Woman sues police for arrest

By Jonathan BarnesA WOMAN who claims she was assaulted by police officers after being arrested in a row over parking is taking Suffolk Constabulary to the High Court for compensation.

By Jonathan Barnes

A WOMAN who claims she was assaulted by police officers after being arrested in a row over parking is taking Suffolk Constabulary to the High Court for compensation.

Olivia Boland, 47, is seeking damages of more than £50,000 for the alleged treatment she suffered as she was held in a police cell after her arrest in June 1997.

She had been detained for allegedly assaulting a supermarket security manager after he warned her that her car had been parked in the wrong place.

Mrs Boland, chairman of the Suffolk Chinese Family Welfare Association, alleges she suffered injury and post-traumatic stress after her treatment at Stowmarket Police Station.

Her solicitors have now lodged a writ with the High Court, claiming damages, aggravated damages and exemplary damages for false imprisonment, assault and “misfeasance in public office”.

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Suffolk police said last night it had been corresponding with Mrs Boland for “some years” and was “actively seeking a resolution” to the matter.

Mrs Boland, of Birch Road, Onehouse, near Stowmarket, said her troubles began when she parked her car close to the Asda supermarket in Stowmarket on June 5, 1997.

She claims to have thought she was allowed to park there, but staff at the store told her it was private land that belonged to the supermarket.

Bruce Leathers, a security manager at the supermarket, claimed Mrs Boland opened her car door violently, cutting and bruising his arm.

She was later arrested and held for nine hours in Stowmarket Police Station before being charged.

Mrs Boland was convicted of causing actual bodily harm to Mr Leathers on February 14, 1998, by Stowmarket magistrates, but was cleared on appeal at Ipswich Crown Court nine months later.

The Police Complaints Authority later confirmed Mrs Boland's arrest had been unlawful.

Mrs Boland claims there was no reason for arresting her or continuing to detain her. She was unavailable for comment last night.

A spokesman for Suffolk police said: “We can confirm that we received a writ issued by solicitors acting for Olivia Boland on February 7.

“This writ relates to an incident which occurred in June 1997. We have been corresponding with the complainant for some years and will continue to actively seek a resolution of this matter.”

jonathan.barnes@eadt.co.uk

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