Mr Matthew McConville, Head of Irvings Law’s specialist Actions Against the Police Department, has successfully represented Ciara Rolston in a claim for compensation against the Metropolitan Police.
Ms Rolston, at the age of thirteen, set up a Facebook account under a fake name ‘Justin’. While using her account, Ms Rolston added another girl that she knew and who was of a similar age; they then began messaging with one another. That same month in a kind gesture, Ms Rolston attended this other’s girl’s house and handed her a bunch of flowers stating that they were from ‘Justin’. Ms Rolston then visited again the next day but they argued. The following day Ms Rolston sent the other girl further messages to which the other person’s parents then saw. The said parents were extremely homophobic and unhappy with what had been going on so they decided to visit Ms Rolston’s house. A few days later, Ms Rolston started walking towards this other girl’s house to apologise for her behaviour when a car suddenly stopped next to her and within this car was the other girl’s father who quickly got out, grabbed Ms Rolston by the neck, wrestled her to the ground and restrained her. Ms Rolston later became aware that this other girl’s father was a retired Police Officer who suggested that he arrested Ms Rolston on suspicion of harassment.
Further Police Officers then arrived and Ms Rolston was then taken to the Police Station. Despite being a juvenile with admitted mental health issues, no attempts were made to contact Ms Rolston’s parents. Instead, a search of Ms Rolston’s home was authorized whereby the Police seized her phone and laptop. Shockingly, Ms Rolston’s parents were only made aware of Ms Rolston’s arrest a fair few hours into her detention. After interview, Ms Rolston was released on bail and a week later, returned to the same Police Station as required where she was interviewed again without her parents present. The following week, the decision to take no further action against Ms Rolston was made.
After Ms Rolston learning that she has six years to bring a false imprisonment claim against the Police from when she turned eighteen, she approached specialist Actions Against the Police Solicitors, Irvings Law, for assistance shortly before this deadline. Mr McConville immediately acknowledged that what happened to Ms Rolston was completely wrong and without hesitation, offered to act for her by way of “no win, no fee”. After obtaining all available documentation, information and footage from the Metropolitan Police, Mr McConville alleged that Ms Rolston’s arrest was unlawful and the way in which it was conducted too. Quite bizarrely, the Metropolitan Police’s legal department denied liability which forced Ms Rolston to instruct Mr McConville issue and serve expensive Court proceedings.
After serving her claim, the Metropolitan Police agreed to pay Ms Rolston £2,750.00 plus the payment of her legal costs. Whilst the case should never have taken this long to reach a conclusion, we and Ms Rolston are very pleased that the Metropolitan Police finally saw sense.