Sunday, October 23, 2016

Mother was 'groped' by police officer who accused her of being drunk when she called 911 after a minor crash

Video at the link below shows that he clearly did grope her

A mother claims she was groped by a police officer who accused her of being drunk after a minor car crash.

Amanda Houghton called 911 when she was rear-ended by another car earlier this year while driving along a road in Layton, Utah.

However, when the male officer arrived at the scene, he suspected that Houghton was drunk so conducted sobriety tests before putting her hands in cuffs and giving her a pat down.

And now Houghton has launched legal action to sue the Layton Police Department, after she says the the male officer groped her breasts as he conducted the search, even though she asked him to stop and was later found not to be under the influence of alcohol.

It comes after the Layton Police Department released footage of her arrest that was captured from an officer's body camera.

It shows Houghton with her hands cuffed behind her back after failing the sobriety test, which she puts down to being in shock from the car crash.

The officer then begins to pat her down, but the mother shouts: 'Don't touch me!' The policeman then responds saying: 'I can search you, and that's what I'm doing.'

She continues to object to being searched but the officer continues his pat down, warning Houghton she has to comply.

Houghton told Fox 13: 'It was horrible, I was yelling at him to stop touching me. “Get somebody here to watch you grope me," I think were my words, I felt very violated.'

While her lawyer Robert Sykes added: 'I don’t believe they should have administered the field sobriety tests at all in this case.

'I think this amounted to an unconstitutional search of a woman without a necessity to do so.'

However, Layton Police say they believe the officer didn't do anything unlawful and added they only have three female officers on the force so males often carry out searches.

Judges are now set to determine if Houghton has a case and if the charges against her can be dropped.

Meanwhile her lawyer has offered a settlement to Layton City on behalf of his client, but they are yet to respond.

Original report here

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Saturday, October 22, 2016

Police officer who stuck his middle finger up at a Mayfair cocktail bar bouncer before calling him a 'P***' is sacked from the force

A London police officer who used racist and abusive language towards a Mayfair cocktail bar bouncer - sticking his middle finger up and calling him a 'P***'  - has been dismissed from the force.

Pc Emilio Sabatino 'let himself and his colleagues down' through his behaviour while off duty, according to a senior officer from the Metropolitan Police professional standards unit.

Sabatino brandished his warrant card and mocked Gurmeet Singh's SIA (Security Industry Authority) accreditation when he was asked to leave the Dirty Martini bar.

Mr Singh told a Metropolitan Police misconduct hearing he approached Sabatino and a friend in the lavatory on August 29, 2015. He explained that door staff checked the toilets every 20 minutes to check there was 'no alcohol or broken glass on the floor.'

Mr Singh said: 'He said he was a police officer and showed me his badge. 'He said 'Can I vouch for my friend?', then he showed his ID card to me.

'I said 'I don't know what you are showing me your badge for.' 'He didn't say anything so I called my manager.

'He was asked to come out of the premises and make his way upstairs. As we came outside, he asked if he could come back inside. Then he questioned why I had my SIA badge on. 'He said 'I can show my [police] badge to whoever I want to. I said 'I haven't committed a crime.'

Mr Singh continued: 'He was a little bit aggressive because he wanted to get back downstairs. 'He stuck his middle finger up and said 'P***' and I said I would make a complaint.'

He added: 'I was quite shocked. You wouldn't expect that from anyone. I think it's bullying.'

Mr Singh told the hearing he found Sabatino in the lavatory standing three feet away from a friend and urinating at each other.

Pc Sabatino said he and his friend Tim Blunn - the fiancé of his girlfriend's sister - had joked about 'crossing streams' as they relieved themselves. He told the hearing he had been drinking for five hours before the incident occurred, although he said he was only 'seven' out of ten. Pc Sabatino said: 'I wasn't drunk as in staggering, I knew what was going on around me, but I was in good spirits.

'I was at the urinal. Tim has then come in behind me. I don't know for what reason, but he thought it would be funny to start urinating in my urinal.

'As Tim finished, he turns towards Mr Singh. Mr Singh then got quite close to him and said 'you can't be doing that. Why are you urinating on the floor?' 'I stupidly said 'I'm a police officer'. I wanted to calm Mr Singh down.

'Obviously, bouncers have to act in a certain way because they are dealing with people who are intoxicated.

'I showed him my warrant card, because anyone can say they're a police officer. 'From the moment I showed him my warrant card, he seemed to take offence.

'He took it as a threat. He said 'are you trying to threaten me?' He wouldn't let me explain.'

He added: 'I don't usually drink cocktails. I told Mr Singh to 'f*** off' as I was leaving. It wasn't directed in a threatening way towards him. It was more like 'f*** off, I'm done with this conversation'. 'I put my middle finger up at him, but it wasn't even towards his face height, it was just a swing of the arm.

'I don't know why it even came out of my mouth. I never swear at all really.. I have never sworn at members of the public. I truly, truly regret it.'

Sabatino had also told the hearing he wouldn't use racist language towards Mr Singh as he has an Italian father and colleagues from 'all different faiths'.

He said: 'I don't know where he's got this word 'P*** from. I told him to f*** off, which I truly regret, but I didn't say the word 'P***'. 'I didn't say anything racial, especially not after giving my name and being on camera.'

The misconduct panel found that Sabatino had used his status as an officer to excuse his own behaviour, that he was escorted from the premises, produced his warrant card a second time, verbally swore at staff, and used the term 'P***', all of which amounted to gross misconduct.

A charge of urinating on the floor was found not proved.

Chief Superintendant Matt Gardner, from the directorate of professional standards said: 'Mr Sabatino has let himself and his colleagues down as a result of off duty behaviour.

'He has been found to use racist and abusive behaviour to a member of the public who was simply doing his job, a scenario similar to what police officers do 24/7 in their role to protect Londoners.

'We do not want officers with these behaviours in the Metropolitan police and he has been rightly dismissed with immediate effect.'

Sabatino, based at Brent Operational Command Unit, was dismissed without notice.

Original report here

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Friday, October 21, 2016

British police goons at work

A couple who bought a £55,000 Porsche as an anniversary present have been left out of pocket after police stormed their home and seized it - claiming it was 'stolen'.

Simon and Susan Walker bought the burgundy Porsche Cayenne 4.8 Turbo for their 25th wedding anniversary from SK Performance in Bolton, Greater Manchester.

However, days later officers arrived at their home in Stockport claiming the vehicle needed to be seized after police in Scotland said they believed the Porsche had been stolen by means of fraud.

The original owner of the vehicle had contacted Scottish police after handing over his car to the Bolton garage, which has since gone into liquidation. He had given it to the garage to sell but never received his money after the sale to the Walkers.

A tracking device still attached to the Porsche showed it was in the Walkers' garage, prompting police to arrive at their home, question them and take the vehicle.

The couple now claim they have been left out of pocket after not only was their vehicle seized but their newly-laid driveway 'damaged' by the responding officer.

They have made a formal complaint to Greater Manchester Police claiming the officer walked across the 'wet' driveway - causing £16,000 worth of damage.

Mrs Walker, 52, said: 'There was red tape across the entrance to the drive. It had just been finished and we weren't allowed to drive on it for at least three days.

'The officer had pushed open my gates, gone through the tape up to my front door. When I told him the drive was new he said 'I thought it was a bit sticky when I was walking across it'.

'After showing him proof that we had bought the car through a bank transfer, he made a call and agreed not to arrest Simon. Instead, he just took the keys for the car.

'But the PC had damaged the drive walking on it before it was dry and we now have seven footprints in it. To put it right the whole driveway needs to be relaid, which will cost £16,000.'

However, in a letter the force says it is not liable for the damage to the resin-bound driveway as the actions of the officer were 'lawful, reasonable, and necessary' and there was 'no signage or writing that stated that a new drive had been laid'.

After their car was seized, the couple tackled the garage owner who showed them an email from an officer in Scotland which said he was satisfied the matter would be resolved between the garage and the original owner in no longer than 14 days.

In the email, the officer adds: 'At this time no criminality can be attributed. I will ask he (the owner) holds off on any further action until you have the opportunity to conclude the financial matters.'

Mrs Walker, who runs a boarding home for rabbits, said: 'The email is dated October 1 - on October 9 the police came to our house, before the end of the 14 days the garage had promised to resolve the issue.'

The garage gave the Walkers two BMWs as compensation for the Porsche being seized.

But Mrs Walker said: 'It was our intention to trade them in at Porsche Wilmslow in exchange for a Porsche Cayenne. But a week later I got a call from an enforcement officer saying the BMWs were going to be seized as part of the liquidation order, and we had no legal right to those cars. Once again we were spoken to like criminals.

'The next day ten enforcement officers turned up at our house. We also got told by Porsche Wilmslow that police had asked them what sort of people we were.'

The Porsche has since been returned to the original owner, resold and is now on sale at a showroom in Essex for £47,500. Meanwhile, the Bolton garage is under investigation by Greater Manchester Police.

Mrs Walker added: 'We were the only people to have their car seized. The whole situation has been traumatic, upsetting and embarrassing having police cars outside our house.'

In a formal complaint to the police force, her husband said: 'We want answers as to why we were treated as criminals and not as victims, and compensation for the damage caused to our property.'

Greater Manchester Police confirmed a complaint has been made and it is investigating.

Original report here

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Thursday, October 20, 2016

Australia: Female police officer, 51, reveals how she was 'capsicum sprayed, stripped naked, beaten and jailed for 16 hours after being arrested for being DRUNK'

Being drunk is not an offence in itself

A policewoman, 51, was stripped naked, beaten, capsicum sprayed and held in cells for 16 hours for being 'drunk'. Yvonne Berry was allegedly assaulted by officers in Ballarat, north-west of Melbourne, in January last year.

She said the alleged brutality, captured on CCTV, made her think she was 'in Guantanamo Bay', she told ABC's 7.30 and Fairfax Media.

Ms Berry had been on extended leave from internal affairs, and the police involved did not know they were dealing with a fellow officer.

'If that's not why they were nasty to me, then they were just ... nasty to a member of the public, which is worse,' she told 7.30. 'It could happen to anyone — and I've since found out that it did, and it does.'

Ms Berry took time off in 2014 to deal with serious mental health issues which she partially attributes to dealing with the Victorian Black Saturday bushfires of 2009.

She said she and many other officers turned to alcohol after witnessing the trauma. 'I can still see the visions of all of that stuff today,' she said.

A local woman called police about 11pm on January 15 when she found Ms Berry drunk and incoherent. She was arrested when she tried to run away.

At the station, CCTV footage shows Ms Berry attempted to use a broken drinking fountain before gesturing for water. She drank from the toilet when she got no response.

When an officer later entered her cell, Ms Berry accidentally swiped her lanyard. She then reacted after seeing a bottle of capsicum spray and struggled with two officers until she was sprayed in the face. She said the spray 'burns like fire on your skin'.

Ms Berry was then allegedly handcuffed 'so tight they nearly broke my wrists', and photos reveal she sustained dark bruising.

She was then dragged on the floor to a cell. Facedown and still handcuffed, a male officer pulled down her underwear, apparently searching for the lanyard.

While she was still naked, a 95-kilogram policeman stood on her feet, stomped on her ankle and kicked her, the CCTV footage shows.

He later said he was trying to stop Ms Berry kick other officers, he told Victoria's Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC). A female office said she had kicked Ms Berry to 'calm her down'.

But Ms Berry rejected their explanations. 'I was basically lying there like a fat jellyfish,' she said.

A doctor later said Ms Berry's ankle was fractured. Photos show she sustained deep bruising, cuts and welts.

'I was just thinking: "I'm in Guantanamo Bay. This isn't Ballarat, it can't be",' she said.

She was then scalded in a hot shower, which exacerbated the effects of capsicum spray, and officers ignored her requests to turn the water down, Ms Berry claimed.

One of the officers instead called her 'f***ing disgusting', in an apparent reference to her weight.

Ms Berry believes the officers involved should have been charged, with CCTV footage of her allegations.

But she was told in February this year there was 'insufficient evidence to support a criminal prosecution in relation to allegations of assault'.

The two police officers accused have been told they could return to work, and the only person charged over the night is Ms Berry.

She was charged in January this year with multiple offences, including resisting arrest.

She was also charged for theft of a car after police found a stolen vehicle parked outside her home.

But all charges against Ms Berry were withdrawn in August, following advice from a senior barrister.

Police are now considering whether an officer should be charged for the alleged assault and senior police have made an acknowledgement of wrongdoing.

Original report here

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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Moment a black man was arrested by a white cop for WALKING in the street - after he was left with no other option because the sidewalk was under construction

Shocking video showing a black man in Edina, Minnesota, being arrested by a white officer for allegedly walking in a suburban road because the sidewalk was under construction has sparked outrage and calls for the officer to be suspended.

The clip, which shows Larnie Thomas being arrested for walking in the street to get around the construction, has left many viewers horrified.

Thomas was walking down Xerxes Avenue, which is in a residential area with homes on either side of the street and has a speed limit of 30 miles per hour.

The footage, shot by Janet Rowles, begins with officer Tim Olson's hand tightly gripping the back of Thomas's jacket as the man shouts he's done nothing wrong.

Thomas appeared to have already passed the construction and was behind the white line that divides pedestrians and traffic when the video starts rolling.

Olson is insisting Thomas was walking in the middle of the road as he pulls him back to his unmarked squad car

Olson tells Thomas to 'come over here' as he grips the man's jacket to prevent him from running away, moving him momentarily back into the road before reaching the front of the unmarked squad car.

'You’re walking down the middle of the street,' Olson says.

Thomas becomes irate, shouting: 'I’m on the damn white line! You can’t just put your hands on me like that!'

Thomas begins frantically shouting at Olson that he's done nothing wrong, while Rowles films.

Thomas slams his backpack on the squad car, still confused by why he's being detained, and asks: 'You're gonna take me to jail for this s***?'

Olson says he's not going to take him to jail. Thomas then tells him if he's not taking him to jail, he should take his hand off of him.

Rowles then suggests to the officer that if Thomas can't walk around the construction, that he shows the man a different route to take.

The officer asks the woman to back away and then asks Thomas to put his hands on the squad car.

Another officer arrives at the scene and puts Thomas in cuffs

Olson doesn't release Thomas as he tries to flail out of the officer's grip, cursing at the officer and asking if he can leave.

Olson tells Thomas he cannot leave and they're 'going to have a talk about a whole bunch of things'.

As the camera turns, it's clear the road is in a residential area with homes lining the side.

Thomas then asks the officer if he 'settles down will you take your hands off me?'

Olson tells him to settle down but doesn't agree to take his hands off of him.

Rowles tries to tell the officer that Thomas did nothing wrong and later that he's scared as she attempts to de-escalate the situation.

Eventually, a second officer arrives and immediately cuffs Thomas.

The seven-minute video, which has been viewed more than 170,000 times, ends with Rowles agreeing to give an officer a statement as Thomas is put into the back of a squad car.

It's unclear if Thomas was booked, but he was cited for disorderly conduct and failure to obey a traffic signal.

He was also given a Breathalyzer test, which detected alcohol in his system.

Thomas was detained for 45 minutes before being released, according to the Huffington Post.

Many people who have seen the video have expressed disgust at officer Olson's handling of the situation.

'The way that man was treated was completely uncalled for and unacceptable. The officer had a hold on the back of the young man's shirt as if he were some sort of animal. No person of any color deserves to be treated with such contempt,' one person wrote.

Another wrote: 'This was terrible. That's all I could say even thought I have more.'

On YouTube, one commenter wrote: 'America, Land of the Free: Where walking the wrong way or talking the wrong way can get you arrested.'

Rowles released her own statement about the altercation saying: 'There was absolutely no reason for the officer to stop him from walking. I easily passed him in my vehicle because he was hugging the right side next to the construction, literally walking on the white line that marks the shoulder.'

After the video went viral, the city of Edina released a statement about the incident.

The statement said that after Olson tried to get Thomas's attention as he walked southbound, he pulled his squad car in front of him.

Thomas was wearing headphones and didn't hear Olson's initial attempts to get his attention.

The statement continued: 'The officer then drove in front of the man by approximately 15 feet, to block him from continuing in the southbound lane of traffic. The man deliberately went around the squad car and continued to walk in the lane of traffic.

The NAACP also asked that an apology to be issued to Thomas

'The officer got out of his vehicle and started to follow the man, asking him to get out of the lane of traffic and stop. The man did not stop and was defiant.

'It was after that point that the recording began. The officer smelled alcohol on the man’s breath during the incident. A breathalyzer later confirmed the presence of alcohol.'

Rowles said the police narrative of the incident prior to her recording is much more drawn out than her memory.

She added that regardless of the narrative, Thomas should not have been stopped.

The Minnesota NAACP also released a statement on Saturday regarding the incident.

'Watching that video and seeing a black man being manhandled and emasculated by Edina Police was not only painful and humiliating, it was a vivid reminder that blacks are still too-often seen as second class citizens in the State of Minnesota and in this nation,' it said.

It also asks the the police apologize to Thomas and that Olson be suspended without pay.

Original report here

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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

London cop is caught on camera 'dragging 13-year-old girl by her hair like a piece of meat while handcuffed'

A police officer appeared to drag a terrified 13-year-old girl in handcuffs across the ground 'like a piece of meat'.

The drama unfolded minutes after a trivial row at the school gates.

The Metropolitan Police has now been accused of brutality after Katelynn Murphy King was allegedly forcibly restrained and handcuffed by a policeman outside the gates of Wapping High School in east London.

The footage, obtained by the East London Advertiser was captured on an iPhone by her twin sister.

It appears to show the Bethnal Green Academy pupil being hauled across the pavement on her knees with her hands in cuffs.

The schoolgirl's family claim police used unnecessary force and the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has been called on to investigate.

Joan Whittaker, 51, Katelynn's grandmother, said: 'This policeman wasn't tackling a grown man, this was a little girl of 13. 'It was extreme force and it absolutely was not justified.'

The youngster was restrained after arguing with a 16-year-old pupil from Wapping High School who had allegedly goaded her and branded her 'a slag' before trying to kick her.

The twin sisters were visiting the secondary school in Commercial Road to meet a friend when the row broke out.

'My grand-daughter lifted her hand as if to slap this girl,'  said Mrs Whittaker. 'But there was no physical contact with these two kids, it was just two kids having a dispute and the policeman went too far.

'He came up behind my grand-daughter. 'Katelynn didn't know he was there and he restrained her on the ground and on her side in handcuffs. She's not struggling, she's compliant. 'She tries to get up and he just drags her like a piece of meat.'

Mrs Whittaker branded the officer's actions 'out of all proportion to the incident'.

Katelynn's family released the video to their local newspaper, the East London Advertiser, in the hope of receiving an apology from the Met.

'I believe the way he handled himself was disgusting,' insisted Mrs Whittaker. 'I think it's really important that the whole thing is made public. It was very excessive.  'I would even say that it was a borderline assault.'

Katelynn was taken home badly shaken after the incident at 4.15pm on October 5 and was not arrested or questioned.

The family complained to police and the IPCC has today decided an investigation should be carried out internally by the Met Police's professional standards team

She was said to have been left with badly bruised and swollen knees, a lump on her head, and severe bruises to her arms and torso.

Her family, of Bethnal Green, said the policeman also tried to threaten Katelynn's twin sister into deleting the footage from her mobile phone minutes after the bust-up.

They complained to police and the IPCC has today decided an investigation should be carried out internally by the Met Police's professional standards team.

A spokesman said: 'The IPCC received a referral from the Metropolitan Police concerning an incident outside Wapping High School on October 5. 'Following a careful assessment we have decided that the incident should be locally investigated by the Metropolitan Police.'

A statement from Wapping High School said: 'The police were called to an incident outside of school concerning the conduct of a student from another school in order to safeguard our students and members of the public. 'The matter is currently in the hands of the police.'

Original report here

(And don't forget your ration of Wicked Thoughts for today. Now hosted on Wordpress.  If you cannot access it, go to the MIRROR SITE, where  posts  appear as well as on  the primary site.  I have reposted  the archives (past posts) for Wicked Thoughts  HERE or HERE

Monday, October 17, 2016

‘Whitey’ Bulger won’t help man claiming wrongful conviction

In a series of letters three years ago, convicted gangster James “Whitey” Bulger wrote that Frederick Weichel had been wrongly convicted of a 1980 slaying in Braintree, as Weichel himself has long contended.

So to help Weichel in his bid for a new trial, Deborah McCauley Chin, a South Boston native who now lives in New York, recently sent Bulger a direct, heartfelt plea on her friend’s behalf.

She asked Bulger to detail what he knew about Robert LaMonica’s murder in an affidavit, saying it was heartbreaking that Weichel, 64, of South Boston, had spent more than half his life in prison.

But in a rambling response sent early last month, Bulger spurned her appeal, even as he wrote that Weichel had “suffered a fate Worse than Death.”

“I have never testified against any man, have never caused any man to be put in prison,” wrote Bulger, whose lawyers spent much of his 2013 trial trying to refute evidence that he was a longtime FBI informant who provided information on his rivals in the Mafia, as well as members of his own gang.

“I too have been falsely accused” of crimes, Bulger wrote in the letter, which was recently provided to the Globe.

Bulger, 87, is serving a life sentence at a federal prison in Florida for participating in 11 murders, drug trafficking, extortion, and other crimes while running a sprawling criminal organization from the 1970s to the 1990s.

In the four-page handwritten letter, Bulger said he was sympathetic to Weichel’s plight but would not provide an affidavit or any sworn testimony on his behalf, saying he had not even testified at his own trial.

“I never fought my case,” he wrote. “Waste of time.”

Bulger also took aim against a number of targets — a prosecutor who helped build the case against him, corrupt FBI agents who took money from him and leaked him information, and former associates who received leniency for their own crimes in exchange for testifying against him.

His one-time friends had lied on the stand, he said, accusing him of murders that they had committed.

Bulger boasted that he had “corrupted many” but identified just two former FBI agents: John J. Connolly Jr., who is serving a 40-year prison sentence for his part in a 1982 murder with Bulger; and John Morris, an organized crime supervisor who admitted taking cash and gifts from Bulger and was granted immunity for testifying against Bulger and Connolly.

Bulger wrote that his former sidekick, Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi, testified that they paid Connolly $142,000, but “I say higher.” (Flemmi actually testified at Bulger’s trial that they gave more than $230,000 in payoffs to Connolly over a decade).

Bulger said he would not identify LaMonica’s true killer, describing him only as a boxer who was close friends with Weichel. Weichel’s only hope was that “his friend has some courage” and comes forward on his own, he wrote.

“I wont name him or force him — Just as I choose not to tell the truth in my trial about certain incidents even though the guilty lied — Strange Perhaps but that’s what I felt the thing to do — Keep Silent in a Corrupt Trial.”

He signed the letter, “No Regrets J.B.”

In the margin of the letter, Bulger scrawled, “Free Fred!”

In a telephone interview from the state prison in Norfolk, Weichel said an affidavit from Bulger would probably “hurt me more than help me.” Neither he nor his lawyers knew Chin had written to Bulger until she shared his response with them, he said.

“He’s never going to come forward to help me,” he said. “Even if he wanted to, his credibility would be zero. Who’s going to believe him?”

Weichel has contended in previous court filings that Bulger had a hand in framing him for LaMonica’s slaying.

Attorney Michael D. Ricciuti, a partner in the Boston law firm K&L Gates who is representing Weichel without charge, with assistance from the New England Innocence Project, said Bulger’s letters “don’t do us any good unless there’s a witness to testify to them.”

Even if Bulger were willing to testify, Ricciuti said he wouldn’t be eager to call him as a witness.

“He does come with a little bit of baggage,” he noted wryly.

LaMonica, 25, was gunned down outside his Braintree apartment shortly after midnight on May 31, 1980. Weichel was convicted the following year, largely on the eyewitness testimony of a teenager who briefly saw the gunman jump into a waiting car and later identified Weichel.

In August, Superior Court Judge Raymond P. Veary Jr. held hearings on Weichel’s claim that he did not get a fair trial because prosecutors failed to turn over a police report that identified another potential suspect, the late Rocco Balliro. Prosecutors argue that the report was not connected to the case.

Expert witnesses for the defense also testified that the teenager was standing too far away from the shooter to see his face. The judge has yet to rule on Weichel’s motion.

While the recent hearings did not focus on Bulger, he has repeatedly been cited in court filings.

Defense lawyers submitted letters Bulger wrote to an unidentified friend of Weichel’s in 2013, in which he claimed that the boxer confided to him in 1980 that he was scared because he had badly beaten a man in a street fight and the victim’s friend, LaMonica, was vowing revenge.

“He wanted my advice,” Bulger wrote. “ ‘What would I do?’ I told him get him first, kill him . . . if you dont get him first I’d say he will get you.”

In court filings, Weichel’s lawyers said Bulger was apparently referring to Thomas Barrett. In 2004, a judge granted Weichel a new trial on the basis of a 1982 letter Barrett purportedly wrote to Weichel’s mother, confessing that he had killed LaMonica.

Two years later, however, the state Supreme Judicial Court overruled the judge, keeping Weichel in prison.

Barrett refused to testify at earlier court hearings, citing his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. Efforts to reach him for comment were unsuccessful.

Chin was only 10 when Weichel, a family friend, went to prison, but she has been writing to him for years. She said she never met Bulger but thought he “might want to do the right thing” if he knew Weichel was seeking a new trial.

But Bulger said he had not been following recent developments in Weichel’s case.

“I’m here in a prison cell,” Bulger wrote. “I make no phone calls and am computer illiterate.”

Original report here

(And don't forget your ration of Wicked Thoughts for today. Now hosted on Wordpress.  If you cannot access it, go to the MIRROR SITE, where  posts  appear as well as on  the primary site.  I have reposted  the archives (past posts) for Wicked Thoughts  HERE or HERE

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Canada: Retired police officer writing new book about Thomas Sophonow's wrongful conviction

Nearly 35 years after 16-year-old Barbara Stoppel was strangled in a Winnipeg doughnut shop, a former detective sergeant involved in the case feels his work still isn't done.

Andrew Mikolajewski retired in 2014, after 28 years with the Winnipeg police force. Now, he's writing a book about the case in an effort to reveal insight into the investigation of Stoppel's death, what led to the wrongful conviction of Thomas Sophonow and how other wrongful convictions can happen.

"In essence it explains the necessary ingredients for Tom's wrongful conviction, the consequences of inaction and the challenge for the Winnipeg police service to be accountable," said Mikolajewski.

Stoppel worked at the Ideal Donut Shop in St.Boniface. She was strangled in the woman's washroom on December 23, 1981 and died in hospital days later. Sophonow had been in Winnipeg to visit his young daughter at the time. Police announced Sophonow had been arrested and charged with murder on March 12,1982. He spent nearly four years in jail and went through three trials before he was acquitted on Dec. 12, 1985.

Mikolajewski was one of the people assigned to take another look at the homicide case in 1999, more than a decade after Sophonow had been acquitted of second degree murder.

His work helped lead the way to Sophonow's exoneration in 2000, and identified Terry Arnold as a new prime suspect in the case. Arnold was found dead of an apparent suicide in Victoria, B.C. in 2005. In a note, he denied killing anyone.

Mikolajewski isn't ready to disclose details about what he's writing, but said he hopes it will help people understand the truth about what happened during the course of the Stoppel investigation and bring closure to the families affected.

A lecture he received by an inspector in charge of the homicide division during a recruit class in 1986 is one of the things that has kept him motivated.

"He let us know that the most important person in a homicide case is the victim and that we look after the victim's interest," said Mikolajewski. "As far as I'm concerned, that wasn't done and now at this time I feel like I can do it."
Thomas Sophonow forever changed by wrongful conviction

Sophonow now lives in British Columbia with his family and spends his time working to restore his New Westminster home. He's spoken to Mikolajewski and thinks the book will give an inside look into what went wrong in his case.

After time in therapy, Sophonow doesn't think about what happened the way that he used to. Still, he's not the same person he was before living though the nightmare of a wrongful conviction, which included years spent living under a cloud of suspicion until his exoneration.

"I went in as a happy fellow," said Sophonow. "Came out as a cold, unfeeling person. Trying to get back to that happy person."  

He can remember what it's like to be convicted for a murder he didn't commit.

"The only real scary part of it all was when the cell doors slammed behind you," said Sophonow. "Because everything before that was 'Well I didn't do it. You know I will be found not guilty'.... But, it isn't until you are found guilty and the door slams behind you then you come to the realization that this is it. And the only thing that had me going after that was my appeals. I've always won my appeals."

'Tunnel vision' by investigators who focused in on Sophonow as a suspect and flawed police lineups were among some of the key factors identified by an inquiry into Sophonow's wrongful conviction.

Sophonow believes public and political pressure to find someone also played a role.

"What I've learned after my exoneration and everything is that if they would only have read a couple of (police) reports, they would have known that I didn't do it."

He believes what happened to him will stay with him for the rest of his life.

Original report here

(And don't forget your ration of Wicked Thoughts for today. Now hosted on Wordpress.  If you cannot access it, go to the MIRROR SITE, where  posts  appear as well as on  the primary site.  I have reposted  the archives (past posts) for Wicked Thoughts  HERE or HERE

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Two Australian cops charged after 8-year-old Aboriginal boy left alone in back of caged police wagon

Aborigines are very social and become very distressed if left on their own

Two police officers have been charged and will face court after an 8-year-old Aboriginal boy was allegedly left alone in the "rear pod of a police caged vehicle" for almost an hour.

The boy was put into the back of a paddy wagon when he was picked up by an officer at Coraki in northern NSW on April 13 at around 1.30pm.

He was suspected of committing malicious damage and was taken back to Coraki Police station, where he was allegedly left in the back of the police car, apparently forgotten. He was left there for "a period of about 50 minutes", a NSW Police statement said.

The boy's mother told the Northern Star in April she left work as soon as she heard her son had been put in a paddy wagon.

She said she searched around town for the 8-year-old but no-one seemed to know where he was, until she went to the police station.

"Whilst I was there, I said 'where's my son'," the boy's mother recalled.

"The police officer said 'I'll just ring up and check' and walked outside. Walked to front [of the car] and opened the door, then walked to the back and there my son's jumped out of the back of the bull wagon.

"He was all full of sweat, he looked hot, he was shaking, he was crying. I was just all hysterical. I grabbed him and we just couldn't let go of each other. I just felt like I was in a bad dream."

When the boy was released, he was examined by paramedics and found to be uninjured.

Police launched an internal investigation into the incident and two officers were placed on "restricted workplace duties".

On Thursday, two male senior constables were charged with neglect of duty and leave child in motor vehicle causing emotional distress over the incident.

Both officers are expected to appear in Lismore Local Court on November 22.

Original report here

(And don't forget your ration of Wicked Thoughts for today. Now hosted on Wordpress.  If you cannot access it, go to the MIRROR SITE, where  posts  appear as well as on  the primary site.  I have reposted  the archives (past posts) for Wicked Thoughts  HERE or HERE

Friday, October 14, 2016

Video saved accused Australian ecstasy dealer from brutal execution in the Philippines - because it shows police made up their story

CCTV footage saved innocent Australian man Damain Berg from being brutally executed for selling drugs in the Philippines.

The 35-year-old spent three months locked up facing the death penalty under President Rodrigo 'The Punisher' Duterte's bloody war on drugs that has killed 3,000 people.

Police alleged Mr Berg was caught in a street buy-bust operation selling 50 ecstasy tablets to Canadian man Jeremy Eaton on the night of June 20 in Makati City.

But the Australian knew CCTV footage was the key to proving authorities of his innocence by confirming he was abducted from his hotel room, not in a Philippines backstreet.

'I told Marvie the first day that she came to the police barracks, 'You need to get that CCTV footage because this is all lies, it's the only thing that's going to prove my innocence',' 9News reports.

What CCTV showed was that Mr Berg was not arrested in a sting on the street but at the nearby Red Planet Hotel, where police stormed into his room, guns drawn.

Rather than selling drugs, he was doing some work for his job as the commercial manager for engineering company First Balfour.

CCTV footage shows the group of police officers approaching Mr Berg's room at the Red Planet Hotel

Mr Berg was first seen walking along a corridor outside his third-floor room at 10.50pm. Thirteen minutes later at least four plain-clothes police swam out of the lift.

With them is Eaton who leads them to Mr Berg's room and confirms it is the right one after police point to the door.

The armed officers barge into the room with their guns drawn while a hotel security guard looks on and Mr Berg's unknown companion inside the room steps out.

Mr Berg was hauled out of the room restrained with a quick tie and frogmarched out of the hotel, still in a state of shock

Initially, Mr Berg said he didn't know they were police or why Eaton was there. 'I thought it was some kind of robbery,' he said.

Mr Berg was hauled out of the room restrained with a quick tie and frogmarched out of the hallway, still in a state of shock.

The footage ends with him with his hands tied in front of him waiting for the lift to arrive, surrounded by police - one of whom places his hand on Mr Berg's shoulder.

The CCTV video secured his acquittal with the court finding it 'belied the claim of the prosecution... and destroyed the integrity of their testimonies'.

Throughout the trial Mr Berg had watched police officers give sworn evidence in court later shown to be false.

After his arrest, Mr Berg, bewildered and in a state of shock, hauled in front of the press and then locked in a police holding cell where he slept curled-up on the floor with 15 others for a month.

He was later transferred to 'horrible' Makati City Jail where prisoners mete out punishment in public beatings of inmates.

Mr Berg, from Adelaide, has now spent his first weekend back in Australia with pregnant girlfriend Marvie Torreon.

He knows how close he came to being killed after seeing first hand what it feels like to be a victim of the Philippine's bloody war on drugs.

Just weeks before Mr Berg was arrested, Rodrigo Duterte - aka 'The Punisher' - was elected president and by June's end the country's violent crackdown on drugs started to kick into gear.

Since then more than 3,000 people suspected of drug dealing have been estimated to have been killed in police operations and by vigilantes.

'In a split second, my life was gone. I was taken away from my pregnant girlfriend, I lost my job,' Mr Berg said on Monday.

But he still doesn't know why police burst into his life.

'I have thought about this every night, especially when I was incarcerated. I still don't know what happened,' he said.

'How are you meant to believe that all these people who are being killed in buy-busts are guilty of drug dealing when they completely fabricated this whole thing against me?'

'Marvie and I had been arguing while I was at work,' he said, explaining why he was not at the couple's shared home but at a hotel nearby when he was arrested.

Since his acquittal Mr Berg said he has received threatening text messages from unknown phone numbers.

Original report here

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Thursday, October 13, 2016

Three British cops are charged with perverting course of justice and perjury over 2011 death of father-of-three

Three West Midlands Police officers have been charged with perverting the course of justice and perjury in connection with the death of Kingsley Burrell in 2011.

Mr Burrell, a student from Winson Green in Birmingham, died from cardiac arrest at the city's Queen Elizabeth Hospital on March 31, 2011 four days after being detained by police.

Officers Paul Adey, 36, Mark Fannon, 45, and Paul Greenfield, 50, are all due to appear at Birmingham Magistrates' Court on October 31.

Mr Burrell had dialled 999 claiming his life was under threat but was then sectioned and taken to a mental health unit, then days later was transferred to hospital.

An inquest jury ruled there were gross failures to get him proper medical attention, and that the use of force to restrain him and place a cover over his head contributed to his death.

In July protesters called for justice more than a year after an inquest found the gross failures contributed to the death of the father-of-three.

During the May 2015 inquest into the death of Mr Burrell the coroner said 'no tragedy like this should ever happen again'.

After a complaint from the victim's family about the evidence of three West Midlands Police officers' during the inquest, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) carried out an investigation.

In October last year it referred the matter to the Crown Prosecution Service 'for them to consider if any criminal offences may have been committed.'

The inquest jury also found that the use of force to restrain him and place a cover over his head contributed to his death

An inquest jury ruled there were gross failures to get him proper medical attention, and that the use of force to restrain him and place a cover over his head contributed to his death

In a statement, a CPS spokesman said: 'Following a referral by the IPCC we have decided there is sufficient evidence to charge three officers from West Midlands Police with perverting the course of justice and perjury in connection with the death of Kingsley Burrell in 2011. 'The officers and the family of Mr Burrell have been informed.

'Criminal proceedings involving the three police constables will now be commenced and each has a right to a fair trial.'

Mr Burrell died after being detained under the Mental Health Act. His relatives have protested for months at what they claimed was a delay in a decision on whether or not to charge, recently staging a sit-in at the CPS Birmingham office to highlight the issue.

West Midlands Police said that Wednesday's charges had been authorised by the director of public prosecutions. The force confirmed the officers have been suspended following the charges.

An initial CPS investigation in 2014 concluded there was not enough evidence to bring criminal charges against anyone involved.

In a statement following the announcement, a spokesman for the family said: 'The Burrell family welcome today's decision to prosecute the three officers concerned, in the belief that they must be publicly held to account for their actions in the circumstances surrounding the death of Kingsley.

'This has been a long time coming and the fight for justice for Kingsley continues. At this stage we have no further comment

Original report here

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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Milwaukee Man Released After Serving 24 Years For Wrongful Conviction

Daryl Holloway was released from Green Bay Correctional Institution Wednesday morning after serving 24 years for crimes he did not commit.

Holloway was convicted of sexual assault and armed burglary in 1993. He was sentenced to 120 years. Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Jeffrey Wagner signed an order freeing Holloway on Tuesday.

A now-retired Milwaukee assistant district attorney reviewed the case file last spring and discovered conflicting DNA analyses issued by two different labs. That means at least one of the labs made a mistake. The district attorney contacted Holloway’s private attorney, who then reached out to the Wisconsin Innocence Project.

Keith Findley, co-director of the Wisconsin Innocence Project and Holloway’s new attorney, and a team of law students convinced prosecutors to have the DNA analyzed by an independent third-party lab. The new results conclusively excluded Holloway as the perpetrator.

"It’s kind of a bittersweet moment," Findley said. "It’s so sweet to achieve justice for somebody but it’s bittersweet because it comes on the heels of so much suffering and so much injustice for all those years."

Findley said cases like Holloway’s are reminders that the criminal justice system makes mistakes and that it needs to be improved.

"We learn from these cases that the things that produce these errors are systemic," Findley said. "They are features of the system that we can address, that we can try to improve so we can minimize the risk of error in the future."

Findley used Holloway’s case as an example of basing evidence on shaky eye-witness identification. The victims in Holloway’s case positively identified him before his conviction.

"We learned by looking at all these cases that that is, among the DNA exonerations, that is by far the leading cause of wrongful convictions," Findley said.

In order for the system to improve and reduce the risk of errors, Findley said there should be more attention paid to wrongful conviction cases as learning opportunities. He said there needs to be changes in the way evidence is handled and collected, the way cases are tried and prosecuted and the way cases are considered post-conviction.

Wisconsin’s compensation for people who have been wrongfully convicted is the lowest in the country. Compensation is $5,000 a year with a cap of $25,000. Federal compensation is $50,000 a year capped at $1 million.

Findley said that needs to change.

"The system’s just not designed to take care of people like Mr. Holloway when they get out to help them reclaim their lives," Findley said. "We’ve got to do something to improve that so that we don’t continue to inflict suffering upon people who have been wrongly convicted."

Original report here

(And don't forget your ration of Wicked Thoughts for today. Now hosted on Wordpress.  If you cannot access it, go to the MIRROR SITE, where  posts  appear as well as on  the primary site.  I have reposted  the archives (past posts) for Wicked Thoughts  HERE or HERE

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Britain  to pay six-figure sum to man over wrongful conviction

Crooked prosecutors withheld exculpatory evidence.  They should now be on trial

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has agreed to pay more than £100,000 in compensation to a man who spent six years in prison after being wrongly convicted of perverting the course of justice in a gangland murder investigation.

The award was agreed only after it was acknowledged that police surveillance evidence, now subject to a public-interest immunity certificate, demonstrated that Conrad Jones, from Coventry, could not have been in Nottingham on either of two days in 2006.

The complex series of related cases began with the 2005 shooting of Clinton Bailey in the car park of a Coventry pub. Several people were convicted of his murder.

Jones, now 50, of Wyken, Coventry, was found guilty in 2007 – after two earlier, abortive trials – of intimidating a witness to the murder trial in an attempt to prevent her from giving evidence.

He was said to have bribed and threatened her at a face-to-face meeting in Nottingham on 1 or 2 June 2006. He was convicted and jailed, subsequently serving six years in prison.

On appeal in 2014, however, his conviction was overturned on the basis that surveillance material showed it would have been impossible for Jones to have made the journey to and from Nottingham on those dates.

Overturning his conviction at the court of appeal in 2014, Lord Justice Pitchford observed: “We can only regard the failure to make the disclosure [of the surveillance material] in early 2007 that was subsequently made in June 2013 as a lamentable failure of the prosecutor’s obligations.”

The law firm Hodge Jones & Allen, which represented Jones in his compensation claim, said: “[He] had always strongly denied the charges against him. “He was released on licence in 2012, still protesting his innocence. It was only as a result of a subsequent arrest for conspiring to pervert the course of justice, an offence he was acquitted of, that it fell to different lawyers to review the disclosure that had taken place back in 2006-07.

“They came across surveillance material which, in their view, undermined the original prosecution and should have been disclosed back at that point in time. The substance of that material was then disclosed (the actual material being subject to public-interest immunity).”

Sasha Barton, Jones’s solicitor, said: “It is clear that the CPS and prosecution counsel had in their possession, both while my client remained on remand in prison awaiting trial and at the time of my client’s trial, surveillance material which showed he could not realistically have met with and bribed [the witness] not to give evidence.

“They knew it was relevant, they knew it undermined the prosecution case and strengthened Mr Jones’s defence and they knew that the law required them to disclose it.

“To discover years after the event that the CPS, on the advice of highly experienced lawyers, has knowingly and repeatedly failed to comply with the criminal law on disclosure is shocking, and raises very serious questions which go right to the heart of public confidence in the criminal justice system and the legal profession.”

Jones said: “This has been a truly horrendous ordeal for me and for my family. As a result of being locked up for six years for something I did not do, I suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, which has had a real impact on my day-to-day life.

“I’m grateful to my family and friends who have supported me through this ordeal and continue to support me, in particular my wife and two sons. I’d also like to say a huge thank you to all those people who have worked so hard to ensure that the truth came out about the way the CPS has behaved. They should never have purposefully withheld evidence and been able take away six years of my life.

“I am damaged by what has happened, but I want to put it all behind me now and get on with the rest of my life in peace.”

Maslen Merchant, a solicitor at the law firm Hadgkiss, Hughes & Beale, represented Jones in his successful criminal appeal.

A CPS spokesperson said: “The CPS has agreed to settle Mr Jones’ civil claim without admission of liability. The terms of the settlement are confidential.”

Original report here

(And don't forget your ration of Wicked Thoughts for today. Now hosted on Wordpress.  If you cannot access it, go to the MIRROR SITE, where  posts  appear as well as on  the primary site.  I have reposted  the archives (past posts) for Wicked Thoughts  HERE or HERE

Monday, October 10, 2016

How top QC 'buried evidence of Met bribes to put innocent man in jail': Whistleblower alerted court that 'organised crime' had infiltrated police... then they said HE had perverted course of justice

The bitch.  Her personal arrangements would bear investigation

One of the country's top prosecutors is facing professional ruin following sensational claims in a London courtroom that she lied to judges in order to hide damning evidence of police corruption – at the risk of sending an innocent man to jail.

At the heart of the growing scandal, whose origins were exposed by this newspaper in February, is Sasha Wass QC, the barrister who prosecuted entertainer Rolf Harris and the £2 billion rogue trader Kweku Adoboli.

A court has heard claims that Ms Wass not only buried an official report by the Metropolitan Police confirming there was evidence that officers in its anti-corruption unit had taken bribes, but that she prosecuted the lawyer who brought the report to the attention of the authorities for perverting the course of justice.

The alleged attempted cover-up almost led to a lengthy prison sentence for the man who blew the whistle, Bhadresh Gohil.

The revelations were contained in a secret 4,300-page dossier cited in court last Friday. They include the results of an investigation by Scotland Yard's Directorate of Professional Standards (DPS), which reports to Met Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe.

The inquiry, led by Commander Peter Spindler, was said to show that a Met unit set up to investigate financial corruption was itself corrupted by ex-Met officers working for a private investigation firm, RISC Management.

They allegedly paid bribes running to thousands of pounds to a former colleague, Detective Constable John McDonald, in order to obtain sensitive information.

Mr Gohil, during the course of an appeal against an earlier conviction on fraud charges, was charged in June 2014 with attempting to pervert the course of justice because he claimed that Det Con McDonald was being bribed by RISC and supplied documents to support this. McDonald had been one of the officers who had investigated Mr Gohil at the earlier trial. The police and Crown Prosecution Service insisted his claims were bogus.

In a sensational volte face, a CPS spokesman yesterday admitted it is now clear that, contrary to repeated statements by Crown lawyers in court and in legal documents, there is 'material to support the assertion that a police officer received payment in return for information'.

This, he added, should have been divulged in court long ago. But it is only now that 'the process of disclosure to relevant parties is under way'.

The dossier is covered by a legal gag that means anyone publishing it would risk prosecution. But according to statements made in court last week, which can be reported, the corruption of the unit was only part of a much wider onslaught perpetrated by RISC – described in court as 'an organised crime group that infiltrated the Metropolitan Police'.

In an email exchange with this newspaper, Ms Wass admitted she had seen the dossier revealing RISC's 'infiltration' of the Met as long ago as April 2014 – two months before she backed charging Mr Gohil with attempting to pervert the course of justice. But, she claimed, it was only in January this year, 'when new information was provided to me for the first time', that she 'advised the Director of Public Prosecutions personally to drop the case'.

Mr Gohil's lawyer, Stephen Kamlish QC, stated in court on Friday that when Mr Gohil was charged, the police, the prosecuting barristers and the CPS all had possession of the file containing the evidence of the Met's infiltration by RISC. Furthermore, Director of Public Prosecutions Alison Saunders authorised the prosecution of Mr Gohil, and continued to oversee the case until it was dropped 18 months later. Mr Gohil has now been paid £20,000 in an out-of-court settlement by the CPS for the three weeks he spent remanded in custody at the end of last year facing trial.

He said last night: 'They had no basis even to begin this prosecution – other than to cover up police corruption. They paid me about £1,000 a day – but the usual Home Office rate for wrongful imprisonment is £250 a day. What does this show? That they knew they were totally in the wrong and had been caught.'

The tangled legal saga began in 2007, when police at Scotland Yard's Proceeds of Corruption Unit began investigating James Ibori, a Nigerian former provincial governor who had once been a cashier at a UK branch of Wickes. The unit, now part of the National Crime Agency, was set up to fight corruption in the developing world and is funded by the overseas aid department, DFID, to the tune of £20 million a year.

Mr Gohil was Mr Ibori's business lawyer and had helped him buy property and negotiated other deals on his behalf. In 2010, he was convicted of money-laundering and jailed for ten years. Mr Ibori was arrested and tried two years later. He is still in prison, serving 13 years for corruption.

Mr Gohil continues to protest his innocence, insisting he did all in his power to ensure 'due diligence', and had no way of knowing that Mr Ibori's wealth was ill-gotten. He pointed out that he was cleared of wrongdoing after a probe by the Solicitors Regulation Authority: 'If I can win the appeal I am now fighting, I will get my licence back.'

From the start of the Ibori investigation in 2007 until the perverting the course of justice charge against Mr Gohil was dropped this year, the head of the Crown's legal team was Ms Wass, assisted by Esther Schutzer-Weissmann, a junior barrister from the same chambers.

They prosecuted Mr Gohil and Mr Ibori in court, along with five co-defendants. They had a close working relationship that lasted years with the investigating detectives and with an in-house legal team at the CPS, led by senior Crown prosecutor David Williams.

While Mr Gohil was in Wandsworth prison, he was sent 15 pages of documents suggesting RISC was bribing Met officers including Det Con McDonald, who played a central role in the Ibori-Gohil inquiry. Mr Gohil used them to lodge an appeal, claiming the case against him had been contaminated by the corruption.

On the afternoon before his appeal was due to be heard in June 2014, he was told he was being charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice. He said: 'I had been in an open prison, but I was transferred to a closed jail immediately. I knew the truth was out there and my nature is to fight. But this prejudiced the Court of Appeal totally.'

At the appeal, Ms Wass told the court that his claims of corruption were 'manufactured really out of nothing and unsupported by any evidence at all'. Although Det Con McDonald had had 'one contact' with his former police colleague, Clifford Knuckey of RISC, it was innocent.

There was, she added, 'an audit trail of openness' that showed Mr Gohil's allegations were bogus, and no further documents that ought to be disclosed.

The court accepted everything she said and rejected the appeal. Yet according to Mr Kamlish at Friday's hearing, weeks before Ms Wass made these statements, Crown lawyers had drafted a memo citing more than 30 separate pieces of 'evidence of corruption' and raised the issue of whether they should be disclosed to Mr Gohil.

She and Ms Schutzer-Weissmann also received an email from Mr Williams at the CPS. It discussed the Crown's written response to the pending appeal, which was sent to the court before the hearing. It said that he had been talking to the police, and they wanted 'the sentence re bragging' taken out.

The full text of this sentence, which was then duly altered by the CPS, would have given the court reason to wonder whether the Crown was revealing the truth about Mr Gohil's corruption claims. It read: 'Intelligence suggested DC McDonald and RISC operative (ex MPS Det Inspector) were known to each other. Cliff Knuckey had bragged to others he had paid DC McDonald for information.'

Mr Kamlish said in court: 'The document was tampered with in order to mislead the Court of Appeal.'

Mr Gohil was due to be released last November, having served half his sentence. At pre-trial hearings in the perverting the course of justice case, Ms Wass indicated the Crown would not oppose bail. But a few days before Mr Gohil was due to be freed, she changed her mind – and he was remanded in custody on new charges.

Mr Kamlish said in court that the secret dossier showed the charge of attempting to pervert the course of justice should never have been brought: 'We have come across the clearest evidence that prosecuting counsel, Sasha Wass QC and Esther Schutzer-Weissmann, along with lawyers from the CPS and a number of officers from the DPS all prosecuted my client knowing he was innocent.'

The evidence, he went on, showed that 'prosecuting counsel lied to this court' in pre-trial hearings, and to the Court of Appeal. On 'multiple occasions', counsel had 'said one thing, knowing another'.

Legal experts said yesterday that for one QC to make allegations of this kind against colleagues was probably unprecedented. But Mr Kamlish said: 'Everything I said in court is fully supported by the evidence supplied by the prosecution and is in accordance with my professional duties and responsibilities.'

Friday's hearing at Southwark Crown Court concerned the Crown's attempt to confiscate Mr Ibori's property. But the legal battle is set to move to the Court of Appeal, where Mr Gohil has applied to reopen his money-laundering case. It is likely Mr Ibori and the other defendants will also mount fresh appeals.

The CPS intends to resist them, insisting that, despite the evidence of police corruption, the convictions are 'safe'.

Mr Gohil said he remained hopeful of the outcome: 'I have lost well over £1 million through this, as well as five years of my liberty. But I am still with my long-term partner and my friends have stood by me. I've never even had a parking ticket. I am not a criminal.'

Ms Wass said that when she told the Court of Appeal there was no evidence to support the corruption allegations, she had been 'assured by the police that the intelligence that the officer had received payment in return for information had been investigated and dismissed. On that basis, there was nothing adverse to disclose to the court'.

The CPS spokesman said Ms Wass is no longer prosecuting cases for the CPS and has 'returned the briefs' in all the cases where she has been instructed. However, she is currently working to prosecute a major case for the Serious Fraud Office.

The Met said it could not comment while proceedings remain active. Mr McDonald has always insisted he is innocent of corruption and was not charged as a result of the Met's internal investigation.

Since the Ibori case, he has been promoted to detective sergeant and remains a serving officer.

RISC Management has always denied that it paid money to police officers.

Original report here

(And don't forget your ration of Wicked Thoughts for today. Now hosted on Wordpress.  If you cannot access it, go to the MIRROR SITE, where  posts  appear as well as on  the primary site.  I have reposted  the archives (past posts) for Wicked Thoughts  HERE or HERE