Not a violent person Melanie Sykes breaks silence over arrest for assault on ex-husband
Celebrity MasterChef: Melanie Sykes is eliminated
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TV presenter Melanie Sykes has spoken out for the first time on her 2013 arrest for assault against her ex-husband. The star, 51, was arrested six months after marrying roofer Jack Cockings, then 27, in November 2013, following a dispute at her home. The media personality has now stepped forward to speak about the night of her arrest before calling for reform on how officers handle abuse allegations.
I’m not a violent person, I’m not capable of it
Melanie was cautioned for common assault after admitting the offence to Metropolitan Police officers and later launched legal action to have the caution expunged from official records.
She went on to divorce Cockings in 2014.
But the star has now spoken about the night of her arrest after hearing about similar experiences with police officers from friends.
Melanie claims that police officers failed to check both hers and Cockings’ accounts of the events when she was arrested.
She also claims that they didn’t allow her to wait for a babysitter for her children and inundated her with questions about show business following her caution.
Speaking about the night, Melanie said: “The doorbell went and I answered the door, and they told me that they were there to arrest me.”
The star told how her initial reaction was that of “shock”, adding that she believed them to be “joking”.
“It felt like an out-of-body experience,” she added.
“I’ve never ever been in trouble with the police.
“I’m not a violent person, I’m not capable of it,” she told The Times.
Going through the events of the night, the Let’s Do Lunch with Gino and Mel star told how she shut herself in the kitchen following an argument with her husband after asking him to leave.
She went on to tell how, without knowing, Cockings had called the police and claimed that he had been assaulted by his wife.
Melanie admitted that she was “clueless” when police turned up at her front door and had to leave her sons Valentino, then 11, and Roman, nine, with Cockings following her arrest.
When being taken back to her home by officers, Melanie claims that they had been “laughing and joking” about her life as a celebrity.
She said they asked what it was like working with Des O’Connor, who she presented a chat show with for two seasons.
Speaking about the journey home, Mel said: “I was in the back of the car, having the most traumatic night of my life, trying to manage two police officers who want to have a casual, fun chat with me.”
She went on to say that she was too “scared” to say that it was an “inappropriate” conversation.
The star has since told how she wants to launch a campaign to change how police officers handle abuse allegations.
Responding to Melanie’s claims, a Met Police spokesman said: ‘We fully appreciate how events earlier this year have heightened concerns about violence against women in London.
“We completely share those concerns.
They went on: “Training of officers on the sensitive and challenging issues of violence against women and girls is absolutely crucial.
“We are reviewing our existing advanced safeguarding course to ensure that it reflects national guidance. Officers will be able to gain and maintain accreditation in this area, developing vital skills and understanding which will benefit the public.
“We have also started to deliver new specialist training on domestic abuse to over 8,000 frontline constables and sergeants so we can improve the initial response to domestic abuse and assist officers with recognising and responding to coercive and controlling behaviour.
“We are constantly working with our partners in a meaningful and understanding way, listening to views to help us help survivors of violence and to prevent violence occurring in the first place,” they added.
The statement continued: “It is right that all Londoners can trust our officers, staff and volunteers whenever they encounter them. We depend on the trust of the public.
” All officers know this and understand that they need to work harder to re-gain the confidence of Londoners.
“Anyone who wishes to make a complaint is encouraged to do so. We want to hear about people’s experiences and have the opportunity to examine what has happened, identify any poor performance and improve the service we provide our communities.,” they told Mail Online.
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