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Paraplegic to get $21 million 16 years after cop shooting

Published:Friday | April 30, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Barbara Gayle, Staff Reporter

The Government is to pay $21 million with interest to Michael Llewellyn, a 40-year-old farmer from Hanover who is now a paraplegic after he was shot in the back by the police 16 years ago.

Supreme Court judge Martin Gayle made the award yesterday after he heard evidence and ruled that the police were not acting in self-defence when Llewellyn was shot in the back on December 3, 1994. Llewellyn suffered spinal cord injuries and lost 49 per cent of the whole person.

Llewellyn, who was represented by attorney-at-law Leonard Green, had sued Inspector Gladstone Grant, Sergeant Philip Smith and the attorney general.

Llewellyn said he was in Hanover on the day of the incident when the police came there. He said he was held by one of the policemen and he managed to get away and began running. He said he was shot in the back while he was running and he had no gun in his possession.

Policemen who testified for the defence said Llewellyn was wanted for housebreaking and larceny. They said Llewellyn was armed with a gun and pointed it at the police and began to run. They said Llewellyn was running and pointing the gun at the police when they fired in self-defence.

Shot while running away

Gayle, in handing down his ruling, said he found that Llewellyn was shot in the buttock while he was running away from the police. The judge said the evidence from consultant ortho-paedic surgeon Francis Lindo was that Llewellyn was shot from behind because the entry wound was to the back.

It was the judge's finding that Llewellyn was not armed with a gun when he was shot.

Gayle found the defendants liable for Llewellyn's injuries and awarded him $20 million for pain and suffering and loss of amenities. He was also awarded $500,000 for handicap on the labour market and $391,000 for special damages, which included medical expenses.

- barbara.gayle@gleanerjm.com