Asides - incidents occurring during the hearing
The hearing took place over 3 days! This insignificant little charge tied up a group of officers for the entire period and this does not take into account the time spent preparing the prosecution; obtaining statements, compiling a four page report etc.
This was an internal complaint (made by a fellow officer, as opposed to a member of the public) about two officers who had allegedly failed to find an insecure premises during their night duty. It could NOT possibly be proved that the premises were insecure when they did OR were supposed to check them. No one can say that the premises were not opened (by an unknown method) since they were last checked, or should have been checked.
In essence, I was of the impression the charge (notice of complaint) was wrongly worded. Had the officers been accused of 'failing to check property on their patrol area' as opposed to 'failing to discover an insecure premises on their patrol area, namely The Railway Station', my job in defending officer6 would have been neigh on impossible. It should be borne in mind officer8 had already admitted to the offence.
With an officer stating that they had not checked the premises, short of calling him a liar, what could I do?
However, the wording 'fail to discover insecure premises' was the key to the defence. It was also the route to a whole lot of trouble, as PS Adams had warned (threatened?) me.
PS Adams had made the complaint, PS Cleave had 'investigated' it, submitted his report and completed the Notice of Complaint (with the wording for which I thank him) and the matter was being prosecuted by Mr Smith, a Chief Inspector not known for his magnanimous attitude. Indeed I understand this officer has since been required to leave the force (if I have misrepresented this, please let me know and I will make the necessary amendment and apology). Irrespective, Mr Smith, in my opinion, was a malicious piece of work.
I was presented with three officers who between them had made a vexatious and frivolous complaint, failed to investigate it thoroughly, poorly word the complaint and were now intent on making officer6 and example.
In addition to my conversation with PS Adams (December 87), three other incidents arose during the hearing which were of interest (to me, at the time).
It became evident that Police Sergeant Adams, the person making the complaint had failed to make a pocket book entry in relation to the incident, had not updated the computer and had taken scant particulars of the persons (the Papageorge's) he found in the Railway Station. Had this been a constable, the officer would have left himself wide open to being the subject of proceedings for neglect of duty.
During the hearing, at the end of my cross-examination of PS Adams, I submitted that the wrong person was on trial and that PS Adams incompetence should be the subject of an investigation.
No further action was taken.
The hearing gave me cause to visit the presiding officer, Mr Moniz, in his ground floor office at police headquarters. As I left, Chief Inspector Smith was outside.
There were no pleasantries, instead I was advised that when this matter was over, Chief Inspector Smith would do his best to ensure I was transferred to the Western end of the Island, Somerset Police Station, where he could personally supervise my progress.
I had heard rumours of Chief Inspector Smith's bullying tactics, his intimidation of officers. The words were not a surprise, I understood others had suffered at his vindictive hand.
Fortunately, for everyone, I was never transferred to the West end of the Island.
I did however submit a report about his conduct fully aware that it was my word against his. There was no likelihood of the matter progressing. However, the senior Officer receiving the complaint, whilst confirming that the matter could not progress, assured me I would not be transferred and that the 'powers' were aware of Chief Inspector Smith and the allegations / rumours that followed him.
The same senior Officer to whom I submitted the above report also 'bumped into me' outside the Criminal Records Office building at police headquarters on a day of the hearing, during a lunch period. The conversation was informal and brief; I was advised to stick to the fact that The Railway Station did not appear on the property check list; this would be sufficient to secure an acquittal.
I had already prepared my defence (next page on this web site) but entered the consideration verbally at the end of reading my Submission for the Defence
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