Pregnant Stevenage teenager speaks of two day ordeal in police custody

Milli Archer.

Milli Archer. - Credit: Archant

A pregnant teenager who spent two stressful nights in custody is questioning a public police appeal to track her down.

Liam Pressley and Milli Archer.

Liam Pressley and Milli Archer. - Credit: Archant

The Herts police ‘missing persons’ plea to trace Stevenage teenager Milli Archer said the 17-year-old had been missing since Tuesday, April 21, and was believed to be with a man wanted for assault.

The man concerned was her partner Liam Gambino, named as Pressley in the police release.

“We are both known to the police and they have got our numbers,” Milli said.

“I just don’t understand why they didn’t call us because if they had we would have gone straight to the nearest station.”

The couple left their home in Wisden Road for Chesterfield in Derbyshire two weeks ago to get away from family problems Milli was having.

They only discovered about the appeal, issued on Wednesday, April 29, when a friend contacted them.

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They were both arrested at Liam’s sister’s house in Chesterfield on Friday on suspicion of assault and appeared at Hatfield Remand Court on Monday afternoon.

The stress of imprisonment caused Milli, who is seven weeks pregnant, to bleed and she was taken to hospital for treatment twice before being released.

She said this week: “As soon as I got arrested I started bleeding. Even though it has all stopped now the pregnancy is at a very early stage and I’m really worried something has happened to my baby.

“It was horrible being locked away in a cell for days and something I feel was totally unnecessary.”

The appeal was featured in the national press as well as in last week’s Comet and on our website, and was shared hundreds of times on social media.

The high profile of the appeal meant the couple received lots of abuse online including death threats.

“There has been a lot of stuff on Facebook with people have been calling me a paedophile, saying that I’ve kidnapped Milli and that I beat her up,” Liam said.

“Some of my neighbours have said that people have turned up at the house and made threatening remarks.

“All of this isn’t true and I want everyone to know that.”

The pair have both been bailed until Saturday, May 30.

A spokesperson for Hertfordshire Constabulary said: “When there is a genuine concern for a person’s welfare it is our duty to act on those concerns, as the public would rightly expect.

“We will use all the tools at our disposal, including social media, to trace the person as soon as possible to ensure they are safe and well.

“This is especially important in cases involving vulnerable juveniles and we therefore feel our response in this instance was justified.”