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Magpie

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Reply with quote  #61 

Rebel officer says he is Yard's fall guy


BRITAIN’S most senior gay police officer believes he has been made the “fall guy” in a campaign to save the job of Sir Ian Blair, the Metropolitan police commissioner.

Colleagues say Brian Paddick, a high-profile deputy assistant commissioner, is furious that he has been “hung out to dry” by the Met after he gave potentially damning testimony against Blair to investigators probing last year’s Stockwell Tube shooting.

This weekend, senior officers said Scotland Yard was in “a state of siege” as the ramifications of the inquiry into the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes, a 27-year-old Brazilian, threatened to destroy Blair and throw the Met into freefall.

“Ian Blair has become a lame duck commissioner. His job is hanging on a thread,” a senior Home Office source said.

This weekend Patrick Mercer, the Tories’ spokesman on homeland security, said: “This infighting must stop immediately. The Met and the commissioner must now focus on its most important task of protecting London from terrorism.”

Blair, stunned by a series of apparently orchestrated leaks designed to torpedo him, is said to have ordered his office to be swept for bugs last Monday. He was greeted on his return from a skiing holiday with news reports disclosing that he had tape-recorded a private phone conversation with Lord Goldsmith, the attorney-general.

He has instructed Paul Stephenson, his deputy, to conduct a molehunt to root out those who have been briefing against him. One suspect is said to be a senior officer whose unhappiness with his alleged treatment at the commissioner’s hands pre-dates the Stockwell fiasco.

But Blair’s immediate problem is Paddick, known for his outspoken views on the liberalisation of cannabis and his comments to a website that he found the concept of anarchy appealing.

Paddick’s anger could well seal Blair’s fate if he proceeds with a threatened libel action against his employers for issuing a statement last week denouncing his testimony as false.

At issue is Blair’s claim that he did not know until 24 hours after the shooting that police marksmen had killed an innocent man, mistaking de Menezes for one of the July 21 bomb suspects. De Menezes’s family complained that this claim was among several misleading statements issued by the Met in the aftermath of the shooting.

But it has now emerged that Paddick, who acted as the Met’s chief spokesman during the July bombings, has given a signed statement to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) directly contradicting his boss’s own account.

Sources say Paddick has told the IPCC that he was in a room at Scotland Yard during the afternoon of the day of the shooting, July 22, when he heard a member of Blair’s staff being told the wrong man had been shot.

When Paddick’s account was leaked last week, the Met issued a remarkable press statement saying “it was simply not true”. He also discovered he is to be formally questioned in an internal inquiry into an alleged “unauthorised” disclosure of information about Stockwell. He is alleged to have spoken out of turn to a journalist last month.

Paddick denies the accusations. In a potentially explosive move, he has called in lawyers to discuss suing the Met for libel. Papers could be served this week. Friends say the mere threat of legal action, with Paddick in the role of whistleblower persecuted for telling the truth, could be terminal for Blair.

A colleague said: “Brian is bitter at the way he has been treated. Many people in the Yard were aware that it looked within hours of the incident like we had shot the wrong person at Stockwell. The IPCC was investigating all the circumstances and Brian felt that he had to be truthful in what he said to investigators, even if that put the commissioner’s office in a bad light.

“Then the next thing that happens is that a colleague overhears a phone call Brian is having with a journalist and he is reported to the department of professional standards. He is being hung out to dry by the Met’s machinery. He’s been put up as a fall guy.”

Damagingly for Blair, Paddick’s recollection of events is said to be corroborated by other witnesses who are understood to have told the IPCC the realisation that de Menezes might not be a terrorist was quite widespread in the Met within six hours of the shooting.

Magpie

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Reply with quote  #62 

Top police 'clear' Met chief over Menezes

· Ian Blair backed by senior officer's account
· Tragic mistake not revealed for 24 hours


David Rose
Sunday March 19, 2006
The Observer


The first detailed police account of the aftermath of the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes, the Brazilian killed after being mistaken for a terror suspect, can be revealed today by The Observer.

The testimony by a top Scotland Yard officer confirms that the police did not know for nearly 24 hours that they had shot a man with no terrorist links. His account backs claims by the head of the Metropolitan Police, Sir Ian Blair, that he was unaware until the following morning that de Menezes was innocent.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Alan Given, one of the officers in command of the Met's firearms unit, also reveals that the officers were initially 'buoyant' after the shooting, thinking they had 'protected Londoners' from a dangerous assailant.

The account - the first from anyone directly involved in the shooting or its aftermath - comes in an exclusive interview with Given, the most senior officer directly responsible for the CO19 tactical firearms team who shot de Menezes at Stockwell tube station on 22 July last year. Given met the officers who killed de Menezes that afternoon, and later attended a series of high-level meetings about the investigation into it.

His evidence goes to the heart of the 'Stockwell II' inquiry by the Independent Police Complaints Commission into Blair's claims that he was not briefed about de Menezes's innocence until the following day. If the inquiry were to find against Sir Ian, it would put pressure on him to resign. 'Stockwell 1' is the already-completed IPCC report into the shooting itself, which has gone to the CPS.

Given said that he saw Assistant Commissioner Alan Brown, who was co-ordinating work by several Yard departments on the shooting, shortly before he went home at 11pm on the Friday. 'When I left, I had no indication that the wrong person had been shot,' said Given. 'Alan had no clue that we had made a mistake. I did not learn the truth until the following day.'

Last week, the commissioner was the subject of a series of media leaks that led to calls for his resignation. He apologised for taping phone calls with IPCC officials and with the Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith.

Later reports that his private office knew that de Menezes was innocent by the afternoon of 22 July were denied. Together with other senior officers, Given insisted that Sir Ian had become the target of a 'grossly unjustified' campaign.

Given said that, having briefed the commissioner, he went to Leman Street police station in east London to see the two officers who shot de Menezes, at about 4.30pm on the day of the shooting. 'They were behaving in a very professional way,' he said. 'They'd done the job that we ask firearms officers to do - to go out into potentially dangerous situations and shoot someone.

'They were sombre, clearly concerned that they had shot a man dead. There wasn't even a sniff of the fact that there had been a tragic mistake. There was no rejoicing, but the mood was buoyant.'

Given said he also spoke to Commander Cressida Dick, the firearms team chief who is thought to have given the order to shoot. She, too, had been convinced that de Menezes was a terrorist.

Throughout the day, he revealed, a 'Gold group' met at two-hourly intervals at Scotland Yard, at which senior officers from all the departments involved with the shooting presented their latest findings. Some meetings were attended by Given in person, others by a member of his staff, who briefed him later.

According to Given, Sir Ian 'has tried to be as open and honest as he can,' he said. 'He's now facing a campaign that is grossly unfair, much of it based on information that is totally inaccurate.'

Last week, other senior police figures strongly backed the commissioner, including Chris Fox, president of the Association of Chief Police Officers, who suggested that the campaign was fuelled by elements of the media and a minority inside the police who were opposed to Sir Ian's support for racial diversity and ethnic minority recruitment.

Sir Ian, he said, was accused of being 'politically correct,' where in fact, 'what he's trying to do is be fair'.

 

Magpie says: The Met Spin Doctors are on the loose.

hammer6

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Reply with quote  #63 

The Moderator wholeheartedly concurs with Magpie on this issue.


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Hi All... on the subject of police corruption South of the Border, here is an article which may be of some interest..... 

 

armed police officer

Shoot to kill: John Stalker

After shooting dead an innocent man in London, police have defended the 'shoot to kill to protect' policy. But is it justified? We ask the former Manchester officer who led the 'shoot to kill' inquiry in Northern Ireland.


John Stalker: Shoot to kill

  • 1980: Six men shot dead in Northern Ireland - five with connections to IRA
  • RUC accused of operating a 'shoot to kill' policy
  • 1984: John Stalker appointed to lead inquiry into 'shoot to kill'
  • Said to have clashed with the RUC Chief Constable, John Hermon
  • Three months later, Stalker is suspended: alleged he socialised with criminal members of Manchester's Quality Street gang
  • Stalker claimed he was victim of 'dirty tricks' and his suspension was politically motivated
  • 1986: Stalker cleared of misconduct and reinstated

There's been widespread shock in the UK at the fatal shooting of an innocent man in London who police mistook for a suicide bomber.

Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes, 27 was shot dead in error by police at Stockwell Tube station as part of the inquiry into attempted bomb attacks in the capital. He was later found not to be connected to the incidents.

Former deputy Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police John Stalker led the initial stages of a controversial inquiry into an alleged 'shoot to kill' policy by the Royal Ulster Constabulary in the early eighties.

Stalker was appointed to head the investigation into the killing of six men in Northern Ireland but was taken off the case when he faced disciplinary charges which were later dropped.

John Stalker: Q & A

What do the guidelines say?

"The rules of engagement have been in existence for well over 20 years. But they were framed for incidents involving armed criminals where a gun could be seen, or a sword and there was time for negotiation and time to contain the situation. The advent of suicide bombers has changed all that and they've had to be added to. But nonetheless, the basic tenet of those rules remains the same: the police must not open fire unless the individual officer [with the gun] is satisfied that nothing short of opening fire will protect that officer or any other person from death or serious injury.

"What's less clear in the heat of the moment is what governs the officer's actions. And that is the quality of the intelligence he's getting. If he's getting good information about a possible suicide bomber it has to be good information. What the officer is getting through his ear piece is all important and in many ways is as equally important as the pulling of the trigger.

What about the number of shots fired?

John Stalker
John Stalker

"I think that's been the most worrying aspect so far - the number of bullets used. Now, I wasn't there.. but the rules of engagement particularly involving suicide bombers is to make sure that the man is dead, and dead quickly. Because even a dying man can set off a bomb which could have exploded on a crowded train... So if the officer decided that five [sic] were necessary then we're going to have to accept that.

"His actions are going to be subject to the most stringent investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission who are completely independent of the police and indeed use their own investigators. So he's going to have to answer and if he's got it wrong, he's going to have to appear possibly before a tribunal or even a court.

"I think everything conspired against this poor man. It was a station, he was possibly of an appearance that made the officers suspicious - he'd got a heavy coat on on a hot day. Plus he may not have understood what the police officer was shouting at him. They were in plain clothes - if it was a uniformed officer he probably would have stopped. And all together, these things have conspired towards a tragic mistake.

"We must all remember that an innocent man has died. But that does not mean that the officer acted wrongly."

Are there any comparisons with the Northern Ireland shootings?

Stockwell Tube station
Police at Stockwell tube station

"No absolutely no comparisons at all... they've had the same label attached to them - 'Shoot to Kill' - but they are quite different. In NI, there were six men shot dead by police over a six week period. One was a 16-year-old mentally subnormal boy. And in particular case, one man had 109 bullets pumped into him. So there's quite a lot of difference and I'm not drawing any parallels at all. "

Could we see more incidents like this?

"It could happen again this morning. Please God, it doesn't but it could do. Because given the same situation, the same information the officer was getting, who's to say it wouldn't happen again? I carried a firearm on a regular basis during the IRA matters for five or six years and I know the pressures on officers carrying guns - it's an enormous pressure. But there has to be some blunt talking here. You don't shoot a man in the head with any other intention but to kill him. And the only way to stop a suicide bomber is to shoot him in the head - torso is no good.

"What's worrying all of us - including me - is this: we're talking about the British police here. We're talking about the bobby who used to see kids over the road to school and it's very difficult for us in this country to knit the two together: the policeman pumping five bullets into a man's head in the London Underground is the same policeman who could have been a community policeman 12 months ago."

Are we all more likely to be innocent victims?

"Ten per cent of the Met are now armed: you're talking about more than 4,000 officers - that's the entire size of the Merseyside force, every single officer. In a poll that's been released, 71 per cent of Londoners want armed police on the buses. Now, once you've got policemen on buses or trains patrolling in that way, you're only one step away from a 100% routinely armed police force, and none of us wants to see that. We're drifting towards that but the pace has been accelerated over the last few days."

 

 


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Reply with quote  #65 

John Stalker was enlisted as an independent body to investigate the SHOOT TO KILL policy by the RUC and COVERT CROWN FORCES (SAS) who were at the center of controversy back in the early 1980's.

 

The RUC resented his presence on THEIR PATCH in Northern Ireland as did the COVERT FORCES as he was getting too near the TRUTH.

 

Stalker was eventually set-up by his own kind and removed before he EXPOSED what they were up to and eventually was removed from his remit to investigate these serious FACTS and here is why:

 

John Stalker

(person) by pottedstu (4.1 wk) (print)   ?   2 C!s Sat Dec 27 2003 at 16:32:02

If you turn on British television on a weekday afternoon, chances are you'll see an elderly man and his dog Drummer advertising electric garage doors, double glazing, awnings, or conservatories. That man is retired police chief John Stalker, but what you may not realise from his grandfatherly appearance in the television commercials is that for a while in the mid 1980s he was one of the biggest threats to the British state, to the extent that he was framed for corruption and forced out of his job.

Stalker had a promising early career as a policeman, beginning in Manchester where he rose through the ranks to become deputy chief superintendent, serving in the CID, Serious Crime Squad, the Bomb Squad, and the Drugs Squad. Then in 1978 he became head of CID in Warwickshire, the nation's youngest detective chief superintendant. After that, he moved back to Manchester, to become deputy chief constable of Greater Manchester Police, the biggest English police force after the Metropolitan Police in London.

However, in the 1980s in other parts of Britain law enforcement was a more complex and murky business, in particular in Northern Ireland. The IRA were launching terror attacks both in Ulster and on the British mainland, and conventional police tactics were not working; it was alleged that the Royal Ulster Constabulary were turning to other techniques. In November 1982, three IRA members, Gervaise McKerr, Eugene Toman, and Sean Burns, were shot dead by officers of the RUC's special support unit. Police claimed they had driven through a roadblock without stopping, but forensics showed that many of the 109 bullets fired into the car had been shot at close range after the vehicle had come to a halt. All three victims were unarmed. Two weeks later, undercover RUC officers, who had been staking out a hayshed believed to hold an arms cache, shot dead Michael Tighe, a 17 year old with no links to the IRA, and wounded Martin McAuley. Two more men were shot dead before the end of 1982, Rodney Carroll and Seamus Grew; both were members of the Irish National Liberation Army.

In response to these six deaths there were suspicions of an assassination program or "shoot to kill" policy; therefore a police inquiry was ordered, and as was usual in cases of suspected serious misconduct a senior police officer from a different force was brought in. This was how John Stalker got involved in the dangerous world of Northern Irish politics. Beginning in 1984, Stalker found much to be suspicious about. For instance, in the shooting of Michael Tighe the RUC refused to hand over audio tapes of the surveillance which would have proved whether police had shouted a warning before opening fire. In his interim report, Stalker was critical of John Hermon, then chief constable of the RUC, for his refusal to cooperate.

Stalker increasily came to believe that even though there was not a deliberate program of assassination, police were adopting a policy that was likely to result in deaths. He said:

The killings had a common feature; each left a strong impression that someone had led these men to their deaths. The circumstances of those killings pointed to a police inclination, if not policy, to shoot suspects dead without warning rather than to arrest them.1

However, Stalker was never able to complete his investigation. In 1986, he was briefly suspended from the police service, accused of associating with criminals and being an IRA sympathiser. It was alleged he had attended parties where members of Manchester's notorious "Quality Street gang" had been present; these allegations were soon disproved. Stalker's friend Kevin Taylor was subjected to a four-year investigation for fraud, which drove him into bankrupcy. Eventually Taylor was acquitted, and sued Manchester Police for malicious prosecution; they settled out of court, making him a payment of over one million pounds which was at the time the largest payment ever made by the police in a civil case. Thus both men were cleared on all charges, and they had little doubt that the allegations had no rationale other than to discredit Stalker and remove him from his investigations.

Stalker's investigation was completed by Colin Sampson, then chief constable of Yorkshire Police; his report has never been published. In 1988, Sir Patrick Mayhew, the attorney general, informed the House of Commons that there was evidence that members of the RUC had conspired to pervert the course of justice, but it would not be in the national interest to prosecute. However, it is still unknown whether there was any shoot-to-kill policy, despite a number of other inquiries into the war against terror in Northern Ireland. The Stevens Inquiry into the murder of lawyer Pat Finucane reported in 2003 and found evidence of security forces colluding with terrorists before and after his murder; Stevens also described widespread obstruction of his investigations. The Barron inquiry held by the Irish government into the 1974 Dublin-Monaghan bombings reported in 2003 but was hampered by a lack of British cooperation. The Saville Inquiry into Bloody Sunday is underway at time of writing. But much of the history of the Troubles in Northern Ireland remains untold, and there are still calls for a public inquiry into the shoot-to-kill allegations by the relatives of the deceased.

After three months' suspension, Stalker returned to work at Greater Manchester Police. However, he found himself being sidelined and unable to work alongside colleagues who had made charges against him. He resigned from the force in 1987. Since then, as well as his advertising work, he has written a big-selling autobiography, Stalker, presented television programs Crimestalker and Inside Crime, and written newspaper columns for the Sunday Times, Sunday Express, Observer, and Daily Telegraph. He also works as an after-dinner and motivational speaker.

In 1990 Yorkshire TV made a drama-documentary about the Stalker inquiry, called Shoot To Kill, with Jack Shepherd playing John Stalker; it was directed by Peter Kosminsky and written by Mick Eaton. Brian Cox played a character based on Stalker in Ken Loach's fictional film Hidden Agenda released the same year.


1John Stalker quoted in Anthony Jennings, Justice Under Fire: The Abuse of Civil Liberties in Northern Ireland, Pluto Press, 1988, p 113.


Sources:

Here is more information on this subject from http://www.ferrisconspiracy.com

 

The slapping of a Public Interest Immunity Certificate on John Stalker by the Northern Ireland Secretary in May was one of the more remarkable Government gagging orders of recent times and yet another bizarre episode in the long running Stalker Affair. The former Deputy Chief Constable was about to give evidence in court in a civil action brought by his friend, Kevin Taylor, against the Greater Manchester police.

In 1986 Kevin Taylor was a successful businessman, the former chairman of the Manchester Conservative Association and living in a plush converted mill on the outskirts of the city. When John Stalker was removed from the inquiry into the Royal Ulster Constabulary’s 'shoot-to-kill' policy, it was his friendship with Taylor, who was suspected of criminal dealing that was cited as the reason. Taylor suddenly became a national media figure: subject to a massive four year police investigation that resulted in his bankruptcy but prosecution only on a minor fraud charge. Taylor subsequently sued the Manchester Police for alleged malicious prosecution and claims he was the 'victim of a high level conspiracy,' in order to discredit Stalker.

As Taylor's court case opened in May, a government lawyer applied to the judge with a Public Interest Immunity Certificate signed by the Northern Ireland Secretary, Sir Patrick Mayhew, to ban John Stalker from giving evidence. They maintained that any discussion of the Royal Ulster Constabulary’s alleged 'shoot-to-kill' policy could jeopardise the current peace process.

"It remains very much in the public interest that all terrorist violence be permanently ended and that nothing should be done which would prejudice or impede the efforts of Her Majesty's Government to that end or which would be of assistance to terrorists now or in the future," the government lawyer said.

This is a stunning assertion given that John Stalker was suspended nine years ago and has had no contact with the security services since then. The immunity is clearly in the government rather than the public interest. Nearly a decade later there still has been no proper explanation of the extraordinary events that led up to the Stalker Affair. Senior police officers have never been made to account for what, at best, could be described as their bizarre actions. If the Stalker Affair demonstrates one thing above all it is the lack of accountability that exists in the security services, police and government in Britain today.

The Public Interest Immunity Certificate already has a bad record. It was the signing of PIICs by several Ministers in the Matrix Churchill case that got the government into such a mess over arms to Iraq deals. The Scott Inquiry is likely to show that Ministers used PIICs to protect their, not the public, interest. In the Taylor case, Judge Mr Justice Owen decided to accept the PIIC but allowed Stalker to give evidence about non-security matters. Only the judge was allowed to hear the security elements of Stalker’s evidence.

The Stalker Affair began in Northern Ireland on 11 November 1982 when three unarmed men were shot dead by members of a special RUC anti-terrorist unit just outside Lurgan. Less than two weeks later, on 24 November 1982, two youths were shot - one killed and the other seriously wounded - by the same unit in a hay shed also just outside Lurgan. The dead youth was Michael Tighe, who was seventeen years old, and the wounded one was Martin Macauley who was nineteen. Three old pre-war rifles were recovered from the hay shed, but no ammunition found. Three weeks after that, on 12 December 1982, two more unarmed men were shot dead, yet again by a member of the same special unit, this time in Armagh City.

Initially the shootings were investigated by other members of the RUC and a file sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions for Northern Ireland. The first prosecution to come before the courts related to the last of the three incidents and was that of Constable John Robinson of the RUC’s special unit. During the trial it emerged that many of the police’s original accounts of the shootings were in fact lies. In a headline-making appearance in the witness box, Robinson said that he had been instructed by senior police officers to tell lies in his official statements. Robinson was eventually acquitted.

His admissions caused uproar, fuelling accusations of a shoot-to-kill policy. Demands were made for an outside investigation. In May 1984, the RUC’s boss, Sir John Hermon, asked the Deputy Chief Constable of Greater Manchester, John Stalker, a highly-regarded officer with a long track record as a detective, to conduct an inquiry. He appeared to be the establishment’s man, recommended by his Chief Constable, James Anderton, and Sir Phillip Myers, Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary.

Stalker set about the task with vigour. In September 1985 he gave a highly critical interim report, recommending the prosecution of eleven officers, to Herman. He found that his relationship with the RUC was rapidly cooling. For example, one vital piece of evidence Stalker needed for the inquiry was a tape recording of the secret MI5 bug placed in the hay shed where the second shooting had occurred. Stalker asked Hermon for the tape: he promised to hand it over, then refused. Stalker made it clear that he was unhappy with this decision.

What happened next has long been the subject of controversy. I, like many journalists who investigated the Stalker Affair, believe that Stalker was the victim of either or both of two cabals of police officers who had turned against him. The first was a group of top level police officers including Anderton, Hermon and Myers (perhaps under the orders of the government). The second was a group of senior detectives within the Greater Manchester police who wanted Stalker, a non-Freemason, removed as overall head of the CID. All those officers maintain they were only acting properly.

As there has never been an investigation into the Stalker Affair we cannot know for certain what happened. What we do know is at the time of the Stalker inquiry the Greater Manchester Police had become split by rivalries within the detective force. Chief Constable Anderton had promoted Peter Topping to Detective Chief Superintendent in charge of CID operations. Topping was later to become famous for his extensive and highly-publicised search for bodies on Saddleworth Moor in the Myra Hindley case in the late 1980s.

In the Taylor court case, Stalker described Topping as a good administrator but an inexperienced detective promoted over the heads of several far more experienced officers. Quickly, Topping and his allies had made little secret of their disdain for many of the long-serving members of the CID who they portrayed either as corrupt or old-fashioned. Topping’s allies saw John Stalker as the key proponent of the old-timers. Topping began placing his own men into key positions in the CID.

Stalker said good officers were being moved out of specialist HQ departments to be replaced by Freemasons: "I tackled DCS Topping about it. Topping was very proud to admit he was a Freemason. He said that he thought Freemasons were people he could trust and he would favour them in certain departments - but said ability came first and Freemasonry second."

The schism was so bad that Topping set up a major secret inquiry team called the Drugs Intelligence Unit without informing a number of senior colleagues. Retired DCS John Thorburn, who was Stalker’s Number Two in the shoot-to-kill inquiry and from 1985 CID policy chief, said, giving evidence in Taylor’s case, that Topping’s secret unit caused a cancer through the force. The Drugs Intelligence Unit was not a drugs unit, that was just a cover name. One question that is still unresolved is whether it was set up to monitor organised crime or whether, from the start, it was aimed at the relationship between Taylor and Stalker.

According to Topping’s secret unit, Taylor was in social contact with members of the Quality Street Gang. The QSG was the name given to a loose knit group of Manchester’s leading villains who were involved in everything from serious crime to running arms to the IRA. Topping's secret unit became convinced that Taylor, while not a member of the QSG, was laundering money for them and had lent his yacht, moored in Spain, for drug running. However, real evidence was harder to come by. Topping’s secret unit kept Taylor under constant surveillance for an incredible 114 days. He was also subject to telephone tapping and had his mail opened.

Stalker’s friendship with Taylor was open and well known to James Anderton. The basis for Topping’s investigation into the relationship came from two key conversations. In court, former DCS Bernard McGourlay said that he played golf in June 1984 with a Manchester businessman he had never met before called Gerry Waring, who mentioned a number of names of men associated with the QSG.

McGourlay said: "He went on in quite a joking manner about Mr Taylor and parties at his home in Summerseat. He said one of my bosses went to the parties. Later I approached Mr Waring in the car park, told him I was curious to know who the officer was and he said it was Stalker. I was very concerned." McGourlay has said in the past, he thought Stalker should have been warned about what was being said, and two days later he went to see Mr Topping in confidence.

Around the same time two officers of Topping’s secret unit interrogated a long-standing police informant called David Burton, a well known con-man and fraudster. He made allegations against Taylor of crimes for which he has never subsequently been charged. Burton also spoke of the Stalker/Taylor friendship. Anyone familiar with Burton would have known he was a less than credible witness. But Topping compiled a report of all the gossip and rumour on Stalker and passed it on to James Anderton. It became the basis for Stalker’s removal from duty. In court, Stalker described the report as 'histrionic and self-justifying'.

The timing of these events is interesting. Stalker had again asked the RUC for the MI5 tape. He was also due to interview Hermon on the 30 April 1986: the RUC chief failed to keep the appointment. On 9 May 1986, Topping’s officers raided Taylor’s home. They took away, among other things, half a dozen photos of Stalker and his wife at a party given by Taylor some five years before. Those pictures were taken, along with Topping’s report, to a secret meeting on 19 May in Scarborough of senior police officers, including Anderton and Myers. They decided Stalker would be investigated and taken off the shoot-to-kill inquiry. On 28 May, Stalker received a phone call from Anderton removing him from all duties. He was suspended a month later. The Chief Constable of West Yorkshire, Colin Sampson, was asked to conduct an inquiry into all allegations concerning Stalker. Sampson also took over the shoot-to-kill inquiry.

Taylor’s court case produced an astounding new piece of evidence of how trumped-up the charges against Stalker were. Anderton, when requesting Stalker’s suspension, gave the local Police Authority chairman a report written by DCS Topping alleging that Stalker was 'an IRA sympathiser.' No evidence has ever been produced that even begins to support this remarkable accusation.

Some observers have argued Anderton and Topping did the right thing in tackling suspicions over Stalker’s relationship with Taylor. And it is undoubtedly the case that, because of the curtailment of the Taylor court case, neither has been able to put their version of events to the public. But there are a number of important points to consider:

  • Anderton had never given Stalker any indication that he was unhappy about his long-standing friendship with Taylor.
  • The police intelligence implicating Stalker was little more than tittle-tattle that would have been treated with caution by experienced detectives.
  • No-one has found a shred of evidence that Stalker acted improperly in his friendship with Taylor.
  • The Greater Manchester police pursued Taylor for several more years, eventually only charging him with a mortgage fraud in which the mortgaging bank had made no complaint. He was acquitted but has been forced into bankruptcy.

Colin Sampson produced his report, alleging that Stalker had infringed some minor rules about using police staff cars. Stalker was reinstated to his post in the Greater Manchester Police, but concluded that working with Anderton would be impossible. In March 1987 he retired to write his memoirs.

Stalker himself said in his autobiography: "I cannot impute mischief or malevolence to anyone, but nevertheless I believe, as do many members of the public, that I was hurriedly removed because I was on the threshold of causing a major police scandal and political row that would have resulted in several resignations and general mayhem."

In early 1988 the British government acknowledged that the Stalker/Sampson inquiry in Northern Ireland had produced prima-facie evidence of a conspiracy to pervert the course of justice by RUC men, but announced that no criminal proceedings would take place. They then appointed yet another senior British mainland police officer, Charles Kelly, the Chief Constable of Staffordshire, to investigate the RUC. Eventually, the only punishments handed out to any officers were reprimands.

Taylor's case against the Greater Manchester Police was yet another belated chance to get at the truth about shoot-to-kill and the Stalker affair - but the use of a public interest immunity certificate effectively made that impossible.

One month into the case, Kevin Taylor agreed an out-of-court settlement with the Greater Manchester police for a figure believed to be around £1m. Taylor claims he was forced to settle because otherwise his legal aid would be cut off. The police say the decision to settle was to avoid huge costs and not an admission that they had done anything wrong. The premature ending of the case precluded Anderton or former DCS Peter Topping from giving evidence.

The Government has now successfully seen off attempts to find out why Michael Tighe, seventeen year old youth with no paramilitary links, was shot dead by the RUC in May 1982. As in all wars, no real healing peace can be achieved until both sides admit their own crimes.

In order to establish a lasting peace and true democracy throughout the United Kingdom there must be a review of Public Interest Immunity Certificates and a more open and accountable police force.


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Reply with quote  #66 

John Stalker was obviously too honest and is very lucky to be alive today as I am sure someone somewhere considered REMOVING him permanently from this thorny issue of SHOOT TO KILL.

 

The only thing that probably saved him was the media attention that was surrounding the case at the time


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Reply with quote  #67 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Admin2

John Stalker was obviously too honest and is very lucky to be alive today as I am sure someone somewhere considered REMOVING him permanently from this thorny issue of SHOOT TO KILL.

 

The only thing that probably saved him was the media attention that was surrounding the case at the time

Admin fully concurs with Admin2 on the above post regarding John Stalker.  As for him being too honest...hmm... if that isn't reason for a cop/ex-cop to sleep with one eye permanently open, then I'm not sure what is.  As for the previous post by Hammer6 - absolutely excellent.


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Re: the Christopher Alder case i posted on 6.3.06

BREAKING NEWS

The IPCC investigation report has just been released into the Christopher Alder case. They found 'significant failings' in the previous TWO Police investigations and that the officers are guilty of 'the most serious neglect of duty'. The IPCC condemned the behaviour of the four police officers as 'disgraceful'. The officers were influenced by 'unwitting racism' and the Chair of the IPCC has recommended the Humberside Chief Constable should give an unreserved apology to Christopher Alders family.

 

 

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Reply with quote  #69 

Hi Magpie, can you give us more information in relation to the post and indeed the case you make reference too.

 

I personally do not know the background to this and would enable me to comment directly to your very interesting post.


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Hi Hammer6

 

This article was taken from the following website. http://www.uffc.moonfruit.com

 

Christopher Alder

 

Christopher Alder, 37, of Hull, died at Queen's Gardens police station in Hull in April 1998.  The father-of-two had been arrested in hospital, where he was being treated for a banged head following a scuffle outside a hotel.

CCTV footage of his last moments was screened in a BBC documentary in 2004.  The BBC obtained the video from a source other than the police for the Death on Camera programme, part of the Rough Justice series.  The decision to release the video was made by Mr Alder's sister Janet, of Burnley, Lancashire, in an attempt to win a public inquiry into her brother's death.

An inquest in 2000 concluded Mr Alder was unlawfully killed.  Subsequently however, Sgt John Dunn, 40, and PC's Neil Blakey, 42, Mark Ellerington, 37, Nigel Dawson, 41, and Matthew Barr, 38, of Humberside Police, were cleared of manslaughter and misconduct after a judge directed a jury to find them all not guilty.

An independent hearing cleared all of them of neglect of duty allegations.  Humberside Police's Deputy Chief Constable Steve Love has been quoted as saying, "All of the officers deeply regret the death of Christopher Alder.  "All have faced a criminal trial and a discipline hearing and all have been acquitted of any wrong doing."

Leon Wilson, The son of Christopher Alder took the fight for a public inquiry into his fathers’ death to the High Court in 2004.  An inquest into his death returned a verdict of unlawful killing, but Leon Wilson says a public inquiry is needed. 

In April 2004 David Blunkett decided not to launch an inquiry into Christopher’s death despite pressure from the public and campaign groups.  In defence of his decision Blunkett argued that, "Public inquiries in such circumstances cannot be triggered by TV footage of material which was already known during the judicial and inquiry investigations.  "However, I am asking the new Independent Police Complaints Commission to have another look at this and to report back."

Barrister Hugh Southey, for Mr Wilson, of Andover, Hampshire, told the court: "The circumstances of his death require the widest possible exposure of the issues thrown up by the case that has not happened so far."

It has been strongly argued that investigations into the death, including the inquest and involvement from the Police Complaints Authority (PCA), have been "inadequate".   Barrister Hugh Southey claims the PCA failed to study whether there was any racial element to his death.

 

 

Describing Mr Alder as a "vulnerable individual." He added that under the Human Rights Act there had to be "adequate investigation" into deaths in custody.  Although the Act had not come into force when Mr Alder died, which meant Mr Blunkett was not obliged to consider it when coming to a decision on whether a public inquiry was needed; Mr Southey said the Home Secretary had referred to it when giving his reasons. 

Realising the importance of the case, Mr Justice Munby reserved judgment in the case and did not say when his findings would be revealed. 

 

I personally watched the BBC documentary 'Death on Camera' referred to in this article and it was very disturbing to see how a man could lay dying whilst 'those' who were supposed to 'serve and protect' did nothing! 

 

Following the IPCC findings released today a Public Inquiry is clearly essential.

 

This case will be on BBC Newsnight tonight.

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Reply with quote  #71 

Hi Magpie, Thank you for the post and would like some other related material on the subject matter as I am not familiar with the case.

 

Thank you also for your valued contribution including ALL other members on the site and to all of the surfers we hope that it has been as much of an eyeopener for you as it has been for myself.

 

With regards to the authorities that monitor this site one thing you cant argue with is a well constructed debate unless you have something to HIDE?


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Times Online March 27, 2006

Timeline: Alder family's eight year quest for justice


Christopher Alder (PA)

The Independent Police Complaints Commission today published a damning report into the death in police custody of Christopher Alder, a former paratrooper, after his family led an eight year campaign for justice:

April 1, 1998

Christopher Alder bangs his head during a scuffle outside a Hull hotel and goes to Hull Royal Infirmary for treatment. He is aggressive at the hospital and is arrested for an alleged breach of the peace. Mr Alder later chokes to death on his own blood and vomit as he lies handcuffed on the floor of Queens Gardens Police Station

May 1998

Five Humberside police officers are suspended from duty in connection with the investigation into Mr Alder’s death

July 1999

The CPS says it had decided to charge all five suspended officers with misconduct in public office

July 2000

An inquest begins into Mr Alder’s death, which eventually lasts seven weeks

August 2000

The inquest jury rules the former paratrooper was killed unlawfully

April 2001

The five officers fail in a High Court challenge to overturn the inquest jury’s verdict

April 2002

The officers go on trial at Teesside Crown Court having denied charges of manslaughter and misconduct in public office

June 2002

Mr Justice Roderick Evans orders the jury to acquit the officers of all charges

April 2004

The BBC screens a documentary about Mr Alder’s death using CCTV footage of the incident taken inside the police station.

David Blunkett, Home Secretary, orders the Independent Police Complaints Commission to review the case

December 2004

It emerges that four of the five officers involved in the case have been allowed to retire

May 2005

Mr Alder’s sister Janet confronts Charles Clarke, the new Home Secretary, as she stands as a Respect party candidate during the General Election

January 2006

A county court awards Jason Paul damages after he sued Humberside Police, whose officers arrested him on suspicion of Mr Alder’s murder

March 27, 2006

IPCC presents damning 400-page review to Mr Clarke, saying that four officers had been guilty of "the most serious neglect of duty".

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Reply with quote  #73 

Hi Magpie... thanks for an excellent post, and highlighting another case of police corruption. I recall the very case that you're post concerned, and although I didn't see the documentary, I do know that the conditions surrounding the death of Christoper Adler were suspicious.  Now it emerges that the police were guilty of the most 'serious neglect of duty'...

 

As for 4 of the 5 police officers being 'allowed' to retire in December 2004, well that says it all, doesn't it?


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Reply with quote  #74 
Another example of police behaving unlawfully and showing extreme neglect of duty........An other example of their superiors trying to cover their ar*es, and an other example of the old 'Early Retirement' syndrome.

Outrageous behaviour particular as it resulted in the needless death of Mr Adler. My heart goes out to his relatives and friends. Bilko

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Reply with quote  #75 
Hi Admin. Indeed it does say it all. The cctv footage shown on the BBC documentary was shocking and disturbing. It was clear that Christopher Alder was in severe distress coupled with the fact that he had earlier received a head injury, and yet the officers can be heard on camera saying he was 'acting it' and just left him to die.
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