Russell Paynter



Russell Paynter

Rarely do you encounter officers who have no consideration for others however, in this instance Police Sergeant Paynter; was prepared to undermine a substantial investigation .... for what reason? 

Just why would Russell Paynter, a Bermudian himself, attempt to sabotage an investigation into a person who admitted importing cocaine into Bermuda and thereby causing misery and suffering to many Bermudians?

Who knows, the matter was never investigated by the police despite my complaint and the person who PS Paynter attempted to protect was never prosecuted. 

The complaint I submitted:

To:       A.C. ‘C’ Mr. Moniz

 Date:   5th June 1989



On Sunday, 4th June, 1989 at about 11.11am I attended Somerset police station where I spoke with my prisoner, Mr. Colin Smith, who was in custody for conspiring to import cocaine. I spoke with Mr. Smith for about 15 minutes and he stated that he wished to make a written statement detailing his involvement with regard to the offences that were being investigated. He did not ask to see anyone.

I left Mr. Smith, returning a short while later when I saw P.S. Paynter, the station sergeant, speaking with Mr. Smith through the bars of the cell.

 A short while later I took Mr. Smith to the C.I.D. office where he was interviewed, still he made no request to see anyone.

Whilst the interview was being conducted we were interrupted and when I left the room I was informed that Mrs. Smith was at the counter and wished to see her husband. This request was denied as the interview was in progress.

Some while later a break was taken and, on entering the station area I was informed that Mrs. Smith’s arrival was not coincidence but that she had received a telephone call from someone who stated that she ought to attend the station because her husband was about to make a full confession.

At the end of the statement I questioned Mr. Smith concerning his wife’s visit. I tape recorded his replies in which he stated that he had asked sergeant Paynter to call his wife and inform her of what was about to occur.  Mr. Smith went on to say that P.S. Paynter had told him that he was not supposed to do this. Mr. Smith mentioned that sergeant Paynter lives along the road from him and that they know each other. There was no reward attached to the request.

 Mrs. Smith later said that it was ‘P.C.’ Paynter who had called her.

 At no time did Sergeant Paynter inform either D.C. Russell, who was conducting the interview at Somerset Police Station, or myself that he was going to call and warn Mrs Smith, and yet we were conspicuously present and he was aware that we were dealing with Mr. Smith and the seriousness of the offence for which he was in custody.

 Mrs. Smith is a large aggressive woman who dominates her husband. I have not spoken to P.S. Paynter since this incident and therefore do not know his reasons for making this clandestine call.

 I am aware that, when this matter comes to trial, I shall be the person before the Jury who will, no doubt, be asked why Mr. Smith was not allowed to see his wife and further questioned concerning this incident. 

I understand that as officer in charge of the Police station P.S. Paynter must cater to the needs of the persons in his care, though this is generally the job of the station Constable. There were, at this point, no restrictions on calls or visitors for Mr. Smith and I am not suggesting that P.S. Paynter ignored this instruction. But, by failing to bring to my attention this call or its request I have been placed in an unfortunate position.  I would have preferred for my statement evidence to have been beyond reproach.

 It is my opinion that this call was not made so much to assist Mr. Smith but to hinder me.

 Respectfully submitted, in confidence

 D.C. 217 Swift





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