By Staff Reporter

A LOCAL man has accused the PSNI of “character assassination” after he was arrested and released without charge. Speaking from his Springhill Grove home, Ciaran Cunningham, the Republican Network for Unity prisoners spokesperson, slammed the police and their reasons for arresting him.

“I had just left the house last Monday morning when I got a text telling me that the PSNI were at my home. When I got back to the house they had forced their way in and confiscated pillow cases from my daughter’s bedroom and her mobile phone.

“They said they were arresting me in connection with the tiger kidnapping that happened the week before in Lagmore and I was taken to Antrim police station where I was held for 36 hours – this was all despite them having no evidence against me.

“Myself and my family are now left to deal with the stigma of being wrongfully arrested. The cul-de-sac where I live was leafleted with letters from the PSNI asking if anyone had any information on the tiger kidnapping to contact them.

“With me being arrested, people can put two-and-two together – mud sticks,” he said.

“I firmly believe there is a malevolent force within the police that are trying to drive a wedge between me and the community here where I live. They are intent on trying to blacken my name.

“I am constantly being harassed and these actions from the PSNI towards me are extremely upsetting for my wife and family. All I want to do is go about my daily life and for me and my family to live in this area in peace and quiet.”

A spokesperson for the PSNI said: “Police have a duty to follow all lines of enquiry in an investigation.  We do this within the law and with the objective of bringing criminals before the courts, mindful of the human rights of all. Victims of crime and society expect nothing less.  If anyone has a complaint about police conduct, they should contact the Ombudsman.”

 

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