Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The useless British police again

Guess which of the two above is the thug

Two catastrophic errors by police allowed the convicted knife offender Karl Bishop to be free on the streets to murder Rob Knox, the Harry Potter actor. Bishop, 21, is facing life in jail after being found guilty at the Old Bailey of killing Mr Knox outside a bar in Sidcup, Kent, last May. Two months before the murder, he had been named as a suspect to police twice in two days over an alleged burglary and a knifepoint robbery. Inexplicably, officers investigating the claims failed to speak to Bishop or question him, despite his long and violent criminal record going back to his early teens. The inquiries were still "live" in May last year when Bishop, who had only been recently released from jail for slashing two men across the face, stabbed Mr Knox and four of his friends with two kitchen knives, in a 90-second frenzy.

Mr Knox, 18, who had just finished filming for the new film, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, had confronted the killer after he had earlier threatened his younger brother Jamie at knifepoint. Scotland Yard admitted that the blunder would cause "concern" to the public and the victim's family. When police chiefs learned of the mistake, they called in the Independent Police Complaints Commission to investigate and launched a force wide review of all outstanding knife offences.

Two police officers, a constable and a sergeant, have been given written warnings. They were based at Plumstead, the same station recently revealed to have failed to identify Robert Napper before he killed Rachel Nickell in 1992, despite him being named by his mother as a rape suspect years before.

Bishop, "a habitual knife carrier" was well known in the area and had two previous knife convictions, one of them for slashing two men in the face in 2005. He served two years of the four-year sentence and nine months after his release, he murdered Mr Knox on May 22 last year. The killing followed a series of incidents, including one at the same Sidcup venue, the Metro bar, the previous week in which Bishop made a "chilling'' prediction. After a row with Mr Knox and his friends, which ended with a fight, Bishop said: "I'm going to come back and someone's going to die".

When he did return as promised, he was armed with two kitchen knives, 11 and 12 inches long. On his way back to the bar he ran across Jamie Knox, 17, and his friends, and threatened them with the blades before continuing on to the bar. Rob was alerted to what had happened by a phone call and came out of the bar to confront Bishop just as he arrived. The knifeman was soon surrounded by a semi-circle of youths and Rob had to be held back as Bishop goaded them, shouting: "Who's going to make my ****** day?"

As well as the murder charge Bishop, who refused to leave the cells to hear the proceedings in the dock yesterday afternoon, was found guilty of wounding Rob's friend Dean Saunders, 23. He was found guilty on majority verdicts of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm to Charlie Grimley, 17, and Nicky Jones, 20. He was also found guilty by a majority of wounding Andrew Dormer, 17, but cleared of wounding another friend, Tom Hopkins, 19. Bishop will be sentenced tomorrow

Asked about the blunders, a spokesman for the Met said: "Lessons have been learned from what happened in this case and measures have been taken, including the introduction of a new system to monitor centrally the progress of action to arrest suspects for all violent crime offences, including knife crime".

Original report here (Via PC Watch)

(And don't forget your ration of Wicked Thoughts for today)

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