The partial repayment of a debt

Today I lodged papers with the Police Ombudsman. Details will follow. Essentially, I contend that PIRA was so completely penetrated by the state in 1990 that the murders of my parents were the state’s responsibility. This the police failed to investigate. I have given details of the PIRA informers, whose names I know and I have asked the Ombudsman to examine all state files. The exercise has taken a year of my life, which I have gladly given, for my parents. Other events have given me this opportunity, which I failed to take for twenty four years. A number of people who treated me badly during that time and who gave me no support will have their own God to answer to. I thank those who have stood by me through all my travails for these years. I thank those from both communities, who, in the last twelve months have given me information and insight. The PSNI and the PPS failed to come up to the mark. Let’s see if the Ombudsman is hewn from different wood.

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Starmer review

Tucked away at para 1.13.

“It cannot be said with certainty whether the outcomes of these cases would have been different if particular decisions had been taken differently.”

For the layman, imagine Match of the Day and the endless slow motion replays and the blethering of the pundits.  “Well, Alan, should he have scored there?”

“Well maybe not Gary, but his decision making has to be in question”

I wonder what the report cost? Is anyone interested?

Child victims

In March 2012 , having unsuccessfully prosecuted a case in respect of a child who, at the time of the alleged offences was under four, I wrote a report to Roger Davison, then Regional prosecutor, PPS Lisburn.

I set out the facts of the case and voiced my concerns for similar cases, in the future. I was concerned , because of the professional advice which I had received ,about extremely young witnesses and their capacity to give evidence.

My report did not rate even an acknowledgement from the Regional Prosecutor, who went on to be involved with the Mairia Cahill case.

The public should recognise and be concerned about the quality of the criminal justice system. It would be a mistake to think that Mairia Cahill , AA and BB are exceptions.

Belfast Telegraph misses the point

Today’s ‘Editor’s viewpoint’ , unsurprisingly, misses the point completely. The test for prosecution is not and never was an issue in MC,AA and BB. It does not feature in Starmer’s report.

Study instead Pournelle’s Iron Law of Bureaucracy and the Peter Principle.

Look at the officials involved in this shambles and ask if they were up to the job.

Ask them what the organisation expected of them. The answer will be ‘stats’.

In my own experience , the high command  was not interested in issues about victims, for example , about the evidence of young children , there were no medals for that.

Every organisation is taken over by the bureaucrats and every person in it is promoted beyond his/her level of ability. The PPS is no different.

There are no bad soldiers only bad officers

Kier Starmer made a number of criticisms of the PPS. Any prosecuting barrister could have told him of the failings if he had cared to ask. The service provided to victims has always been wanting. Frequently the defence is represented by senior and junior counsel attended by a solicitor and frequently the prosecution is in the hands of junior counsel or employed counsel attended by an unqualified clerk.

Worse still is the enormous pressure place on these clerks, who are left to be the conduit between victims, the witnesses, the court, the police, the directing officer and counsel. None of the PPS high command, mentioned by Starmer, has ever had a career prosecuting  in the Crown Court and they are rarely seen there.

The problems suffered by the three complainants are not new. The victim is less well looked after than the accused. For example in Craigavon, the PPS has no dedicated , private, room in which to consult with victims. It was taken off them without a fight.

Of course like all organisations, found out at last , the promise is for new organisational structures. I’m surprised that nobody said “we have learned lessons”.

All the reorganisation in the world will be of no avail until there is a culture change at the heart of the PPS. Less obsession with ‘stats’ and more interest in the court process would be a start. The Irish Times  today says  that the two counsel involved have reported themselves to the Bar Council. Let’s see what happens to the civil servants, responsible for delivering the service.

Meanwhile Napoleon’s dictum is as relevant as ever.

The murders of James and Ellen Sefton

My research into these murders will be complete in the next ten days.

The PSNI and the Director of Public Prosecutions have failed to give proper regard to the points I have raised. Accordingly I am lodging a complaint with the Police Ombudsman.

On 6th June 2015, the twenty fifth anniversary of the murders I will publish here a full account of my allegations.

OTRs Easter Quiz

Here is my Easter Quiz.

Part I

Are the OTR letters:

A Entirely worthless

B Not entirely worthless

C Maybe entirely worthless

D Largely worthless

E Of little legal significance

F Politically important

G Letters that had value

Part II

Who vigourosly pursued the letters?

Who was sold a pup and why?

Who was just a postman for Sinn Fein?

Who had a meeting with ACC Sheridan about the letters?

Who never saw the letters at the time?

Who has seen them now?

Replies to the PPS, Chichester St Belfast