The mother of a 15-month-old says she has been left traumatised after she and her baby were hauled off to a police station.
Debra Oakley, 35, claims she was driving through Thornton Heath, Surrey, on August 31 when she was stopped by officers who said she was sending a text on her mobile phone.
Oakley says she she was not using her phone and was pointing this out to officers when “matters quickly escalated” and she found herself being arrested. She was put in a police van with her baby son left in her car, she alleged.
“The police began to put their knees into my back and use unnecessary force. My baby was still unattended and crying. I was then put into the back of the police van. The side door of the van was opened and I could see that the female officer that searched me was sitting in my driver’s seat laughing with her fingers in her ears as my baby was still crying,” Oakley claimed.
She continued: “The police would not allow me to call somebody to pick my son who was screaming and was clearly distressed by the whole situation.”
Oakley claimed that both she and her child were taken to South Norwood police station in south London but the baby was kept in a different room for almost an hour before his father was allowed to collect him.
To make matters worse, she found herself facing a charge of assaulting an officer.
She related: “Once at South Norwood police station, I was rearrested for assaulting a police officer. They have admitted that I made no actual physical contact with the officer. They rustled me to the floor and were claiming that I had assaulted a police office. I mean how could I possibly do that? There were like seven police men there holding me down…
“I am bruised all over. They did a right search on me. My left hand and wrist has been left severely bruised and sprained,” said Oakley, who has since lodged a formal complaint,. “These violent attacks on innocent people need to stop.”
A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police said: “We can confirm that Debra Oakley was charged on 1 September with driving whilst using her mobile phone and assaulting a constable in the execution of her duty following an incident in Willet Road on 31 August.
Her trial will begin at Croydon Magistrates Court on 13 January 2012.