Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Grandmother, 44, wins compensation after she was assaulted by police who strip searched her and left her naked following row

A grandmother-of-two has been given compensation after she was strip searched by police and dumped naked in a cell with a camera on her.

Catering assistant Kay Earles, who had never been in trouble with the police before, was arrested over claims she was drunk and disorderly after a night out in Macclesfield, Cheshire.

She says she was then threatened with a strip search before being thrown to the ground and having her clothes removed at the police station in nearby Middlewich.

Ms Earles, 44, of Macclesfield, says she was the victim of an assault before the arrest and has branded her treatment 'scandalous'. She said: 'I was told I had blood on my denim jacket and that was because two of us were assaulted in Chilli Jack's takeaway before I was arrested.

'The detention officer said where is the blood from on your coat? I didn't realise it was there and my fists were clenched because I was anxious and stressed.

'This woman then dropped me to the floor. Ruptured all the tendons in my right arm as she pushed it up in the air. 'I needed surgery on the arm and was off work for a week unable to do my job.

'My arm was up behind my back and the custody officer said if you don't behave we will strip your clothes off.  'Two women then took me into the cell and started ripping my clothes off. I was just dumped naked on the floor.

'There were men around and it was all captured on camera. It was so humiliating.'

Ms Earles was later given a sheet and T-shirt to cover herself, but police have admitted the behaviour of officers fell below the required standards.

The amount of compensation Ms Earles received has not been disclosed.

Ms Earles added: 'Men came in and out and there were men there all the time. I now know the police are corrupt. I look at them in a totally different light.  'It's appalling to think you go out for the evening and yet you can end up having your clothes ripped off by women in police uniform.

'If I did it to somebody I would be charged. None of them were charged. Cheshire police sent me a letter saying the officers involved would get further training.

'I have still got the mental scars. They never logged the strip search stuff and they described the attack on me as 'soft physical force'.'  'I had to go back to work as I am on a zero hours contract and used my left hand at work. The right arm was painful for months and I was visiting the hospital and having physio for about 12 months in total.'

Kay's solicitor Emma Grantham, of Russell and Co in Malvern, Worcestershire, said her client was 'completely humiliated' by the 'unjustified' strip search. She added: 'A strip search must be justified and required to either safeguard the person in custody or staff. This was evidently not the case.'

Chief Inspector Julie Westgate, of Cheshire police, said: 'The Constabulary's Professional Standards department investigated the complaint in relation to being placed in safety clothing. The findings were that her complaint should be upheld.

'We are fully committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of those individuals who are detained in our custody.  'When this falls below the standards expected we review the circumstances to ensure that all procedures were followed and if there are shortcomings take the appropriate action.

'In this case the officers involved were given management action and their performance was reviewed to make sure the health and welfare of detainees are safeguarded.'

Original report here

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