Daily Archives: July 6, 2011

Don’t be surprised that the police failed to thoroughly invesitgate the News of the World

Many people will be mystified by the failure to date  of the police to successfully investigate the phone-hacking complaints against the News of the World (NoW). They may be even more surprised by the  failure to act on the admission by Rebekah Brooks (previously Rebekah Wade) when she was editor of the NoW  that the paper paid police officers for information. The fact that Brooks made the admission before a Commons Select Committee will add to their astonishment. (http://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2011/04/16/the-refusal-of-the-police-to-investigate-rebekah-wade/).

They should not be amazed because this is regulation behaviour by the police. Those who believe that they rigorously investigate complaints as a matter of course are sorely mistaken.   The police  routinely fail to investigate complaints properly or at all  when it suits their purposes.  It is reasonable to assume that it suited  the purposes of the Metropolitan  Police  these cases involving the NoW, both because of the strong links between politicians and the Murdoch empire and from fear that the corrupt officers selling information to the NoW (and other media outlets) would result in criminal prosecutions of police officers, perhaps many of them with very senior officers included.

I have a good deal of personal experience of  the Metropolitan Police failing to investigate complaints or to even record them.  This ranges from  refusals to investigate Peter Mandelson after he obtained a mortgage by  fraudulent means (http://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2011/07/07/laws-are-for-little-people-the-mandelson-mortgage-fraud-cover-up/) ; refusals to investigate complaints of incitement to racial hatred by Greg Dyke when BBC Director-General  (his “hideously white” description of the BBC) and a Plaid  Cymru leader who described the English in Wales as “a virus and, most topically, the illegal giving of information by a Met Police officer to the Mirror newspaper (http://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2011/04/17/the-failure-to-charge-piers-morgan-with-illicitly-receiving-information-from-the-police/). The last has the added  interest that the complaint arose from Tony and Cherie Blair’s  attempt to have me prosecuted on bogus charges during the General Election campaign of 1997 (http://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2010/10/26/when-tony-and-cherie-blair-tried-to-have-me-jailed/).

The NoW ” paying police for informagtion”story was broken in Britain by the BBC on 6 July 2011 by the BBC’s Business  editor  Robert Peston  (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-14039915). I have sent the letter below  and  copies of letters from Piers Morgan to the PCC and my complaint to the police  to him and all other major British media outlets.

6 7 2011

Dear Mr Peston,

I have personal experience of the police selling information to the media.

In 1997  The Mirror ran a story about me which involved information being supplied to them by a police officer. I discovered this when I made a complaint to the PCC and they released a letter from the then editor Piers Morgan to them in which he admitted receiving illegitimately information from the police, viz:

“The police source of our article (whose identity we have a moral obligation to protect) [thus the police informant behaved illegally by supplying the information] gave us the detail of the letters that we then published. Nothing that Mr Henderson writes has convinced me that the article was anything other than accurate”

The complaint was passed to Scotland Yard where Det Chief Superintendent Ian Curtis supposedly investigated. My complaint ended in a curious way with Curtis ringing me to tell me that no action would be taken. During our telephone conversation, he admitted that no one at the Mirror, including the Piers Morgan and the reporter who wrote the story Jeff Edwards had been interviewed. Ergo, no meaningful investigation was undertaken.

If charges of receiving information illicitly from a police offer cannot be brought against an editor who has admitted in writing to a quasi-official body investigating a complaint that he has received illicit information no one could ever be charged with the crime.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Henderson

———————————————————————

The fact that a Chief Superintendent  (DCS) from Scotland Yard was deputed to investigate tells us a good deal in itself. Normally such a complaint would be conducted by a Detective Inspector (DI) I or just conceivably a Detective Chief Inspector.  A  DCS taking such a case is abnormal in the extreme; one from Scotland Yard simply bizarre.

The appointment of such an officer is simply a reflection of the  general panic which set in whenever the police had to investigate a complaint from me which was directly or indirectly linked to the Blairs’ attempt to have me prosecuted.  After they failed I made a series of complaints of criminal activity to the Met about the Blairs (an attempt to pervert the course of justice); the Mirror (various offences concerning paying the police for info; breaching the Official ACT   and criminal libel) and against officers who failed to investigate complaints meaningfully. During the course of this I had in my flat the following: a DCS who was head of the Met’s internal investigations office (a very senior and influential copper indeed); two other DCS; two DCIs and 2 DIs, all for cases which would normally have been investigated by anyone from a Detective Constable to a DCI.

—————————————————————————————

Here is Morgan’s full letter into which I have interpolated my comments in brackets marked RH.

FROM THE EDITOR

By fax (0171-353 8355) & by post

16 October 1997

Your ref: 970738

Christopher Hayes Esq

Press Complaints Commission

I Salisbury Square

London

EC4Y 8AE

Dear Mr Hayes

Mr Robert Henderson

I refer to Mr Henderson’s complaint as outlined in his letter of 23 September.

As you are aware, we have been in contact with Mr Henderson for some time due to his propensity to bombard individuals and this office with correspondence. [RH: Translation: Mr Henderson sent more than one letter because the Mirror refused to reply].

There are certain irrefutable facts that escape emphasis in Mr Henderson’s correspondence.

Far from ignoring any of his correspondence we have written to him on the 20 May, 22 July and 6 August. [RH: The letter of 20 May merely
said he was not going to enter into correspondence. The other two letters were from his legal department in response to Subject Access Requests I made under
the data Protection Act. These were legally required]. We have consistently made it clear that we have no intention of entering into any further
correspondence with him.

Be that as it may I will address his concerns:-

In essence, the basic “sting” of the article, of which he complains, was that he had been sending numerous insulting letters, some with racist undertones [No  such letters were ever sent, hence, no prosecution RH], to Mr and Mrs Blair which had been passed to the Crown Prosecution Service for consideration.

Mr Henderson himself admits that he sent Mr and Mrs Blair at least thirteen letters. I have no way of directly knowing of the content of those letters because I have not had sight of them. However, clearly they sufficiently concerned Mr Blair’s office to be passed to the Crown Prosecution Service [RH: The CPS said as soon as they saw the letters that they were entirely legal] and I think the Commission is perfectly entitled to draw an adverse inference on the contents of those letters as a result of that referral.

I cannot accept Mr Henderson’s explanation for writing to  Cherie Blair. To do so was clearly designed to intimidate. In Mr Henderson’s draft article “Moral Simpletons Target Innocent Man” the bile that he shows on the second page of that article clearly illustrates his capacity to insult in his letters to Mr and Mrs Blair[RH: an absurd deduction. What I wrote to the
Mirror says nothing about what I wrote to the Blairs] (to the extent that they be referredto the Crown Prosecution Service). I would also refer the Commission to Mr Henderson’s gratuitous reference to a “Blaireich”.

He also admits to expressing his disgust (we can only guess in what terms) of the decision of Mr and Mrs Blair not to send their son to a school whereby a white schoolboy was, apparently, murdered by five other boys (and that that murder was racially motivated). [RH: This was the Richard Everitt murder].

The police source of our article (whose identity we have a moral obligation to protect) [RH: thus the police informant behaved illegally by supplying the information] gave us the detail of the letters that we then published. Nothing that Mr Henderson writes has convinced me that the article was anything other than accurate.

Perhaps one can get a flavour of his correspondence with Mr and Mrs Blair by examining the final sentence of his draft article in which he states “It was a cargo of ancient male gonads”.

The Commission may be aware (I am attempting to get hold of the article) that the article of Mr Henderson’s that appeared in Wisden’s Cricket Monthly in 1995 gave rise to an  extraordinary amount of controversy and resulted in Wisden paying substantial libel damages to the Cricketer, Devon Malcolm,[RH: Malcolm refused to sue me after I made it clear I would take the case to the floor of a court] whom the Commission will be aware is a coloured fast bowler for England. As I understand the matter, and Mr Henderson will correct me if I am wrong, the article implied that coloured players will not try as hard when playing for England as white players. [RH: The article put it forward as a possibility, no more]. I have discussed the legal position with the newspaper’s solicitor, Martin Cruddace [RH: Cruddace is a proven liar. He made a declaration to my Subject Access Request under the Data Protection Act to the effect that the Mirror held no qualifying documents. Eventually after I had done some detective work, he had to admit that the Mirror had a small matter of 118 pages of documents relating to me], and he has assured me that the law has recently developed whereby words (be they written or spoken) can constitute assault [RH: No person in the UK has been convicted of such a crime. The definition of GBH has been extended to non-physical abuse such as abusive phone calls but it requires a psychiatric illness to be proved to be caused by the alleged abusive behaviour. Mere emotions such as fear do not qualify. The failure of the police to consider such a course and the CPS’ immediate definition of the case as “NO CRIME” shows that my letters were entirely lawful] if the pattern of those words is such as to make the recipient of them either anxious or ill. It has developed as a reaction to the former impotence of the law on stalking. The law has therefore developed since the publication of the dictionary reference on which Mr Henderson relies.

I cannot accept that the taking of the photographs of Mr Henderson, given the clear public interest concerning the subject matter of The Mirror article, could possibly constitute harassment under the Code. [RH: It was a clear breach both because I had advised them of my eye trouble and because they took photographs having come over my threshold.]

I am most concerned not to waste any further time in dealing with Mr Henderson’s complaint but, naturally, if the Commission wishes me to address any further matters then I will endeavour to do so. However, I hope that the above is sufficient to convince the Commission that the basic “sting” of the article is accurate and that Mr Henderson’s complaint ought to be dismissed.

Yours sincerely

Piers Morgan

———————————————–

Having got cast iron evidence that the Mirror had been involved in illicitly receiving information from the police, I made a complaint
to the Metropolitan police, viz.

26-August 1998

Chief-Supt Eric Brown

Metropolitan Police

12A Holmes Road

London NW5 3AE

cc Metropolitan Police Committee

Dear Mr Brown,

I enclose a letter from the Metropolitan Police Committee dated 25/2/98. Please note the third paragraph.

The complaints I wish to register are: 1. A breach of the Official Secrets Act Culprits: An anonymous police officer most probably
stationed at Belgravia station.

The Mirror reporter Jeff Edwards

The Mirror editor Piers Morgan

The most likely police officer is DS Connor of Belgravia Police. This officer handled the Blairs complaints against me.

2. A breach of the Public Bodies Corruption Act 1889 as amended by the Prevention of Corruption Act 1916

Culprits: The anonymous police officer mentioned in 1.

Any Mirror representative responsible for the offering or payment of a bribe.

3. A breach of the Prevention of Corruption Act as amended by the Prevention of Corruption Act 1916

Culprits: The anonymous police officer mentioned in 1.

Any Mirror representative responsible for the offering or payment of a bribe.

4. A breach of the Met’s Code of Practice

Culprits: The anonymous police officer mentioned in 1.

The basis of the complaints The offences arise from a Mirror story entitled “Pest Targets Blairs” published on 25/3/98 (copy enclosed).

The Mirror story quotes unnamed police officer(s) as follows:

“Police said that sending such material could result in an assault charge.”

and

A Scotland Yard source said “By sending letters in a very unpleasant tone the writer has committed an assault”

The statement that I have “committed an assault” is a breach of the Met’s Code of Practice. The police investigate complaints. They do not decide guilt or innocence.

In a letter to the Press Complaints Commission dated 16/10/97(copy enclosed) the Mirror editor Piers Morgan claimed that the primary source for the Mirror article was a policeman viz: The police source of our article (whose identity we have a moral obligation to protect) gave us the detail of the letters that we then published.”

The giving of such information would of itself be illegal.

The Mirror confirms that they knew it was illegitimate by their “whose identity we have a moral obligation to protect”.

All police officers sign the Official Secrets Act. The police officer who supplied the information to the Mirror is consequently guilty of a breach the Official Secrets Act. He has also breached the Met’s internal code of conduct.

The Mirror by knowingly abetting the breach of the official Secrets Act is guilty of a criminal offence which carries the same penalties as that to which the police officer is subject.

If the policeman was paid, both the Mirror and the officer are guilty of serious criminal offences under The Public Bodies Corrupt Practices Act 1989 (amended by the Corruption Act 1916) and The Prevention of Corruption Act 1906 (amended by the Corruption Act 1916).

The reasonable presumption must be that the officer was paid. First, he restricted the information to one newspaper. Second, what other plausible motive could he have had?

As the Mirror has admitted to receiving illicit information from the police, a failure to both record and investigate my complaints will be tantamount to an admission of deliberate maladministration of justice by the Met. As I am sure you do not need me to tell you, such deliberate maladministration by the police commits one of the criminal offences of  perverting or attempting to pervert the ourse of justice.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Henderson

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