Who is Patsy Stevenson? Is she an actress or activist – and why she was arrested at the Clapham Common vigil
Stevenson has spoken out on Twitter, calling on people in the UK to be ‘seen and heard’ as the fallout from the Sarah Everard case continues
This weekend (13 March) saw ugly scenes as police officers clashed with crowds gathered on Clapham Common to remember Sarah Everard, who went missing while walking home from a friend’s flat on 3 March.
Police have confirmed that remains found in a woodland area in Kent a week after she went missing are those of Everard. Metropolitan Police Officer Wayne Couzens has been charged with her kidnap and murder.
Hundreds of people had come together peacefully on Clapham Common to remember Everard and to demand an end to male violence against women when police officers began to crack down on the event.
One of the most striking images from the event shows a woman in handcuffs being forcibly held to the ground by police officers. That woman is Patsy Stevenson.
Here is everything you need to know about her.
Who is Patsy Stevenson?
Stevenson is a university student, who describes herself as “not an activist or protester”. The 28-year old from Southend is also a part-time model and actress.
Speaking on Good Morning Britain (GMB) on 15 March, she said had gone to lay flowers and light a candle at the vigil for Everard, and added that she still doesn’t don’t know why she was "pushed to the ground so forcefully.”
The student added: “I did not expect that to happen. I’ve never been so scared.”
In 2017, Stevenson was the victim of a man who indecently exposed himself to her and a friend while they were walking home early one morning, reports her local newspaper the Echo.
Why was she arrested?
Stevenson told Counterfire she was arrested simply “for standing there”.
"I wasn’t doing anything, they threw me to the floor,” she said. "They have pictures of me on the floor being arrested. I’m 5ft 2 and I weigh nothing."
"Several police were on my back trying to arrest me. They arrested me in cuffs and dragged me away surrounded by 10 police officers.
"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.”
She was given a £200 fine by police.
What has she said about the policing of the vigil?
The day after her arrest, Stevenson said she would like to “have a conversation” with Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick, and was still unsure exactly why she had been detained.
Speaking to LBC, she said “I would like to sit down with her and have a conversation. I think dialogue is very important in this case.”
She added: “We were there to remember Sarah, we all felt deeply saddened and still do that it happened so I brought a candle with me but unfortunately wasn’t even able to light it to put it down because the police turned up and barged their way through.”
“I think the main point of this… is that women don’t feel safe, and they don’t feel safe walking down a street. And that’s the bare minimum we should feel the freedom to do, and I think it’s appalling that it’s gone on for this long.”
Ms Stevenson said that she would be attending a demonstration in Parliament Square on Monday afternoon, and was contemplating whether to challenge her £200 fine.
"I want to redirect the focus away from the police,” she said on Twitter. “We need to be seen and heard, and that's why I’m calling for everyone to meet at 5pm on 15 March outside Parliament Square.”