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Published on Sunday, June 14, 2020

£200k paid to couple arrested over Gatwick drone attack







Sussex Police have paid out £55,000 in compensation and £145,000 in legal costs to a couple arrested during a drone incident at Gatwick.

A dozen police officers stormed the home of Paul and Elaine Gait in December 2018 and held them for 36 hours after drones caused the airport to close for 30 hours and 1,000 flights were disrupted.

The couple were released without charge and sued Sussex Police for wrongful arrest and false imprisonment.

The couple did not possess any drones and had been at work during the reported sightings.

In a statement released by their legal team on Sunday, the couple said: "We are delighted to have finally received vindication, it has been a very long fight for justice.

"It has taken lengthy legal proceedings to obtain resolution from the police and to finally have closure on this distressing time."

Sussex Police issued a statement saying the settlement was made on a no liability basis, avoiding lengthy court proceedings.

"All parties agreed that the allegations of unlawful arrest and detention were matters that could only be settled through the courts," it said.

"However, we recognise that things could have been done differently and have apologised to them for the impact of their experience."

A police investigation concluded that at least two drones were behind the attack, which happened during the peak Christmas period and impacted more than 140,000 passengers.

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