Who is Patsy Stevenson? Woman 'pinned to ground' and handcuffed by male cops at Sarah Everard’s vigil

What was supposed to be a peaceful vigil turned into a violent police scandal as police moved in to disperse people


                            Who is Patsy Stevenson? Woman 'pinned to ground' and handcuffed by male cops at Sarah Everard’s vigil
Patsy Stevenson was pinned down to the ground and arrested at a vigil for Sarah Everard (Twitter, DaniGaravelli1/Sarah Everard)

Patsy Stevenson, who was one of the people arrested at the vigil for Sarah Everard, has come on record to slam the Met Police calling them "disgraceful" for allegedly pinning her to the ground.

In her first television interview, Stevenson revealed that she was "terrified". After a photograph of her pinned on the ground being arrested started taking over social media, the Met Police faced widespread criticism for its handling of the vigil. In fact, many even call for the resignation of Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick.

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Speaking on ITV's 'Good Morning Britain', Stevenson said that she had attended the vigil at Clapham Common, South London on March 12, 2021, "to lay a candle down" before it turned chaotic. The vigil was organized by Reclaim These Streets but had been called off after police threatened to fine the organizers $13,917 (£10,000) each for breaking Covid lockdown restrictions.

Stevenson was arrested during the vigil. She said it was "disgraceful" for the police to break up what she said was a "peaceful protest". Pictures show Stevenson being held on the ground by two officers as she is handcuffed.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick (c), Assistant Commissioner Nick Ephgrave (l) and Robin Wilkinson, Chief of Corporate Services, Metropolitan Police Service, observe a minute's silence for police officer Sergeant Matt Ratana at the Empress State Building (Getty Images)

"I am quite small and it was two very large male officers who sort of pulled me back very quickly and then I hit the ground," she said on 'GMB'. "From start to finish it was just a sort of whirlwind, it happened very quickly. I was only there to lay a candle down, I did not expect that to happen."

Who is Patsy Stevenson?

Patsy Stevenson, 28, is from Southend. A part-time model and actress, she is also a former pupil of Cecil Jones Academy and South Essex College. According to reports, in June 2017, Stevenson told her local newspaper that a man had indecently exposed himself to her and a friend while they were walking home early one morning.

What happened that night?

What was supposed to be a peaceful vigil for the departed turned into a violent police scandal when, Stevenson recalls, cops moved to disperse people. "We were terrified because we hear about police manhandling women and stuff like that. I was terrified. I have never been so scared honestly," she reportedly said. 

"I think what was scary as well was as soon as I was pinned to the ground, I looked up and there were cameras everywhere."

Sarah Everard (Twitter)

Stevenson said she was "surrounded by 10 police officers" before being arrested. "Several police officers were on my back trying to arrest me. They arrested me in cuffs and dragged me away surrounded by 10 police officers," she said according to the latest reports. "When I got in the van they said 'all we need is your name and address and then we'll let you go with a fine', so I don’t see the point of the arrest, to be honest."

Stevenson is now fined for breach of coronavirus regulations but says that she may also challenge the $278 (£200) fine. "I don’t believe that I did anything wrong," she said.

A message for authorities 

Stevenson had some words of advice for Dame Cressida Dick. "As someone who does stand up for women's rights and things like that, I don't have, it's not that I don't have an opinion but to be honest, I think we need to get the message away from: 'We are against the police, the police did wrong'," she said, adding that the focus instead should be "on the main message which is: 'We now need to open a dialogue for change and to support women’s safety. This needs to happen now."

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