Sarah Everard vigil protester Patsy Stevenson says she was 'more scared than I've ever been' as police arrested her

A WOMAN photographed as she was arrested at a vigil for Sarah Everard wept as she told of her terror – and said: 'I was more scared than I've ever been.'

Images of red-haired Patsy Stevenson have been seen around the world after she was pinned down and cuffed on Saturday night.

? Follow our live blog for the latest Sarah Everard news and developments


Shocking scenes at the Clapham Common saw women dragged from a bandstand as they mourned tragic Sarah, 33.

And in her first TV interview on Good Morning Britain, Patsy told Susanna Reid and Ben Shepherd: "I've never been so scared."

It comes as:

  • Sarah Everard's body was 'found in a builder's bag in woods' in Kent 
  • A woman flashed as she returned home from the vigil claims she was told cops were 'too busy to respond'
  • Home Secretary Priti Patel demands 'full report' over 'upsetting' arrests
  • Wayne Couzens, 48, appeared in court accused of her murder and kidnap
  • Boris Johnson says Sarah's death must 'unite us in determination'
  • The cop accused of murder will continue to claim his salary

Student Patsy said: "To be honest, I still don't know why I was pushed to ground so forcefully.

"I'm quite small, and it was two very large male officers who pulled me back quickly and I hit the ground.

"From start to finish it was a whirlwind. It happened very quickly – I was only there to lay candle down. I didn't expect that to happen."

She said police surged onto the bandstand as night fell.

"They were saying things making people angry. I think women have stood by and let things happen for long enough," she said.

"As I was up against bandstand, I could see women standing next to me – police were trying to get around her neck, and someone else was being pulled back.

"We were terrified."



She said she'd attended the vigil simply to lay a candle for Sarah – after rumours spread online that was was a hired actor.

"I'm not hired by anyone, I just wanted to put a candle down," she said.

"I was terrified.

"I've never been so scared."

Patsy says she was freed just 20 minutes after being taken into custody and ordered to pay a £200 fine.

Susanna told her: "That is absolutely not what should have happened.

"None of the women there should have said it turned scary.

"That's absolutely counter to what police would want and what the women would want."

Former Met Assistant Commissioner Helen King also appeared on the show.

She said: "I think everyone was really saddened.

"What that day was all about was remembering Sarah and focusing on impact threat of violence has on all women."



But she defended police's actions – and said: "My reading would be that as that crowd became more and more packed around bandstand, people were standing together and chanting, which spreads droplets.

"They're all public health and safety concerns and that meant police wanted to disperse the crowd."

Earlier today, Susanna gave a passionate speech about the vigil – and said women are "angry".

"This was supposed to be a peaceful vigil for Sarah," she said.

"But something happened later on which means police are now under fire for a very heavy handed response."

She said women who had "turned up to pay respects to a woman who is dead" were "shoved out of the way by police".

"This is not the image we wanted," Susanna said.

Minister stands by embattled Met Commissioner

Policing Minister Kit Malthouse says both he and Home Secretary Priti Patel are backing Dame Cressida Dick.

Susanna Reid tackled him on the scenes at Clapham in an interview this morning – and told him: "This is a serious problem for the Met."

"I totally recognise the footage from Saturday was alarming and distressing, and it's very sad that an event for people to come and commemorate this extraordinary person who was subject to horrific crime ended that way," he said.

However, Mr Malthouse argued: "We've put police in a challenging position for them. We've asked them to do something they've never done before – to stand between us and virus."

And he said cops would have attended to stand with mourners if they could have done.

"Lots of Met police officers would have been there," he said.

"This crime is devastating for them in terms of its implications."

Asked if Dame Cressida has the "full confidence of the Home Secretary", he replied: "She does, yes, and mine."

"I think women are unsettled, angry and upset.

"This is at a time when rape prosecutions are at a record low, kerb crawling of schoolgirls is still not illegal, a woman is killed every three days, and the new crime bill which comes before Parliament would give a longer sentence in prison for defacing a statue than the starting point for rape.

"There is an issue that needs to be dealt with."

Met Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick is facing growing calls to resign over the police's reaction to the vigil.

But she's refused – and says Sarah's death has made her 'more determined' to lead the force.

And today she'll join Boris Johnson, Home Secretary Priti Patel and Director of Public Prosecutions Max Hill on the Crime and Justice Taskforce to look at ways to make Britain’s streets more safe. 

The PM will use the meeting to discuss the Government’s strategy on preventing violence against women, rape prosecutions and the criminal justice system. 

Politico reports this morning Mr Johnson will back Dame Cressida, with a No10 source claiming she retains his "full confidence".

Source: Read Full Article