DISGRACED peer Lord Hanningfield claims he has been left traumatised by expenses scandals.

The former Tory leader of Essex County Council is suing Essex Police for up to £6,500 compensation, saying he was unlawfully arrested during a probe into his County Hall expenses.

The incident took place just days after his release from prison for fiddling his Parliamentary expenses. He was arrested at 6.45am and after being allowed to wash, dress and eat was taken to Braintree police station where he was held until mid-afternoon.

The investigation was later dropped.

Lord Hanningfield, 72, told the High Court in London: “When I wake up, having been in prison, I still sometimes have a job realising exactly where I am.

"I looked out of the window and saw several cars and a policeman with what I assumed was a warrant.

“I had been out of prison a few days, I was on a tag, I was still in a state of trauma and shock.”

Essex Police deny the arrest, detention and search of his home were unlawful and said officers were invited into the former pig farmer’s home.

The hearing continues today.