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Parents critical of police’s handling of disabled son

By Sammi Nice

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The parents of a teenager born with serious physical and mental problems, have criticised the police’s handling of an incident involving their son.

Scott Wilkinson, 16, was born with ventricular septal defect and hernia, which meant his heart wasn’t pumping enough oxygen to his brain. Doctors told his parents he had a one per cent chance of survival.

After spending several months in hospital, Scott survived, but, as a result of the lack of oxygen, has suffered physical and mental problems ever since.

Scott was involved in an altercation on Haverhill Recreation Ground during which the Echo understands he was punched and shouted at.

Despite a doctor’s warning that the stress of visiting a police station could be dangerous, Scott had to be interviewed for the police to understand his involvement and whether any offences had been committed.

Chris Wilkinson, Scott’s dad, said: “It was terrible. He was very stressed beforehand and it took a while for him to calm down afterwards.

“The police are treating him just like they would anyone else, but he has problems and needs to be treated differently.

“The system has let us down.”

Georgina Wilkinson, 41, Scott’s mum, said: “The doctor told the police they should interview him at home and that the station would be too stressful for him. He shouldn’t have been interviewed like that.”

Inspector Peter Ferrie, local policing commander for Haverhill, defended the police’s actions.

He said: “I think it is only right and proper that he was interviewed.

“We would treat everyone in the same way.

“I would like to think we would take account of a person’s mental history and would keep it in mind when dealing with someone.”

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