Friday, April 18, 2014

Mother slams British cops for HANDCUFFING her daughter after she bit her because she is autistic and has the mental age of a five year old

Police have come under fire for handcuffing a young woman who has autism and the mental capacity of a five-year-old.

Toni Williams, 20, was left with bruises on her wrists after officers refused to remove the cuffs.


Her mother Leigh Williams insists they should never have handcuffed a vulnerable adult and has now issued a formal complaint against Merseyside Police.

Officers were called to their house in Birkenhead, Merseyside, after the 20-year-old became over-excited and bit her mother and hit her.

She alerted a social worker, who, together with a community nurse, insisted they call the police.

Ms Williams refused to call police herself to deal with her own daughter, but other relatives did.

She left the house before they arrived, leaving her relatives with Toni as they waited for officers, and later joined up with her at Arrowe Park Hospital, on the Wirral, Merseyside.

She said: 'She kept apologising and asking me to take the handcuffs off - I asked the officers but they kept telling me 'No.'

'They need to be aware and know how to deal with a situation involving a vulnerable adult - they shouldn't have put the handcuffs on in the first place.

'They said Toni had bitten one of the officers, but when we were at the hospital, they wouldn't remove the handcuffs

'It was as if they thought she was still a danger to them - but she was in the hospital.

'I explained that she has autism and the mental capacity of a five-year-old but they wouldn't listen.

'The cuffs were cutting into her wrists and she was covered in bruises.'

Ms Williams said she had asked officers to move the handcuffs to the front of her daughter's body, which would have allowed her to cuddle her toy dog - which she takes everywhere and allows her to feel safe.

The handcuffs were eventually removed after requests from medical staff.

She said: 'I didn't want to call the police, but the social worker and community nurse said we had to.

'There were four officers, one stood in the door and three went into the living room where Toni was - I don't know what happened in there as they wouldn't let my family in.

'Toni was screaming. And when I saw her later, she had a cut on her face and bruises on her arms and on her wrists where the handcuffs had been.'

After arriving at hospital to see her daughter - who also suffers with epilepsy and has been having seizures since she was six months old - Ms Williams found she was in a state of anxiety and deeply upset, made worse by the handcuffs.

'When I phoned up to complain they asked if I wanted compensation - it's not about compo, it's about awareness and making sure this doesn't happen to Toni, or anyone else again.

'I've promised her it won't happen again and I have to keep that promise. I have to protect my little girl.'

Ms Williams, who moved back to her hometown two years ago to be near the support of her family and friends, said she had lost respect for the police.

She added: 'This is an injustice - you are meant to turn to the police for support.'

More than 700 people have joined a Facebook group set up by Ms Williams, calling for more awareness of autism.

She has also gathered the support of Birkenhead MP Frank Field, who has written to the police on her behalf demanding that reports be released.

The distressed mum added: 'Officers need to be trained properly to deal with vulnerable adults and need to assess the situation properly.

'I still don't know what went on in the living room that day - I just want to know what happened.'

A spokesman for Merseyside Police confirmed a complaint had been made in relation to the arrest.

Original report here




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