Friday 24 November 2017

Injured handyman held for burglary

Jason Gaspard cut himself on a shard of glass while trying to fix a door to make it secure following a break-in
Jason Gaspard cut himself on a shard of glass while trying to fix a door to make it secure following a break-in

Police have apologised to a carpenter for arresting him after he left blood behind when he mended a door broken by a burglar.

Jason Gaspard, 40, cut himself on a shard of glass after being asked by the property owner to fix a door to make it secure following a break-in.

But police later arrested him on suspicion of burglary and held him for more than an hour in custody before realising their mistake and releasing him without charge.

Mr Gaspard criticised officers, accusing them of heavy-handedness and failing to be sincere in their apology to him. He said he may now seek legal advice over the actions of Sussex Police.

He said: "It was absolutely mad. I kept thinking what could all this be about. I was particularly miffed because I had left a lady without water while I went to see the police about it all."

Mr Gaspard was called out to Medina Terrace in Hove on May 18 to provide a quote to the managing agent for door repairs following the burglary. The following day he returned to the property to undertake the work but cut his hand while feeling on the carpet for a dropped screw.

After being a given a message saying police wanted to speak to him, Mr Gaspard attended a police station in Brighton where he was arrested and held in a cell until officers found out he had nothing to do with the crime.

Mr Gaspard said: "They came back into the cell later and said 'Look, we think we have made a mistake'. There was no heartfelt 'sorry' from the police. They haven't gone about it in the right way and I think there is an element of racism about it because I'm black."

A Sussex Police spokesman said: "Unknown to officers, the man cut his finger at the scene of the crime and as a result he was arrested by appointment on suspicion of burglary.

"After a short time in custody the man was eliminated from police inquiries and immediately released. Sussex Police apologise for any inconvenience caused to the man as a result of his arrest."

Press Association

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