Pensioner's anger over arrest drama

THE FAMILY of a great-grandmother arrested in a dawn raid and kept in a cell for 13 hours have made a formal complaint to Essex Police.Eileen Kearsey, 79, was woken up at 4am by police officers who arrested her, ordered her to get dressed and took her in a squad car with flashing lights to Chelmsford Police Station.

By Juliette Maxam

THE FAMILY of a great-grandmother arrested in a dawn raid and kept in a cell for 13 hours have made a formal complaint to Essex Police.

Eileen Kearsey, 79, was woken up at 4am by police officers who arrested her, ordered her to get dressed and took her in a squad car with flashing lights to Chelmsford Police Station.

Mrs Kearsey was questioned, fingerprinted and had a DNA sample taken before she was finally released without charge at 5.30pm.


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She was arrested as part of the new chief constable, Roger Baker's, Days of Action campaign cracking down on a backlog of alleged offences.

Police received a complaint two months ago after Mrs Kearsey got involved in an argument with a neighbour.

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With the help of her daughter, Sandra Filomena, she had been trying to make an appointment to talk to the officer investigating the claim.

Still badly shaken nearly a fortnight after her ordeal, Mrs Kearsley said: “I am still having sleepless nights about what happened to me - I felt I was treated like a suspected terrorist.

“I thought they had got the wrong address. I have never been in trouble with the police before in my life and always had a great respect for them so I opened the door and found two big policemen standing there.

“I was in a daze - they told me to hurry up and get dressed or else they would take me to the police station in my nightdress.”

She claims she had nothing to eat after allegedly being told breakfast was not worth having so she went without, and was offered nothing else throughout her ordeal.

Mrs Filomena, 58, said: “It is extraordinary to think that the police are prepared to arrest a confused old lady in the middle of the night and lock her up for half a day.

“My mother was a happy soul but she has been deeply traumatised by this horrible experience and I am worried she may suffer post traumatic stress when the initial shock wears off.

She added: “After I arrived at the police station at breakfast time I had to wait all day while my mother was processed.

“I blame the chief constable and his new campaign for her ordeal. He is putting huge pressure on officers to arrest people in order to boost statistics. Why else would two officers arrest a little old lady asleep in her bed?

“The police must have realised that they were not dealing with a dangerous criminal.

“We are determined that there is a full investigation and have asked the chief constable for a personal apology. But this is a very worrying incident - how many other people are in the same situation?”

An Essex Police spokeswoman yesterday confirmed they have received a formal complaint from the family about Mrs Kearsey's treatment.

She said: “A formal complaint has been received from the woman's family and we are currently investigating the circumstances. We cannot comment further at this stage.”

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