ‘you appeared to know what you were talking about’ at the rally.

The Met has now sent Thomas a formal letter of apology, which said that the officer who carried out the search had received ‘formal words of advice’.

Published: 19 Apr 2010

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