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23 June 2015, 13:30
A police officer has been suspended after providing false information to a court in an alleged child neglect case.
Valerie Cadman-Khan was awarded £20,000 in damages after she sued Cleveland Police after being handcuffed in front of her then 12-year-old daughter Aimee, who has Down’s Syndrome.
The 55-year-old mother-of-five, from Stainton, near Middlesbrough, won her case at Teesside County Court after the judge labelled arresting officer Detective Sergeant Colin Helyer a 'liar'.
Today, a Cleveland Police spokesperson confirmed an officer had been suspended from duty but would not confirm their identity.
She said: "We can confirm that a serving officer has been suspended from duty while an internal investigation continues.
"The Force will also be making a referral to the Independent Police Complaints Commission regarding this matter."
Mrs Cadman-Khan was arrested after allegedly leaving her daughter unsupervised in a garden for 45 minutes but, during the hearing, the judge heard DS Helyer, 'provided false information to Middlesbrough Council’s child abuse investigation unit' and then tried to mislead a court with what the judge branded “freestyle lying”.
Her arrest came during a dispute with bailiffs over an unpaid council-tax bill which led police to be called to the Middlesbrough home of her ex-husband on the morning of November 13, 2008.
In her award judgement, Judge Gillian Matthews QC said Sgt Helyer’s actions that day “were completely disproportionate'.
"I completely understand that policing can be a difficult and dangerous job," she said. "This however was not one of those days.
"If Sgt Helyer could not cope with this lady, who was clearly rushing out to attend upon her child as he had requested, without applying handcuffs, I do not know how he would deal with a crowd of drunks on Saturday night."
She added that Sgt Helyer’s actions that day were 'not just ill advised and disproportionate but, arbitrary, high handed, intimidating and oppressive'.