Stowmarket: Couple find drunk man asleep on the floor of their nursery next to baby daughter - but police could not arrest him because he had not committed a criminal offence
PUBLISHED: 09:37 25 March 2014 | UPDATED: 09:37 25 March 2014
A young family has spoken of their shock after police said they could not arrest a stranger who was found sleeping next to their nine-month-old baby in the middle of the night.
When Jordan Lee, 26, from Kent Road, Stowmarket, woke up to check on his daughter, Cerisyn, he did not expect to see a drunk man asleep by her cot.
He quickly picked his daughter up while his girlfriend, Leanne Thompson, 22, dialled 999 at around 5am on Saturday.
Police arrived, examined the man’s identification and checked the first-floor flat for signs of a break-in.
Miss Thompson, who works behind the bar at Stowmarket Town Football Club, said: “Jordan said there was someone in her room and I said ‘don’t be silly’. Jordan grabbed the baby while I rang the police straight away. It was such a shock. He should not have been in my house.”
But the officers’ search found no signs of forced entry, criminal damage or theft. The man was brought to his feet and escorted off the property but was not arrested.
Miss Thompson said: “He has not been arrested, he has not been told he has done anything wrong. I know they had to do it by the book but in my own personal opinion I do not feel safe in my own house.
“I do not think I will be able to come to work for a couple of months because I do not want to leave my baby.”
A police spokeswoman confirmed the events and said the officers had explained why they could not arrest the man.
She said: “As well as checking for any forced entry, criminal damage, theft or any other criminal offences, a Section 1 PACE search was carried out on the man to establish who he was and whether he had any property on him to validate who he stated he was.
“Subsequent checks were carried out via the control room to check whether the man had any previous convictions.
“Police were satisfied that no criminal offences had taken place and as the civil offence of trespass had been committed officers were able to remove the man from the house.”
Miss Thompson has now started a petition calling for a change in the law.