Woman who sued police for changing vomit-covered clothes loses case

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Liverpool Crown CourtImage source, Google
Image caption,
A judge at Liverpool Crown Court said officers changing Cheryl Pile's clothes was "an act of decency"

A woman who was changed out of vomit-soaked clothes after being arrested has failed in her bid to sue police.

Cheryl Pile "emptied the contents of her stomach all over herself" at a Liverpool Police station in April 2017.

She paid a £60 fine for being drunk and disorderly but brought a claim against the force alleging her human rights had been breached.

A High Court judge rejected her case, and said changing her clothes had been "an act of decency".

Mr Justice Turner said the four female officers officers had "not used more force than necessary" and would have otherwise "left the vulnerable claimant to marinade overnight in her own bodily fluids".

He described her as having been "too insensible with drink to have much idea of either where she was or what she was doing there".

Dismissing Ms Pile's appeal, the judge said her claim had been brought "to establish the liberty of inebriated English subjects to be allowed to lie undisturbed overnight in their own vomit-soaked clothing".

Ms Pile had also claimed being monitored on CCTV while in a cell was a breach of her privacy.

The judge said this had been "both lawful and necessary" and it was "fortunate" she was being observed.

'Grotesque result'

A feed from the camera alerted officers when she later lost her balance, fell over, "banged her head on the floor" and was taken to hospital, he said.

Mr Justice Turner noted she had also "abused an innocent taxi driver and behaved aggressively to police officers trying to do their job."

He said many would have found it to be a "grotesque result" if she had been awarded compensation "because those same officers, as an act of decency, had then changed her into clean and dry clothing at a time when she was too drunk to know or care".

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