The force has since apologised for his wrongful arrest stating they acted on PC Sturgess’s “erroneous information”.
The IPCC report found she had a case of gross misconduct to answer. However, she resigned before internal proceedings could be started. Although she cannot be subject to internal disciplinary proceedings, the IPCC said Sussex Police should have pursued a criminal investigation for assault and perverting the course of justice.
While the time limit has now passed for pursuing the former, the latter is still available to them – and the IPCC has recommended they look into it. However, the force has ruled this out.Have they? Have they, indeed? How very fortuitous…
Detective sergeant J McGorry, who responded to the IPCC findings in a police report, said: “The available evidence does not sufficiently demonstrate that the actions of Joanne Sturgess intended to pervert the course of justice.
“While it is not questioned that the content of her witness statement is significantly contradicted by the CCTV evidence... it is my assessment that the evidence available still does not indicate that the actions of Joanne Sturgess amount to the deliberate commission of a criminal act.”And is your assessment as dubious as the decisions made by the rest of the fine officers involved in this case, DS McGorry? If so, I think another force ought to review it forthwith.
Following the IPCC report, Sussex Police paid Mr Albaja £15,700 in compensation.No. They haven’t. The local council taxpayer has paid it.
It should come out of the Chief Inspector’s own pocket, where it’s decided not to continue with a criminal charge on the officers involved. That would concentrate minds, wouldn’t it?