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Police Apologise To Woman 'Left Naked In Cell For Three Hours'

Police Apologise To Woman 'Left Naked In Cell For Three Hours'

Police have apologised to a woman after she claims they left her naked in a cold cell for three hours, admitting they 'got it wrong'.

Yvonne Farrell, 52, sued Hertfordshire Constabulary for unlawful arrest, with the force accepting they shouldn't have detained her for partaking in a peaceful car roof protest.

After fighting for two years, Farrell was offered £45,000 in compensation after being wrongly imprisoned for 11 hours, with the Deputy Chief Constable apologising 'unreservedly'.

Credit: Hyde News and Pictures
Credit: Hyde News and Pictures
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On 2 August 2018, Yvonne had climbed onto the roof of her partner's car when two men operating a tow truck were attempting to clamp it.

She had pleaded with the men to simply allow her to roll the car less than three yards onto private land - but they refused before six police officers descended and violently dragged her off the vehicle.

She said: "All I remember was police cars suddenly arriving outside my home. I kept saying I had not done anything wrong. This was a civil matter and the police should only be here if I have done something criminal."

Wearing a loose fitting summer dress and flip flops, Yvonne calmly refused the officers' request to climb down from the car before she was arrested for a 'public order offence'.

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Credit: Hyde News and Pictures
Credit: Hyde News and Pictures

Officers grabbed hold of her arm and leg and she was dragged from the roof of the car, causing her to land awkwardly on the ground.

Yvonne said: "I was pulled off the car and I went down to the ground. They proceeded to handcuff me really tightly. I was in immense pain, I pleaded with them to loosen the handcuffs but they wouldn't listen to me."

Knowing she had been unlawfully detained, Yvonne refused to confirm her identity at the police stations before she was thrown into a cell and obliged by officers to remove all of her clothing.

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A pair of 'hot pants and a crop top' was left in the cell which Yvonne felt were inappropriate on religious and cultural grounds, being a Rastafarian woman.

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Credit: Hyde News and Pictures
Credit: Hyde News and Pictures

Yvonne claims she was left entirely naked for almost tree hours, offered only a blanket for warmth, before her clothing was returned and she was allowed to redress. She was released just before midnight, having been detained for almost 11 hours.

Hertfordshire Police Professional Standards Department rejected Yvonne's complaint before she enlisted the help of solicitor Iain Gould, who specialises in claims against the police.

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Yvonne was offered £45,000 in damages from Hertfordshire Constabulary, but the force did not offer an official apology until today (15 January).

Yvonne received an apology letter from Deputy Chief Constable Michelle Dunn at Hertfordshire Constabulary.

She wrote: "Having investigated the incident, I accept that you should not have been arrested. When you were in custody, the officers were unable to assess whether you were at risk of harming yourself.

"As a result, your clothes were removed from you and you were given a 'safety suit' to wear to preserve your modesty and to ensure that you would not cause yourself any harm with your clothes. For religious reasons you were unable to wear that safety suit and as a result, remained unclothed for a period of time. I accept that the removal of your clothes must have been very upsetting.

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"I am extremely sorry for any injuries that you suffered as a result of the actions of Hertfordshire police. On this occasion, we got it wrong. I apologise unreservedly."

Lawyer Mr Gould said: "All of this was entirely unnecessary and amounts to a vast waste of public money and the time of everybody involved.

"On Yvonne's behalf I have made it clear that she would accept a lower award of financial compensation than the full value of the claim, if it were accompanied by an apology.

"I am of course delighted with the terms of the settlement, which reflects the serious wrongdoing committed against Yvonne, and the fact of the apology."

A spokesperson for Hertfordshire Constabulary told LADbible: "The fair treatment of people detained in custody in Hertfordshire is very important.

"Following a review of the circumstances we accept that, regrettably, we did not get everything right on this occasion.

"We have been in regular contact with the complainant's legal team throughout and the force has agreed to settle this matter in recognition of the distress caused."

Featured Image Credit: Hyde News & Pictures

Topics: UK News

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Amelia Ward

Amelia is a journalist at LADbible. After studying journalism at Liverpool John Moores and Salford Uni (don't ask), she went into PR and then the world of music. She spent a few years working on festivals and events. Soon realising you can't pay your bills with guestlist, she went back to her roots. In her spare time, Amelia likes music, Liverpool FC, and spending good, quality time with her cat, Paul. You can contact Amelia at [email protected]