A YOUNG mother who was punched unconscious in an unprovoked attack was offered £150 to allow the thug to walk free because prosecuting the case would be a waste of taxpayers’ money.
She was offered a choice that her attacker be cautioned or made to pay her £150 and write a letter of apology.
Hayley Clayton, 32, spent a night in hospital and needed 10 stitches above her eye this summer after being knocked out by a female Lithuanian migrant while queueing outside a nightclub in Spalding, Lincs.
Mrs Clayton said yesterday: “She told the police in an interview that she did it for no reason and knew it was wrong.”
She expected justice to be served but says she was then told she had the two options, with an officer adding: “You can’t have both.”
When Mrs Clayton turned down the initial £100 cash offer the attacker increased it by £50.
The migrant eventually walked free because Mrs Clayton, a factory team leader, was unwilling to sacrifice her principles by accepting the money.
Yesterday Mrs Clayton, 32, who lives in Moulton Seas End, Lincs, with husband Mark, 39, and daughter Kacey, two, said: “I was so offended I told them to stick their money and chose the caution because I want her to have a record in case she does this again.
“It is disgusting that you can buy your way out of committing a crime. What is our country coming to?”
Lincolnshire Police defended the decision not to prosecute.
Inspector Jim Tyner said: “This is not about taking shortcuts…cautions are effectively used to increase the amount of time my officers spend dealing with other crime and reduce the amount of time they spend completing paperwork and attending court.”
But his senior officer, Chief Inspector Philip Baker, admitted it may not have been appropriate to offer Mrs Clayton money to drop the charges.
He said: “A restorative resolution, where compensation or an apology is made without a caution, is usually applied in low-level crimes.
Tory MP Nick de Bois, who has led a campaign against the growing use of administrative punishments, said: “This vicious assault deserves justice to be done and not traded away in some shabby back-room deal.”
In the past four years more than 2,700 offenders, including rapists, escaped with cautions.
Police have now been banned from using cautions for offences that would be dealt with by jury trial.
See on www.express.co.uk