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Bonkers Blog September 2019

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17 September - A victimless crime

In between responding to poisonous pen letters from Brexit obsessives from both ends of the extremist spectrum my good friend Teresa Pearce MP has been doing battle on my behalf with Kent’s Police and Crime Commissioner who until now has been unable to differentiate between two different complaints.

Incompetence personifiedThe first was against Sergeant Cooke and Constable Brookes from Swanley Police Station after the Sergeant decided to charge me for reporting news of former Bexley Councillor Maxine Fothergill’s expensive trip to the libel courts in 2017. Fortunately the Crown Prosecution Service came to the conclusion that a charge of reporting news was not likely to stand up in court even when dribbled out over a long period and the label harassment was attached to it.

That complaint was resolved long ago when Kent’s Professional Standard’s Directorate concluded, contrary to a statement by the Sergeant’s own Inspector, that neither police officers had done anything wrong. I accepted their verdict, it is foolhardy to expect honesty from the police.

The second complaint was more than that, it was an allegation that Fothergill had both lied to and misled the police in her signed statement alleging that I had been making her life a misery by writing 42 blogs about her. Those who remember the now withdrawn blogs may recall that far from hounding Fothergill I was defending her against what I believed to be a revenge attack by senior Bexley Tories for something far too complicated to be repeated here.

Kent Police told me that they would not investigate Fothergill because I was not the victim of her alleged crime. I became the fifth, I think it was, person to have brought a serious criminal allegation against Fothergill whose complaints were either ignored or acknowledged but not investigated by Kent Police.

Thanks to Teresa Pearce and more correspondence than should have been necessary, the Crime Commissioner has now accepted that there were two separate and very different complaints, something I first told him nearly a year ago. However as a member of the public I was told I was abusing the complaints process and at first even Ms. Pearce was getting much the same answer.

She has now made a breakthrough. The Commissioner accepts he has muddled the two complaints but still insists I was not the victim of Fothergill’s untruthful signed statement. Presumably an overworked MP will now be going back to the Commissioner yet again until she manages to penetrate his thick skull.

“Not the direct victim [of Fothergill’s alleged] crime” which surely implies a crime had been committed.

After I was informed last January that Kent Police could not react to my allegation against Fothergill I enquired how they came to the conclusion I was not Fothergill’s victim and sent the following email to Kent Police. It was neither acknowledged nor answered.

Basically, if I was not Fothergill’s victim, who the hell was?

In your letter dated 8th January 2019 you state that I am not the victim of former Bexley Councillor Maxine Fothergill’s criminal intent and that because of that you are “not obliged to provide any update.

1) It is my name that occurs 22 times in the largely untruthful statement Ms. Fothergill made at Swanley Police station on 29th December 2017.

2) It was me who Sergeant 11901 Robbie Cooke decided to charge after failing to check whether Ms. Fothergill’s opening remarks were untruthful, something he could have found to be the case with a few clicks on Bexley Council’s website. He also failed to notice obvious contradictions in the statement made against me.

3) It was me who was compelled to attend Swanley Police Station under threat of arrest for non-compliance for interview under caution on 18th December 2017.

4) It was to my house that PC 13546 Abbie Brookes made a personal visit to tell me of her Sergeant’s decision to charge me with harassment for reporting with meticulous accuracy how Bexley Council and the High Court had dealt with Ms. Fothergill’s activities.

5) It was my name that appeared on the Charge notice dated 30th January 2018 and delivered to my address.

6) It was me who had to put down a deposit of £3,600 with a firm of solicitors to prepare my defence.

7) It was my barrister to whom the Crown Prosecution Service sent advice on 5th March 2018 that they would not pursue the case against me.

8) It was me who was awarded £323.45 by Sevenoaks Magistrates’ Court to offset my legal costs.

9) It was to me that a Kent Police Inspector sent an email advising that lessons must be learnt and that PC Abbie Brookes and her Sergeant Robbie Cooke should be given feed back as part of their development.

10) It was to me that your Professional Standards Department wrote on 29th July 2018 to contradict the Inspector’s view and claim that neither Brookes nor Cooke had done anything wrong.

11) It was me who was featured in Private Eye Issue No. 1466 which highlighted Fothergill’s “bullying” and the unwarranted charges brought by Kent Police.

Please let me know exactly who was the victim of Ms. Fothergill’s malicious statement if it was not me.

My letter of 18th December 2018 said I would refer the case to the Independent Office for Police Conduct “this time next month. That remains the cut off date while no satisfactory response is forthcoming from the Chief Constable.

Malcolm Knight

For the record the Independent Office for Police Conduct refused to accept a complaint and referred it to the Crime Commissioner.


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