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Cops arrest girl for being drunk and disorderly, hold her in cell for 10 hours and then drag her to court.she wasn't drunk, just autistic

Posted by on Jan. 28, 2013 at 8:05 AM
  • 30 Replies

 

Autistic girl spent ten hours in a cell – because police wrongly thought she was drunk

  • Melissa Jones, 17, was finger-printed and had her DNA taken
  • Mother, Christine Evans, 49, said her daughter had been been through 'hell'
  • Jones was charged with being drunk and disorderly
  • Teenager became suicidal while waiting eight months for case to go to trial

By Liz Hull

|


Autistic Melissa Jones, pictured, has been through 'hell' after police wrongly believed she was drunk

Autistic Melissa Jones, pictured, has been through 'hell' after police wrongly believed she was drunk

A teenage girl with autism was arrested and hauled before the courts because police mistakenly assumed she was drunk.

Despite being completely sober, 17-year-old Melissa Jones spent ten hours in a police cell, was finger-printed and had her DNA taken.

She was charged with being drunk and disorderly, forced to appear in court and became suicidal while waiting eight months for her case to go to trial.

Last week, however, prosecutors finally realised they had got it wrong and agreed to drop the case against her.

Her mother, Christine Evans, 49, a training manager, yesterday said her daughter, who also has learning difficulties, had been through ‘hell’. ‘Having this hanging over her for the past eight months has had a terrible effect on her,’ said divorcee Miss Evans.

‘She has a basic understanding of right and wrong, so to be arrested for something she didn’t do was devastating.

‘She has tried to commit suicide and is having weekly counselling. She hardly ever goes out any more.’

Miss Jones’s ordeal began shortly before midnight on June 16 last year when she and a friend went to a shop near her home in Edge Hill, Liverpool, to buy some Coca-Cola.

Another customer, a drunken woman, became aggressive when the assistant refused to serve her, and attacked Miss Jones and her friend when they intervened.

 

 

Both girls were stamped on and suffered severe bruising.

When police arrived the attacker had fled, and Miss Jones was crying and hysterical. Despite her protestations, police assumed she had been drinking and arrested her.

Miss Jones spent ten hours in a police cell, was finger-printed and had her DNA taken (file photo)

Miss Jones spent ten hours in a police cell, was finger-printed and had her DNA taken (file photo)

Her mother ran to the shop and told officers that Melissa had autism, attention deficit disorder and communication difficulties.

Autism

‘But they didn’t want to know,’ she said. ‘Melissa hadn’t had a  drop of alcohol, but they said she was drunk.

‘At the police station, a doctor confirmed she hadn’t been drinking, but still the police tried to pursue her through the courts.

‘I’ve got a lot of time for the police and the work they do, but this time they really let Melissa down.’ The police offered Miss Jones a £60 fixed penalty but she refused to admit her guilt.

Instead she was summonsed to appear before court in November last year, where she was formally charged with being drunk and disorderly.

Miss Jones, who is studying bakery at college, was due to face trial next month but was told last week that the Crown Prosecution Service had decided to drop the case.

Her solicitor Mark Ellis, of James Murray Solicitors, said: ‘Melissa has been through a terrible ordeal.

‘She is a vulnerable young girl who should never have been arrested or put before the courts.’

A spokesman for the CPS said: ‘After the first hearing in November 2012 the CPS reviewed the case, including new information from the defence, and decided that the available evidence was insufficient to prove that Miss Jones was drunk and disorderly.’

Merseyside police said a 25-year-old woman who allegedly attacked Miss Jones was later arrested but not charged due to ‘lack of evidence’.



Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2269228/Autistic-girl-spent-hours-cell--police-wrongly-thought-drunk.html#ixzz2JH78JPuw
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by on Jan. 28, 2013 at 8:05 AM
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Replies (1-10):
MeninaBallerina
by on Jan. 28, 2013 at 8:19 AM
6 moms liked this

Not that it will ever make up for what she went through but I hope she sues the crap out of the county, or what have you. This is really sad. 

eta: I am not usually sue happy, just to clarify :) 

katzmeow726
by on Jan. 28, 2013 at 8:39 AM

I'm with the previous poster...I hope they sue the hell out of whoever is responsible....that's disgusting!

angelachristine
by Bronze Member on Jan. 28, 2013 at 8:42 AM

I'm not sue happy but i agree she should sue. that is just ridiculous!

It's Cassandra Cat! 

Anonymous
by Anonymous on Jan. 28, 2013 at 9:30 AM

Why did she spend 10 hours in jail if the mom was there? I'd get a lawyer on the spot and insist on a breathalyzer or blood test.

Autistic people can still be disorderly, so you can't make excuses.

I feel bad for her but if she'd threatening to harm herself, she's got issues that need to be addressed.

gammie
by on Jan. 28, 2013 at 9:42 AM
She only wanted to kill herself after she got arrested! the issue was the stupid cops!


Quoting Anonymous:

Why did she spend 10 hours in jail if the mom was there? I'd get a lawyer on the spot and insist on a breathalyzer or blood test.


Autistic people can still be disorderly, so you can't make excuses.


I feel bad for her but if she'd threatening to harm herself, she's got issues that need to be addressed.


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gammie
by on Jan. 28, 2013 at 9:46 AM
The cops need some more Training and when I sue I would ask for then to be better educated on people With disabilities.
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HaileysMom07180
by Member on Jan. 28, 2013 at 9:51 AM
1 mom liked this

this scares me with my dd and my nephews.  i don't want them being treated like chriminals when they are not, what has this world come to?

emeraldangel2.0
by on Jan. 28, 2013 at 9:55 AM


Quoting angelachristine:

I'm not sue happy but i agree she should sue. that is just ridiculous!



Anonymous
by Anonymous on Jan. 28, 2013 at 10:04 AM

I think some are missing the DISORDERLY charge. I have seen autistic people in fits of rage. You were not there, neither was I. Don't make excuses and don't assume that the police did something wrong.

People are too sue happy.

Allebas
by Bronze Member on Jan. 28, 2013 at 10:46 AM

 I totally agree with you!!! This is totally insane!! Hellooooo----I think your officers need to be re-trained if they cannot distinguish between someone who is drunk and someone who is just very upset and possibly has other issues!! Seriously!! I have a friend whose been a cop for over 20 years now. He said there are very few times when he's talked to someone who was drunk that did not 'smell' of alcohol. He said the majority of them reak of alcohol, and a lot of times, they have spilled alcohol on their clothes, so its REALLY obvious they are drunk!!! That poor, poor girl!! I cannot imagine!!! :(  I hope they do get a nice settlement!! The counseling this young lady is going thru and will continue needing costs A LOT!!


Quoting MeninaBallerina:

Not that it will ever make up for what she went through but I hope she sues the crap out of the county, or what have you. This is really sad. 

eta: I am not usually sue happy, just to clarify :) 


 

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