1. ITV Report

Ex-Gwent PC awarded damages over 'Whatley incident'

Former Gwent police officer Mike Baillon won his case for constructive dismissal Photo: Wales News Service

A former Gwent police officer filmed using his baton to smash a pensioner's car window has been awarded more than £400,000 in compensation after becoming a "laughing stock" over the incident.

Mike Baillon, 42, claimed he had been ridiculed by colleagues after a video of him striking Robert Clive Whatley's Range Rover in September 2009 was viewed countless times on the internet.

Mr Baillon won his case for constructive dismissal after being relieved of his frontline duties at Gwent Police and has been awarded £429,434.64 for loss of pension.

He will also receive in the region of £10,000 for loss of earnings since leaving the force.

Pensioner Robert Clive Whatley has branded the settlement 'disgusting' Credit: ITV News

Retired businessman Mr Whatley was 70 when he was stopped by two police officers for not wearing his seatbelt as he drove along country roads near Usk.

But when he drove off before he finished giving his details, the officers pursued him for around 17 minutes before Mr Whatley finally came to a stop.

A dashboard camera inside the police car shows Mr Baillon hitting Mr Whatley's window over 15 times with a baton while his colleague climbs onto the car bonnet.

The two officers were subsequently cleared of misconduct after an internal investigation - but Mr Baillon was later removed from frontline duties.

The employment tribunal hearing in Cardiff heard the 'Whatley incident' was often brought up around Mr Baillon.

Former traffic officer Baillon 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 finally took sick leave for stress and wrote letters of complaint to the Gwent Police Authority.

Former police Supt James Baker explained to the hearing that Mr Baillon was taken off front-line duties because his mental state could have impaired his ability to respond to high-speed chases.

A Gwent Police spokesperson 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 judgement."

Mr Whatley, who is registered disabled, later received £20,000 in compensation over the damage caused to his Range Rover.

But he was subsequently fined for a number of driving offences, including not wearing a seatbelt and failing to stop for police.

Speaking to ITV News, he called Mr Baillon's settlement "absolutely disgusting".