A MAN from Sheffield claims a police raid at his home has left him with a £5,000 repair bill – after officers smashed their way inside despite being offered a key.
Darren Leycock, aged 44, of River View Road, Oughtibridge, was being questioned at Ecclesfield police station when officers forced their way into his home and garage to search his property.
The businessman, who runs a building maintenance company, was being quizzed over allegations that he set up a credit card in an ex-partner’s name and officers wanted access to his home to look for paperwork and documents.
Mr Leycock, who denies any wrongdoing, said he told police he did have some documents belonging to an ex which were mixed up with his own paperwork in a box in a bedroom and that he gave officers permission to retrieve them.
But he said he offered to accompany the search team to his house, where he had a key hidden which he could give to them, but they refused his offer and knocked his doors off their hinges instead while he was still being questioned.
Mr Leycock said his insurance company will not pay for the repairs and that South Yorkshire Police should be forced to pay out.
He said: “I went to the police station with my solicitor after an ex claimed I had twice breached a non-molestation order she has taken out against me – once because I drove past her house when I was working on her road, and on another occasion when I can say I was 100 miles away.
“While I was there the police started questioning me about a credit card I am alleged to have taken out in her name and they said they wanted to search my house for documents.
“I told them where everything was and offered to go to the house with them to show them where the key was, but they just went ahead and kicked the doors in.
“They told me this was done legally and that the repair bill is my problem.
“I will be lodging an official complaint – they should not be allowed to get away with doing this when I could have let them into the house without the need to cause any damage.”
Mr Leycock says he is in the process of renovating his home and had only recently installed a £2,000 garage door, which he claims is ruined.
A South Yorkshire Police spokeswoman said: “Officers conducted a lawful authorised search of a property on River View Road, Oughtibridge.
“The search was carried out as part of an investigation after the arrest of a 44-year-old man on suspicion of breach of a non-molestation order, theft and fraud.
“He is currently on police bail pending further inquiries.”