As­saulted by po­lice!

I was seven and a half months preg­nant when my life fell apart

Chat - - Contents - By Lynette Wal­lace, 47, from Not­ting­ham

Play­ing with my son Lu­cas, 2, I smiled.

It was 7 July 2011. I had six kids and had just dropped Juree, 7, and Chanel, 8, off at school.

In just 10 weeks’ time, I would be adding to my brood.

Be­ing a mum meant ev­ery­thing to me.

Fin­ish­ing break­fast, there was a heavy bang at the door. Plac­ing Lu­cas in his high chair, I went to an­swer.

Three po­lice of­fi­cers were on my doorstep.

‘What’s hap­pened?’ I asked, panic ris­ing.

What they said next made my head spin.

‘We’re ar­rest­ing you on sus­pi­cion of ar­son with in­tent to en­dan­ger life and in­tim­i­dat­ing a wit­ness.’

What?

Next thing, I was bun­dled away as of­fi­cers took Lu­cas to my neigh­bour.

Once I’d been taken to the po­lice sta­tion, I burst into tears.

‘Have you ever self-harmed?’ an of­fi­cer asked.

Stunned, I ad­mit­ted I had, but a long time ago.

I was put in a cell with two of­fi­cers who said I could be in dan­ger of stran­gling my­self, so de­cided all my cloth­ing ex­cept my pants should be re­moved. ‘No!’ I begged. But three more of­fi­cers ran in and forced me face-down, my bump pressed into the bed. ‘I’m preg­nant!’ I protested. But I was pinned down, my T-shirt ripped off, and bra cut with a knife, as an­other of­fi­cer cuffed my hands be­hind me.

‘What are you do­ing?’ a cus­tody nurse de­manded, walk­ing past.

She or­dered them to leave, and of­fered me a T-shirt to cover up.

For 11 hours, I sat, cuffed, in the cell.

I was in to­tal shock. I was a nor­mal mum, not an ar­son­ist.

At around 9pm, I was taken in for an in­ter­view, with a solic­i­tor present.

My chil­dren were stay­ing with friends and fam­ily. I wished I could be with them.

It was only at this point that I dis­cov­ered why I was here. I was ac­cused of petrol bomb­ing a former friend’s car.

They said I had no al­ibi. But I knew ex­actly where I was at that time.

Not some­thing I’d for­get eas­ily.

I was hav­ing a biopsy af­ter dis­cov­er­ing a lump in my left breast.

‘If you check the CCTV at the hospi­tal, you’ll see,’ I told the de­tec­tives.

But I was slung back in a cell.

Miss­ing my kids, and freez­ing cold, I wasn’t even of­fered a blan­ket.

An hour later, I was taken to have my fin­ger­prints taken.

Af­ter, so tired, I just wanted to sleep, but they wanted to move me to a dif­fer­ent cell.

I was pinned down, cuffed again, and d one of­fi­cer ffi re­peat­edly punched me in my right arm un­til I moved. I was black and blue. I en­dured three more hours in a dif­fer­ent cell.

But what was wor­ry­ing me more was my baby. Pains in my stom­ach were get­ting worse.

I was given parac­eta­mol but no­body seemed to care.

Soon, I was taken to court,

They said I had no al­ibi – but I knew I’d been at hospi­tal

where I was charged with wit­ness in­tim­i­da­tion and ar­son.

I was re­manded in cus­tody and moved to Not­ting­ham Prison.

A liv­ing night­mare.

Within hours of be­ing in the cell, I started bleed­ing.

I was rushed to Not­ting­ham Hospi­tal, then told I needed an emer­gency Cae­sarean.

Ten weeks be­fore my due date, Charna was born weigh­ing 3lb 3oz.

The doc­tor said the labour had been brought on by stress.

Charna was put on a ven­ti­la­tor.

I stayed with her for two days be­fore I had to re­turn to prison.

I could only see her for a few hours every week.

I was ter­ri­fied, didn’t know if she’d live or die.

Af­ter two weeks in prison, things got even worse.

‘You have breast can­cer,’ the doc­tor at the Not­ting­ham Breast In­sti­tute told me.

I was trans­ferred to Peter­bor­ough Prison be­fore hav­ing mas­tec­tomy surgery at Peter­bor­ough Hospi­tal.

Charna was moved to the same hospi­tal as me.

She was fight­ing for her life.

Six weeks af­ter my ar­rest, po­lice fi­nally saw the CCTV from the hospi­tal and I was re­leased with­out charge.

See­ing my fam­ily again was amaz­ing. I’d never been away from my kids for so long.

Now, six years on, I still haven’t got jus­tice.

Not­ting­hamshire Po­lice is­sued a pub­lic apol­ogy to me.

Three of the of­fi­cers in­volved were found guilty of gross mis­con­duct.

An in­ves­ti­ga­tion into two more of­fi­cers was dropped be­cause of de­lays by the In­de­pen­dent Po­lice Com­plaints Com­mis­sion (IPCC.)

The IPCC has now pub­licly apol­o­gised as well. But it isn’t enough. All the of­fi­cers in­volved still have their jobs. I was in­no­cent and heav­ily preg­nant, yet I was abused, hu­mil­i­ated and as­saulted by those who are meant to pro­tect us.

Charna is now 6 but has de­vel­op­men­tal de­lays and is go­ing blind in one eye. So I’m fight­ing for jus­tice for both of us. But time is run­ning out. Six months ago, I was told the can­cer has spread to my brain and lungs. I could just have a year to live.

The clock is tick­ing...

Of­fi­cers were found guilty of gross mis­con­duct

Charna and me to­day My girl She suf­fered de­vel­op­men­tal prob­lems

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