A man convicted of attempting to rob a De Beers diamond exhibit in London is suing the police with help from legal aid.
William Cockram is serving an 18-year prison term for his part in the robbery in 2000 at the Millennium Dome. He is seeking 50,000 pounds (almost $100,000) for injuries he says were inflicted during his arrest, The Sun reported.
The Legal Services Commission says it is required to represent Cockram because he meets financial and other tests for legal assistance. But some officials say the state-financed lawsuit is outrageous.
"If you set out to commit a crime, you shouldn't expect the public to pick up the bill for the consequences," David Davis, the Conservative Party's shadow home secretary, said.
Cockram says that a police officer hit him with a gun butt as he lay handcuffed on the floor, smashing his cheek bone.
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