Police under fire over charges

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POLICE came under fire after failing to offer a caution to a young woman with an unblemished record.

Last week magistrates at Hastings heard how Rebecca Mills had never been in trouble in her life, but had landed in court after she intervened as police arrested her sister.

Police originally charged her with being drunk and disorderly and assaulting a police officer but both of these charges were dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service due to lack of evidence and the fact that it would not be in the public interest.

Instead Mills, 20, of Upper Maze Hill, St Leonards, faced a lesser charge of resisting arrest which she pleaded guilty to.

Her defence solicitor Ronan Crummy slammed police and said: “I am saddened that this young woman now has a criminal record.

“I cannot think why police did not use common sense and offer her a caution.

“If she had asked to see a solicitor at the time there is no way that she would be in this court today as the obvious way forward would have been a caution.”

Mark Kateley, prosecuting, said: “This happened on November 27 at Hastings town centre.

“Police arrested her sister and she intervened.

“Police described her as being in a rather drunken state. She tried to break free and was flailing her arms around.

“She has no previous convictions.”

Mr Crummy said: “She did not go out looking for trouble that night. She was having a good time with her sister when her sister was attacked by a man and a woman.

“Police started to arrest her, even though she was the victim and Rebecca protested. Perhaps her protestations went too far.

“I have provided the court with some character references – in fact I could have brought along a sackful of good references.

“She is not the sort of person who is ever likely to come back to court and now she has a criminal record which will have an adverse affect on her.”

Magistrates fined her £60.