Police criticised in court after they ‘invalidly detain’ man

Court news
Court news

Magistrates at Skegness have told a man appearing before them that he ‘should not have been charged’ by police following an incident outside a Louth pub, after hearing allegations that he had been ‘invalidly’ detained by officers.

Ben Martin McCardie, 31, of Keystone Road, Glasgow, admitted being drunk and disorderly in Riverhead Road, Louth, on May 4, but denied obstructing the police on the same occasion.

The prosecution offered no evidence on the second allegation and the magistrates dismissed the charge.

Daniel Pietryka, prosecuting, said police were called to the Woolpack Inn in Louth after an anonymous report that a man and woman were involved in an argument.

He said police arrived and spoke to McCardie who was in drink and swore at officers and refused to give his details to them.

Mr Pietryka said McCardie was uncooperative with the police and tried to get out of the police car by going between the front seats.

Mitigating, Beris Brickles said McCardie and his girlfriend had been visiting family in Louth and had gone to the pub.

He said that when the police officers arrived at the pub following an anonymous phone call, they invited him outside and then locked him into a police car, even though he had not been arrested, and refused to let him out, even though his girlfriend told them that nothing had happened, which is why he swore at the officers.

“He should never have been locked in the car, it was an invalid detention,” said Mr Brickles.

He added that McCardie tried to get out of the car because the police tried to forcibly examine his girlfriend for signs of any assault on her and she had refused and they wrestled her to the ground.

“Police did not handle this as well as they could have done and that is now subject to a separate complaint,” he said.

He added that McCardie’s girlfriend had been offered and had accepted a £90 fixed penalty ticket (FPT) but that had not been offered to McCardie as police wanted to charge him with obstruction, for which a FPT could not be issued, but now the obstruction charge had been dropped, he said.

The magistrates chairman, Mr Philip Marshall, told McCardie that they ‘do not think you should have been charged and we are giving you an absolute discharge.’