Thursday 27 July 2017

Woman forgives 'sorry' policeman

A Scotland Yard officer has apologised from a church pulpit to a mother wrongfully arrested for assault
A Scotland Yard officer has apologised from a church pulpit to a mother wrongfully arrested for assault

A mother wrongfully arrested for assault has forgiven police after an officer apologised for the error from a church pulpit.

Detective Sergeant Nick Westwood said sorry before an entire congregation as Alison Richardson was compensated by Scotland Yard.

The 43-year-old was detained at her home in Croydon, south London, after calling police to stop bailiffs wrongfully clamping the family car.

A woman officer subsequently claimed she had been punched in the face by Mrs Richardson during the incident in 2008.

However Mrs Richardson appealed against her sentence of 150 hours community service and was exonerated by a judge.

Detective Sergeant Nick Westwood, of the force's directorate of professional standards, was cheered by the congregation at Greenwich Seventh-Day Adventist Church as he apologised for the "upset and distress" caused.

Speaking afterwards, Mrs Richardson said: "The public apology helps to heal the wounds and also to close this traumatic chapter, so that I can move forward with my family and get on with my life."

In a video footage uploaded on YouTube, Mr Westwood said from the pulpit that "this is really an apology on behalf of the Metropolitan Police Service to Alison".

He added: "It is only right and proper that where we make mistakes and when we make errors that we are willing to apologise and put those mistakes right."

He was applauded as he said: "She was quite rightly found to have committed no crime ... quite clearly in this case the officers had made an error. They had done the wrong thing."

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