‘Lying’ policewoman who led to murder convictions being quashed – still works for the police

Three killers had their murder convictions quashed after a female police officer tried to hide the fact a jury member in their trial was her son’s girlfriend.

Detective Constable Rebecca Bryant lied about her relationship to juror Laura Jones, and sent texts telling her “don’t tell anyone who you are” during the murder trial in 2016.

The officer’s relationship to Miss Jones, a teaching assistant, was eventually discovered just weeks after Dwayne Edgar, Jake Whelan, and Robert Lainsbury, were sentenced to life in prison for knifing 29-year-old Lynford Brewster to death in Cardiff.

The three men then managed to get their convictions quashed in the Court of Appeal after a High Court judge ordered a retrial, accusing Det Con Bryant and Miss Jones of wasting court time and public money.

Lord Justice Treacy told the appeal hearing in July last year: “It is crystal clear that this juror should never have sat on this trial and that the assertion of objective bias is fully made out.

“In the circumstances, this trial was fatally flawed and the safety of the convictions is totally undermined.

“The folly of the juror and the police officer have wasted vast amounts of time and cost the public a great deal of money.

“Moreover, the agony for the victim’s family is inevitably prolonged.

“We very much regret that fact.

“However, there has not been a fair and proper trial because of the conduct of the officer and the juror and in those circumstances it is our duty to act.”

Text exchanges between the two women before the original trial at Cardiff Crown Court showed Det Con Bryant was aware Miss Jones could be involved as a juror, and also that both women knew Miss Jones worked at the school of victim Mr Brewster’s young nephew.

One text the police officer sent to Miss Jones read: “Remember what I sed (sic) though, as long as you don’t know any of the witnesses that’s fine.

“Don’t tell any of them who u r to me tho in case they think I’ve told u about it although u know I haven’t xxx”.

Det Con Bryant, who was working as a family liaison officer with Mr Brewster’s family during the court proceedings, initially lied about her relationship with Miss Jones after she was questioned by police, but later admitted the juror was in a long-term relationship with her son.

The officer is still employed by South Wales Police and is due to face disciplinary proceedings.

Assistant Chief Constable Jeremy Vaughan said: “When issues regarding the original trial came to light, the matter was voluntarily referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct and has been investigated by the South Wales Police Professional Standards Department.

“Our investigation, which has also been subject of independent review, has not found any evidence that the officer intended to undermine the criminal justice process, and following a formal submission to the Crown Prosecution Service the matter will now be dealt with through South Wales Police disciplinary processes.

“Our thoughts remain with the family of Mr Brewster who we have continued to support throughout this difficult time.”

Edgar, Whelan and Lainsbury were all convicted of murder on Monday following their retrial at Bristol Crown Court, and will be sentenced on March 26.

Decorated Anti-Shoptlifting Cop On Trial For Shoplifting

Richard Pendlebury a decade ago as a decorated officer
Richard Pendlebury a decade ago as a decorated officer

A decorated police officer who helped front an anti-shoplifting campaign went on a stealing spree in Asda before assaulting a security guard as he tried to leave the store, a court has heard.

Richard Pendlebury, 42, an officer with Greater Manchester Police, was stopped by staff at the Pilsworth Road store in Bury who searched his child’s changing bag to find a woman’s top, dress, shoes and apples.

Pendlebury, a custody sergeant at Bury Police Station, flashed his warrant card to the security man upon being asked to return to the store – telling him he was an off duty police officer as he attempted to pass the bag to his partner, Zoe Wilkinson, 30.

Pendlebury, a serving officer for over 20 years, denies theft and assault on September 19, 2014, and further denies one count of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice between September 18, 2014 and April 9 2015.

He also denies two charges of intending to pervert the course of justice along with Wilkinson, who faces the same two charges between the dates of December 27, 2014 and January 1, 2015.

opening the case at Preston Crown Court, Mr Richard Haworth said Pendlebury entered the store carrying his child accompanied by his other child on a scooter, behind Wilkinson who went to return a pair of leggings.

CCTV showed the couple looking in the clothing area before Wilkinson held up an item of clothing and placed it in the trolley.

Mr Haworth said Pendlebury was then seen on CCTV selecting a sandwich and giving it to the children.

Mr Haworth said: “Mr Pendlebury was seen to lean down into the trolley for a number of seconds before standing up, now holding an empty sandwich box and a clothes hanger and walked over to a bin and threw the empty items into a bin together with the hanger.”

Jurors were told as they made their way to the tills – the trolley “neatly arranged” with the child’s changing bag and a pink scooter – there was no sign of the items that had previously been placed in it.

After they left, Pendlebury was approached by a security guard holding the empty sandwich box and hanger.

Mr Haworth added: “He asked the defendant to return into the store and needed to speak to him about the items. He put the child down and took hold of his arm and produced his warrant card.”

He added that Pendlebury attempted to pass the changing bag to Wilkinson, then grabbed the security guard before a struggle ensued.

Mr Haworth added: “Mr Pendlebury suggested his partner suffered from depression. Mr Pendlebury sought to persuade the store to take no action, referring to the fact he was a custody sergeant and had been a police officer for a number of years.”

Once inside, the bag revealed £24 worth of clothing goods and apples and a sandwich totalling £1.25.

Pendlebury was to admit the child had eaten the sandwich, adding he was happy to pay for it, before telling staff his partner was on medication and “didn’t know what she was doing”.

The court later heard the couple asked Wilkinson’s hairdresser to cover for them in providing a false statement, claiming she had witnessed the security guard “grabbing” at Wilkinson’s arm.

The woman later pleaded guilty to conspiracy to perverting the course of justice, saying she had been asked to provide a false account when Wilkinson told her her partner’s “job was on the line”.

Jurors were further told Pendlebury had been caught on camera in the custody area at Rochdale police station admitting on the telephone he was going to have to “take a hit” after learning that police had found incriminating text messages on his partner’s phone.

In 2005, Pendlebury was honoured with the Chief Constable’s Commendation for extreme courage and bravery after he was stabbed and sprayed with CS gas as he chased a man.

He later helped publicise an initiative to combat pickpockets and shoplifters in Bury town centre.

Police sergeant among accused in manslaughter trial over death in custody

Kingshott, Marsden, Tansley
Kingshott, Marsden, Tansley

A police custody sergeant and two detention officers are to go on trial accused of killing a schizophrenic church caretaker who collapsed while in custody.

Sergeant Jan Kingshott, 44, and civilian staff Simon Tansley, 38, and Michael Marsden, 55, face trial at Bristol Crown Court.

The three defendants each deny two joint charges of the manslaughter of Thomas Orchard.

The first charge alleges that on October 10 2012 they did an act or series of acts which unlawfully killed Mr Orchard.

The second charge alleges that on the same day the Devon and Cornwall officers unlawfully killed Mr Orchard by gross negligence.

Mr Orchard died in hospital seven days after he was allegedly restrained at Exeter’s main police station having been earlier arrested on suspicion of a public order offence.

The trial is expected to last up to seven weeks before High Court Judge Mr Justice King.

Police officer in court tomorrow charged with misconduct in public office

Sussex-policeA police officer is to appear in court charged with misconduct in public office and alleged data offences.

Pc Luke Smith, 33, a Sussex Police officer based at Hastings, was arrested in March following claims made against him by a female member of the public in the town.

He has been charged with misconduct in public office and “knowingly or recklessly obtaining, disclosing or procuring the disclosure” of personal information without permission of the data controller.

A police spokesman said that Smith will appear at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on Thursday 12th November 2015.

 

Police officer couldn’t control sexual urges

Christopher Hopkins
Christopher Hopkins

A police constable was “unable to contain his urges” as he committed a string of sexual assaults while on duty, a court has heard.

Christopher Hopkins, 41, is said to have targeted his three alleged victims between 2006 and 2013 – an under-age girl, a 17-year-old girl and a work colleague at Merseyside Police.

The married father also allegedly arranged over the internet to meet a man for sexual activity when he should have been on mobile police patrol.

opening the prosecution case at Preston Crown Court, Richard Haworth told jurors: “The Crown’s case, in a nutshell, is that he was unable to contain his sexual urges and all of these alleged offences were committed to satisfy his predatory sexual nature.

“As an overall view, the audacity and impertinence of some of the sexual advances beggars belief at times. But such an approach is a common feature of his offending.”

The first complainant was aged between 13 and 15 when Hopkins visited her home address after she had been reported missing.

While alone together in the kitchen Hopkins commented she looked old for her age and effectively “gave her the once over” as he looked her up and down, said the prosecutor.

Mr Haworth said the complainant felt “intimidated” when Hopkins asked her for a kiss.

She went to give him a kiss on the cheek but the defendant turned and kissed her on the lips, the court heard.

The teenager went on to have further dealings with the complainant and arrested her on one occasion.

Mr Haworth said that while en route to the police station the defendant remarked to a fellow officer: “How long do you think it will before she is pregnant?”

The prosecutor went on: “He had possession of her mobile phone and he was looking through the content.

“He found pictures stored on her phone which depicted her wearing only her underwear and, the prosecution say, he showed them to his colleague in due course.”

On another occasion, Hopkins approached the complainant in public while in uniform and said to her: “You know what you need, don’t you? A f*** buddy.”

Hopkins, of Whickham Close, Widnes, Cheshire, denies five counts of sexual assault, one count of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and one count of misconduct in a public office.

Shield-Smash Cop says his alleged victim was “unlucky”

Pc Andrew Ott
Pc Andrew Ott

A policeman who allegedly smashed a man’s tooth out with his riot shield during the 2010 student protests said that it was “unlucky” he had been caught in the mouth.

Pc Andrew Ott, 36, was taped on his personal recording device threatening violence towards the crowds that had gathered near the Houses of Parliament.

It is alleged that when Royal Holloway student William Horner tried to break free from a kettled area on Parliament Square, Ott struck out with his shield, knocking out the student’s tooth.

He is also accused of conspiring with two colleagues to come up with a reason to falsely arrest the student after he was injured.

Recordings captured on the day showed that on a number of occasions Ott had talked about “getting” protesters.

Giving evidence at London’s Southwark Crown Court, he said that after a short break at around 8pm he heard another officer shout out, saying “stop”.

“The shout alerted me and I knew straight away from the tone and pitch, I knew something had happened or was about to happen. I was immediately alerted, I turned to my right and I saw someone running,” said Ott.

Jurors heard that he gave chase, eventually catching up with Mr Horner where he was trying to scale a fence.

Ott continued: “I believed he had done something or was about to do something – I wanted to contain him. I had full knowledge of what I could and couldn’t do and I wasn’t about to start attacking him.

“I bring my shield around – I believe it was on my left arm – and momentum, and also the fact that I bring my shield around my body, I collided with him.”

Jurors heard that Ott used the riot equipment to “create distance” between himself and Mr Horner.

“I struck him with the shield, yes. At that moment in time my threat assessment was high. He was a threat to me – I dealt with it as I saw fit.

“Hindsight is fantastic, would I have done something different? Absolutely. I wouldn’t be here. But I did what I did,” Ott told the court.

He continued: “I struck his upper body. If his head got hit, then it got hit – I didn’t aim for his head. To get a chipped tooth from a shield like that – unlucky.”

The incident was captured on the audio recording device that Ott had on his uniform, as were the clashes that took place earlier in the day.

Jurors heard one clip in which Ott was heard saying: “Poked the little c*** right in the eye”.

He admitted that he had also struck out with his shield on this instance, but added that he had “over-exaggerated” in his description of the incident.

When asked if he had poked the protester in the eye, he replied: “Probably, by accident.”

Ott denies one count of occasioning actual bodily harm, and one count of perverting the course of justice.

Pc Calvin Lindsay and Pc Thomas Barnes, both 31, also stand accused of the second offence.

It is said that after the alleged assault they came up with a reason to arrest Mr Horner and justify the attack.

Ott explained that on December 9, officers were under “intense attack” from the crowds that had gathered to protest against the increase in tuition fees, and described one particular protester as a “nightmare”.

The violent protests saw riot police pelted with missiles including rocks and concrete blocks, and statues in Parliament Square being daubed with graffiti.

Although questioned by police, no further action was taken against Mr Horner in connection with the incident.

Ott, of Rochester, Kent, denies one charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and a further charge of perverting the course of justice.

Lindsay, of Leytonstone, east London, and Barnes, of Greenhithe, Kent, both deny perverting the course of justice.

All three men are on restricted duties pending the outcome of proceedings. The trial continues.

Sex on duty Cop on trial

PC Adam Rushton
PC Adam Rushton

A policeman from Newcastle-under-Lyme engaged in sexual activity with four different women while on duty and “groomed” a domestic violence victim for sex at a hotel, a court has heard.
A jury was told that Pc Adam Rushton even used the “subterfuge” of a fictional crime to trick a woman who had reported a domestic incident into exposing herself.
On another occasion, Birmingham Crown Court heard, the officer checked that the coast was clear before taking a lover into a police station, where she handcuffed him in an office.
Rushton, who was based at Longton police station in Stoke-on-Trent, denies 10 counts of misconduct in a public office and two offences under data protection laws.
The 37-year-old is alleged to have committed the offences between June 2006 and October 2012.
opening the case at the start of what is expected to be a seven-day trial, prosecutor Duncan Bould said the allegations all related to Rushton’s sex life.
Mr Bould told the court: “We say that over the years his activities as a police constable have brought him regularly into contact with vulnerable and frightened females, often in extreme circumstances, who he has met during the course of his duties.
“We say he sought to take advantage of those situations to have sexual activity of some kind with them.”
Describing Rushton’s alleged conduct towards a total of seven women as a serious breach of trust, Mr Bould took jurors through the details of each of the 12 charges.
The Crown claims Rushton, who joined the police service in 2003, paid social visits to some of the women while on duty and gave one of them cash in return for oral sex.
The jury of 10 men and two women was told that Rushton developed a friendship with one of the women, who was 21, in 2006 and went on to have sex at her home while on duty.
Another woman, who was 17 when she met Rushton, allegedly kissed him in a police car and engaged in sexual activity after being taken to Longton police station.
“He picked her up in a marked police car,” Mr Bould told the jury. “When they got to the police station, she had to wait in the car, presumably whilst he made sure the coast was clear.
“He took her into the police station and they went into an office.
“Once inside, the door was locked, he spun her round and began to kiss her, and then she put his own handcuffs on him.
“Clearly sexual activity was taking place that was intended to go further but for the fact that somebody disturbed them.
“They had been there for probably 30 to 40 minutes. He told her afterwards that she shouldn’t say anything about what they had done because he could lose his job.”
Jurors were also told that Rushton was alleged to have called at the home of another member of the public while on duty and told her that he needed to identify the sender of an abusive message from a tattoo on her thigh.
Rushton is then alleged to have threatened to handcuff the woman, who had reported a domestic incident, before she lowered her clothing for him to examine her.
In 2012, the court heard, other police officers spotted Rushton visiting a hotel where a victim of domestic violence was staying.
Rushton is alleged to have had sex with the woman, who the prosecution claim was “groomed” while he was on duty and later sent a series of text messages.
Concluding his opening remarks, Mr Bould stressed that none of the women had made complaints to the police about Rushton.
After the officer’s arrest in April 2013, he was interviewed about the misconduct allegations.
“In essence, apart from (an incident with one of the women) he denied the allegations that were put to him,” Mr Bould said.
“He said he had not had sexual relations with people he had met through work and that he had not conducted sexual relations on duty at all.”
The trial continues.

Cop faces multiple sexual misconduct charges

PC Adam Rushton
PC Adam Rushton

A Staffordshire Police officer is set to face trial over multiple sex-related misconduct charges after denying the offences in court.

Adam Rushton is facing 10 counts of misconduct in a public office and two charges of obtaining the personal data of two women without proper permission while on duty as a serving constable with the force.

Rushton, 37, sat composed in the dock throughout the brief hearing at Birmingham Crown Court, wearing a suit, striped tie and black-rimmed glasses.

He entered not guilty pleas to each charge on the indictment as they were put to him.

The offences are all alleged to have happened between June 2006 and October 2012, and they relate to seven different women.

He is facing six allegations that he had sex with women while he was supposed to be working, and a further two accusations that he carried out social visits to women with whom he was having a relationship, also while on duty.

Rushton, of Hilltop Avenue, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, is also accused of grooming a vulnerable woman for sexual contact, and further charged with going to another woman’s address with the intention of having sex, both while at work.

The charges follow an investigation by Staffordshire Police and the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

Judge Roderick Henderson told him his trial was set to take place next March, and bailed him to that date.

Addressing the defendant, he said: “Your trial will probably take place on March 16 2015.

“Whatever the date of your trial, it will be your job to stay in touch with your lawyers and ensure you turn up in good time.”

The judge made an order in court banning the identification of the women named in the indictment.

Under their noses? 52kg of Cocaine Nicked From Police HQ!

cocaine

A French police officer is facing preliminary charges relating to the disappearance of 116lb (52.6kg) of cocaine from Paris police headquarters’ evidence room.

Prosecutor’s office spokeswoman Agnes Thibault-Lecuivre said the unidentified anti-narcotics officer faces charges including transport, possession and sale of narcotics and covering up a drug ring.

The cocaine has not been found. It had been held in a locked room at the Paris police headquarters, close to Notre Dame Cathedral, and was reported missing on July 31.

The suspect has denied the charges, according to French press reports. They said the cocaine has an estimated street value of 2 million euros (£1.6 million).

Sex cop spared jail

PC Simon Abell
PC Simon Abell

A Pc who sent sexually inappropriate texts and Facebook messages to a woman he met in his capacity as a serving officer walked free from court today.

Intelligence officer Pc Simon Abell was handed a six-month sentence, suspended for one year, at Nottingham Crown Court after pleading guilty to misconduct in a public office at an earlier hearing.

The court was told he sent inappropriate texts and Facebook messages between November 4, 2011 and the end of August 2012 to a woman he met in his capacity as a police constable.

Sentencing the 42-year-old, Judge Michael Stokes, Recorder of Nottingham, said: “You have pleaded guilty to a single offence of misconduct in a public office, which is always a serious offence.

“You were at the relevant time, and had been for over 20 years, a serving police officer.

“It is always a matter of regret and gravity when a police officer offends in this way.

“A police officer is in a position of trust in relation to all members of the community who he serves.”

The court heard Abell, who was based at Sutton-in-Ashfield in Nottinghamshire, had been a serving officer for 23 and a half years.

The judge said: “It is quite inappropriate for a police officer to be engaging with someone who started as a potential witness in this sort of sexual innuendo.”

The court heard the complainant, who cannot be named for legal reasons, initiated contact with the officer in 2011 by sending him a Facebook message after being a potential witness in an earlier case.

She asked him in the Facebook message, sent on November 5, whether he remembered her.

Father-of-two Abell, from Sutton-in-Ashfield, replied: “Hi of course i remember a sexy lady like you. I remembered you in an instant xx. I was coming to see you, as i remember, then you didn’t invite me lol.”

A flurry of texts and Facebook messages between the pair then commenced.

The court heard that he had met the woman when she was a potential witness in a police investigation but at the time of the offences that case had been discontinued.

The matter came to the attention of the Professional Standards Directorate in September 2012 after a friend of the complainant handed a CD with screenshots of Facebook messages between Abell and the woman into Mansfield Police Station.

Abell, who appeared in the dock wearing a blue shirt, striped tie and black trousers and was seen to hold his head in his hands at times during today’s hearing, was arrested in January 2013.

He was suspended from Nottinghamshire Police and resigned in May this year after pleading guilty to misconduct in a public office at Nottingham Crown Court.

The 42-year-old pleaded not guilty to two further misconduct charges of sexually inappropriate behaviour between November 4, 2011 and December 31, 2011, and on August 2, 2012.

The prosecution agreed that no further action should be taken against the officer, who has been suspended by his force, on the further charges.

In mitigation today, Harpreet Sandhu said: “He had not only lost his occupation but he had effectively lost his reputation. He is lucky that those who know him have stood by him”.

Abell’s partner and ex-wife were in court for the sentencing.

Mr Sandhu added that his client had shown “genuine remorse”.

He said: “The regret is not for him but for those who he has placed in a precarious position due to his offending”.

The judge noted that the complainant had initiated the contact but said she had been “undeniably vulnerable” and that Abell had “taken advantage” of that vulnerability.

He handed Abell a six-month custodial sentence, suspended for 12 months.

The former officer was also ordered to carry out 150 hours unpaid work for the benefit of the community over the next 12 months.

Speaking after today’s hearing, Detective Superintendent Jackie Alexander, head of the Force’s Professional Standards Directorate, said: “Abell should have been there to protect vulnerable people and uphold the law but instead he abused his position and failed to meet the high standards of integrity and professionalism that we expect from all our officers and employees.

“We need to acknowledge that in all professions there will be a minority of individuals who try and use their position for abuse or sexual exploitation, and sadly this will, on occasion, also include these who work in policing. It is only by acknowledging this fact, and ensuring that where there is any suggestion of abuse a transparent and professional investigation is conducted, that we can then reassure the public that we continue to deserve their trust and confidence.

“Simon Abell not only acted criminally towards a vulnerable person, but he also let down the vast number of officers and staff who are committed to helping and supporting people in their time of need. I hope that this case does reassure the people of Nottinghamshire that we are actively committed to identifying and rooting out these kinds of behaviour when they occur.”