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Action Against Public Authorities Solicitors

Successful Representation for Asian Family in Police Assault Case Gains Media Attention (1 May 2024)

Date: 01/05/2024
Duncan Lewis, Action Against Public Authorities Solicitors, Successful Representation for Asian Family in Police Assault Case Gains Media Attention

Duncan Lewis' crucial role in representing an Asian father and his autistic son after their assault by a police officer has captured significant media attention.


The BBC, The Telegraph, and Bracknell News have spotlighted Duncan Lewis' successful misconduct proceedings against Thames Valley Police officer PC Oliver Downing.


On March 8, 2022, PC Downing punched our client in the face and knelt on his head before striking his father in the lower back. This occurred while officers were responding to a fight at a nearby Texaco garage involving two white males and one black male.


The incident left the family deeply distressed and unsure of how to proceed before turning to Duncan Lewis' Actions Against Public Authorities team. The team successfully built a case that has been featured by the BBC, the Telegraph, the Bracknell News, and the Slough Express.


After a 5-day misconduct hearing, the force used was judged unnecessary, disproportionate, and unreasonable. PC Downing was dismissed without notice and placed on the police barred list.


In a statement the family expressed hope that successful actions like this "will serve as a reminder that anyone can be held accountable for their actions." He emphasized the importance of ensuring that "police interactions with people with disabilities are considered and that appropriate measures are taken."


Read the full media coverage here:


The BBC: Thames Valley Police officer sacked after kneeling on man's head

The Telegraph: Police officer who assaulted autistic teen after ‘mistaken identity’ is sacked

Bracknell News: Slough police officer sacked for punching father and son in arrest

Slough police officer sacked for punching father and son in arrest


Actions Against Public Authorities


Caseworker Christine Dela Cruz was instructed by the family to represent them in this police complaint, with Duncan Lewis’ legal director Graeme Rothwell supervising on this case. Our Claims Against Public Authorities team is expert in holding public authorities to account when they abuse their powers, fail to observe their professional obligations, or otherwise act unlawfully. It has assisted a wide variety of clients as a result of their experiences at the hands of the state and regularly represents bereaved families in inquest proceedings and assists in bringing civil claims against the police, the prison service and government departments.


For advice in relation to claims against the police, please contact Graeme via email at GraemeR@duncanlewis.com


Duncan Lewis Solicitors


Duncan Lewis Solicitors, an award-winning law firm, is renowned for its exceptional legal services and commitment to justice. The company employs a team of highly skilled solicitors offering top-tier representation in 25 fields of law, and ranked as top tier by the Chambers and the Legal 500 legal guides, and as one of the top 250 law firms in the country by the Times. Duncan Lewis was crowned Law Firm of the Year at the LexisNexis awards 2024, further establishing its credentials as one of the leading law firms in the UK.

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