Start your claim

August 8th 2017

Andrew Petherbridge

Hudgell Solicitors welcomes swift IPCC response in case of police search which ended with baby’s ashes spilled across floor

Andrew Petherbridge

Andrew Petherbridge

Legal Executive and Head of Civil Liberties

Hudgell Solicitors welcomes swift IPCC response in case of police search which ended with baby’s ashes spilled across floor

Lawyers acting on behalf of a young mother who says police officers tore apart her ‘memory teddy bear’ containing the remains of her 10-month-old son have welcomed a swift investigation into the matter.

Lawyers acting on behalf of a young mother who says police officers tore apart her ‘memory teddy bear’ containing the remains of her 10-month-old son have welcomed a swift investigation into the matter.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has today issued a statement in which it says officers in this incident, which happened in June, have already given their accounts of the events and that video footage from body cameras is also being studied.

The IPCC has said it is “looking at the actions of officers and whether there is any organisational learning arising.”

Ms Wright, 23, said she had been left “hysterical” on her hands and knees trying to recover the precious remains of her baby boy Nathan after officers from Staffordshire Police Force left her partner’s property.

She had been at his flat at the time, and despite officers having a warrant relating to a stolen laptop, Ms Wright says she and her partner were not suspected of committing any offence themselves, and that she informed officers before they carried out the search that the teddy contained her son’s ashes.

When officers left empty-handed, Ms Wright went into the bedroom and was “completely heartbroken” by what she found.

IPCC Operations Manager Steve Bimson said: “We have met with Ms Wright and her partner to explain our role and we will keep all parties regularly updated on our investigation.

“This is an emotive case and we are conscious of the distress and wider concern this has caused. We will be looking at the actions of officers and whether there is any organisational learning arising from this incident.”

Civil Liberties Lawyer Andrew Petherbridge is representing Ms Wright, and says the IPCC response has rightly been quick.

“Given the harrowing circumstances for our client, we welcome the swift IPCC response in this case,” he said.

“We feel there are many serious questions which need asking around the events of this search, and welcome the reviewing of video footage from body cameras worn at the time.

“Whatever happened during the search, there can be no doubt that finding her son’s ashes scattered on the bedroom floor afterwards must have been a horrifying experience for our client.  This should never have been the outcome given the search was in relation to a stolen laptop.”

Ms Wright and her boyfriend James have lived with the trauma of losing Nathan, aged 10 months, in April 2014. Despite being born prematurely at 34 weeks, he was a ‘happy and healthy’ boy until his sudden death.

Chelsea says she has carried the memory bear and Nathan’s ashes with her everywhere since, to feel close to him.

Of the police search, she said: “I’d been staying with James at his flat when the police arrived to search his property at about 7.45am. We had nothing to hide so of course, we let them in. James wasn’t even under any suspicion as it was all in relation to somebody else.

“I even mentioned the teddy bear to the police before they started searching, but the Velcro on the teddy bear’s back had been opened and the bag had been cut open. How on earth could they have expected to find a laptop inside a small plastic bag which was inside a teddy bear? It is absolutely disgusting.

“I can’t understand how the police can be so heartless and so inconsiderate. As soon as I went into the bedroom and saw the mess I knew it was Nathan’s ashes spread around the room.

“I was just in hysterics. I got onto my hands and knees and tried to salvage the ashes and brush them onto pieces of paper, but it was impossible. How on earth could they do this to a mum who has lost a baby boy?”

Related News 

The Mirror 

Guardian

What Our Clients Say

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Highly recommended"

Excellent service and communication from start to finish. The whole process of handling my personal injury claim was dealt with quickly and courteously.

MikeNovember 26, 2019

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Becci was amazing"

Becci was amazing, she was so friendly and helpful and couldn’t have done a better job at helping me with my claim. Very happy.

Katherine JanineNovember 08, 2019

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Quick honest service"

Quick honest service, smooth process with excellent staff

MR COOPEROctober 30, 2019

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"HUDGELL SOLICITORS are great lawyers…"

HUDGELL SOLICITORS are great lawyers whit amazing customers service. I got pretty good deal only because of them I'm quite happy I chose Hudgell solicitor.

DominikOctober 30, 2019

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Good all round service"

Good all round service

John AndrewOctober 19, 2019

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Efficient"

Quick, efficient service provided by Jayne Woodock. Would definitely contact Hudgell Solicitors again in the future if the need arises

KerryOctober 10, 2019

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Thank you"

I have never had to go down the route of claiming for anything like this so when I was advised to do so I did some research and Hugell Solicitors caught my eye. And I’m so glad I picked them, everything was explained well and helped with any questions I…

ZoeOctober 04, 2019

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"No problems from start to finish for my…"

No problems from start to finish for my claim.Kept updated regularly and a good outcome even though the defendants were being evasive. Thanks.

r3monkeyOctober 03, 2019

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Excellent"

Very professional,efficient service,informative and friendly service. I would highly recommend Hudgell solicitors.

HelenOctober 01, 2019

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Good experience"

Good experience

Margaret ElizabethAugust 31, 2019

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Excellent"

Friendly, helpful and professional.

M J JAugust 09, 2019

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"I would recommend this firm of…solicitor to anyone"

I would recommend this firm of solicitor to anyone I have had a 5 star treatment from Jayne woodcock I cant praise her enough she kept me informed every step of my claim and I cannot thank her enough excellent Jimmy Mcdermott

Jimmy McJuly 28, 2019

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

"Very helpful and thorough"

Very helpful and thorough. The team kept me updated throughout. Thank you

EsmeJuly 25, 2019