The post last week concentrated on the false timing of the crash created by the Police in order to agree with Carson’s phone log showing 1448 and his assertion that the call was made after the crash which he insisted had happened at 1444. I had asked the Police Ombudsman to investigate the Police call equipment for I could not accept the new recorded time of 1443 but they failed both through lack of ability, knowledge and funds to make any inroads to my allegation of corrupt practices.
I wrote to the Chief Constable (Hugh Orde) on 5th April 2007 and asked him to investigate my allegation of fraudulent time change at Police Control as PONI could or would not. A month later, the Police replied that my case against them with PONI was closed as “not substantiated” and that I should lodge a new complaint
I had lost all faith in the Ombudsman and Mr Meehan in particular so there was no chance of me submitting a new case. Much later it transpired that the Chief Constable had been advised by Mr Clerkin of PONI who in turn had been badly briefed by someone else when he had stood in for Mr Meehan. The case was not closed.
I decided on a different approach.
I was convinced that the new time of 1443 was a fraudulent change and the real crash time was 1449 or 1450. The Police did not agree in spite of all the evidence. Neither the Police or the Ombudsman would investigate who was right.
The case with the Ombudsman was still open in spite of my reservations and, as the years rolled on, their select team of investigators which included Constable Kane from the West Midlands Police took an increasing interest in the case . This gap in my narrative will be filled when I finish this post and return to the later activities of the Police Ombudsman.
It occurred to me that if it was the case that we were both right then the Police computer must have been running some 6 or 7 minutes slow since its installation some years ago.
A central plank of any criminal investigation is to establish an accurate time line. This is vital especially with the growth of mobile phones, Cttv cameras etc. The innocence or guilt of a person can depend on an accurate time being recorded. If it was established that the Police computer was running 6 minutes slow since its installation then all cases that were time sensitive would have to be re-investigated to set aside any miscarriages of justice. Later, my thoughts on this were conveyed to anyone who would listen including the Police,the PONI, and the Press but all without response. I was surprised that I got no response from the Press. When I asked why, I was told that, on enquiry from the local police or the Press Office, the Police had assured them that there was absolutely no merit in my statement.
In October 2011 I met the second member of the new Police Ombudsman team Mr Beacon (pseudonym) who was a senior accident investigator by qualification and was currently Assistant Director of Investigations with PONI. Things were beginning to look up. Superintendent Muir Clarke, Head of Roads Policing, had agreed to undertake a review of the Police investigation of the crash. By February he had appointed Mr Ian Kennedy, a retired ex RUC Inspector whom he highly recommended for the task. It should take about 8 weeks and he would give him 40 questions to find answers to.
On 7th June 2012, I was given a verbal briefing of his Report in the presence of Superintendent Clarke. I was not to receive a written copy but Kennedy read the Report to me. It covered many subjects and will be detailed in a later post, but on the subject of the timing of the crash. I wrote down what he said in note form as best I could. On the subject of the timing of the crash this is what the Report said.
He interviewed witness two and established that she made a call to the Ambulance Service at 1449. He could not get hold of witness 1. Witness 4 made a call to the Police according to his record. However this was received, according to the record to have been received at 1451 and 51 seconds. It would appear that witness 4’s record was out by 2 minutes and 51 seconds. The time of 1443 had been taken from the recording device. He investigated this and discovered that for at least 2 days prior and 2 days ahead, the times on this equipment was in error by some 7-9 minutes. This is where the error arose. The accident most probably happened at 1448 and Carson was likely to have been on his phone up to the point of collision. This is a time limited offence and no action can be taken.
I never received a copy of the Report and I can’t stand by its contents. If anyone is doubtful about what I was told at that meeting then they can refer to the secret and improper recording that Kennedy made whilst presenting his Report to me.
His finding is that the time error in the police equipment existed only around the day of the accident and that it must have then self corrected !
His decision on the timings appeared to suit everyone. Carson was using his phone to call his wife, the Control Centre staff were not lying and there was no need to check time sensitive cases going back 10 years or whenever.
He never considered why Inspector White and Sgt McBride might have lied to the my Legal team, to me and to the Police Ombudsman about the contents of Carson’s second statement or why, miraculously, an error in the recording system was found which exactly matched the lies they told in order to give cover to Carson.
I couldn’t bring myself to believe a word of it even if the conclusion might suit me.
Driving a car at high speed with faulty tyres whilst using a mobile phone and causing death by dangerous driving or manslaughter or murder and is not a time limited offence.
I contacted a very senior IT consultant about the newly found error in the timing of the Police computer and was assured that such an error would not be possible given the quadruple failsafe system in place within the system and that the implications of any such error would have serious consequences beyond the PSNI. I do not have the means or knowledge to do so but you may wish to contact BT managed Services to test the veracity of the PSNI belated assertion that the timing of their Central computer was at fault.
On 15th March 2013, I wrote to ACC George Hamilton asking for a written copy of the Report by Kennedy and he replied on 7th June 2013 that “the report has concluded that on, on the balance of probabilities, the time of the voice recorder was wrong and the initial emergency call was not reported to police at 1443 as indicated by this equipment. It would appear, on the basis of other time sources that the time of the collision was in or around 14.49 hours.
This was written before he became Chief Constable and he couldn’t have been more mealy-mouthed. He describes the conclusion of Kennedy’s Report in civil case terms using the expression “balance of probabilities” which is not sufficient evidence in criminal cases. The Public Prosecution Service, on the strength of this, decided not to prosecute.
The future Chief Constable should have insisted on carrying out a proper investigation to find out if the “error” ever existed in the first place. He would not even consider disciplinary action against McBride or White and certainly not Carson.
My opinion of the PSNI and its advancement of Justice above all else had slipped them down several more feet into the mire. I think that too many of them have been wading around in it for so long that they are totally immune to the stench.
Only children are expected to believe in fairy tales.
In the next post I will return to the Police Ombudsman. It will be posted on 23rd July after the July break.