Ex-Gwent officer filmed smashing Usk pensioner's car window claims he was hounded from job
9:12am Thursday 21st February 2013 in News
A GWENT police officer caught on camera smashing a pensioner’s car during a violent clash is suing the force for damages after being allegedly hounded out of his job, a court heard.
PC Mike Baillon, 42, became the butt of daily jokes after 74- year-old Robert Whatley won a £20,000 police payout following an incident in which Mr Baillon hit his car window 15 times with a police baton in Usk in 2009, a tribunal heard yesterday.
Footage of the incident which involved one other officer hitting the car made national headlines and was viewed more than 30 million times on YouTube.
Mr Whatley, from Usk, was ordered to pay £235 after being found guilty of speeding and failing to stop for police. Gwent traffic cop Mr Baillon was exonerated alongside his colleague in the wake of an internal police investigation.
But PC Baillon complained to his bosses, saying he had not been “given closure” after being removed from frontline duties, Cardiff Employment Tribunal heard yesterday.
The father-of-two told the tribunal his complaint led to daily bullying from colleagues and he was forced to resign last August.
He is now suing Gwent Police for damages, claiming constructive dismissal.
He told the tribunal: “The ridicule from colleagues was getting to me. It was every single day.
“They thought I had done wrong and I was lucky to have got away with it. I just wanted my closure.”
The tribunal heard Mr Baillon’s colleagues often brought up “the Whatley incident”.
In one incident, police forced entry into a property by smashing a door and a colleague allegedly told him it wasn’t a window in reference to the Usk arrest.
The court also heard Mr Baillon was hurt after a colleague defaced his locker by writing the name of Gwent Police Chief Constable Carmel Napier on his locker.
The traffic officer was off sick for stress and wrote letters of complaints to the police authority in December 2011.
Mr Baillon’s barrister, Nick Smith, told the hearing he was then called into a meeting in February 2012 where it was intimated he could be removed from duties as a traffic officer if he persisted with complaints.
But yesterday, former Gwent Police Supt James Baker denied threatening to remove Mr Baillon from traffic duties, saying his mental state could have impaired his ability to respond to high speed chases.
The case continues.