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Tuesday, 2 September 2014

In the news - King family ordeal by CPS

Thousands of people are appalled at the current news story about the King family, the parents in jail in Madrid while their cancer-suffering 5-year-old son Ashya is in hospital in Malaga. The Spanish authorities are doing what is required of them by international agreements and law. The blame for this rests with the medical fraternity of Southampton, the police of Southampton and the CPS – Crown Prosecution Service. The whole sorry shambles smacks of arrogance and heavy-handedness – an approach that rarely seems to be applied to real criminals. It’s much easier to pursue soft targets, isn’t it?

As it happens, the CPS is not widely liked in the police, as can be seen in my latest novel, Sudden Vengeance, which is set just down the road from Southampton, as it happens!

Here’s an excerpt, following Paul Knight, a police constable in fictitious Alverbank, a coastal town near Portsmouth and Southampton:



Daytime policing used to be relatively quiet, Paul thought. That was until they changed the licensing laws. Now it seemed that every day, let alone night, was a Friday night. Time warped, or just warped?

Jan had been called back to the station to deal with an adolescent girl caught drunk and abusive, as she was the case officer. It would entail a time-wasting interview with a member of the social services.

But as the day wore on, Paul felt increasingly alone, and for good reason.

By the time he popped into the police canteen, he learned that he was the only patrolling officer in the town. Leech and Reid were sick; Darren Woodford and Andy Scanlan were office-bound and comfortable, thanks very much; Tony Pitt was giving testimony at court; Hilary Donovan and Patrick Ahern were on a diversity course; and McMaster was filling in forms in the station, prior to spending three hours or so with the CPS.

Paul fostered a strong dislike for the Crown Prosecution Service – Graham Varney called them the Criminal Protection System. In order to be sure of winning a conviction in court, the CPS demanded the statements of three or four witnesses and possibly even forensic evidence, all with its associated multiple forms.
Recently, Paul had arrested a well-known shoplifter, after the store detective identified the man and gave a statement. But then Paul’s sergeant sent him along to make an appointment with the CPS solicitor – no easy task at the best of times – for ‘advice’ on the case. The eventual interview with the solicitor had taken three hours of Paul’s time, time when he should have been out on patrol. At the end of the interview, he was told that the case wasn’t watertight and more evidence was required to gain a conviction. Paul knew it was too late to backtrack, so the case was dropped. He’d heard of plenty more serious cases that had been binned for similar reasons. Criminals on the street rather than in jail, but at least the CPS targets for successful convictions looked rosy.
Now he walked the streets alone, which suited him fine. He knew his way around.
So, back to the hounded King family. While perhaps all the facts are not available yet, it does appear that a number of lies were disseminated about the state of young Ashya and that he was in 'grave danger'. Which, blatantly was not the case. Assistant Chief Constable Chris Shead said: ‘Our number one aim is to make sure the child gets the welfare he needs.’ Which is most odd, since he was getting the welfare he needed from his loving family – and indeed was put at greater risk by organizing the arrest of the boy’s parents.
This case, and the much-publicised recent raid on Cliff Richard’s UK home, among others in the high-profile historic rape cases, present the British police as publicity-seeking, intemperate, arrogant and out of control; some commentators might construe they're even tools of the state. Which is unfair to the majority of dedicated police who have found their careers politicised and neutered by political correctness and ineffective leadership that is mainly self-serving.
Sudden Vengeance, which puts the case of the innocent victims in Broken Britain,  is published by Crooked Cat Publishing.

E-book available from Amazon UK here
E-book available from Amazon COM here
Smashwords here


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