Police sacked for framing squatter - my story
Posted 05 February 2011 - 12:33 AM
over the last three years I'v been following my case on the internet and it seems that UK420 and other cannabis sites are really into this story, however the mainstream media have shown no interest in it really.
Well so far only my facebook friends have read this, so i'l tell you my story in brief.
copy and pasted
Some of you may have seen one of my recent facebook status's , relating to the sacking of SGT Marcus Garvey and PC Waybe campbell.
Anyway i'v been wanting to tell people about this anyway but haven't been able to due to ongoing trials at crown court and the misconduct hearing.
Well on the 26th January I had been squatting a premises on Tudway road on the ferrier estate, where i hear voices relating to "squatters" outside of the window.I walked close to the window to hear what was being said but I'd forgotten to take into account that i had light a candle at the back of the room and that if anyone was outside they would see my silouhette.
Well anyway as i'm listening something comes smashing through the window right by my head and if it wasn't for the curtain made out of paper it would have hit me. I heard something drop but didn't see it. Not knowing what was behind the curtain i wasn't sure if some local kids had threw something, maybe a petrol bomb, or if the riot police were outside.
Everything went calm and then i looked behind the curtain to outside and then i saw Sgt Garvey approach, who'd already pinned me up against a bus stop on the 10th of January and had kicked me out of the squat the previous night, after searching my bags and nicking my weed and cautioning me for it.
He demanded me to open the door but i told him I wouldn't as he abused his trust the night before , so he went to his car to get a sledge hammer that was there, so i dial 999.
"Hello - emergency services" -, "Hello theres some police outside coming to illegally evict me, he's bashing the door down now with a sledge hammer, (hear bangs).
then the phone passes to officer garvey and he says he's come in to nick me for criminal damage.
So anyway after a few seconds there is me, PC Campbell and PCSO stef loftus in the room , SGT garvey is all rushing around trying to find either something or someone, the 999 call has ended but i have sneakily switched on my digitial voice recorder which i use for my music, and held it in my hands, although i would have thought that the bright red light that meant "recording" was a bit of a giveaway.
Well after a few minutes of me saying "i'v got a section 6 , these are my rights ect" , SGT Garvey has said "Your coming with me" , then Garvey and Campbell have dragged me outside and i'v bashed my knee onto the doorframe on the way out. I'm in the yard and immediatly sit with my back against the concrete yard wall and hold my knee as it's in pain.
me- "aaarghg aaaarghg , exuse me can i get your numbers please, aaaaarghgh , and whats his? aaaaaarghgh"
Then officer Garvey comes from inside and points to a lampost, just a normal lampost just outside the front gate and says
MG " You see that over there?"
Me- "What that light?"
MG "Yes, theres a camera in there watching you smashing and breaking that window"
Me - eeer no! I don't think so because that window just went through a second before you got here so it was either you or... it was you! i know it was you!
WC" well you would have seen him wouldn't ya"
Me- "look i don't know if he's through the brick or not but i was just standing at that window and that brick nearly hit me in the face man"
And then Marcus Garvey comes out from inside holding up a couple of joints he's pulled from underneath the mattress and said "you might aswell arrest him for cannabis"
Wayne Campbell - "Warning or..."
Marcus Garvey - "No no arrest him, i gave him a warning yesterday, he's been given enough warnings already by now"
And then The handcuffs go on and the digital voice recording is switched off at that point.
Well when i'v switched it off i'm not sure if when Wayne Campbell had arrested me , that he knew what i was doing, and he asked me what it was and i said "ooh its a digitil voice recorder" , and he asked me what it was for and i said i used it for my music.
Well they get me in the back of the police van once its arrived and theres a few cops got to the house at that point, i'm all shouting how wrong it all is and proppa bashing myself around in the back of the police van a bit like an angry bull i suppose. And i'm imagining that they are all outside gathered round the voice recorder trying to work out how to delete what i had just recorded.
Well anyway once we got to the police station SGT Garvey wasn't there, but just outside the custody suite on the way in Wayne Campbell pulls me aside and says to me "Look you can either say we found the cannabis on you and you can be out in a few hours or you can be here all night, its up to you". I didn't really know how to take that, i suppose i didn't really know what he was saying really, perhaps i was still in shock.
Well we'v got to the custody suite desk and i'm getting booked in, i'm there saying how it was all dodgy and illegal and no one around at that point shows any signs of "getting it" so to speak, its like i was in a world of people that didn't really care. When he asks me to sign the paper i sign it instead of my name, "not guilty".
Well i'm in the cells and people know how it is, takes them an hour to answer your bell and then another 2 hours just to get you a cup of water , 24 hours to organise to let you get out to stretch your legs and all that kind of stuff.
well after a few hours the duty solicitor comes in to see me before the interview sits down and goes through the statements of the officers and says "ook right, lets read what they'r saying , right ok, We saw Ben Thacker smoking what appeared to be a cannabis joint outside, and he saw us and ran off into the premises then ran out and we searched him and found the cannabis in his pocket"
And i'm like "uh? what? thats not what happened at all, they sledgehammered into my squat and kicked me out, and came back outside with it"
and the solicitors like " well what will happen is , is that if you go with their versions of events, they may or may not give you bail, i'm not sure about that, but if you tell your story of what happened then realisticly the chances are they'l keep you in here all weekend and you go straight to court on monday".
And i'm like "Well thats not what happened, sorry, i'm not going to say that"
so the solicitor suggests we write a statement saying "I ben Thacker Was living at that address claiming squatters rights, i was locked inside the premises and had not been out all day, PC Campbell did not find any cannabis in my pocket, that is a lie" and then gave a no comment interview.
During the interview Campbell seemed to find it frustrating when i just simply stayed quite as in to say no comment.
so of course when it came to the bloke on the custody desk deciding wether to charge me or not, i was to be charged and given no bail.
Whenever that happens, when they refuse me bail, if flicks a switch in me, something deep , i guess when an animal is captured , is natural insticts are to go a bit mental. I'd already tried communicating to the other police that they were making it up but no one was really listening.
And at one point, a really sound cop came on shift, i think he had just came to check up on me and i'd said "look mate that storys bullshit" or something, and he seemed to understand and empathise with me, and let me get out into the fresh air, I hope i'm ok for saying this, but he mentioned he'd lost a lot of faith in the police with what he'd seen happening.
Just being outside having he conversation with someone with a bit of heart really calmed me down a bit actually, and he said he'd try to find me a magazine to read. After a couple of hours he came back saying "Look i'v been all round the station and sorry ben but this is all i could find really", and he handed me a womens gossip mag and said "well theres plenty of fit birds in there" and we laughed about it.
There was actually some very hot birds in there, and to cure my boredom i thought i'd use the dregs from my bluechip police station geneticly modified lasagne to use as a glue to post up these attractive women onto the bit of wall that they cudn't see through the peephole, just to be able to look at something beautiful. Hey they threw me in this cell i may aswell make it into my bedroom kind of thing.
And then what i thought would be a really good idea was, if i teared out the positive words that i could find in the magazine, so after another hour or so eventually i'v got like a shrine going on with the words love, spirit, light, positive, life, freedom, strong, happiness' and loads of other powerful words, and i kind of end up going into a positive mindset, start singing bob marley and stuff haha.
Well monday morning comes and im transported to court in the good old group4 meatwagon or whatever firm of prison stewards took me there at the time, and well ever since the interview with the solicitor i'd thought maybe just maybe that recording could possibly be still on there, just a slight chance.
so when i'm at court they ask me my plea, i say not guilty, and they book another date for march. And i'm free to go whilst still on bail. And i go downstairs back into the court cells to get my possessions bag of things that were took from me when i was arrested and take it up into the public waiting room at the front of the courts having now being released.
I open the bag and i think the first thing i do is probly get my shoelaces or something, im not sure, but i remember pretty much straight away i had a listen to the voice recording and found it was still there and thought "wow, no way, your not getting away with this".
One of the first things i did was take the pack of statements and charge sheets and stuff and go and sit at a computer and write down what i remember clearly had happened. So I write that story and look through the officers statements which are hard to read due to the scruffy handwriting so i type them up and realise that they'r stories don't make sense when added together, and then i go off on a solicitor mode and really get into it and get serious and make a case for myself.
Well all through the time between the arrest and the magistrates court case in march, i had been squatting and not claiming benefits, i was trying to see solicitors but they were all telling me i wouldnt have recieved legal aid.
so time goes by and all up until the court case i'm thinking "are u supposed to submit this as evidence somehow?, will they accept it if i take it in". And then the day of court arrives, so i go on my own with no solicitor.
I know i'v got a card to pull out that will save my skin here, i didn't want to be found guilty of standing outside smoking a spliff and running from cops which was not what happened. And i make sure i'v been chanting and meditating a bit all morning and after sitting in the park go up into court.
Just before the actually courtroom itself was some chairs and i sat in one opposite Garvey and Campbell. Garvey looked at me and said "your not still going to plead not guilty are you?" as if to say what a stupid idea that was, and i smiled and said "thats right , not guilty", and as i said it i made sure i looked at them with so much conviction as to say "you silly silly boys". Garvey's reply was a smirk and a kind of half nudge to campbell, whilst it appeared for a split second that on some level campbell knew something was odd about my confidence, or perhaps he is just a bit of a nervous character, im not sure.
So we all walk into the courtroom when the usher comes and the first thing i say to the magistrates is "hi there , look exuse me i couldn't get a solicitor but there are somethings i would like to say about all this", and then one of the magistrates replies "well the officers will say what they say happened, you will get to ask them some questions if you feel the need and then you can say what you have to see, we will listen to you"
So first up is Wayne Campbell and he says he saw me smoking a joint and running off into the house and that he searched me. The magistrates then asked me if i wanted to cross examine him, ask him questions, and i thought "oh great i get to ask him questions, wicked", and then i said "can you just confirm again to the court that you stopped and searched me and found the cannabis in my pocket, and i was outside?" and he replied "yes of course". I then said "can you just confirm to the court that you have sworn on oath and that everything your saying is the truth?", he then began to look confused , did like a shrug, and then said "of course, why are you asking that?" and then after a couple more possibly slighty irrelavent questions, marcus garvey came and gave his statement of events.
I then got to ask him some questions of which i can't remember and the magistrate says to garvey "sorry can you just confirm something, when you arrived, was there any visible signs into the house?" and he said only a small hole in the window. of which the magistrate looked confused as to how i had mysteriously crept back in after apparantly running.
Well then it gets to my turn and i swear on oath quite passionatly and tell them what had happened and about swtiching the voice recorder on aswell and dialling 999, and they ask if i have the recording with me and i explain to them yes but that it is downstairs with the ushers because your not allowed to bring recording equiptment in so they go and get it and the crown prosecution lady making their case asks for the room to be cleared and i play it to her through a busking tube amp that has a poor connection and she hears it.
She's like "oh god i wish i had heard about this before the case otherwise we wouldn't have started it" , she was saying she couldnt believe they were prepared to jepordise their careers like that and opologized to me and then said to the other crown prosecution guy that she wanted to drop the case. He'd spoke with the magistrates and his reply was that she couldnt dop the case and that they wanted to hear what was on the recording. I attempted to play it back to them through the amp but the connection lead was poor and for that second wasn't working, so they took in to hear it in private.
After half an hour or so the magistrates come back out and say "Mr Thacker we'r sorry this has happened to you, it's not one rule for the police and one for everyone else, the charges of possession of cannabis are dropped against you but we are making offical complaints so we will need you to stick around for another couple of hours if thats ok".
As i'm wondering round the courts im speaking to a policeman who says the complaints kept going up and up to higher people , and then eventually i spoke with two detective sergeants and told them what happened.
A month or two later the police have retreaved a copy of the 999 call and have foresicly examined my dictaphone to check the soundwaves and stuff of when i was in the flat being dragged out if all the soundwaves of noises and voices matched, interesting ay. And Marcus Garvey, Wayne Campbell and PCSO Stef Loftus are charged with perverting the course of justice because they were lying in their statements and about my arrest.
I was to to attend southwark crown court one time, way before 7th september 2009, i can't remember the date now, but that got postponed because the judge said he didnt have time to hear the case because he was going on holiday, so they ajourn the case until 7th of september 2009.
I go to court and give evidence for the first time, but because PCSO Stef loftus hadn't done the training for the forms anyway and stuff, she was cleared and the case had to be reajourned for a separate case for Garvey and Campbell. I'm pleased about that anyway to be honest because she had took a back seat and hadn't treated me bad really.
The case was ajounred until the 4th may 2010
In both of those trials i never got to hear the officers give evidence because thats the way they do it, but giving evidence was an interesting experience. The prosecutor was a woman called Claire Howell, the detective sergeant dealing with the case was Sue Thomas, and her assistants were woman,the person from the IPCC was a gorgeous woman all of the wintness protection team were women, it felt special, not at all like i had expected.
The officers barristers tried pulling some really bizarre things outn of the hat, saying i was really anti-police and that infact i was fitting up the police, even bringing up my terrance the elf videos which was quite amusing.
They were like "Mr Thacker, your open to the fact on youtube that you smoke cannabis and are pro-cannabis don't you" and i'm just being honest and saying yes. well it was all a bit intense anyways.
and i think it was at the end of that week that they got found not guilty on a technicality. I was a bit gutted really , but the detective sergeants said the officers were lucky to slip off it but they just have being lying to everyone and not admitted to anything so they would take them to a police misconduct hearing, which was 1st and 2nd may 2011.
I wasn't sure what to expect of this, it was in tingagel house in vauxhall, a police building, and i'd taken a peak into one of the misconduct hearing rooms that was empty and was thinking it was going to be judged by strict militant old-timers.
Well before actually going into the room for the hearing, i'l put it like this, some people who were police were really glad to see these officers leave, i spoke with some nice people.
So yeah, the misconduct hearing.
So when the bloke who manages the floor asks me to come into the room i walk in not realising how many people there would be in there, it was me, a judge panel of three people, one a current officer, one a retired officer and one independant i think , then the officers with a different barrister each , Sue Thomas and her barrister , The cute woman from the IPCC, my civil claim solicitor, and three dodgy looking characters from the police union who were supporting garvey and campbell.
The judge panel wasn't the old timer military types like i'd imagined, they seemd like nice guys. The bloke on the far right seemed a serious kind of guy but seemed alright, the guy in the middle was a police officer who'd worked his way up, he led the hearing really and did it really fairly and i got really good vibes from him, the bloke nearest to me (this is when im giving evidence), he seemed a serios proffessional character but you could tell he took things into account and thought about things.
Well i am giving my evidence being cross examined by the officers barrister, he's trying to make out like i'm lying and trying to make me sound like an anti-police drug addict, but i'm strong and throw anything he says right back at him, he simply can't make me sound confused. The only bit that got sounding a bit weird was when he was saying that this bit of weed that was around was mine and i'd brought it the night before but that really wasn't relevant to this misconduct hearing anyway. But yeah i made him sound silly really and just stayed strong, but it was draining at the end of the day.
Steph Loftus had been called in to give evidence, i felt sorry for her thinking she shouldn't have had to be there because she was heavily pregnant, she seemed tired but i was relieved to find she owned up to the whole truth, and it was from this point i began hearing the evidence of the officers from another perspective, like when she said that officer garvey was already hanging around outside of the house when she first saw him when the fabricated version was that campbell and loftus saw me first and i ran off and then garvey came whilst i was being searched outside.
Garveys barrister was trying to make out that loftus has simply got it wrong, i think the officers barristers knew they couldn't get out of it and were just trying to throw anything they can, its work i suppose for them.
Two witness were then introduced who were police officer neil washington and kevin mcgill, neil washington was present on the 10th of january when i go pinned up against the bus stop, and they were both there on the previous night of my arrest when they went through my bags, cautioned me for cannabis, and sent me packing walking across the ferrier estate like a human camel, losing my nice camping stove somewhere on the way after putting it down.
I'd already heard Neil Washingon give evidence about it at Southwark crown court where he said "when i saw Mr Thacker, he seemed really hyped up, he was waving his arms about a lot and always saying "man" after every sentance.
he then began to say again that i started armflapping of which when it was brought up again at some point my reply to the barrister was "look mate, what do you all mean by arm flapping? can you show me like because i really havent got a clue what your talking about?"
Their exuses for throwing me out the night before were "for health and safety reasons, because the estate is dangerous and gangs could have got him when he was inside the building smoking his drugs", and i couldnt help thinking sureley then it would have been a lot more dangerous for me to be outside walking along on my own with all my belongings dragging along no? Both Neil Washington and Kevin MCGill were asked to give a character refference of Garvey of which they state he is a "role model police officer" and "all the youths love him".
Well when Garvey was called up to give his evidence, he was a wreck and he crumbled. He tried his best to lie through it all but he just couldn't pull it off and i presume pretty much everyone saw straigh through him.He accused stef loftus of getting it wrong and just couldnt own up. theres nothing more to say about that really apart from the fact came out that the sledgehammer should have been booked in and out and it wasn't.
Well when Campbell came up, i was shocked to hear he had written a statement saying something along the lines of
"As a junior officer, i'v always felt intimated by Garvey and felt if i question or intervene in any actions that i would fear the consequences of it and would fear Garvey would jeapordise my career."
My jaw was just gaping open at that point, i was so shocked.
But after a few minutes i realised, they are just boys in mens bodies, they haven't grown up yet, still childish, pointing the finger at each other now, everyone can see it.
Half way though it Campbell also made himself look a bit of a twat when half way through giving his evidence he mentioned "when it all kicked off and that", at which point the panel replied "but hang on, this was during the recording yes when all this stuff was happening, "kicked off?????"
I didn't stick around for the decision because it had all dragged on for long and i needed to meet someone so i recieved it during a phone call that they were found guilty later that day and dismissed from the police force. They will probabrly try to make an appeal so i stil can't get my beloved voice recorder back and i might even have to give evidence again, i just want it to all be over really, i want it sealed, done, out of the way, out of my mind.
So yes, i'v thought a lot about it, yeah its crap for them they'v lost their jobs but who wants cops like that around? we don't need bullies around, especially with those that can abuse their powers, and plus this is something i'v never really drove, its always been the IPCC and the detective sergeants that wanted them out, and iv just given evidence thats all.
so yeah thats whats happened. live n learn ay.
Posted 05 February 2011 - 12:54 AM
edited for code that keeps popping up some how ,,,,,,,,
Edited by ripthedrift, 05 February 2011 - 01:34 AM.
Posted 05 February 2011 - 01:12 AM
nice result too
nice to see the litle guy winning
nice, nice, nice
that is exactly why people hate the police....
c'mon the little people \o/ \o/ \o/
all coppers are bastards
ps, just one word
Posted 05 February 2011 - 01:45 AM
Wish you all the best dude
Posted 05 February 2011 - 01:47 AM
brilliant but they should have been jailed
i doth my cap in your general direction
e2a - cant believe the filthy bastids still stuck with their story AFTER the recording was made available
Edited by TheSaint, 05 February 2011 - 01:49 AM.
"Some mornings, its just not worth chewing through the leather straps"
Posted 05 February 2011 - 02:14 AM
and well done for sticking up for yourself and holding it together ..
link - Cannabis shown to reduce invasiveness of cancer - National Cancer Institute
The lethal dose ratio (LD-50) for cannabis is estimated to be around 1:20,000 to 1:40,000 which means you have to consume 20,000 to 40,000 times as much cannabis as is contained in one cannabis joint to induce death. This means you would have to consume something like 1,500 lbs in 15 minutes to induce a lethal response. There are no known fatalities from the substance and it is considered non- toxic...
...''First they ignore you; then they mock you; then they punish you; then you win."
Posted 05 February 2011 - 02:15 AM
You should be proud, you helped make Greenwich that little bit more safe for us all. Blinding stuff.
Posted 05 February 2011 - 02:17 AM
atleast they couple of 's lost there job,
that was a good read there cheers for posting,
and respect to you m8
Edited by sensi-thc, 05 February 2011 - 02:18 AM.
Posted 05 February 2011 - 03:13 AM
If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is: infinite
It's a sad and beautiful worldNobody's Home - Perpetual growDo you really need a Carbon Filter?
Posted 05 February 2011 - 06:33 AM
Nice read mate well done old chap!
So far only the BBC have this news lets hope it picks up for you and for other stoner,s on face-book, tweeter and media etc...
and warm welcome to the old garden shed for growers and tokers!
Edited by bongme, 05 February 2011 - 06:41 AM.
Posted 05 February 2011 - 06:57 AM
glad there were good cops on the go, makes me feel better about the state of play. l lo l at lasagnea pastes
Posted 05 February 2011 - 07:24 AM
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