Posts

The following has been cut and pasted from an article by George Monbiot in the Guardian of 12 April 2011

“In August 2008 Michael Doherty, who lives in Hillingdon, discovered a long series of messages exchanged by his 13-year-old daughter with someone who appeared as if he might be grooming her. The messages were sexually explicit. At one point the person proposed staging a kidnap and whisking her away. Doherty went to the police. He presented them with an 86-page dossier. When he wasn’t satisfied with the action being taken, he phoned Hillingdon police station five times to try to speak to a senior officer to complain, and to find out why, in his view, the investigation seemed to have stalled. Then a series of remarkable things happened.

Two plainclothes officers arrived at Doherty’s house at seven in the morning, when he was feeding his baby, to arrest him. Among other charges, the police claimed that he had been harassing the commander’s secretary. She had produced a witness statement in which, she said, he had phoned 10 times in two days, that he was “raging”, “abusive”, “rude and aggressive”. Doherty offered to get dressed and then present himself at the station – but the officers, after threatening to smash down the door, handcuffed him and dragged him out of the house in his dressing gown.

At the same time the police dropped the grooming investigation. They hadn’t looked at his daughter’s computer. A note by a detective inspector at the Hillingdon station later justified this decision by maintaining that “there is no evidence of a crime capable of proof”. Doherty believes that this conclusion could not be supported without examining the computer; the police maintain that they have established that the correspondent was only 15, had met Doherty’s daughter, and was who he said he was.

Doherty had proof that the calls he had made were not rude, abusive, raging or aggressive: he had recorded them. I have listened to the recordings: he remains patient and polite – remarkably controlled for someone faced with alleged police indifference to what was happening to his daughter. The police failed to pass these recordings to the Crown Prosecution Service, so off to court he went. There, though she had signed a legal witness statement, the secretary admitted that her recollection of the calls was hazy, and he was acquitted; but had he not recorded them, and meticulously documented everything else that happened, he might have been convicted.

Having failed to interest the crown prosecutors, Michael Doherty is about to launch a private prosecution for alleged perjury. It’s the last hope he has of holding anyone to account.

Justice is impossible if we cannot trust police forces to tell the truth. The remedy I’m about to propose should not be difficult for any government to adopt. It offers, I think, the only chance we have of addressing what seems to be an endemic problem: anyone who works for the police and is found to have made false statements – to the prosecution, the defence, the courts, parliament, public inquiries or the media – should be sacked. No excuses, no mitigation, no delays. It sounds harsh; it’s not nearly as harsh as a system in which the police malign both the living and the dead, and use the law against innocent people in order to protect themselves”.

 

The first hearing of Mr Doherty’s private criminal prosecution was before Circuit Judge (RECORDER) Hon John Bevin on 5th July at Luton Crown court .  (Mr Doherty no longer is resident in LB Hillingdon). The defendant was Ms Tracey Jane Murphy, an employee of the Metropolitan Police (Hillingdon Division) was indicted for the criminal offence of Perjury contrary to Sec 1(1) of the Perjury Act 1911. She was accompanied by Staff Sergeant Mandy Gould.

The Judge set a Plea hearing for the 3rd of October 2011, additionally requesting that the defence provide skeletal arguments by the 1st of September with an indication of their clients intended plea. i.e. Guilty or Not guilty.


 

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
 

Comments are closed.


Looking for something?

Use the form below to search the site:


Still not finding what you're looking for? Drop a comment on a post or contact us so we can take care of it!

Visit our friends!

A few highly recommended friends...