Detained Upper Hutt teens seek compo
Wed, 21 Nov 2012 1:21p.m.
The two Upper Hutt teenage girls who were illegally thrown into police cells and strip searched will be seeking compensation from police.
One of the girls' lawyers, John Gwilliam, believes the pair have a strong case, but is not saying how much money they want.
The girls, aged 14 and 16, were arrested for aggravated robbery one weekend in January after two other girls complained they had been attacked and had a wallet stolen.
Both girls were denied bail and were strip-searched before being placed in a cell, where they remained for 36 hours until their appearance at Youth Court on the Monday.
The 16-year-old girl, who was breast-feeding at the time, claims she was forced to express breast milk into the sink in the cell, while the younger girl says she wasn't given toilet paper.
Youth Court judge Mary O'Dwyer has since ruled their arrests were unlawful and the Independent Police Conduct Authority is looking into the case.
Mr Gwilliam told NZ Newswire he was putting together a proposed settlement package which would be put to police.
Police had settled with complainants in the past, and he was confident that once facts were put to police things would be resolved.
Upper Hutt area commander Inspector Mike Hall described the issues raised as an aberration and expressed his disappointment at some of what took place on the day of the girls' arrest and the days following.
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