A glamour model who became involved in a nightclub scuffle today claimed she was the victim of ”disgusting” brutal treatment by police.
Tina Higginson, 21, became embroiled in a shoving match with an off-duty PCSO in a nightclub in Hertford.
They were both escorted outside but Tina was stunned when the officer was allowed to go free while she was bundled into a police van by four burly officers.
The petite 5ft 3in blonde claims she was put in ankle restraints, leg restraints and handcuffs before she was taken to Hoddesdon Police Station.
Tina says she was forced to undress in front of two male officers and remained sobbing in the cells for the night.
She sustained heavy bruising to her arms, legs and a graze to her shoulder which has left a scar – and has been permanently scarred where the cuffs were applied to hands and ankles.
”I’m disgusted with the way I was treated,” said Tina, who has modelled for Ann Summers and a string of magazines and newspapers including Loaded, Zoo and Nuts.
”There were four male officers over six feet in their 30s holding me, a 5’3″ 21-year-old girl down.
”They dragged me away behind a police van where nobody could see and I wasn’t wearing much so everything was hanging out.”
She added: ”The female officer asked for my phone and I didn’t understand why she wanted it. I wasn’t resisting arrest I just didn’t want to hand my phone over.
”Then the male officers put handcuffs, ankle cuffs and leg restraints on me so I couldn’t move – I was like a worm – then they threw me into a puddle of someone’s pee.
”At this point I was totally freaking out and crying. I was practically having a panic attack and nobody was listening to me. Then two male officers picked me up and threw me into the back of the van.
”That was when I was supposed to have dug my nail into his hand but it wasn’t intentional.
”At the police station they put me in a cell and gave me a paper suit which two female officers put me into in front of two male officers. It was like a house party in the cell for them.
”They didn’t let me shower so I was still covered in urine. It was awful. In the morning an officer came in and asked me how I came to be covered in so many bruises.
”When I told her that they were from police and she was completely shocked.”
Freelance media events co-ordinator Tina, from Hoddesdon, Herts., was celebrating a friend’s birthday on August 22 in the Stone House club in Hertford.
She went to the bathroom and when she returned she was involved in an altercation on the stairs of the packed club with Victoria Finch, who she later discovered was an off-duty PCSO.
Both women were escorted out by security but the altercation continued outside and police officers intervened.
Tina became upset when Miss Finch was told by officers to go home – while she was detained.
She was then arrested and taken to the police station where she was charged with assault by beating and resisting arrest.
Tina was also charged with a public disorder offence and assaulting a constable, charges which were later dropped.
At Hertford Magistrate’s Court on October 28th Tina pleaded guilty to both charges and was ordered to pay a £700 fine.
Joe Happe, defending, said that Tina had accepted the charges although she had been understandably upset by the actions of police outside the club.
He said: ”Miss Higginson was extremely upset and she accepts that she used some abusive language outside in an effort to explain what had happened.
”She could not understand why she was being arrested when Victoria Finch wasn’t being arrested. She disputes that she dug her nails into the officer but she accepts that she didn’t go quietly.”
”Four police officers got involved. They threw her onto the ground into a large puddle of urine and she was lying face down with four police officers on top of her.
”She has already suffered as a result of this incident and was humiliated by landing in this puddle of urine.”
Sentencing, Chair of the bench Dr Andrew Stephenson said: ”Hopefully this is a lesson to try to be a bit calmer in these circumstances because clearly you found it hard to resist lashing out in some way or other when you were aggravated.”
Tina was ordered to pay £385 in fines, £300 in court costs and a £50 victim surcharge. She was not awarded any compensation for her injuries.
Speaking after the hearing, she said: ”I wanted to plead not guilty but I felt that I had no chance going up against police officers.
”There were three witnesses who were willing to come forward but there was no point in trying to go up against three police officers and a PCSO.
”I just wish there had been CCTV in the club so that I could prove that I did nothing wrong. It’s very frustrating.”
Tina revealed that she plans to make a complaint to the police about her treatment and injuries.
A spokeswoman for Hertfordshire Constabulary pledged to investigate the incident when they receive the complaint.
She said: ”Hertfordshire Constabulary has received no complaints in relation to this matter and therefore we have no further comment to make at this time.”