Children “deliberately” sprayed with CS gas by police


Police on the hunt for shed thieves in BathgatePOLICE are investigating claims officers deliberately blasted two children with CS spray.

Maryann Bannigan, from Coupar Angus, said her two children, Ryan, 9, and Chelsea, 10, were “traumatised” by the incident.

Mrs Bannigan, 44, said there was “chaos” outside her house on Thursday last week, when officers had arrived at the family home to arrest her 23-year-old son Paul.

She said Ryan was sprayed as he lay on top of her, as around 20 officers turned up outside the house the house during the night.

Mrs Bannigan said officers were spraying CS on Paul’s face as he was handcuffed and on the ground.

She added: “He is a diabetic and was panicking because of the spray.

“I was trying to calm him down.”

“The police said ‘stand back’ to me, everything went chaotic.”

Mrs Bannigan claimed that while trying to intervene she was also sprayed with the chemical, which left her feeling disorientated.

“Chelsea was shouting at the police ‘leave my brother alone’ and a policeman said ‘stand back or I will spray you’, which he did,” Mrs Bannigan said.

“I was pushed over and went onto the ground and Ryan ran over to me – they CS sprayed Ryan while he was on top of me.”

Mrs Bannigan estimated there were around 20 officers at her home during the height of the incident, which she described as “total mayhem”.

She said Ryan had to be treated at Blairgowie Cottage Hospital later that night, as his face was red and blotchy after being sprayed with the chemical.

Chelsea also suffered several heavy nose bleeds, she said.

Mrs Bannigan said she has been left feeling very emotional since the incident and still had red marks on her arms as a result of the spray.

She added that she would not be dropping her allegations and was in the process of lodging an official complaint regarding the officers’


Mrs Bannigan said: “I am not burying my head in the sand. Paul is no angel, but I feel victimised.”

She added: “I do not know how traumatised Ryan and Chelsea will be. It is a shame. I think it is disgusting.

“I can’t believe they did this to two children.”

A spokesman for Tayside Police confirmed they were looking into the matter saying: “Tayside Police officers attended reports of a large disturbance at an address in Kings Road, Coupar Angus, on Thursday night (May 31).”

The spokesman added: “A total of seven people – six men and a woman aged between 19 and 48 years old – have been charged in connection with the incident and reported to the procurator fiscal. Charges relate to breach of the peace and obstructing the police.

“Tayside Police can confirm that the use of CS spray in dealing with this disturbance has been the subject of complaints and inquiries to establish the full circumstances are ongoing.”

Separately, a Lothian and Borders police officer put one trainee special constable in hospital and hurt another 25 when he accidentally fired a high-strength CS spray into their faces last month.

The trainees, who would become special constables rather than full-time police officers, suffered nausea, burning pain and breathing difficulties in the accident.

CS spray is licensed under the Firearms Act, and is often used in riot control.