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Grandmother arrested for refusing to give back football!


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Grandmother arrested for stealing football 'for revenge'

 

Last updated at 22:00pm on 5th October 2006

 

When a neighbour knocked on her door and explained his son had accidentally kicked a football into her garden, Angela Hickling was happy to return it.

But despite carrying out a thorough search the grandmother-of-two could not find the ball anywhere.

Assuming Christopher Salisbury was mistaken, she thought nothing more of it.

So the law-abiding 56-year-old was astonished when a policeman arrived at her home and arrested her on suspicion of theft.

PC Mark Stokoe, of Derbyshire Constabulary, insisted he had proof of her wrong-doing - a photograph of a white leather Mitre ball on her lawn.

Stunned housewife Mrs Hickling was hauled from her dinner table, driven to a police station, quizzed for 90 minutes and had her fingerprints and a DNA sample taken before being released on bail.

Not surprisingly, police dropped the case a few days later because of lack of evidence.

Last night the mother-of-three said: "The whole episode is unbelievable.

"I've never been in trouble with the police before. I have been a good citizen and yet they come along and arrest me when I haven't done anything."

"Why on earth would I want to keep a child's football? If I found one in the garden I would throw it back over the wall."

"You've got burglars breaking into people's homes, junkies selling drugs and old people being mugged in the street."

"Yet the police see fit to waste their time locking up law-abiding people for stealing a football which doesn't even exist."

Mrs Hickling believes Mr Salisbury, whose house backs on to hers, had sought revenge following a long-running dispute.

In 2004, she reported him to the authorities for illegally burying potentially-harmful asbestos sheets at his home in Heanor, Derbyshire.

Magistrates fined him £1,000 for breaching environmental laws.

Matters finally boiled over when Mr Salisbury knocked on the Hicklings door claiming his son had kicked his football into their garden.

Mrs Hickling, who lives with husband John, 60, a tiler, daughter Sheryl, 21, and son Haydn, 14, said: "He asked if he could have it back so I went into the garden but there was nothing there."

"The next day a policeman turned up and told me that theft of a football was a criminal offence."

"I explained there was no football in my garden but before he left he warned that I could be arrested.

"After that things went quiet. Then a few weeks later Mr Salisbury came to the house again and said another ball had gone into the garden.

"I had a look but there was still nothing there.

"He said, quite, sinisterly, 'Well, what a surprise. We'll see about that.'

"The next day I was having my tea and the policeman came again and said he'd come to investigate the theft of another football.

"He reached into his pocket and showed me a photo of a football in my garden.

"I said, 'That doesn't mean I've stolen it. It could have been staged when I was out of the house.'

"He read me my rights and asked to look round the house. He looked in the cupboards and drawers, climbed into the loft and even peeked behind the TV but didn't find anything. Then he arrested me. I was terrified."

Mrs Hickling has made two complaints about PC Stokoe to Derbyshire Police.

Inspector Mark Bannister, of the force's professional standards committee, has visited her to discuss the grievance but has not apologised.

She is also concerned that her DNA sample will remain on the police's computer database - even though she has not done anything wrong.

A Derbyshire Constabulary spokesman acknowledged the force could be accused of over-reacting.

He said: "That could certainly be levelled against us but we are duty bound to investigate all criminal complaints made to us."

He added that PC Stokoe's superiors had advised the case be ditched.

Chief constables have the discretion to remove DNA from their database in exceptional circumstances including where a person is not charged.

However, they must receive a written request.

Mr Salisbury, a bricklayer, denied inventing the story of "stolen footballs" as an act of revenge.

Speaking from his newly-built £190,000 bungalow, he said: "I have got nothing against Mrs Hickling. It was simply a case of wanting the footballs back.

"They had gone over the wall when my lads were playing in our front garden. I asked her but we got nothing back. There were a few of them."

Mr Salisbury lives with his wife and three children - teenager sons Sam and Harry and daughter Emily, who is at primary school.

He refused to sympathise with Mrs Hickling's ordeal, adding: "The only thing I can suggest to her is not to keep the footballs and to throw them back over the wall like normal people would do."

It is not the first time this summer that police forces have appeared over-zealous when dealing with disputes over footballs.

Last month, father-of-two Alistair Wood, 40, from Preston, Lancashire, was arrested on suspicion of theft after keeping hold of a football belonging to the sons of Crown Prosecution Service employee Stephen Burns.

He was handcuffed and bundled into the back of a police car when he refused to give the ball back until the brothers said sorry.

And in June, Ray Markham, 68, from Cubbington, Warwickshire, was arrested for theft after keeping a football belonging to neighbour, police sergeant Stewart Bosworth, that smashed his greenhouse.

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really?for how many time?i'm starting to be....i've accepted just two days ago to write(for free:()in an italian sports website....and i'll write about Bari and his matches...:DI don't mind if it's for free.....everyone starts in this way

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really?for how many time?i'm starting to be....i've accepted just two days ago to write(for free:()in an italian sports website....and i'll write about Bari and his matches...:DI don't mind if it's for free.....everyone starts in this way

 

For some time.

 

True - it's a good way to start!;)

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yes!!i've answered to an announce on the net....so they probably have accepted me....My dream....impossible dream is to do the commentary for the Italian Team at the world cup.....and to comment when we'll win it again:D:D:D...but i'll be happy just if i will write for my team

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yes!!i've answered to an announce on the net....so they probably have accepted me....My dream....impossible dream is to do the commentary for the Italian Team at the world cup.....and to comment when we'll win it again:D:D:D...but i'll be happy just if i will write for my team

 

Well you should also start a campaign to stop the "cheating tactics" so that Italy do win the World Cup again, everyone respects them for it.;)

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that day i was at my friend's house.....shocked....just that penalty saved me by the heartache.....:D

 

That penalty in itself was never in dispute, as it was a stupid challenge in the first place. It was all the other stuff that went on.....................................

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I'm talking about persistent and blatant cheating seeking to gain an advantage' date=' such as diving when there's been no actual contact and trying to get other players sent off.;)[/quote']

in this case...i agree......:D.....

btw....what's your name?Mark( as i read somewhere in this forum.....)? i'm Nico

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