This department sent flowers
to wrongly raided house

(LONDON) -- Police sent flowers to a couple after breaking into the wrong home and bundling them out of bed at gunpoint before marching them into the street in their pyjamas, it emerged yesterday.

Scotland Yard officers attached a note to the bouquet sent to Fred and Jane Martin reading: "With regret for the inconvenience caused, Lambeth Police".

A team of armed officers accompanied by police dogs crashed into the couple's home in Camberwell, south London, in a dawn raid on October 31 - Hallowe'en.

Mr. Martin said he was awoken by the front door crashing in and went to his window to find an officer pointing a gun at him.

The pair were ordered downstairs before Fred, 63, was handcuffed and marched into the street wearing his nightclothes. Mrs. Martin said she was told to put her hands on her head and surrounded by up to 10 armed officers.

Mr Martin said: "I was very, very scared. The police have apologised with a bunch of flowers but my wife is still scared."

A Scotland Yard spokesman confirmed that armed officers had raided the couple's house in search of a gunman who was threatening to kill himself.

The spokesman said: "We were called by the London Ambulance Service just after 7.15am in respect of a man acting irrationally."

The spokesman added: "The man was thought to be in possession of a firearm.

"Unfortunately, the person who called us gave us the wrong address and we found an elderly couple in bed and the situation was quickly rectified."

(iSyndicate; The Journal; Nov. 11, 2000). Terms and Conditions: Copyright(c) 2000 LEXIS-NEXIS, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights Reserved.

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