Mum accuses Met of racism after 14-year-old son ‘traumatised’ from 17 hours in a cell

A mum and her 14-year-old son have been left “traumatised” after he was arrested by police and held in custody for 17 hours without letting her know.

Mary Isodo, 34, said her “brain was going wild” when she could not find her son when he was arrested outside Herne Hill station on the evening of January 28.

Her son was arrested by officers on suspicion of robbery and was let go the next day as the “matter was closed”, according to the Met.

Ms Isodo spent 17 hours looking for her son (Picture: Mary Isodo)

The boy claims he and his friends were playing near the station in Railton Road at around 6pm when a man in his 50s told them to leave and threatened to call the police, accusing them of robbing people.

Around 15 minutes later five plain clothes officers arrived and, according to the 14-year-old, did not identify themselves. He and a friend ran away as they thought the officers’ pepper spray canisters were guns.

Ms Isodo’s son was searched, and alleged that officers had discussed strip-searching him, but nothing was found.

The Met confirmed they were directed to Ms Isodo’s son by witnesses and were checking CCTV footage while he was in custody which “indicated” something had happened but because the victims left the scene before the police arrived they have not been able to identify anyone.

Ms Isodo said: “Myself and my family spent all night looking for him. It’s hard to describe that feeling. I couldn’t sleep. We were in a frenzy. I knew a life-changing event had happened, I just didn’t know what.

“We didn’t ask the police for help because we don’t trust them. Now you see why. Even if my son and daughter went missing again I wouldn’t call them.

“We were scared the police would do something to him if they found him.”

Ms Isodo said her son had not been able to go to school in the days after the arrest and had “gone inside of himself”.

Ms Isodo added: “For these officers to arrest my son is racist. They had no proof he did anything. I want parents to know police are kidnapping children based on race. The psychological impact has been huge. He’s paranoid about every car that drives past. I’m so angry.

“I’ve always taught my kids to comply with the police and let them search them, now my son is angry at me. He said ‘you told me to let them search me and they didn’t let me go’.”

Ms Isodo said she has tried to get an explanation from the Met as to why they arrested her child but they have not replied. She said she has reported them to Independent Office for Police Conduct.

A spokeswoman for the Met said: “Two members of public reported that a group of male schoolchildren had been approached by three suspects who had attempted to rob them of their mobile phones.

“On arrival at the scene officers were directed by one of the witnesses to two suspects. As officers approached the pair they went to make off and were arrested on suspicion of attempted robbery. One of them was additionally arrested on suspicion of handling stolen goods after he was found to be in possession of a stolen mobile phone.

“Both males – aged 14 – were taken into custody while further inquiries were conducted by officers.

“Ultimately, while CCTV footage indicates that an incident did take place, because the victims left the scene prior to police arrival and it has not been possible to identify them there are no further lines of inquiry that police can pursue so the matter has been closed with no further action.

“Various attempts were made to contact next of kin while he was in custody, but police received no response. In the meantime he was accompanied by an appropriate adult. Officers also attended the boy’s home address but there was no adult present.

“Local police are unaware of any subsequent contact from the boy’s mother, but given her alleged concerns, officers will now make efforts to get in touch with her to discuss the matter further.”

Pictured top: Herne Hill station, the scene of Ms Isodo’s son’s arrest and Ms Isodo (Picture: Google Street View/Mary Isodo)

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2 thoughts on “Mum accuses Met of racism after 14-year-old son ‘traumatised’ from 17 hours in a cell

  • Why do you publish these blatant non-news pieces? He was arrested for a reason – you don’t get nicked for suspicion of robbery for no reason at all and we’re meant to feel that he’s the victim?

  • John Davies

    What a great mum. Her boy was missing for 17 hours and she didn’t bother calling the police. Now she has the cheek to complain about them. He was probably better off in a cell than with her


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