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Multiple sclerosis sufferer sues police for 'mistaking him for a drunk'

A multiple sclerosis sufferer, who says he was handcuffed, "humiliated," "thrown in a van" and locked up by police, who mistook him for a drunk, is now suing for £50,000.

Aspiring actor Kurtay Toros, 33, suffers from a form of MS, causing disabilities which "can present in a similar way to drunkenness."

In a writ lodged at London's High Court, Mr Toros, from Bromley, Kent, says he was enjoying a night out in a Nottingham nightspot in March 2013 when he began suffering from the effects of his condition and collapsed.

He says that bouncers at the club refused to believe he was not drunk, and that matters took a turn for the worse when a uniformed Nottinghamshire Police WPC turned up at the club.

In the writ, Mr Toros says that the WPC handcuffed him and, with the help of bouncers, "dragged" him outside onto the front steps of the club, where he was made to lie in snow for 20 minutes before being "thrown" into a police van by police officers.

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The writ alleges that he was then taken to a cell and released in the morning, and subsequently stood trial, accused of being drunk and disorderly, but was acquitted when he presented evidence of his medical condition.

He is now suing the Chief Constable of Nottinghamshire Police, along with the owners of the club and a door security firm, claiming £50,000 compensation for alleged "assault, battery and false imprisonment."

But Nottinghamshire Police, in their defence to the action, say officers used nothing but "reasonable force" in reaction to the situation.

The writ states: "Mr Toros suffers from aggressive relapsing/remitting multiple sclerosis, the symptoms of which... taken together, can present in a similar way to drunkenness.

"He told members of the security team of his condition on entering the club, since he anticipated that he might need assistance, were his mobility to become impaired."

The writ goes on to describe how bouncers at the club would not believe Mr Toros was not drunk when his legs gave way.

"A Nottinghamshire Police WPC happened to be present in the club on unrelated police business.

"Far from intervening to calm the situation, she arrested Mr Toros, handcuffed him, and (with the assistance of four members of the security team) dragged him from the premises into the street.

"He was put on the ground to wait about 20 minutes in the snow for the arrival of a police van, into which he was thrown by the WPC and other Nottinghamshire Police officers, before being driven to the police station, where he was held in custody until 8.30am," the writ claims.

"While Mr Toros was being dragged from the premises, his trousers were partially pulled off, exposing his genitals to view in a humiliating and demeaning manner," the document adds, something which is described as "a gross affront."

Mr Toros claims he "ought never to have been arrested at all" and that "excessive force was used when he was manhandled both by the WPC and the club's security team.

"The use of handcuffs was wholly unjustified" the writ alleges, also claiming that "excessive force was used to get him in the van" and that "he ought not to have been charged."

The writ also claims: "The prosecution ought to have been discontinued before trial once medical evidence as to his underlying condition was obtained, so that it will have been apparent that his account that he was not drunk and disorderly, but rather suffering from multiple sclerosis, was in fact true."

"He then began to shout at her. She warned him to calm down," the document states.

The police also assert that Mr Toros "grabbed at the officer's arm" when she "attempted to guide him out of the nightclub" and that she "then applied her handcuffs in order to secure his compliance".

The defence claims that the WPC, "assisted by security staff", removed Mr Toros to the front of the club where he lay on a flight of steps and "continued to shout and swear."

"The force used by Nottinghamshire Police's officers to detain Mr Toros was reasonable in all the circumstances," the force's lawyers state.

"It is denied that the claimant is entitled to the relief claimed or to any relief."
The allegations contained within the writ and Nottinghamshire Police's defence have yet to be tested in evidence before a judge. The defences of the club's owners and the security firm were not available from the court.

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