Thursday, November 12, 2015

Useless British police again: Man dies after cries for help were ignored

Three PCs and a PCSO failed a disabled man who was burnt to death by vigilante neighbours despite making at least a dozen calls to police for help, a court heard.

Vulnerable Bijan Ebrahimi, 44, was beaten to death and set on fire by Lee James, 24, after being falsely branded a paedophile by a mob in Brislington, Bristol.

Two days earlier he called police to report he had been assaulted by James and was visited by PCs Leanne Winter, 38, and Helen Harris, 41.

When the experienced officers arrived, one noted James was so angry he was 'foaming at the mouth' and bragged he would 'do time' to protect his children.

But, instead of investigating Mr Ebrahimi's allegation, the two officers arrested him in front of a 'vigilante crowd' who mistakenly thought he was a paedophile.

The innocent Iranian-born immigrant was later released and made 12 further calls to police hoping beat officer Pc Kevin Duffy, 52, would help him.

But Bristol Crown Court heard despite being asked to investigate, Duffy said he was 'busy' because he 'disliked' Mr Ebrahimi and 'never found the time'.

Instead, he sent PCSO Andrew Passmore, 55, who claimed he spent an hour patrolling the area but in reality only stayed for 'three to four minutes', the jury were told.

Just 48 hours after he first asked for help - and despite even more calls to the police - Mr Ebrahimi was brutally murdered at 1am on July 14, 2013.

Duffy, Winter, Harris and Passmore, all officers with Avon and Somerset Constabulary, deny misconduct in a public office.

Opening the case against them today, prosecutor Crispin Aylett QC said: 'Two of the defendants, PC Winter and Harris, were sent to deal with [Mr Ebrahimi's] complaint.

'Lee James was so angry that he was said by PC Winter to have been foaming at the mouth. He was bragging that he would 'do time' to protect his children.

'You may well think that the danger of Lee James taking the law into his own hands could hardly have been plainer. Worse still, Lee James was not alone.

Mr Aylett continued: 'Moreover, PCs Winter and Harris, who had been sent to investigate Mr Ebrahimi's complaint, they ended up arresting Bijan Ebrahimi.

'Therefore, the prosecution suggest, that did nothing to ensure that Mr Ebrahimi's original complaint was properly investigated. As far as Lee James' ugly threats, they were simply overlooked.

'Mr Ebrahimi was released the following day. In the course of that day, July 12, Mr Ebrahimi made no less than 12 calls to police in the hope that his beat manager, PC Duffy, would look on him and deal with his complaint against Lee James.

'It is however clear that PC Duffy did not like Bijan Ebrahimi. PC Duffy was asked a number of times [to visit] and PC Duffy said that he was busy, and he would go and see Mr Ebrahimi in his own good time.

'From the content of these calls, it is perfectly apparent that PC Duffy regarded Bijan Ebrahimi as a liar and in fact in one call he called him a "perpetual liar".  'He must also have regarded Mr Ebrahimi as a nuisance and he was, we suggest, simply not interested in any complaint that Mr Ebrahimi had.

'Despite being asked a numerous times to go and see Mr Ebrahimi, PC Duffy never seemed to find the time.'

Mr. Aylett said on the following day, July 13, Mr Ebrahimi continued to contact police without success, but 'nothing' was done.

'Had something been done, the prosecution suggest, Lee James would have realised that the police were at the very least keeping an eye on him,' he added. Instead he must have thought he could simply do as he pleased.

'All in all, the prosecution suggest, there was a potentially toxic situation that called for proactive and effective policing

Describing the fatal attack, the prosecutor added added: 'At around 1am on July 14, Lee James attacked Bijan Ebrahimi outside his flat.  'He punched and kicked Mr Ebrahimi until he lost consciousness then with the help of another man, Lee James set fire to Bijan Ebrahimi's body. 'The only mercy is that Mr Ebrahimi must have lost consciousness before he was set alight.'

Lee James, now 24, has been sentenced to life for his murder. Stephen Norley, 25, who lived next door to James, admitted assisting an offender and was jailed for four years.

The trial of the police officers continues.

Original report here

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