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January 12th 2022

Civil Liberties

Woman left traumatised after police raided her home in error

Alexandra Eldon

Alexandra Eldon

Trainee Solicitor, Civil Liberties

Woman left traumatised after police raided her home in error

A woman, who was in alone in bed, was left ‘stressed and humiliated’ after a police force launched a planned, early-morning raid on the wrong home.

A woman, who was in alone in bed, was left ‘stressed and humiliated’ after a police force launched a planned, early-morning raid on the wrong home.

Officers from Cleveland Police forced their way into the front and back of her house at 6am in July 2021 and demanded to speak to her husband.

The force had obtained a search warrant for the address and officers said they were searching for electronic devices.

The woman told them her husband was at work, but police said this did not match their intelligence as they were under the impression he started after 7am.

Our client was upset and shaken by the forced intrusion and subsequent questioning which caused her to suffer an asthma attack.

After showing officers her marriage certificate and photographs of her husband, it became apparent this was not the man they were looking for, however the search of her home continued.

It was eventually established that her husband’s details had been added to the profile of a completely different person by the same name who lived 10 miles away.

Officers apologised to our client when leaving the property, however she felt this was not sincere, and she and her husband have since been left feeling distressed and humiliated by the incident. Hudgell Solicitors consider this was an unlawful search which caused our client a great deal of upset.

‘Troubling experience for an entirely innocent family’

Cleveland Police did not admit any wrongdoing but agreed to pay £2,500 by way of compensation for the stress and inconvenience caused.

Trainee Solicitor Alexandra Eldon, of Hudgell Solicitors, who specialises in civil liberties, and represents clients in cases relating to wrongful arrest, unlawful detention, false imprisonment and police assault, said the mistakes made by the force were entirely preventable had proper checks been made.

“This was obviously a very troubling experience for an entirely innocent family. Our client not only experienced severe shock and anxiety when the police launched this early morning raid, but she and her husband now live with the unsettling and frightening aftereffects.

“This was a planned police operation, but officers went to the wrong house looking for the wrong man. This was never about the compensation; we supported our client in taking civil action to hold the force to account for its unfair and illegal treatment.

“My client has had a real feeling of frustration, disappointment and anger for what she and her husband have experienced.”

Hudgell Solicitors handle many actions against the police, whether you have been wrongfully arrested and detained we’ll challenge those responsible and seek a favourable settlement for the psychological trauma you have suffered.

Read more: Has your home been wrongly raided? What is the police raid procedure?

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