Thursday, 10 January 2013
Curtis Warren-- Own Goal--- More to come?
Readers who have been following my Blogs will know that I have devoted some time to the arrest of Curtis Warren and his team who were attempting to illegally import cannabis to Jersey way back in 2007.
I have no time for “bent cops” or for people who are in any way involved with the illegal drug trade. However this is not case of bent cops but cops having to think on their feet when felons were likely to evade arrest. The 3 officers involved have always claimed that they sought advice and acted in good faith. Today is very much their day because their actions have been vindicated.
I can also understand concerns raised by people who are arrested and then convicted as a result of questionable police evidence. Curtis Warren and his team may well feel that they fall into that category but there is another appeal route which they are entitled to pursue.
In previous Blogs, I have questioned the role of senior police officers, the Crown Officers along with its Prosecution Service and the Judges who all appear to want their cake and eat it.
The above persons chose to accept the police evidence which led to the decision to prosecute, try, find guilty and at the Appeal uphold the decision. Therefore why did the judges choose to criticise the officers and why did the senior police officers perform a “U turn” and level discipline charges against the officers over five years after the initial arrest. One may ask why the u turn, who was really pulling the strings and will anyone, be accountable? In my Blog published on 13th December I wrote
“It seems that when the States Police wish to bring charges against certain officers, expense does not come into the equation and goodness knows how much the current discipline case will cost the taxpayer and will anyone be taken to task if the officers are exonerated?
Ahead of the Hearing, the Advocate representing the police officers said that the officers all categorically denied that they had behaved unlawfully, improperly without advice or that any action that they took was unauthorised."
The disciplinary hearing has now been concluded with the case being dismissed and the officers exonerated. The above Advocate in his short statement said that he could not enlarge on his statement until the Chief Constable had published his judgement which is expected in a matter of days.
I intend to publish another Blog after the judgement is published however it is understood that during the Hearing there was much discussion regarding the role of the Jersey Law Officers in the investigation and that this appears to have been influential in determining the outcome. In my Blogs I too have raised concerns so I shall be waiting for the judgement with interest.
The States Police has published a short statement in which it states it is "pleased" that three of their officers have been cleared. On hearing the statement one wonders which of the 3 officers was first to the sick bag. They must also be asking that if they have friends in such high places who needs enemies.
Those responsible for instigating the disciplinary action must be accountable because it was not only a financially costly exercise but also traumatic for the officers and their families and also for fellow States Police officers who will be questioning what support they will receive should they too find themselves in the situation their colleagues faced in 2007.
Today’s verdict is another very costly own goal for the States Police and those with oversight of our criminal justice system. One wonders how many more own goals will scored in this sorry saga?