In the last three posts, I explained why I asked for help from Chief Constable Hugh Orde when I couldn’t breach the brick wall of denial and corruption that had been erected by several of his officers conspiring to hide the truth. I had a duty to get justice for the family of my brother not least because I held Letters of Administration for my brother’s estate.
Orde had been Chief Constable when my brother was killed and still held that office when I asked him to intervene in June 2006. (See Post published on 27th August 2018).
When he did nothing, even though he said he was personally responsible for the actions of each of his officers, I submitted evidence to the Public Prosecution Service and asked them to consider bringing a charge against him for Perverting the Course of Justice. (See Posts dated 3rd and 10th September 2018).
The Public Prosecution Service did nothing but put my submission on a long finger towards infinity and so the case against Orde and the others (McBride and Carson) remain on the books until the present day. Officially it remains there until the Coroner’s Court closes the case. No one can explain why that is, but that is evidently one of the methods the PPS uses to create desirable or required delays in its decision-making process.
Hugh Orde joined the PSNI as Chief Constable in 2002 and left in August 2009. It seems to me that he was more concerned with the status of his job than the task for which it was created ie the administration of justice for all without fear or favour. It could be argued that more than anyone he oversaw the change of the PSNI from a Police Force for Justice for all to a political Police Force which made decisions with one or both eyes on the political repercussions of any action. To put it another way, criminals were put in one of two groups – one with political or terrorist clout and one with none. I could give you numerous examples of that but it is outside the scope of this blog. Personally I had come to the conclusion that my brother’s family would receive no justice in any form.
Following the premature resignation of Sir Ian Blair as Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police in London at the end of 2008, a vacancy existed at the top post in the country’s largest police force. The selection process was to take place at the end of January 2009 and Orde submitted his application for the post along with the acting Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson and several other serving Chief Constables. Almost everyone assumed that Orde, given his experience in Northern Ireland and his previous service in the Metropolitan Police at a very senior level, was a shoe-in for the job.
The Selection Board would be set up by an element of the Home Office with some sort of input from the Home Secretary Jacqui Smith and the London Mayor Boris Johnson.
I was certain that the Selection Board would not be informed that our PPS was dealing with a case submitted by me alleging that Orde might be, according to the evidence supplied by me, guilty of Perverting the Course of Justice.
So that they could take all relevant information about the various applicants into consideration before coming to a decision, I emailed both the Home Office and the London Mayor and simply stated that they should be aware that presently Chief Constable Hugh Orde had a case of Perverting the Course of Justice under consideration with the Public Prosecution Service in Northern Ireland. Neither recipient acknowledged receipt of the email although my compter showed that it was sent.
I have no knowledge that it played any part in the failure of Orde to get the position of Commissioner. I do know that the selection Board had whittled the applicants down to a final two ie Orde and Stephenson. When it is such a close call a selection board always welcomes one thing that will tip the balance.
I like to think that it was a close run thing and my revelatory email swung the balance away from Orde. I can’t know what its effect was but maybe someone does.
It is my view that if someone considers himself to be so high and mighty to refuse to have his hands dirtied by having to respond to a well argued claim that some of his officers were making false Reports, then he would certainly be unfit to head up any Police Force never mind the Met Police.
In April 2009, Orde was given the news that he had been elected to the post of President and given the task of heading up the Association of Chief Police Officers(ACPO), a peculiar organisation supposedly set up to give a collective forum and offer advice to the government for the 45 Chief Constables or so around the country in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Sensibly Scotland decided not to join. It was set up as a not-for-profit Limited Company and was funded by the various Police Forces, some commercial activity and by the Home Office. Sadly, by 2011, the ACPO ran into financial problems of various kinds, several Police Forces withdrew their support, allegations were made and, after a thorough Review, it was shut down in 2015 and replaced by a new National Police Chiefs’ Council under a different leadership.
Sir Paul Stephenson resigned in July 2011 under a cloud connected with the phone hacking scandal and the post was advertised again. Orde made a second application for the post. This time he was defeated by a new applicant Bernard Hogan-Howe who had been Chief Constable of Liverpool. At the time his application he had been serving in Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, the very organisation who had used my case to beat the PSNI over the head with in their Roads Report dated June 2008 !
Again, Orde was favourite according to the initial panel, but lost out in the final interview in front of the Home Secretary Teresa May and london Mayor Boris Johnson.
I do hope that they had picked up a copy of my email to their respective Department before they made their final decision. On hearing the result I felt that I might have found a tiny chink in their armour which suggested that they weren’t totally untouchable.
I have just watched the interview of Hugh Orde on the BBC’s Spotlight programme. For once I agree with the present Chief Constable that it would be better if he kept his nose out of Northern Ireland affairs. He has done untold damage to the Police Service here when he turned it into a political Force and made it accountable to the requirements of terrorist organisations at the expense of the majority of law-abiding citizens. I wonder what people might think if the Fire Service was expected to give priority to the properties of terrorists or the Ambulance or the NHS would select which patient should be treated first depending on his influence with a terrorist organisation.
He took some pride in saying that for two years he had headed up an investigation into the death of Pat Finucane costing massively in time and money. He had a full Police team, offices, many staff, and unlimited resources, and ended up with one arrest. At the other end of the scale, he couldn’t be bothered to ask one Police Officer to spend one hour at the scene of the crash to determine if the Collision Report by two of his officers was false or accurate as detailed in my submission to him.
In 2005 he was wholly respnsible for setting up the Historical Enquiry Team (HET).
In 2013,Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) heavily criticised the HET very heavily and recommended that it be dumped, not least because it treated state involvement cases differently as a matter of policy which was illegal. There were many other reasons that clearly justified their criticism.
In his arrogance he defended his idiotic Historical Enquiry Team, which he should never have been allowed to set up by the Police playing politics. His sole job should remain confined to the protection of life and property and the arrest and prosecution of criminals and he should have been told to leave politics to the politicians. However, he was happy to politicize the Police and admitted that during his time he was investigating more soldiers than terrorists for crimes. His most outrageous statement was that he “dislikes the overtly legal route.”
I wish to make one final point since he raised the subject.
Just as MP Anna Soubry does to support her defence against Brexit, and Taoiseach Varadkar does to supposedly prevent a hard border but probably to encourage a United Ireland, Orde uses the same argument to support his solution for historical investigations. I refer to their prophesy that unless their wishes are implemented then the likelihood is that the “Troubles” will flare up again.
I make the following observations.
Has any of them received intelligence that this is to be the outcome?
Has the Police investigated or tracked down or monitored any of the conspirators involved in this new coup?
Do they know that the terrorist campaign is ongoing and what they mean is that it is likely to increase ?
Should we prepare now for such an increased onslaught ?
In the same programme our current Chief Constable said “Hugh Orde was a fantastic Chief Constable and gave great leadership to this Organisation.”
It is clear to me now where Chief Constable Hamilton learned to turn a blind eye to the responsibilities imposed on him in his position. Hopefully he will be gone in July next year and we also have heard the last of Orde’s unwelcome interference.
Thankfully, Orde was never imposed on the Metropolitan Police in london for Heaven knows what special privileges or immunities might have been granted to ISIS by now.
In the next series of posts I will relate my dealings with the Coroner’s Office and especially Chief Coroner John Leckey.