Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Quite The Most Bizarre Apology Ever!

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.

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.

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.
Was she? Really?
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.

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.
I wonder if they’d have done this for anyone else..?


Anonymous said...

It is about time they did it more often.
Still waiting for my apology after they lied to the prosecution service.

A salt and battered said...

Who would have thought that Blackface could play such a vital role in a stand against thugs?

Tattyfalarr said...

How does "police were not authorised to enter" precisely equate to "police officer was not assaulted" ? She either was or she wasn't.

The story makes no sense. I suspect the officer concerned was told to put up and shut up.

Trevor said...

I wonder if they’d have done this for anyone else..?
All became clear after clicking on the link and seeing the recipient of the apology.

Anonymous said...

Bizarre indeed and having watched the YouTube film of it all...pathetic. Good church going people no doubt but the police would not do this for white Christians. Other minority religions - yes and they will have to now. They have now set a silly precedent BUT the knobhead DS will be able to tick a very large box relating to DIVERSITY on his next application. I think a great many of us, members of the public, serving and former officers who have been let down by the police (in some cases their own colleagues) will be rightly miffed at this treatment.

Budvar said...

Tatty, may refer you to Vaughan v McKenzie [1968] 3 All ER 1154 two county court bailiffs used force to enter. One was struck over the head with a full milk bottle. Held: Not assault, the bailiff was there illegally.

Budvar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dr Cromarty said...

Is it coz they is black?

Anonymous said...

It's exactly coz dey is black...

Anonymous said...

Standard issue for myself and all my colleagues is a hair-shirt under my uniform.

James Higham said...

Does she get her accreditation back? Does she get to sue? Did she land one with that haymaker?

blueknight said...

It all clicked into place when I saw the mewsphoto....

jaded said...

Ok head above the parapet to be shot down.
Several points to make even though I have no personal knowledge of this case.
I'm sure the assault happened but as the PC was not acting as a constable it does not count.
Any call involving bailiffs is grief and best avoided by experienced officers.
These African women in my dealings are usually bloody strong and cannot be reasoned with when they get riled.
Over to you lads.

Anonymous said...

Jaded, I think you are on safe ground matey!

Don't you have to wear a spiked garter these days as well as the hair shirt?

I haven't seen the Greenwich SMT self-flagellating in the Well Hall Road for a while now, mind you it's been busy down there recently. Once the CCTV vans and 24 hr foot patrols go they'll be back I'm sure.

I did know of a 'MR' PC who when dealing with West Africans, especially Nigerians, would get them to swear that what they had told him i.e name, address, why they had 14 credit cards with different names on them etc - was the truth and then produced a bible for them to hold when they did so!

Thankfully, Diversity training should have sorted him out now!

Woman on a Raft said...

One female officer, who previously claimed Mrs Richardson had punched her in the face, later amended her statement claiming she had instead been hit in the chest after medics could not find evidence of the former accusation. The couple described how they did not raise a hand to, or resist, the police during the exchange and were perplexed as to why they were being mistreated.

Adventist News

Basically, the police couldn't have got it more wrong. Let's hope it was a genuine mistake and not an old pals act with the bailiffs.

An "inappropriate" phrase was used, and I'm guessing it was something to do with colour.

Never mind the police; I'd like a legal system investigation. This should never have got to the magistrate's court via the CPS, let alone having to go to appeal.

I'm further guessing there is a measure of "you told us wrong, you grovel" in it from the CPS.

For Mrs Richardson, it is necessary to clear her name very publicly because the CRB record will continue to show that she was arrested and convicted of a violent assault, even though the police accept that this did not happen. Note, the Richardsons are adamant that they never resisted arrest in any way. In a staunch Christian family versed in primitive gospel, there is no reason to disbelieve their account.

Regardless of her exoneration in court and in public, the CRB record will continue to exist and will blight her chances of employment. I expect the police have retained her DNA.

Tattyfalarr said...

Budvar...thanks for that.

Conclusion drawn is that yes the officer was actually physically assaulted it's just that the perpetrator of the assault was not held legally accountable because the law says they didn't have to be.

*rolls eyes*

JuliaM said...

"It is about time they did it more often."

They may have to - as Ranter points out, they've set a precedent!

"It's exactly coz dey is black..."

Yup, as soon as I saw the players, I knew what the rules of the game were.

JuliaM said...

"This should never have got to the magistrate's court via the CPS, let alone having to go to appeal. "

I'm surprised it did. If it hadn't been pursued, this cringingly-obsequious apology could have been avoided.

But as we know, the wheels of the system grind slowly, and go into reverse very, very seldom.

"In a staunch Christian family versed in primitive gospel, there is no reason to disbelieve their account."

I really don't think we want to be accepting that certain people are automatically to be believed. Do we?