Police hunting a wanted criminal burst into the wrong flat – and accused the innocent owner of hiding drugs inside his dead father’s URN.
Nine officers stormed into Barry Cleaver’s home and turned it upside down after a tip about the hiding place of a fugitive.
Barry watched in horror as one of them picked up the small urn containing his dad’s ashes, shook it and demanded to know if it contained drugs.
Jobless Barry – whose dad died in 2008 – told him what was inside and the shocked policeman gently replaced the six-inch purple pot.
He said: “The copper held the remains of my dad and shook it.
“He asked me what was inside, then asked if it was full of drugs.
“The top comes off, so he could have had a look for himself, but he didn’t.
“He got the shock of his life when I told him what it was – he carefully put it down and then all the police left.”
Barry, 40, has now lodged a complaint with the IPCC over the bungled raid in Salford by the Serious Organised Crime Unit of Greater Manchester Police.
They had meant to be raiding a flat in a neighbouring building.
Barry had been unable to answer the door when the search team knocked because he was in bed suffering from a slipped disc.
The police then entered by picking the lock – and got a #193.20 bill for a locksmith to replace it.
Barry added: “They paid for the door to be fixed but I’m disgusted at the way they treated me. I’m not after money, I’d just like an apology.
“How dare they burst into my house and treat me like a criminal?
“I told them numerous times that they had the wrong guy and each time they ignored me.
“I dread to think what could have happened if they had dropped my father’s urn.”
According to police, the raid was part of an investigation into a cash in transit robbery that happened earlier that day in nearby prestwich.
A police spokesperson said: “On arrival, police knocked on the door of the property. As there was no response from inside, officers forced entry causing some damage to the lock.
“On this occasion entry was forced to allow evidence to be recovered quickly to aid the ongoing investigation.
“In this case, a false address was given by someone who was currently in custody being questioned by police and the door has now been repaired.”
Detective Inspector Clare Devlin from the Salford Division said: “While we understand why this man may feel aggrieved, officers have since been to see him and expressed our regret at what happened.
“However, we acted with the best of intentions. Police officers are given powers of forced entry for a variety of reasons.
“These include searching properties to secure evidence and arresting suspected offenders.
“On this occasion, the information that we were given meant that we felt the best thing to do was force entry once the door was not answered.
“Every time a forced entry is made, police officers will try to minimise damage where possible but the most important aspect of any forced entry is to safely secure evidence and arrest those suspected of being involved in a crime.
“On very rare occasions, like this one, there may be instances where the wrong address is searched due to false information provided to police.
“When such rare instances do occur and entry is forced to the wrong address, the Force will issue an apology to the homeowner and pay for repairs.
“There are also a range of options open to complainants who can either seek civil redress or make a formal complaint to our Professional Standards Department.”