Monday, January 28, 2013


Why is it that plod when they get it wrong will often go to extreme lengths to try and justify what they did? Oh I'm sure we only get to read about the cases that go really wrong (well some of them) and not the many that go to plan. Still in this case a mistake if such it was could have been corrected on the day, not 8 months down the line.
Mail. (usual caveats)
A teenage girl with autism was arrested and hauled before the courts because police mistakenly assumed she was drunk.
Despite being completely sober, 17-year-old Melissa Jones spent ten hours in a police cell, was finger-printed and had her DNA taken.
She was charged with being drunk and disorderly, forced to appear in court and became suicidal while waiting eight months for her case to go to trial.
Last week, however, prosecutors finally realised they had got it wrong and agreed to drop the case against her.
Miss Jones’s ordeal began shortly before midnight on June 16 last year when she and a friend went to a shop near her home in Edge Hill, Liverpool, to buy some Coca-Cola.
Another customer, a drunken woman, became aggressive when the assistant refused to serve her, and attacked Miss Jones and her friend when they intervened.
Both girls were stamped on and suffered severe bruising.
When police arrived the attacker had fled, and Miss Jones was crying and hysterical. Despite her protestations, police assumed she had been drinking and arrested her.
‘At the police station, a doctor confirmed she hadn’t been drinking, but still the police tried to pursue her through the courts.
Other than being a salutary lesson in not intervening, you have to wonder why the police ignored a doctors evidence that the young lady wasn't drunk. Even at the end though the CPS only dropped the case because they had insufficient evidence to prove she was drunk, not because they had it wrong.
The police even had the nerve to try and get her to admit her guilt by a £60 fixed penalty fine rather than accept the evidence that the young lady had autism and was not drunk at all.
Don't get me wrong here, I know it isn't easy being a plod and that they do get an awful lot of crap thrown them during their work, but really at times they simply do not help themselves. I'm still a bit mystified as to why they arrested her in the first place as she was the one who'd been assaulted. But have ran across the arrest first sort it out mentality from other reports of police actions in recent years to know just how some of them operate.
Now I realise we only have the mothers statement that there was a doctor, but the lack of evidence proving she was drunk does suggest that a doctor was there, after all, it's a simple test to prove you have been taking alcohol.
Perhaps the length of time was adjudged punishment enough for involving the police?
Either way, I doubt she'll trust them any more or get involved in future.

1 annotations:

Lee said...

I've got Asperger's syndrome, a form of autism, and people quite regularly think that I'm drunk or taking drugs because of my unusual gait and demeanour. this is totally unacceptable behaviour by the police though.