Ex-Gwent PC who smashed up pensioner's car gets £429k payout
3:53pm Wednesday 5th February 2014 in Gwent news
A GWENT police officer who was forced out of his job after being caught on camera smashing a pensioner’s car is set to receive a payout of over £429,000 but is set to receive further compensation.
Ex-traffic cop Mike Baillon, 42, quit Gwent Police after footage showing him hit the car window of 74-year-old Robert Whatley 15 times in Usk was viewed more than 30 million times on YouTube.
The incident happened in 2009 after PC Baillon and another police officer stopped the pensioner as he was driving without a seat belt near Usk.
The dad-of-two, said he became the butt of daily jokes and his barrister Nick Smith told a tribunal he had become a “pariah” in the force.
After winning his constructive dismissal claim at Cardiff Employment Tribunal, he was awarded £429,434.64 for loss of pension, had he stayed in the force until the end of his career, a hearing in Cardiff ruled yesterday.
He will receive a further sum for loss of earnings since leaving the force, with the final amount to be announced by the end of next week.
During the hearing, his solicitor Nick Smith criticised Gwent police force.
He said: "Mr Baillon was removed from a job he loved and it was a gross abuse of power by the police.”
Following the decision, a Gwent Police spokesman said: “Gwent Police defended itself against the claims during the employment tribunal process and is disappointed at the outcome. We will now reflect on the judgment."
The tribunal heard previously how Mr Baillon, who drove the Prince of Wales and Princess Anne as part of his duties, was exonerated following an internal police investigation.
But the former traffic cop complained he had not been "given closure" after being removed from frontline duties, which led to daily harassment and bullying from colleagues, so he was forced to resign in August 2012.
But Gwent Police chiefs claimed he had become mentally unstable and "obsessed" with the "Whatley incident", adding his inability to move on could affect his ability to drive high-speed police cars.
He was moved from Gwent Police traffic unit to the Local Policing Unit in Newport and was off sick for stress from February 2012.
Tribunal Judge Roger Harper ruled last year that Mr Baillon had suffered a detriment and been unfairly dismissed.
After leaving the force, Mr Baillon set up a company called Celtic Woodcraft making decorative wooden reindeers.
Mr Whatley won a £20,000 payout from the police over the damage caused to his vehicle.
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