Police misconduct dealt with firmly

On 20 July 2011 the Supreme Court gave its decision in the case of R v Maxwell, an unusual appeal following the decision of the Court of Appeal to quash the murder conviction of Maxwell and his brother.The conviction had been quashed due to appalling misconduct by police who – as often happens – had outsourced the taks of fitting up the defendant to a serving prisoner, Karl Chapman.  They had bribed Chapman with visits to a brothel, free drugs and large sums of money and then lied about this conduct at trial. When the CCRC brought the facts to light Maxwell mounted a successful appeal.In the meantime, it was said, Mr Maxwell had freely confessed to the murder. The matter ended up in the Supreme Court because the Court of Appeal ordered a retrial.  Counsel for Maxwell, Mr Patrick O’Connor, argued that it was offensive to justice to allow a retrial in such circumstances.

The Supreme Court refused to overrule the order for retrial, giving due weight to the public interest in protecting 85 year olds from aggravated burglaries.

An interesting nugget in their judgment was the apparent immunity of the guilty coppers.  Lord Dyson commented

“On the face of it, there is a strong case of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and forgery. No explanation has been provided to the court as to why there have been no such disciplinary or criminal proceedings”.

Contrast this with the five officers sacked last week by Merseyside Police.  They had  snapped their own mugshots on a mobile phone “larking about” while searching a house,  one posing with a packet of Frosties, others with various household items.   For this heinous crime they were sacked without notice, earning a quick headline for the Deputy Chief Constable.

Much less bothersome than drawing attention to real police misconduct!

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: