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Bishop claims police brutality after arrest

PUBLISHED: 11:07 12 February 2009 | UPDATED: 16:08 25 August 2010

BIZARRE: Rev John Blake was photographing his children on the rooftop when arrested.

BIZARRE: Rev John Blake was photographing his children on the rooftop when arrested.

A BISHOP who was arrested for taking pictures of his sons for a competition claims he was abused by police and left in an uncomfortable cell overnight. Jonathan Blake of Bishop s Haven in Danson Crescent, Welling, was arrested last month on suspicion of

A BISHOP who was arrested for taking pictures of his sons for a competition claims he was abused by police and left in an uncomfortable cell overnight.

Jonathan Blake of Bishop's Haven in Danson Crescent, Welling, was arrested last month on suspicion of child neglect hours after taking pictures of his sons Nathan and Dominic on his roof.

The competition, set last month by St Thomas More School in Bexleyheath, challenged pupils to find the most unusual spot to read.

Rev Blake, who holds services in his chapel in a converted attic, said that his children were totally safe as the extension at the back means there is a flat roof to the back of the house.

But he was arrested on January 29 after police arrived in two vans alongside two fire engines and paramedics.

He said: "It was the most surreal scene. The police were told I left them unattended which was a complete lie. We are not a reprobate family. The children were a bubble of sweet happiness.

"But a police officer said 'this was dangerous'. I was totally peaceful and co-operative when he punches me in the back and grabs my right arm and pushed me onto the wall. He then yanked me by the handcuffs which were excruciatingly tight.

"I was frogmarched out in front of my community.

"The children were in tears. They did not know what was happening. They were screaming 'what is this about?'"

Rev Blake claims his body was shaking from the cold after being sat in a police car for two hours waiting to go into a free custody room.

Whilst trying to warm his handcuffed hands, which were behind his back, he said a police officer told him they would make a note that he was trying to self-harm.

Rev Blake, who has since set up a website at www.whennooneswatching.org about his ordeal, said: "I was kept in custody for the maximum 24-hours without being charged.

"I could not sleep because there was no bedding and the bright lights were on at all times.

"I said 60 psalms. I was not going to allow this abuse to get to me."

A police spokesperson said: "No formal complaint against police has been received by the Metropolitan Police Service from Jonathon Blake at this time.

"It would be inappropriate to comment further pending any formal complaint by John Blake and any subsequent investigation.

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