Thursday, July 28, 2016
More astonishing laxity from the British police
Acting on the claims of a known chronic liar
Just imagine, if you can, being in the shoes of David Bryant. In 2013, this retired fire chief, with multiple commendations for bravery during his 40 years with the Dorset fire service, was sentenced to six years in jail for a sex attack on a 14-year-old boy which had allegedly taken place more than 35 years earlier.
In 2014, Bryant’s sentence was increased to eight-and-a-half years, after the then Solicitor General Sir Oliver Heald — who last week was made Justice Minister in Theresa May’s Cabinet reshuffle — had argued the initial sentence was ‘unduly lenient’.
Perhaps it was thought that the original trial judge was too much influenced by the countless tributes made to Bryant’s impeccable character. Well, it turns out that those tributes had been entirely accurate: last week, Bryant’s conviction was overturned after it was demonstrated that his accuser, Danny Day, was a fantasist with a history of mental illness.
Scandalously, none of this was revealed during Bryant’s trial. It came to light only as a result of a campaign by his wife, Lynn, who assembled a team of friends and private investigators. Working free of charge, they discovered Danny Day’s past, in particular that he had for a decade sought medical help from his GP for being a ‘chronic liar’: among other things, he claimed entirely falsely to have been an Olympic boxer.
They also discovered that the fire station pool table, on which Day claimed to have been raped, had not been bought until 1992 — well over a decade after the offence was alleged to have taken place.
The Bryants believe Day’s false claims were based on greed. He is said to have been awarded £50,000 through the taxpayer-funded Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme and, after the trial, began a £200,000 claim against the Bryants and Dorset County Council.
But none of this explains the timing of Day’s claims, which began with a handwritten letter to Bryant: ‘At 6 o’clock tonight I am going to the police station to report what went on and at 7 to the national papers. I think it is time you and me had a chat.’ That pay-off line has the distinct whiff of blackmail.
Day himself declared to the Press that he had been ‘motivated to come forward in the aftermath of the Jimmy Savile affair’. Add another one to the thousands — and I mean thousands — of claims encouraged by the police, who declared after the Savile revelations that they would henceforth ‘believe’ anyone who came forward with claims of ‘historic abuse’.
The most extraordinary of these were from a man known only as ‘Nick’, whose claims that he had witnessed the abuse, torture and murder of children carried out by the late Prime Minister Edward Heath along with sundry generals and MPs, were described as ‘credible and true’ by the Metropolitan Police. This, despite the absence of a single strand of corroborative evidence, let alone the names or bodies of those allegedly murdered.
Among those innocents whose lives had been torn apart were the war hero and retired Army Chief Lord Bramall, on whose home and that of his dying wife 20 police descended as if raiding a mafia boss; and the late former Home Secretary Lord Brittan, who died without being informed by the police that they had decided not to continue with an investigation into equally fanciful claims that he had raped someone decades earlier.
For this the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, later grudgingly apologised to Lady Brittan.
She has nobly endured so many hurts, not least by the decision of the Home Office not to send a representative to her husband’s memorial service in May last year (before the Met had very belatedly stopped its investigations into ‘Nick’s’ fantasies). Every single previous such memorial for deceased Home Secretaries had been attended by the current holder of that office.
Yet the Home Secretary at the time of Leon Brittan’s death, Theresa May, stayed away. If the new Prime Minister is the decent and moral woman I believe her to be, her conscience should now be troubling her greatly.....
What a farce this whole business has become: and also a tragedy, as poor David Bryant discovered.
Original report here
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Posted by bussorah at 8:41 AM