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Cops only paying half £400,000 to mechanic who cut his finger

PUBLISHED: 21:59 01 April 2009 | UPDATED: 14:15 05 October 2010

Kent News & Pictures Ltd / Picture Desk / 01622 755887 
31st March 2009. Alexander Darg was checking a faulty air bag in a police car when he slid his hand along the blade of the knife which had been left wedged between two seats, in September 2002. Mr Darg, of Meopham, Kent, £400,000 damages as well as £100,000 court costs today. File picture taken in April 2002. Alex and Amanda Darg of Vigo Village.

Kent News & Pictures Ltd / Picture Desk / 01622 755887 31st March 2009. Alexander Darg was checking a faulty air bag in a police car when he slid his hand along the blade of the knife which had been left wedged between two seats, in September 2002. Mr Darg, of Meopham, Kent, £400,000 damages as well as £100,000 court costs today. File picture taken in April 2002. Alex and Amanda Darg of Vigo Village.

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A MECHANIC working on a police car in East London has cleaned up' with nearly £500,000 for a cut finger. But Scotland Yard has told the East London Advertiser it will only pay half

By Mike Brooke

POLICE are only paying half the £400,000 compensation to mechanic Alexander Darg for his cut finger.

Mr Darg cleaned up in the High Court with a settlement of nearly £500,000 in the High Court yesterday (Tuesday) after slicing his finger on a knife found wedged next to the driver’s seat of a patrol car at Limehouse police station in East London seven years ago.

But Scotland Yard has told the East London Advertiser tonight that it will only be paying half the cash.

Mr Darg originally he went for £1 million. The judge cut that down to £400,000, plus all his legal costs.

TAX FREE

The tax-free payout was condemned by victims and senior police.

The mum of 18-year-old murder victim Sally Ann Bowman raped and butchered four years ago told one newspaper: “Bereaved families are only entitled to £10,000 for murder of their loved ones.

“It’s insulting that someone should get £400,000 for a cut finger.”

Top cops also slammed the pay-out. Former Met Flying Squad commander John O’Connor said: “This is the compensation culture’ gone mad.”

QUICK CASH

The Met had accused 39-year-old Mr Darg of coming to court in search “a quick bit of cash” over the accident with the knife in 2002.

The father-of-two claimed he had been left in fear of HIV, despite a test later proving negative.

The judge accepted his disabilities “had been exaggerated” and said he made a better recovery than either he or his wife described.

But he ruled that Mr Darg had never falsely pretended to have symptoms which do not exist.

FIRM COUGHS UP

Scotland Yard said today (Wednesday) it would be paying only 50 per cent of his claim after an agreement to split the costs with the contractors who Mr Darg worked for at Limehouse police station, because of their negligence’ in training him properly.

They said in a statement to the Advertiser: “The Met Police and Venson the contractors have accepted joint liability in a court-approved settlement.

“The maintenance contract had an indemnity clause for any negligence. Venison’s failure to train Mr Darg to look for hazardous objects before repairing the vehicle made them liable under this clause. The Met will pay the claimant £200,000.”

They are splitting liability 50-50 with the contractors.

Mr Darg, who gets the full pay-out, later told the Advertiser: “I went through an ordeal—now I just want to get on with my life.”

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