A DAD who was arrested for defending his family from a convicted paedophile threatening to "blow him up" has highlighted Wiltshire Police's failings.

Dan Burton, 32, was arrested on suspicion of actual bodily harm after being provoked outside his mother-in-law's house in Coltsfoot Close, Amesbury on May 6.

The father-of-two, from Tidworth, arrived at the house by car but attracted the attention of a neighbour who accused him of parking close to his fence.

"Laughing it off", Mr Burton went back inside to find the neighbour "hanging over" his mother-in-law's fence which was when she informed him the man had a conviction for child sex offences.

With his two children, aged five and nine, inside the house, Mr Burton shouted at the man to leave but the situation escalated.

Andover Advertiser: Coltsfoot Close in Amesbury.Coltsfoot Close in Amesbury. (Image: Google Maps)

Mr Burton said: "He got a gas canister and matches then threatened to blow me up in the house.

"I then grabbed a Hoover pole and defended myself by trying to knock the gas canister out of his hands."

Mr Burton's nine-year-old son watched the encounter unfold from the doorway and he was "absolutely distraught".

The neighbour retreated into his house and called the police, claiming Mr Burton "hit him in the head with an iron bar".

Minutes later the police arrived, questioned Mr Burton and proceeded to arrest him on suspicion of ABH because the male had a cut on his head.

Mr Burton claimed he did not hit the man and believed he "must have done it himself" but he was taken into custody at Gable Cross, Swindon, at 10.40pm.

Andover Advertiser: Gable Cross police station.Gable Cross police station. (Image: Newsquest)

During his stay, he became "sleep deprived and hungry" as he was not offered food, exercise or a shower for 17 hours and a bright cell light kept him awake at night.

Following an interview, Mr Burton was released on bail to not contact the neighbour or visit Coltsfoot Close, Amesbury, until he was informed that no further action would be taken on July 8 due to lack of evidence, eight weeks after he was arrested.

"It was quite distressing and my kids were constantly asking if we could take them to see their nanny," Mr Burton added.

Mr Burton lodged a complaint against Wiltshire Police for his treatment in custody the day he was released which he should have received an update about within 28 days but the force did not respond until July 28.

Wiltshire Police apologised for the length of time it took to contact Mr Burton and blamed the department's current "very high demand".

Although two inspectors instructed during their reviews of Mr Burton's detention that he should be reminded of his rights to drinks, a meal, exercise and a shower, this was never discussed with him.

In a letter, Wiltshire Police concluded the service provided was "not acceptable" but there was insufficient evidence to indicate that any staff had committed a criminal offence or behaved in a way which would justify the bringing of disciplinary proceedings.

Mr Burton said: "I was a bit angry in the fact that Wiltshire Police admitted failures but none of its staff are being held accountable."

Detective Superintendent Guy Elkins, lead for Crime Standards and Justice at Wiltshire Police, said: "The wellbeing and safety of those within our care is our utmost priority.

"Where there have been any failings identified in this duty of care, we will robustly investigate to ensure any lessons are learned and shared within the organisation.

"I echo the apology given to the individual in this case as our service to them fell short of what I would expect. We are reviewing this matter and I will ensure appropriate action is taken and feedback given to relevant custody staff."

Wiltshire's Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Wilkinson said there was a "clear failing" from the force in Mr Burton's case.

Andover Advertiser: PCC Philip Wilkinson.PCC Philip Wilkinson. (Image: Wiltshire PCC)

Mr Wilkinson added: “Detainees must be able to trust that they will be safe, and cared for appropriately, during their time in police custody.

“In this case, there was a clear failing in the duty and care of a prisoner and I welcome the complaint from Mr Burton so that lessons can be learned and appropriate feedback given to custody staff to ensure this doesn’t happen again.

“My office also provides oversight of police custody with our Independent Custody Volunteers scheme, who independently check on the welfare of detainees and ensure they are being looked after properly. The area where the service fell short will be shared with them to ensure scrutiny of these elements in the future.”