Friday, May 1, 2009

Fathes 4 Justice Richard West ~ Father arrested after chaos threat

Father arrested after chaos threat

Friday, May 01, 2009, 06:42

A DEVON fathers' rights activist has been arrested after he threatened to bring chaos to two major organisations.

Richard West was taken into custody after police raided his Ottery St Mary home.

Officers seized his Mr Incredible stunt costume along with other items used in his Fathers 4 Justice protests.

The 42-year-old was taken to Heavitree Road police station before being transferred to a police station in Reigate, Surrey.

Police in Surrey said Mr West — who recently scaled a 50ft mast on the outskirts of Exeter in a protest — had been arrested in connection with making threats to cause criminal damage.

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Mr West is believed to have issued the threats to the NHS and social services after they refused to disclose medical case notes.

Fellow Fathers 4 Justice activist Jolly Stanesby said: "I spoke to Richard before he went into custody in Reigate. We don't know how long he will be held or whether he will be charged.

"He issued an ultimatum to social services and told them that they had until the end of the month to give him the records, which he is legally allowed to see as he has a court order allowing him access to them, but they have still refused.

"He told them he would stage a protest if they did not comply.

"The police arrested him after raiding his house. They took his protest costume and some other irrelevant items. We believe he had no other option than to do something about the fact he is being refused access to these medical notes."

Police in Exeter arrested Mr West at around 8pm on Wednesday. He was being quizzed by officers at Reigate station yesterday.

Police there say they are investigating threats to cause criminal damage but would not confirm where the threats related to.

A spokesman for Surrey police confirmed the arrest had been made.

They said: "A 42-year-old man from the Exeter area was arrested by Devon and Cornwall officers in connection with a Surrey police investigation into threats to cause criminal damage.

"The man was brought to a Surrey police station and Surrey police are continuing with the investigation."

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