Two Police 'Frame' Cannabis Smoking Squatter

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Jim Finnel

Cannabis Warrior - News Moderator
Two police officers "sledge-hammered" their way into a house and dragged out a squatter before framing him for a drug offence, a court has heard.

Sgt Marcus Garvey and Pc Wayne Campbell allegedly wanted Ben Thacker off their patch in Kidbrooke, south-east London.

Prosecutors branded the two officers "quite cunning" liars after Mr Thacker revealed he had recorded the incident.

Sgt Garvey, of London and Pc Campbell, of Kent, both deny perverting the course of public justice.

Mr Thaker's trial in March 2008 for possession of cannabis was halted when he said he could produce a recording and an investigation began into the officers' actions, the court heard.

The officers found a small amount of herbal cannabis inside the building in Tudway Road, Kidbrooke, on 25 January 2008, but lied in statements, interviews and in court as they described finding it in Mr Thacker's jacket pocket, the jury was told.

'Smokes cannabis'

Prosecutor Claire Howell said: "The prosecution's case is that they lied the entire time.

"These two men sledge-hammered their way into the building to target Mr Thacker inside.

"He is someone who smokes cannabis. He is someone who squats. He is someone who these two men thought didn't matter."

Mr Thacker had previously been told to "sling his hook" and not to come back to the officers' patch, Ms Howell said.

She told the jury the officers' attitude was: "It's his cannabis so what does it matter if we lie about where we found it? "It's a small lie and who's going to believe him over us?"

But Ms Howell went on: "There is clear evidence that the cannabis was not taken from Mr Thacker as these two men suggest.

"The thrust of the prosecution case is they lied about where the cannabis was found and that tended to pervert the course of justice because they intended to come into court and lie."

Recording

The jury was played a recording of a 999 call made by Mr Thacker on a digital dictaphone as officers forced their way into the property, shortly before 1930 GMT on 25 January 2008.

But there was no sign or sound of any search of Mr Thacker on the recording, and none of the officers could be heard telling Mr Thacker that they wanted to search him before his arrest.

The court was told Pc Campbell made a statement in which he said he saw Mr Thacker smoking a joint in the street.

The officer said he searched Mr Thacker and arrested him outside after finding cannabis in his jacket pocket.

Sgt Garvey said he saw the search and also saw Pc Campbell find a small bag of cannabis in Mr Thacker's jacket pocket.

"The whole impression from that is that this was just a simple stop and search," Ms Howell said.

"The prosecution say that is just a complete lie," she said.

Sgt Garvey, 45, and Pc Campbell, 41, both deny doing acts tending and intended to pervert the course of public justice between 25 January and 26 March 2008.

The trial continues.


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Source: bbc.co.uk
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Website: BBC News - Two police 'frame' cannabis-smoking squatter for drugs

• Thanks to MedicalNeed for submitting this article