Magistrate, 75, left distraught after police in riot gear storm flat at midnight - by mistake

·4-min read
Police forced their way into the home of 75-year-old councillor Margaret Rose looking for two rape suspects - but had the wrong address. (SWNS)
Police forced their way into the home of 75-year-old councillor Margaret Rose looking for two rape suspects - but had the wrong address. (SWNS)

A 75-year-old magistrate has lodged a formal complaint with police after officers in riot gear stormed her home at midnight - but had got the wrong address.

Margaret Rose, a local councillor and magistrate, was woken when officers with riot shields tried to force their way into her flat as they hunted for two rape suspects.

But it turned out the officers had raided the wrong address when they forced their way into her property in Maidstone, Kent.

The shocked pensioner, who also sits on Maidstone Borough Council's crime and disorder committee, said she opened her door as police tried to force their way in and was nearly knocked over by the three officers as they burst into her hallway.

Once inside they demanded to speak to someone called 'Cameron', she said, but left when the councillor explained she didn't know the suspect.

Cllr Rose said she was woken up at midnight by officers banging at the door of her flat in Maidstone, Kent. (SWNS)
Cllr Rose said she was woken up at midnight by officers banging at the door of her flat in Maidstone, Kent. (SWNS)

The 75-year-old has now made a formal complaint to Kent Police about the mix-up, saying she is still yet to receive an apology.

She recounted the incident at a meeting of Maidstone council's Crime and Disorder Overview and Scrutiny Committee saying: "It was midnight last Friday. I was asleep in bed when there was an incessant hammering at my door. 'Bang bang bang'. It got louder and louder.

"I stumbled downstairs and there were sounds as if someone were trying to force their way in. Then I heard the words: 'It's the police. Open your door.'

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"I opened it and was almost knocked over as three police officers entered my hall - they weren't invited in, they came in - sheltering behind a large Perspex riot shield."

She added: "They demanded to know: 'Where's Cameron? Where's Cameron?' I almost fainted."

She added: "I told them my name and that I was a borough councillor and also a magistrate, and said 'I don't know who this Cameron person is and I don't understand why you are doing this'."

Cllr Margaret Rose. See SWNS story SWNNraid. A 75 year old magistrate and councillor who sits on her local crime and disorder committee has complained to police after they forced their way into her home looking for two rape suspects -  but had the wrong address. Cllr Margaret Rose, who lives alone, was woken by mob-handed officers with riot shields trying to force their way into her flat. But cops were left red-faced when they realised they burst into the wrong property in Maidstone, Kent. The shocked pensioner, who takes medication for a heart problem, said she was almost knocked over when three burly officers suddenly barged into her hallway.
The shocked pensioner, who takes medication for a heart problem, said she hasn't received an apology. (SWNS)

She said the officers had the "flimsiest of reasons" for raiding her home, claiming it was because a neighbour had said: "Go and try there".

She added: "I could have had a stroke. I could have had a heart attack. I was just left. I could have died, but they were gone. It was an awful experience.

"If only they had just knocked on my door and said 'sorry madam, we're looking for such and such', they could have assessed me and they could have looked to see if he was there - I would have invited them in - but instead I opened my door and three police officers came diving down my hall.

"I really consider these police officers besmirched their uniforms and the wonderful, courageous work that so many police officers do."

She said a similar situation had happened to her neighbour, leaving him unable to sleep.

Cllr Rose said she had received no contact from Kent Police until after the force was asked for comment, and then received a call in which the incident was described as "very low level" and no apology was given.

In a statement issued by the force, Ch Insp Steve Kent, district commander for Maidstone Police, said: "On Friday, March 25, officers attended a number of addresses in Tufton Street, searching for two men wanted on suspicion of rape.

"It is understood one of the residents who received a visit from the officers was not connected to the men they were seeking and had no knowledge of where they might be.

"The resident has made a formal complaint regarding the actions of the officers while at her address and this is currently being reviewed by Kent Police’s Professional Standards Department."

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