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26 October 2021

Jude Lanchin comments on collapse of case against client Claire Stephen

2 mins

Millard Scott, the father of rapper Wretch 32, was tasered in his own home by police last year, despite not being the individual that the police were looking for, nor suspected of any crime. Millard's partner, Claire Stephen, a 52 year old woman, was arrested for allegedly obstructing officers during the ordeal in her family home.

Yesterday, The Guardian reported on the case. 

Jude Lanchin, Associate at Bindmans LLP who represented Claire, comments: 

After 18 months, my client Claire has finally been exonerated after the case against her collapsed. The whole approach of the police from the moment they arrived at her home, was heavy-handed and unnecessarily aggressive. The police body-worn camera footage of the alleged ‘obstruction’ at the door showed that she was not resisting the police or preventing their entry; even the District Judge could see this and dismissed the charge. She also acquitted Claire of an additional spurious allegation of deliberately  ‘obstructing’ the police seizure of a phone.

This case should never have been brought. Despite insufficient evidence, it seems clear that a decision must have been made to do so, to ‘cover the backs’ of the police after they shot Claire’s partner with a taser, and then to frighten and harass her. There are very serious questions as to who made the decision to proceed with the case and why.

Black women frequently bear the brunt also of police raids and arrests of their sons, and male partners/family members. Their traumatic experiences are rarely heard. Five male officers – some armed with tasers – burst into Claire’s home, shouting and intimidating her. She then witnessed her partner being shot with a taser, crashing down the stairs and falling unconscious. After all of this, she herself was then charged. The facts speak for themselves.

Read our previous article on this case here

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