Socialist Worker

Embarrassments for the justice system

Issue No. 2027

Surrey police and the 'black' driver

The Crown Prosecution Service has been ordered to prepare a report to explain to a judge why a black man was convicted of reversing up the M23 even though CCTV images showed the man originally arrested had been white.

Edmond Taylor protested his innocence throughout the prosecution before he was convicted. He was cleared last week when Judge John Crocker quashed the conviction after seeing a freeze-frame police CCTV image of a white man at the time of the arrest.

The judge said, “I think it is totally disgraceful. Why has this only come to light today? I take it nobody knew that this video existed.”

Surrey police said, 'This was a genuine case of mistaken identity, which would have been identified sooner had the defendant appeared at earlier court hearings.

'However, as soon as the mistake was identified the defendant's appeal was upheld and the case was dropped. It should be noted that the Surrey Police officer who originally stopped the motorist was not summoned to any of the earlier hearings.

'He identified that a mistake had been made as soon as he came into contact with the defendant at the Crown Court appeal on 1 November 2006. The officer apologised to the man at court for his inconvenience, however this was a genuine and unfortunate case of mistaken identity.'

US base protester walks free

A campaigner for the Accountability of American Bases walked free last week on a charge of aggravated trespass after the case collapsed and she was awarded costs.

District Judge Chinnery ruled that the police had not followed the rules when Lindis Percy was carried off the US Air Force base, RAF Croughton.

The senior officer at the scene failed to give any order for her to leave, which is required under the law.

Lindis Percy, a 64 year old grandmother, was thrown to the ground and handcuffed face down by US airmen on 19 February of this year.

Following the hearing, Lindis said, “It is quite clear who is in control of these bases and it is certainly not the British police. At this time, more than ever, we need to have the right to question what US bases are doing on our soil.”

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Article information

Sat 18 Nov 2006, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 2027
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