Martin’s story

Published: June 18 2024
Last updated: June 18 2024

Martin Jessop, 63, from Liverpool has on multiple occasions had seizures that have resulted in police involvement. One time when he was out in town, he had a seizure and the police arrested him and took him to the police station after accusing him of being drunk. Martin’s story is part of a special series of manifesto stories. These are part of our work to influence the next government. You can find out more here. 

“After coming round a bit, I had to get my wife to come and explain about my epilepsy. Since then, I’ve always worn a wristband that says I have epilepsy.”

“I’ve also had an incident on the railway. At the railway station I had a seizure, and I can’t remember much but remember getting off a train and then it seems to be that I got on the railway line and was walking down from one station to the next. I don’t even know what I was doing but luckily, they turned the line off and said there was a trespasser.

“I don’t remember much about it but when I got to the other station, I was arrested, which I can understand. They took me in as being suicidal. But I got taken down to the police station and the doctor came to see me and said I was okay to be held in a cell. So I was put in a cell and my wife came down to see me. She’s a neuro nurse so she could tell I’d had a seizure. It took my consultants getting in touch with the police and explaining my epilepsy for me to be released.

“I’ve had a couple of good instances with the police. Once when I was up in Southport one day, and I had a seizure where I walked out in the middle of the road. I fell on the floor and banged my head. But luckily there were two nurses in the car, and they got in touch with me later to say they’d seen my wristband that said I had epilepsy. They stopped a police car that was coming past and explained to the policewoman I had epilepsy. The police officer was so good. I don’t remember much but she took me to Southport infirmary and then rang my wife, Christine, and she stayed with me until Christine got there. But she said it’s because the nurses explained about my condition. There’s so much misunderstanding.

“I think epilepsy specialists need to go out to the police and raise awareness of epilepsy and the different types. I think it needs to start in the police training colleges. When I had the seizure with the police officer who was very good, I went to the police headquarters in Southport when I was feeling better and told them about it. She was really good, but so often people think you’re drunk or dangerous.”

"I think epilepsy specialists need to go out to the police and raise awareness of epilepsy and the different types"