Police apologise to carpenter held over Hove burglary

Police have apologised to a carpenter who was arrested after he cut his finger on a door he had been called out to fix following a burglary.

Jason Gaspard, 40, sliced his hand on glass while he carried out repairs at Medina Terrace, Hove in May.

Last week he attended a Brighton police station and was held on suspicion of burglary because his blood had been found at the crime scene.

He was released when police released they had made a mistake.

Mr Gaspard said he may now seek legal advice over Sussex Police's actions.

The tradesman, who runs Gaspard & Son in Hove, East Sussex, has accused the force of not giving him a heatfelt apology and arresting him because he is black.

He said he was held in a cell for at least an hour last week when he went to the police station at the request of officers.

Mr Gaspard said: "It was absolutely mad. I kept thinking, 'What could all this be about?'.

"I was particularly miffed because I had left a lady without water while I went to see the police about it all.

"They came back into the cell later and said, 'Look, we think we have made a mistake'.

"They told me that the owner said that Gaspard & Son had done repair work at the property.

"There was no heartfelt 'sorry' from the police. They haven't gone about it in the right way and I think there is an element of racism about it because I'm black."

Sussex Police said Mr Gaspard was arrested after blood found at the scene matched police records.

'Immediately released'

A spokesman for Sussex Police added: "A 40-year-old man from Brighton, who was arrested on suspicion of burglary on Wednesday, 1 June, has been released from custody with no further action.

"The man was one of several glaziers who attended that scene of a house burglary in Medina Terrace, Hove, in order to give a quote.

"Unknown to officers, the man cut his finger at the scene of the crime and as a result he was arrested by appointment on suspicion of burglary.

"After a short time in custody the man was eliminated from police inquiries and immediately released.

"Sussex Police apologise for any inconvenience caused to the man as a result of his arrest."

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