Saturday, March 21, 2015

Mother sues police for false arrest after being handcuffed in front of Down's syndrome daughter shouting 'I want my mummy'

Lying British cop

A mother has successfully sued police for wrongful arrest after being handcuffed in front of her Down's syndrome daughter over false claims she left her alone outside for 45 minutes.

Valerie Cadman-Khan was left 'humiliated' when officers led her away from her Middlesbrough home in front of her crying daughter Aimee.

Cleveland Police accused the 56-year-old of negligent behaviour, claiming she left the child alone for 45 minutes in the garden.

Middlesbrough County Court heard how officer Detective Sergeant Colin Helyer lied to the local authority child abuse investigation to justify arresting the mother of five.

On the day in question in November 2008, he had been called to her former partner's home over an unpaid tax bill.

Aimee had been left in the man's care and was sitting outside when police arrived. Mrs Cadman Khan was at work.

But the police officer began 'banging' on the front door and later claimed the child had turned 'purple' because she was not wearing a coat.

Upon her arrival at the property Mrs Cadman-Khan, who left work early because she was not feeling well, was arrested and taken away by police.

Aimee was forced to watch the incident, all the while screaming: 'I want my mummy,' she claimed.

Her mother launched a wrongful arrest suit and has won her case against the force. Her claim for £34,000 in compensation will be assessed at a later date.

Speaking of her ordeal the teacher, who works for the council at East Coast Training, a pupil referral centre, said: 'It was never about the money - it was about clearing my name after the injustice to me and my little girl. 'This should never have come to court, I only wanted an apology.

'All I could hear was my little girl shouting "I want my mummy, I want my mummy". 'It was horrendous.'

After arresting Mrs Cadman-Khan on suspicion of child neglect, Det Sgt Helyer 'lied under oath' to claim Aimee had been mistreated, the court heard. 'He falsely asserted that Aimee had been purple and suggested the client had been violent to him,' Nick Stanage, barrister for Mrs Cadman-Khan said. 'Sadly this was a witness that even when caught in a lie by the court he was unwilling to be honest about it.'

'For a woman of good character from that profession to be arrested and accused of allegations of child neglect and cruelty is of the utmost seriousness.'

'In the balance of probability it was more likely Sgt Helyer overreacted and was led by his concerns for Aimee,' said Nathan Adams representing Cleveland Police.

'He accepted in evidence he lost his temper and was banging on the door. He was concerned for the mental and physical wellbeing of Aimee.'

Judge Gillian Matthews QC however told the court the sergeant had been 'freestyle lying' in his accounts. 'One of your problems is the witness has lied. He was prepared to mislead the court in what I call freestyle lying,' she said.

The force will apologise pending her judgment on suitable reward, Mr Adams added.

Original report here

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