Tag Archives: convict

Former government lawyer becomes first person ever convicted of ‘upskirting’

A former lawyer for the Tory government has become the first person to be convicted of upskirting – surreptitious filming or taking photographs under an individual’s clothing without consent.

Daren Timson-Hunt was involved in Brexit negotiations as head of the EU Exit and Goods Legal team.

Daren Timson-Hunt pleaded guilty last week to “operating equipment” beneath another person’s clothing while at Embankment underground station on 1 July.

The 54-year-old followed a woman who left a Northern Line train at the station, Westminster Magistrates Court heard.

He then waited at the bottom of a flight of stairs and waited until the woman climbed to the top of the steps before pulling his phone out.

Another passenger saw Timson-Hunt hiding his phone under his leg to take a photo of the woman.

This seems to be further evidence that members of the Tory government – from the prime minister right down to employees working for one of its departments – believe the law doesn’t apply to them.

The sooner we get rid of the lot of them – and bring them all to account before the law – the better.

Source: Upskirting: Government lawyer becomes first person ever convicted under new law after underground train incident | The Independent

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Convicted expenses forger’s ultimatum to voters: ‘You’ve got to support me’

Chris Davies: Some of us think he should be behind prison bars rather than campaigning to win back his comfortable Parliamentary seat.

Disgraced former Tory MP Chris Davies has scandalised voters in Brecon and Radnorshire by campaigning for re-election with the words “you’ve got to support me”.

They come at the end of an election communication full of logical contradictions. Let’s examine them – we can laugh at him at the same time.

He begins: “Over 10% of residents in Brecon and Radnorshire have signed the recall petition. That means we’ve now got a by-election.”

This is true – but it was almost 20 per cent of residents who signed the recall petition. With by-election votes being significantly lower than in normal elections, this hostility to Mr Davies seriously harms his chances.

“Over three years ago as a new MP, I made a stupid mistake. I submitted incorrect paper work (sic) for a legitimate expense for my office. As a result, I’ve completed community service and paid a fine of £1,500.

“This is my fault and no one else’s.”

It is welcome that Mr Davies admits that he was responsible for the wrongdoing – even if he doesn’t want to admit that it was a criminal offence for which he was convicted in a court of law. People voting for him would be supporting a convicted criminal and endorsing the actions that led to his conviction.

“I sincerely apologise – to you and to all the residents of Brecon and Radnorshire.”

I doubt the sincerity of this apology. Firstly, he spent nearly a year denying that he had committed an offence and only admitted it when his case got to court. Secondly, my household did not receive this letter so he is clearly not apologising “to all the residents of Brecon and Radnorshire”.

Now he moves on to discuss the by-election. Does he mention Conservative policies that will make life easier for the people of the constituency, or that are already doing so? No.

“But we’ve got a by-election now. And we’ve got a simple choice,” he writes.

“This by-election is between me, who votes for Brexit in Parliament – and a Liberal Democrat, who will block Brexit in Parliament.”

What utter gibberish. Clearly he is terrified of Labour candidate Tomos Davies, who is the freshest face in the constituency’s politics and also the only one whose reputation is not stained by failure. And why not mention Brexit Party candidate Desmond Parkinson, who would also vote in Parliament to leave the European Union and whose party has enjoyed considerable success in the matter of weeks since it was formed?

The fact is that the result of this by-election will be dictated by several elements: Most important will be the different candidates’ policies regarding issues that affect people in the constituency. These are grassroots issues. People will want to know who supports the structures of our society – the services provided by local government, our education system, law and order. Which is the best party (among those standing) to combat climate change? We know the answer to all these questions is Labour. The Tories and Liberal Democrats colluded in dismantling the fabric of UK society between 2010 and 2015 and the Brexit Party is a one-issue organisation as its title clearly states.

Secondly, Brecon and Radnorshire is a marginal constituency where people vote tactically in order to achieve the result they want – but this has not worked well over the last decade or so. In 2010, a majority of people voted Liberal Democrat because they did not want a Conservative government – but the Liberal Democrat they supported (Roger Williams) then went into a coalition with the Conservatives that had been agreed by his leaders two months before the election. His supporters ended up with a Tory government in any case and the following five years were an appalling betrayal of their trust.

In 2015, the Liberal Democrats demanded that the election in Brecon and Radnorshire was a “two-horse race” between them and the Tories in a desperate bid to head off a growing vote for Labour in the constituency. Thousands of voters were fooled and Mr Davies slipped into Parliament on the back of the resulting split in the opposition vote.

And in 2017 the Liberal Democrats repeated the lie and Mr Davies increased his majority.

Finally, Brexit skews everything. There are supporters of every party who are reconsidering where they will put their vote on the basis of their opinion about whether the UK should stay in the European Union.

So where Mr Davies writes: “For the last 40 years, only Conservatives and Lib Dems have won here. It’ll be the same this time round,” he is talking through his hat.

He compounds the lie in the very next sentence, which ends with an ultimatum: “So if you want an MP who’ll back Brexit in Parliament, you’ve got to support me.”

This is a lie. Two parties in this election support Brexit no matter what – the Brexit Party and the Conservatives. Both will be happy to leave the EU without any deal to support UK businesses and the economy, and this could be disastrous for the majority of people here; we have already seen a large drop in production as a result of uncertainty, and what about all the international car manufacturers who are threatening to pull out?

The Liberal Democrats support remaining in the European Union because they think it will encourage people to vote for them – and let’s face it, their performance in the European Parliamentary election – even though no MEP will have any say on Brexit at all – suggests they are right. For a party that is struggling, with only 13 MPs in the Westminster Parliament, it could be a lifeline. But their policies have not changed and they would merrily jump right back into bed with the Conservatives if it meant they would have another taste of power.

None of these parties care about what happens to the people of the United Kingdom. They have ideological or selfish reasons for saying what they have. The only party interested in the well-being of the UK population, it seems, is Labour. That’s why Labour says it won’t support a ‘no deal’ Brexit that will harm the people, and will only support a deal that has a chance of maintaining living standards in the UK. It is also the reason Labour wants any Brexit proposals to go back to the electorate for a confirming vote, alongside the choice to remain in the EU if those proposals aren’t worth taking.

Mr Davies ignores all of that. His words: “A vote for anyone elsse will let the Lib Dems sneak through.

“We saw what happened in the Peterborough by-election a few weeks ago. People voted for the Brexit Party – and they got Labour.” This is a gross misinterpretation of events there. The Brexit Party attracted votes from traditional supporters of both the Conservatives and Labour. If that organisation had not stood a candidate, those votes would have remained in their traditional homes and it is likely that Labour would still have won.

“It’ll be just like that here,” writes Mr Davies. “A vote for the Brexit Party will mean that we end up with the Lib Dems.”

It’s like a bad attempt at brainwashing – or a return to what the Nazis called “The Big Lie”: Repeat a claim often enough and people will believe it.

This time it isn’t true.

“The Lib Dems have promised to do everything they can to stop Brexit. So another MP voting against Brexit will mean it could be delayed again – or even completely blocked.” Mr Davies writes as though any Brexit will be good for the UK. This is a lie.

“The Lib Dems are completely open about their plans to stop Brexit. So if you don’t want ANOTHER MP who’ll block Brexit, then you’ve got to support me.”

That’s his line: Don’t support the Brexit Party because he’ll give you exactly what they are offering. Support a convicted criminal so he can put your livelihood in jeopardy.

I have an alternative proposition.

Think for yourself.

Don’t let yourself be led by the nose, like a farm animal going to the slaughter, by these ideologically-obsessed suits whose only interest is lining their own pockets.

Vote for a candidate who will stand up for better services and living standards in Brecon and Radnorshire, and who will demand that Brexit works for all the people of the UK – not just the rich and selfish – or should be scrapped altogether if the people demand it.

Any other choice is insanity – and that especially includes voting for convicted expenses forger Chris Davies.

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Chris Davies re-selection makes mockery of by-election triggered by his expenses conviction

Chris Davies behind bars: Some of us might wish he were in a similar situation permanently.

The shock development in the Brecon and Radnorshire by-election – so far, is that expenses cheat Chris Davies has been replaced as the Tory candidate by… expenses cheat Chris Davies.

Is this a joke? Clearly the Brecon and Radnorshire Conservative Association can’t be taking the matter seriously – right?

Well…

With Nigel Farage threatening to do a deal with the Tories if Boris Johnson became prime minister, and the Brexit Party eyeing the ‘Leave’-supporting constituency eagerly, they may have thought it wouldn’t matter if they supported the convicted criminal.

And there were rumours that Mr Davies was threatening to stand as an independent if he didn’t get the Tory ticket, potentially splitting the vote so that neither his own party nor the Brexiteers could get in.

The fact is that those of us who aren’t Tories are unlikely ever to get confirmed details of the facts behind the decision.

Mr Davies himself was upbeat about his selection, as quoted in the Mirror: “A lot has been achieved over the past four years, but there is so much more to do, and I am the right person to do it.”

Yes. A lot has been achieved by the Conservatives in Parliament over the last four years. Let’s consider:

We have seen the central government grant to local authorities cut to the bone, leaving organisations like the Powys Social Services department struggling to honour its duty of care in even the most basic way.

And if you want to know why your local school is hard-pressed to provide educational materials for your children, it’s because of MPs like Mr Davies – not councils or the Welsh Assembly Government.

The misnamed Universal Credit is impoverishing working people and the unemployed alike.

And incomprehensible cuts to sickness and disability benefits have left the most vulnerable people in Brecon and Radnorshire contemplating suicide – because they think death would be an improvement on the life that Mr Davies has forced upon them.

Farmers can look forward to the loss of their EU subsidies after (if?) Brexit happens. The Tories have said they will continue to pay those funds at the same rates for a short period afterwards, but it is likely this will be to get them past the next election before the hammer falls. Mr Davies is a big supporter of Brexit.

The list goes on and on. If you are a constituent of Brecon and Radnorshire, no doubt you could name completely different examples of harm inflicted by Mr Davies and his overprivileged ilk.

So we return to the question of Mr Davies’ re-selection. Is it a joke?

If so, it is in very poor taste.

Source: Chris Davies: Tories RE-SELECT expenses criminal MP to fight crucial by-election – Mirror Online

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Davies guilty of expenses fraud. Time for a by-election in Brecon and Radnorshire

Guilty: Chris Davies.

Chris Davies, Conservative MP for Brecon and Radnorshire, has admitted two offences of expenses fraud. Now the people of Brecon and Radnorshire can have their fun.

We (the Brecon and Radnorshire electorate) may now petition for the MP to be recalled and for a by-election in the constituency.

If at least 10 per cent of registered electors sign a recall petition, we can have an election and get rid of him.

The petition should be triggered automatically, and it will be for Brecon and Radnorshire’s Returning Officer – and also Powys County Council’s chief executive – Dr Caroline Turner to make it available to the public.

If it isn’t, Brecon and Radnorshire electors can register their concern by contacting Dr Turner via the council on 01597 826000.

There should be an announcement by the House of Commons Speaker’s Office, too. You can email [email protected] to ask about it, too.

Source: Tory MP Chris Davies guilty of false expenses claim – BBC News


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Remember Winterbourne View? It seems care workers are starting to abuse patients again

Smiling: Craig Dann.

Remember this when a government minister tells you “lessons have been learned” after a failure in a duty of care: It only takes about six years to forget them again.

Remember the physical and psychological abuse suffered by people with learning disabilities and challenging behaviour at the Winterbourne View care home in Bristol?

Lessons were learned after that – and the head of the Care Quality Commission resigned – but it seems abuse is rearing its ugly head at care homes once again.

The following is from the Liverpool Echo – click on the link below for further details of Craig Dann’s abusive behaviour.

I wonder if he was as shocked at the Winterbourne View revelations as the rest of us? Did he ever think he would become an abuser himself?

A smiling care worker was jailed today after grabbing an elderly dementia sufferer by the throat.

Craig Dann also pinned the frightened resident against a door in a spate of aggressive incidents that saw him cruelly mistreat numerous people.

The 36-year-old was described as “unsuited to care work” when he repeatedly lost his temper with vulnerable residents, in front of other staff members.

Liverpool Crown Court heard that Dann… had been working at The Old Vicarage residential home in Burtonwood, on a wing which accommodates dementia sufferers.

Dann… was convicted of five offences of ill treatment and one of common assault and jailed for eight months.

He has also been banned from working with such vulnerable adults.

Source: Smiling care worker grabbed elderly dementia sufferer by the throat and pinned him against door – Liverpool Echo

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White terrorist described as ‘loner’ by mainstream media. Propaganda?

Forensic officers at the scene of the attack [Image: Victoria Jones/PA].

“Black = criminal

“Muslim = terrorist

“White = mental health issues

“Darren Osborne is a terrorist radicalised by the media and right wing groups.”

I can’t help but agree.

An unemployed “loner” intent on spilling as much blood as possible ploughed a hire van into a group of Muslims after becoming radicalised by far-right material within just a few weeks.

Darren Osborne, 48, deliberately mowed down worshippers outside two mosques in north London, shortly after 12.15am on June 19 last year, killing Makram Ali, 51, and injuring 12 others.

A jury of eight women and four men took one hour to convict the father-of-four, who was seen smiling and blowing a kiss to angry bystanders in the moments after the terror attack, of murder and attempted murder.

Osborne, who had denied both charges, nodded and looked around the courtroom as the verdicts were delivered at Woolwich Crown Court on Thursday.

The attacker admitted he had initially hoped to “plough through” as many people as possible at the pro-Palestinian Al Quds march in central London, previously attended by Mr Corbyn.

But after driving a hire van from Cardiff to London on June 18, road closures thwarted Osborne’s plan.

Instead he travelled across London in hunt of a mosque, eventually ending up in Finsbury Park.

Source: Far-right ‘loner’ guilty of London mosque attack murder


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Found: The book that helps the government smear the sick as ‘malingerers’

 

Denied benefit: This is the late Karen Sherlock. Her illnesses included chronic kidney disease, a heart condition, vitamin B12 deficiency, anaemia, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, underactive thyroid, asthma, diabetic autonomic neuropathy, gastropaeresis, and diabetic retinopathy. She died on June 8, 2012, of a suspected heart attack, after the Department for Work and Pensions stopped her Employment and Support Allowance. John LoCascio would describe her as a malingerer. Considering the list of her illnesses, how would you describe him?

Denied benefit: This is the late Karen Sherlock. Her illnesses included chronic kidney disease, a heart condition, vitamin B12 deficiency, anaemia, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, underactive thyroid, asthma, diabetic autonomic neuropathy, gastropaeresis, and diabetic retinopathy. She died on June 8, 2012, of a suspected heart attack, after the Department for Work and Pensions stopped her Employment and Support Allowance.
John LoCascio would describe her as a malingerer. Considering the list of her illnesses, how would you describe him?

Some of our least favourite people contributed to a book entitled Malingering and Illness Deception in 2003, that seems to provide much of the ammunition used by the current government to demonise claimants of disability and incapacity benefits.

One of the relevant chapters is ‘Malingering, insurance medicine and medicalization of fraud’ by John LoCascio of the criminal American insurance giant Unum, that has been heavily involved in British social security work since the 1990s.

The other is ‘Origins, practice and limitations of Disability Assessment Medicine’ by Mansel Aylward, the Unum puppet who was formerly chief medical officer at the Department for Work and Pensions.

These are the two charmers who put forward a perversion of Professor George Engels’ biopsychosocial theory that calls an individual’s illness into question, rather than treating it, to the then-Department of Social Security back in the 1990s.

The assertion that it was a tool to reduce claimant numbers can be proved by the fact that Mr Aylward was asked to change the test used to determine whether a claimant deserved benefit, in order to reduce the flow of claimants with mental health problems. When politicians ask for specific results, you know impartiality has gone out the window!

Look at the title of the book: It labels incapacity and disability claimants as “malingerers”, defined in the book’s first chapter as those who engage in “the intentional production of false or exaggerated symptoms motivated by external incentives” – in this case, the desire to receive state benefits.

This fits with what we know of the Unum-influenced benefit system already – that claimants are to be treated as if they are trying to cheat the system, unless they can prove to a state-provided official (not necessarily medically-trained) – who has been briefed to find ways to prevent them receiving the benefit – that they are unwell. Their own doctor’s reports are ignored.

Let’s look at LoCascio’s chapter. He starts by suggesting that “disability-related programmes in both the public and private sectors are faced with increasing numbers of disability claims despite improved health care and job design (the disability paradox).”

Already we are in the realm of fantasy as he fails to mention the logical reasons for these increases, which include poor implementation of health and safety measures in the workplace under ‘light touch’ regulation, and the discovery of new medical conditions whose causes are unknown and which require protracted study before they are understood – all made possible by the “improved health care” to which Mr LoCascio refers.

Amusingly, LoCascio also claims that the commercial insurance industry “is neither medically nor legally driven. It is driven by societal imperatives”. What a whopper! Commercial insurance is driven by the desire for money. That is why his company has a criminal conviction to its name – it changed its medical procedures to make it almost impossible for anyone to claim successfully that their Unum health insurance policy had matured.

Much of the remainder of his chapter attempts to convince the reader that the lack of data available – to support claims that a medical patient is “malingering” – should not be used as evidence that they really are ill. He asks the reader to believe that three questions should be asked: Did the patient understand the medical issues? Are the patient’s reported and actual behaviours consistent through time and across observers? And are the functional capacities in question (the patient’s abilities) well-defined?

What a cheat.

It seems perfectly likely that any patient will understand the medical issues informing their condition. However, in a Work Capability Assessment it is common for the assessor to have a completely different opinion of what those issues are. This discrepancy allows the assessor to find fault with the benefit claim.

The second question supports evidence of those who have read assessment reports claiming that patients did not display the behaviours expected of a person with their condition – one famous example was that the patient was not “rocking back and forth”. The simple reason for this was that their condition did not display in that manner but the assessor – who was not an expert in this field of medicine – did not know that because the only advice available was a biased screed from the Unum-influenced DWP.

The final question – are the functional capacities in question well-defined? – can be defeated with a simple, two-word counter-question: By whom?

Also of interest is the concept of ‘Functional Capacity’ (FC). LoCascio argues that a person should not be expected to be incapable of any type of work, just because they are incapable of one. His example is that a person limited to typing for 20 minutes due to forearm pain may be able to play piano for an hour. This is entirely possible but contradicts one of the quotations Mr LoCascio uses four pages previously: “The question of disease—that and nothing more—is the one for the physician to determine” (Drewy 1896). It is not the assessor’s job to dream up functions a claimant might be able to carry out and then discount a claim for benefits on the basis of that possibility. That is not evidence; it is fantasy.

All of the above questions are also rendered pointless by the simple fact that a claimant’s condition may be variable. LoCascio acknowledges this! However, he then goes right off the rails: “I favour a series of three questions: ‘Please describe a bad day. Please describe a good day. Please tell me how many good days and bad days you have in an average week.’ Armed with this knowledge about any particular symptom and the corresponding reduction in an FC, the medical resource can proceed to analyse the consistency of the history against the medical or observational data.”

That is an inaccurate assumption. When you are ill with (for example) fibromyalgia, there can be a huge range of difference between days. Sometimes Mrs Mike has seemed able to function almost normally (she can never walk far without suffering a huge amount of pain in the following days, as an example of why she only seems more able); other times she has been confined to the sofa for days on end in terrible pain for which medical science currently has no alleviation. At other times her condition may be anywhere between those extremes. Asking for a description of a good or bad day, or how many of these take place in an average week, is not only pointless – it hinders understanding of the condition.

“In conclusion,” LoCascio writes, “the most important product of the medical consultant is clear, credible, and defensible
documentation.” It seems strange, then, that the most clear, credible and defensible documents – those written by the patient’s doctor – are the first to be ignored in any Work Capability Assessment.

What we have here is a propaganda screed, riddled with inconsistencies and running against reason, that has been used to support the government’s position on sickness and disability benefits. As an argument in favour of current policy, it is worse than useless. In fact, it should be a tool for campaigners to use against that policy.

It tells us why a claimant who lives in agony every day should be outraged when assessors use LoCascio’s nonsense to explain away their pain.

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Ministry’s mistiming will keep Miller in the spotlight

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“Oh, f…”: Now Maria Miller’s Cabinet colleagues are stabbing her in the back. By accident?

The Ministry of Justice has just announced that £14 million, taken from criminals’ ill-gotten gains, will be used to help their victims.

How much of this will come from the fraudster Maria Miller?

None.

What an awkward, mistimed moment – another in a series for which this Conservative-led administration should be justly famous.

Here we all are, stridently discussing the future of a Cabinet minister (Miller) who clearly defrauded the taxpayer out of tens of thousands of pounds to pay for mortgage interest on a house she then sold for more than £1 million profit – and her Cabinet colleague Chris Grayling decides now is the time to announce what the government is doing with other criminals’ ill-gotten gains.

This will merely intensify calls for Miller to face trial and conviction, and for her financial assets to be seized.

The MoJ press release states: “Under this government more money than ever before is being raised from offenders specifically to help victims of crime.” This is except for when the offender is a member of the government, apparently.

“An increase in the penalties judges can impose on criminals from 2012 is ensuring criminals are forced to pay the price for their wrongdoing.” Except when they are investigated by Parliament, rather than the police.

Miller remains a member of the Cabinet, her criminally-won gains sitting in her bank account. She is unrepentant, as her “obstructive” attitude to the Parliamentary investigation and her 30-second apology to Parliament – for that obstruction, and not for any criminality – clearly demonstrates.

David Cameron, the weakest Prime Minister in living memory – if not all time – does not have the backbone to sack her.

Maybe there is another reason for this.

We were all reminded by the Scriptonite blog yesterday that there is another crook in the Cabinet who likes doing dodgy property deals.

George Osborne “‘flipped’ his first and second homes to claim over £100k of taxpayer money for interest payments on a mortgage for his £455k Cheshire pad. He later sold the home for over £1m having made improvements partly funded by taxes. He also claimed taxpayer money to cover payments on a horse paddock for the property,” Scriptonite reminds us.

In fact, he claimed taxpayer money for several pieces of land in addition to the house, and sold the lot for a profit that was estimated to be £1 million, because he never paid a penny of his own towards the purchase – it all came from the taxpayer.

Vox Political called for Osborne to face criminal proceedings more than a year ago but the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) closed ranks around him and the Commissioner said that, as this had already been investigated under the lax pre-2009 rules, Osborne was going to get away with it.

So the message today is that you don’t have to be a master criminal to get away with illegal activities – you just have to be a member of the government.

Is that really what the Conservatives want to say – before an election?

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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Police: ‘To protect and serve’ their own interests?

Unfit to wear the helmet: How deep does corruption run within our police? Do most officers still uphold the law without prejudice? Or do they use the uniform to pursue their own personal vendettas against innocent members of the public?

Unfit to wear the helmet: How deep does corruption run within our police? Do most officers still uphold the law without prejudice? Or do they use the uniform to pursue their own personal vendettas against innocent members of the public?

When did you lose faith in the British police?

Was it after Plebgate, the subject of a considerable controversy that has resurfaced this week? Was it after Hillsborough? Do you have a personal bad experience with officers whose interpretation of their duty could best be described as “twisted”, if not totally bent?

The Independent Police Complaints Commission says that the row involving whether former Conservative Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell used offensive language against a policeman who stopped him from riding a bicycle through the gates of Downing Street should have led to disciplinary action for the officer involved, along with others who supported his story.

IPCC deputy chairwoman Deborah Glass questioned the “honesty and integrity” of the officers involved and said that West Mercia Police, who investigated the affair, were wrong to say there was no case of misconduct for them to answer.

Now, there is plenty of evidence that this police complaints commission is anything but independent, and that it provides verdicts as required by its superiors – either within the force or politically. But the weight of the evidence that we have seen so far suggests that, in this instance, the conclusion is correct.

The Plebgate affair began less than a month after serious failings were identified in the police handling of the Hillsborough disaster in 1989. It was revealed – after a 23-year wait – that serious mistakes had been made in the policing of the infamous FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest, during which events took place that killed 96 people and injured a further 766.

In addition, post-mortem reports on the deceased were falsified and the police tried to blame Liverpool fans for the disaster.

These were both events that received national news coverage – but what about the local incidents that take place all around the country?

Sir Hugh Orde, chairman of the Association of Chief Police Officers said, “130,000 police officers are delivering a good service” – but are they really?

This blog has already mentioned the experiences of several people here in Mid Wales who have had unsatisfactory experiences with the police, including victims of serious physical, psychological and sexual abuse who were told to go back and suffer more of this personal hell by policemen and women who either couldn’t care less or were complicit in the crimes. Years later, attempts to get justice fell on the equally deaf ears of officers who didn’t want to know.

And this week the front paper of my local newspaper (the one I used to edit) carried the headline ‘Hello, hello, what’s going on here then?’ over a story about two local police officers who, while on duty, seemed more interested in having sex than upholding the law.

One was an inspector; the other a (married) constable. The inspector, prior to her promotion, had been instrumental in sending a friend of mine to prison on a particularly unsavoury child sex charge. There was no concrete evidence and the case hinged on the opinion of a doctor that was hotly disputed by other expert testimony. But my friend’s path had crossed this policewoman’s before and she had failed to gain a conviction on the previous occasion. It seems clear that she had not forgotten him.

I have always believed that the jury convicted my friend because its members were worried that he might be guilty – despite the lack of evidence – simply because he had been accused. “There’s no smoke without fire,” as the saying goes. It seems likely now that this conviction reflects the policewoman’s preoccupations with sex, rather than any criminal activity on the part of my friend.

It also seems to be proof of the fear raised by Andrew Neil on the BBC’s This Week – that police have been sending innocent people to jail and letting the guilty go free.

My friend is still inside, by the way. He has maintained his innocence throughout the affair but, having been released on parole and then dragged back to jail for a breach that was more the fault of the authorities for failing to give adequate warning against it, he is now determined to serve his full sentence rather than face the heartbreak of having his freedom stolen with another excuse.

Who can blame him?