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No evidence of misconduct over female prisoner assault claims

Published 02/08/2016

The Police Ombudsman found no evidence of misconduct by any of the officers or police staff who dealt with the woman during her detention
The Police Ombudsman found no evidence of misconduct by any of the officers or police staff who dealt with the woman during her detention

Allegations that police officers stripped and assaulted a female prisoner in Londonderry have been rejected by a watchdog.

The Police Ombudsman found no evidence of misconduct by any of the officers or police staff who dealt with the woman during her detention at Strand Road station last December.

The woman claimed police failed to take her to hospital after suffering a seizure and did not provide her medical records for a subsequent court appearance.

However, audio and video footage from the custody suite showed she had not been assaulted as alleged.

Instead, the Ombudsman found police staff intervened when the woman removed items of clothing and attempted to use them to inflict self-harm.

A blanket, mattress and pillow were also removed from the cell after the woman tried to rip them to create ligatures.

Police staff offered her replacement clothing but it was refused, the Ombudsman said.

Evidence also showed that police had kept the woman under constant observation during her period in custody, and ensured she was seen by a doctor after she reported suffering a seizure.

In addition, the investigator found that there had been no obligation on police to supply the court with the woman's medical records.

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From Belfast Telegraph