Bad to the bone

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Corrupt Royal Family, Corrupt Politicians, Corrupt Judiciary, Corrupt Police force, Corrupt Social Services, Corrupt Councils – All linked together by paedophilia… Britain is bad to the bone.  

Shamed police officer who stole £400 during a house search jailed AGAIN for stealing two smartphones

  • Former PC Ian Scouler was caught taking £400 in a sting operation in 2011
  • Jailed for 12 months – admitted in prison he had also stolen two phones
  • BlackBerry had been handed in and iPhone taken during house search
  • Scouler sold both on mobile selling website Phone Bank under his own name
  • Sentenced to a further 30 weeks in prison at Westminster Magistrates’ Court

By STEVE ROBSON

PUBLISHED: 18:47, 28 March 2013 | UPDATED: 18:49, 28 March 2013

 

 

A shamed police officer jailed for stealing cash during a house search was sent back to prison today for stealing two smartphones.

Former PC Ian Scouler, 47, was jailed for 12 months in last November for stealing £400 left as bait during a sting operation set up to catch crooked officers.

The father-of-two was released from prison last month – only to be jailed again for 30 weeks today at Westminster Magistrate’s Court after admitting two more thefts.

Ian Scouler
Ian Scouler

Shamed: Former Met officer Ian Scouler, 47, was jailed for a second time today after pleading guilty to stealing two smartphones belonging to members of the public

While serving his sentence, Scouler eventually confessed to taking an iPhone and a BlackBerry.

The court heard how he stole the BlackBerry after it was handed in by a good Samaritan to the front desk of Eltham Police Station and sold it hours later on mobile selling site Phone Bank.

Five months later the officer, who has more than 20 years service, stole an iPhone during a house search in Woodhill, south east London.

The court heard when the theft first came to light last year, Scouler blamed his colleagues claiming one of them had given him the phone.

As a result, 16 police officers involved in the house search that day had to be investigated.

Emma Scheer, prosecuting at Westminster Magistrates court, said: ‘Mr Scouler was part of a search team searching an address, various items were taken.

‘It was only when the owner asked for his phone back did it emerge that Scouler had sold it through Phone Bank.

‘The BlackBerry was found by a member of the public who handed it into Eltham Police Station at 4pm. It was submitted to Phone Bank at 1am.

‘In the interview in respect of the iPhone, he said he was given it by another colleague and didn’t know it was stolen.

‘He wouldn’t tell them who it was. They asked him and he said that’s loyalty, effectively, he didn’t want to put someone up for it.

‘They had to investigate all the other police officers on the search. In respect of the BlackBerry, he couldn’t remember where he got it from but thought it might have been at a car boot sale.

‘Both thefts were opportunistic.’

 

Scouler’s reputation was left in tatters after a jury at Southwark Crown Court found him guilty of theft.

He was caught taking money in a sting operation set up following allegations of thefts by officers from Greenwich Borough’s Disruption unit during searches.

Scouler was filmed removing the cash from a leather jacket left in a flat in New Eltham, south east London, and putting it into his pocket.

He was also taped joking ‘It’s not divisible by three’ when a colleague found 200 Euros.

Scouler and colleagues were filmed browsing pornography and playing music while they were supposed to be searching the flat, which had been wired with hidden recording devices.

pcWestminster Magistrates Court heard that the former officer had previously stolen £400 and was found to have taken an iPhone

At the time Judge Michael Gledhill QC branded Scouler a ‘rogue officer’.

‘The trust that society places in their police officers is vitally important to everyone’, he said.

‘When that trust is broken by rogue officers, as you became, public confidence is eroded, it makes the job of honest officers far more difficult, and it seriously undermines society.’

Speaking a court today, Scouler’s defence lawyer Rebecca Smith told the court how he is suffering from depression and has had spend most of his prison sentence in segregation because he was kept being recognised by fellow inmates.

She said: ‘He has awareness and understanding of the abuse of his position and the trouble he has led his family into.

‘He is the author of his own actions. He had to be moved six or seven times in prison and spent most of it in segregation because of being recognised in custody.’

Ms Smith also said the ex-PC has been offered work with lettings agency Acorn and had an interview with South West Trains.

Balding Scouler stared at the ground as the 30 week sentence was handed down.

District Judge Nicholas Evans said: ‘Police officers who are given power to enter a home with a search warrant are not expected to take advantage.

‘The explanation he was given the phone by another police officer put 16 police officers under suspicion. This is a serious aggravating feature.

‘Later these two acts of indecency when you were manipulating your court appearances denied the ability of the crown court judge to sentence you for all your offences.

‘I take into account firstly the seriousness of police officers stealing when they are in a position of trust.

‘Secondly, the serious aggravating feature of putting colleagues under suspicion. Thirdly, some degree of manipulation of the court process.’

Scouler, of Borough Green, Kent, pleaded guilty to two counts of theft.

 

Former police chief should lose his knighthood over Hillsborough says victim’s mother after IPCC finds he has ‘case to answer’ over disaster aftermath

  • Former head of West Yorkshire Police ‘would have faced dismissal’
  • Sir Norman questioned the ‘fairness’ of the IPCC’s process
  • Left police force in October last year so cannot face disciplinary action
  • Victim’s mother calls for him to be stripped of knighthood

By RICHARD HARTLEY-PARKINSON

PUBLISHED: 10:55, 28 March 2013 | UPDATED: 15:19, 28 March 2013

The mother of a victim of the Hillsborough disaster says the police chief in charge of the aftermath should be stripped of his knighthood.

Margaret Aspinall, who lost her son James, 18, in the tragedy, said Sir Norman Bettison should lose the title after he was found to have a ‘case to answer’.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission today ruled that Sir Norman had tried to influence public perception as the West Yorkshire Police Authority was deciding whether to refer him.

The IPCC said: ‘While it was evident Sir Norman made no attempt to prevent the referral happening, the IPCC investigation concluded that he attempted to manipulate the public perception of the referral process for his own self-interest.’

Margaret Aspinall, of the Hillsborough Family Support Group, said Sir Norman should be stripped of his knighthood, police pension and other accolades
Sir Norman Bettison is likely to have been sacked had he not stood down in October last year

Margaret Aspinall, of the Hillsborough Family Support Group, said Sir Norman should be stripped of his knighthood, police pension and other accolades

The commission said its finding would justify Sir Norman’s dismissal if he was still a serving chief constable.

Mrs Aspinall said: ‘I don’t know what punishment he can get now for the simple reason that he resigned himself.

‘I think he resigned for the simple reason that he knew what might have come out.

 

‘He decided to quit before they could stop his pension or sack him and, to me, it’s an absolute disgrace that he’s gotten away with even that.’

She added: ‘The man is an absolute disgrace. He should lose his knighthood and his doctorate from John Moores University.

‘He ought to be ashamed of himself.

Mrs Aspinall's son, James, was among the 96 football fans killed in the crush at HillsboroughMrs Aspinall’s son, James, was among the 96 football fans killed in the crush at Hillsborough

‘I’m also annoyed that we went to Carol Gustafson, former chair of Merseyside Police Authority in 1998, and asked her not to employ him in Merseyside. I wonder how they feel now.’

Sheila Coleman, of Hillsborough Justice Campaign, added: ‘It is frustrating for people to know that serious allegations can be levelled at this man yet no action can be taken because he is no longer a serving police officer.

‘West Yorkshire Police Authority forcing him to resign has effectively let him off the hook.

‘We note the seriousness of the comments from the IPCC and hope they are equally rigorous in their other investigations into the conduct of Norman Bettison, where there could be more serious outcomes.’

But lawyers for the former West Yorkshire chief constable said today that the way the IPCC conducted its inquiry ‘calls into question the fairness of such a process’.

The IPCC investigated his actions in relation to the process by which complaints about his involvement in the aftermath of the Hillsborough disaster were referred to the commission.

The former chief, who has always denied any wrongdoing, resigned from his post in West Yorkshire last year.

The IPCC said in a statement today: ‘The IPCC concluded Sir Norman had a case to answer for discreditable conduct and abuse of authority, breaches which, if proven in a disciplinary hearing, would amount to gross misconduct as they would justify dismissal.

‘However, as Sir Norman left the police service in October 2012 he cannot face a disciplinary hearing in which the evidence could be tested.

‘Instead, the IPCC is publishing its findings for the public to judge.’

Complaints were sent to the IPCC about his involvement in the aftermath of the Hillsborough disasterComplaints were sent to the IPCC about his involvement in the aftermath of the Hillsborough disasterAn investigation into Sir Norman’s conduct in the period following the 1989 disaster that claimed the lives of 96 people, when he was involved in South Yorkshire Police’s inquiry into what happened, is ongoing.

IPCC deputy chair Deborah Glass said: ‘The Hillsborough disaster and its aftermath have become synonymous in the public consciousness with allegations of police attempts to cover up the truth, manipulate messages and deflect blame.

‘Sir Norman is facing investigation in relation to allegations that he played a key part in this.

‘We do not pre-judge the findings of that investigation. However, given the effect that those allegations have had on the public perception of him and policing generally, his attempts to manipulate and manage the perception of the referral of complaints about him, for his own self-interest, is particularly concerning.

IPCC deputy chair Deborah Glass said the aftermath of Hillsborough had become synonymous with police attempts to cover up the truth, manipulate messages and defect blameIPCC deputy chair Deborah Glass said the aftermath of Hillsborough had become synonymous with police attempts to cover up the truth, manipulate messages and defect blame

‘It is also conduct that falls far short of what should be expected of any chief constable.

‘It was the IPCC’s view at the start of the investigation, as it was the view of his Police Authority, that Sir Norman’s actions, if proven, fell so far short of what is expected of a chief constable that dismissal would be justified.

‘The evidence uncovered during the investigation supports that view. While we cannot bring this case to misconduct proceedings, we can publish the evidence and our conclusions, so that the public can judge for themselves.

‘This case should also serve as a salutary reminder to chief officers everywhere of how much public confidence in policing is damaged when the conduct of leaders is called into question.’

Sir Norman was a chief inspector with South Yorkshire Police at the time of the disaster.

He attended the match at Sheffield Wednesday’s ground as a spectator but, after the tragedy, he was involved in the subsequent force investigation.

His involvement in that inquiry has provoked waves of allegations and criticism from the families of those who died and has dogged his career, which included a stint as the chief constable of Merseyside.

Following the publication of the Hillsborough Independent Panel Report last year, Sir Norman was referred to the IPCC over claims that he gave misleading information in the wake of the tragedy and that he tried to influence West Yorkshire Police Authority’s decision-making process in relation to the referral.

He resigned as the West Yorkshire chief in October, saying it was because the controversy had become a ‘distraction to policing in West Yorkshire’.

In a statement issued through the police authority at the time, Sir Norman said he had never blamed the fans for the tragedy.

And he dismissed a claim first highlighted by Merseyside MP Maria Eagle that he had once bragged to a fellow student in a pub about ‘concocting’ the police version of events, describing the allegation as ‘both incredible and wrong’.

At the time of his resignation, Sir Norman said the police authority and some of the candidates in the forthcoming Police and Crime Commissioner elections made it clear that they wanted him to go.

Sir Norman was a chief inspector with South Yorkshire Police at the time of the disaster and was at the match as a spectator on the daySir Norman was a chief inspector with South Yorkshire Police at the time of the disaster and was at the match as a spectator on the dayLast month, Home Secretary Theresa May promised a crackdown on police who avoid disciplinary hearings because they resign or retire.

Mrs May said proposed reforms would mean such proceedings will be completed regardless of the officer’s departure.

In today’s full report, the IPCC said: ‘A finding that Sir Norman has a case to answer is not a finding that he is guilty.

‘Such a finding could only follow a formal misconduct hearing in which the evidence would be tested and, as Sir Norman is no longer a police officer, such a hearing cannot be held.

‘I am very mindful of the public concerns around officers resigning or retiring while under investigation, thereby escaping a misconduct sanction.

‘I do find it unacceptable that officers take that option rather than facing up to the case against them.

‘On 23 October 2012 Sir Norman announced his intention to retire with immediate effect. This decision was not under investigation, but it seems that, in this case, Sir Norman’s departure was a direct result of actions by the Police Authority.

‘It is clear from the evidence provided by both Sir Norman and the chief executive of the authority that, in fact, the police authority required Sir Norman to resign on 24 October 2012, and it was not Sir Norman’s wish to go at this time.’

According to today’s report, the key issue was Sir Norman’s desire to refer himself to the IPCC and, therefore, control the process.

The report concluded: ‘It is concerning that his first thoughts appear to have been to protect his own position.

Sir Norman (pictured in 2008) today questioned the 'fairness' of the IPCC reportSir Norman (pictured in 2008) today questioned the ‘fairness’ of the IPCC report‘On the balance of probabilities it is considered that the evidence indicates that Sir Norman was trying to influence the decision-making of the Police Authority because he wanted the public to believe that he had referred himself to the IPCC, to avoid any public impression he had done something wrong.

‘Sir Norman put his own reputation as an individual above the need to ensure that a proper and transparent process was followed.

‘Sir Norman’s pre-occupation with what the public would think of him as an individual led him to try to adopt a process, and persuade others to adopt a process, which removed the independent consideration of the issues from the committee whose responsibility it was to make that decision.

‘Instead, he was trying to present them with a ‘fait accompli’ that they could then endorse, rather than allow them to reach their own decisions without his influence.’

The IPCC found that, in doing this, Sir Norman exploited his privileged access to the police authority.

It said: ‘It is accepted that, following the publication of the Hillsborough Independent Panel report, Sir Norman was under a great deal of media scrutiny and criticism.

‘While he may have wanted to try to mitigate that criticism, the way he tried to do that was not acceptable.

Pictured during the 25th anniversary memorials, fans hold up placards that spell out 'The Truth' during a match between Liverpool and Manchester UnitedPictured during the 25th anniversary memorials, fans hold up placards that spell out ‘The Truth’ during a match between Liverpool and Manchester United

‘His actions… do not suggest that he was seeking to avoid an investigation of his actions regarding the Hillsborough disaster.

‘Instead, they can more accurately be described as seeking to manipulate the referral process and the way that referral and the investigation following that referral were seen by the public.’

Reacting to the report, Margaret Aspinall, of the Hillsborough Family Support Group, suggested Sir Norman should be stripped of his knighthood, police pension and other accolades.

She said: ‘In the IPCC’s own words, this was gross misconduct and, in my mind, that is a very serious offence and the fact that he resigned should not mean that this report is the end of it.

‘We want to see him stripped of his honours – his knighthood and his Honorary Fellowship from Liverpool John Moores University.

‘I believe he resigned to protect his pension and his behaviour has shown he is not deserving of that pension.’

Mrs Aspinall, who lost her 18-year-old son, James, in the disaster, added that today’s report was ‘another step on the road to justice’ for the 96 victims.

 

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2300437/Former-police-chief-Sir-Norman-Bettison-WOULD-face-gross-misconduct-charges-Hillsborough-serving-officer-says-IPCC.html#ixzz2OtbciF8x
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