Scots gran thrown in jail ‘treated worse than dog’

Kathleen Danby outside Birmingham's civil court. Picture: PA

Kathleen Danby outside Birmingham's civil court. Picture: PA

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A SCOTS grandmother jailed for hugging her granddaughter in breach of a court order has demanded an apology after claiming she was “treated worse than a dog” while in custody.

Kathleen Danby, 72, also believes she deserves to be compensated for her ordeal after spending two nights in prison and a third in a police cell before a three-month sentence was cut to time already served.

Mrs Danby, who was sentenced in her absence by a Court of Protection judge in April after breaching an order not to approach her granddaughter, said she felt shattered and very weak.

The pensioner, who was arrested on Sunday while attending a Ken Dodd concert in Liverpool, claims she was waiting for a friend outside a pub when she was approached by her granddaughter.

Claiming to have been left injured after being man-handled in custody, Mrs Danby said: “I want an apology from Derbyshire County Council and compensation for my ordeal and the ordeal my granddaughter has had to go through.”

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She alleges that police denied her access to her prescribed medication for liver disease and that when she refused to leave the cell until the pills were provided, she was grabbed by officers and dragged to a prison van.

She said: “I was very annoyed and upset that they could treat somebody at my age in that manner – especially as they did not know anything about me or what I had been arrested for. I told them I needed my pills for my liver disease. I’m not suddenly going to keel over if I don’t have them but it’s not good for me to go without them.”

Her first night was spent at a police station where she said she was mocked by the duty officer and refused food. She said: “They put me in a cell without giving me an evening meal. They took away my belt, shoes and coat. It was really rough in there.”

Mrs Danby was then taken to Folston Hall women’s prison. She said: “When I told inmates what I was in for their mouths dropped in amazement.”

She was freed at Birmingham civil court on New Year’s Eve after apologising to a judge.

In April, a judge sentenced Mrs Danby to prison in her absence after watching CCTV evidence of her greeting the teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, with a hug.

Reducing the sentence of Mrs Danby, from Kirkwall on Orkney, Judge Sally Dowding told the pensioner: “I am confident she will comply in future.”

Contempt of court proceedings were brought against the pensioner by Derbyshire County Council, which is responsible for looking after her granddaughter.

The local authority alleged Mrs Danby was in breach of court orders.

The previous judge, Martin Cardinal, said the teenager becomes more distressed after contact with her father or ­grandmother.

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