Detective sergeant Nick Westwood made the "humbling" apology to Alison Richardson in front of scores of her fellow churchgoers over the "upset and distress" caused when she was arrested in 2008.*boggle*
So, what went wrong?
Mrs Richardson was taken into custody by as many as eight officers after she and her church elder husband Clive called them because bailiffs were wrongly attempting to clamp their car.Was she? Really?
When police arrived at the family home in Greenwich, they unlawfully barged their way into the property, roughly handled the couple and arrested Mrs Richardson.
A woman officer subsequently claimed that she had been punched in the face by Mrs Richardson.
Mrs Richardson was held in a police station for eight hours, then later taken to court and sentenced to 150 hours of community service.
But she appealed against the sentence and after serving 90 hours of her community service was completely exonerated by a judge.
Some time ago police attended the Richardsons' home address. There were bailiffs there and, in short, police officers entered the address when they didn't have any power to do so... the result was that Alison was arrested.So, rather than being ‘completely exonerated’, this is more of a technicality, isn’t it? The entry was unlawful, so all other charges are dismissed?
After her conviction Mrs Richardson lost her criminal records bureau accreditation and had to step down from her role in her local Greenwich Seventh-day Adventist church office.I wonder if they’d have done this for anyone else..?
But following her successful appeal, the police took the unusual step of agreeing to make a public apology in front of Mrs Richardson, her family and her entire church congregation.