“Mr Paul, this is the police, we need to ask you a few questions. Open the door or we’ll be forced to break it down!”
Break the door down? Frederick thought; why would they need to do that… He stalled for a moment, “Wait, wait… I’m coming”, he stuttered nervously.
Just feet away, on the other side of this physical wooden barrier, the constable stood up straight, no longer needing to stoop to shout through the letterbox. He glanced at his partner, shrugged and commented sarcastically “Let’s give the man a minute.”
Inside the house Frederick’s mind was racing. Why are these people being so aggressive? He was already regretting becoming involved, and nervously edged towards the door to confront his visitors. As he undid the catch and attempted to open up just enough to peek through, the officer outside shoved the door with a force that knocked Frederick off balance. The edge of the door struck his skull above the eyebrow and Frederick shrieked and bowed over in pain, clutching his face. Blood quickly seeped from his forehead onto his hands. Gritting his teeth, he peered upwards to see the officers already inside. They saw a man in some shock, still disorientated from the blow, and like a speechless child Frederick held out his bloodied palms to show them what they’d done.
“Frederick Paul… I am arresting you for the murder of Mr Smythe…” he paused, staring in disgust at the blood-stained and scruffy man standing in front of him, before continuing to read him his statutory rights…
Frederick stood silently... pure disbelief held him paralysed. DI Loxley’s counterpart reached for a pair of handcuffs and clumsily attached them onto Frederick’s wrists before manhandling him, terrified and wounded, out through the front door and to the waiting police vehicle…
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