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|Posted: Tue Aug 07, 2018 9:16 am Post subject: Jonathan King gets off child abuse charges on technicality
|Could Jonathan King be cleared? DJ vows to OVERTURN his prior child sex abuse convictions after new claims that he groomed 11 young boys are thrown out and judge savages police 'debacle'
By Rebecca Camber Crime Correspondent For The Daily Mail
17:25, 06 Aug 2018
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The former DJ said on Twitter today that the 'false claims' had been abandoned
Surrey Police have now admitted they made 'serious organisational failures'
A jury at Southwark Crown Court was discharged two weeks into a trial in June
Jonathan King (pictured leaving Southwark Crown Court in London) has blasted 'false sex abuse allegations' against him +5
Jonathan King (pictured leaving Southwark Crown Court in London) has blasted 'false sex abuse allegations' against him
Jonathan King has blasted 'false allegations' after he said sex assault charges against him had been dropped and vowed he would challenge the earlier convictions which sent him to prison.
It came after police were savaged yesterday for their disastrous handling of Jonathan King’s fourth trial on child abuse charges.
The record producer, who had already served three-and-a-half years for molesting children, went in the dock again in June accused of grooming 11 starstruck boys.
But proceedings were halted because detectives had failed to disclose evidence and covered up investigatory blunders.
In a withering ruling, Judge Deborah Taylor blasted police and prosecutors. She said Surrey Police pursued the case not in the interests of justice but to repair the damage to their reputation over failings in the Jimmy Savile case.
The county’s crime commissioner last night announced an urgent review, saying alleged victims had been failed.
The Director of Public Prosecutions, Alison Saunders, was blamed by MPs last month over a raft of sex attack cases collapsing due to disclosure errors.
Yesterday it emerged that:
Officers hid evidence undermining victims’ allegations and misled the court;
Police covered up a secret report in 2014 criticising their methods;
A detective turned TV journalist allegedly offered to sell the names of King’s accusers;
Surrey Police face a potential damages claim from the former DJ who was on bail for three years;
Senior officers issued an unreserved apology, saying defendant and complainants had not been heard in court;
King announced he would seek to overturn his 2001 conviction.
The record producer (pictured) who had already served three-and-a-half years for molesting children, went in the dock again in June accused of grooming 11 starstruck boys, but the case was dropped +5
The record producer (pictured) who had already served three-and-a-half years for molesting children, went in the dock again in June accused of grooming 11 starstruck boys, but the case was dropped
The 73-year-old was once one of the most influential men in music, having discovered Genesis and presented many TV shows.
His career collapsed when he was jailed in 2001 for sexually assaulting five teenage boys. He was acquitted in a second, linked trial, and a third was abandoned.
Surrey Police, which investigated the case, later faced severe criticism for failing to uncover the crimes of Savile. In 2014 they asked the Merseyside force to review the handling of the original King case.
This revealed flaws, while also suggesting that some victims may not have achieved justice.
Surrey responded with a fresh inquiry into King and he was arrested again in 2015.
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A new trial started at Southwark Crown Court and two of the five alleged victims – then aged 13 to 16 – gave evidence.
The jury was discharged on June 27 after the scale of errors in disclosure of evidence became clear. Two days later Detective Chief Inspector Joanne Hayes, the senior investigating officer, went off sick due to ‘mental illness’. Prosecutors tried to resolve the disclosure issues but yesterday the Crown Prosecution Service announced it would not seek a retrial. Judge Taylor said the case had been reopened only because of the Savile fiasco.
She said: ‘This is not, therefore, a case which has been driven by complainants’ allegations, under the banner of justice for the victims, but by concerns about reputational damage to Surrey Police in the wake of the Savile case and consequent Merseyside investigation.’
Describing the disclosure errors as a ‘debacle’, the judge added: ‘The integrity of the criminal justice system and processes have been undermined publicly in a fundamental way by the disclosure failures and persistent misleading of the court.’
Yesterday it also emerged that King (pictured) will seek to overturn his 2001 conviction. +5
Yesterday it also emerged that King (pictured) will seek to overturn his 2001 conviction.
The unpublished Merseyside report said officers did not tape full interviews and used short notes and answers to victim questionnaires for statements typed up days or weeks later.
The report warned this practice could undermine other prosecutions were it routine.
In 2014 Surrey Police also learnt that former detective Mark Williams-Thomas, who helped run the original inquiry and is now an investigative journalist, was allegedly offering to sell information on – and introductions to – King’s victims.
The judge said this meant King should never have been charged on evidence taken by Mr Williams-Thomas. Detectives also failed to log their contacts with victims and witnesses and misled a magistrates to get a search warrant.
They did not disclose key matters to the defence including medical evidence about a victim undermining his own testimony.
David Munro, Surrey police and crime commissioner, said: ‘It is clear to me there were fundamental failures in the disclosure process which have resulted in the decision to dismiss what was an important trial involving alleged victims of serious sexual offences.
‘I am very sorry for all those involved who have been badly let down by this unacceptable and troubling situation.
‘They have been denied the opportunity for a fair trial due to the undoubted shortcomings of disclosure which have been laid bare. I am extremely disappointed and have contacted the Chief Constable and already spoken to the Deputy Chief Constable. We are in agreement that a thorough independent review must be commissioned immediately.’
The wife of the 62-year-old man who was the first person to report King to police said he was devastated by the collapse of the case.
She said: ‘He has been waiting 18 years for justice. We have been in limbo, waiting for closure.’
A Surrey Police spokesman said: ‘We recognise that there were serious organisational failings in the investigation, particularly in relation to disclosure process and we will continue to study the judge’s ruling in detail.’ The force said it had been a complex investigation over several years, involving an ‘enormous’ amount of data and documentation.
A spokesman for the Crown Prosecution Service said: ‘During the trial the police made us aware of issues with their handling of disclosure in the case. We asked the court to dismiss the jury and worked with the police to remedy this ahead of a retrial.
‘We appreciate today’s decision will be upsetting for the complainants and will contact them to explain our decision not to appeal.’
Last night King tweeted: ‘Spread the word – Jonathan King not guilty on all charges – now we get those wrongful convictions from 2001 overturned.’
King case follows high-profile trials which ended in chaos
Friends Thady Duff, Leo Mahon, Patrick Foster, all 22, and James Martin, 20, were charged with gang-raping a young woman following the May Ball at the Royal Agricultural University in Cirencester, Gloucestershire in 2014.
It was alleged that the violent assault was filmed, and the footage circulated via Snapchat. But the trial at Gloucester Crown Court collapsed after it emerged that detectives had 'cherry picked' and 'airbrushed' the evidence.
A study of the alleged victim's phone revealed that she had sent nude pictures of herself to one of the men in advance of the ball and also how she had given inconsistent accounts of a 'threesome' she took part in at an Army barracks five months after the alleged university rape.
Shockingly, none of this material was handed over to the prosecution or defence by an investigating police officer.
Royal Agricultural University students Mahon, Foster and Duff, and friend Martin, were cleared in 2016 after the prosecution offered no evidence.
An IPCC investigation later found that detectives had no case to answer for misconduct.
Bartolomeo Joly de Lotbiniere, 22, was accused of raping a geography student at York University after a night out downing cheap spirits and alcopops. His 19-year-old accuser said his advances were unwanted and that she froze in terror as Lotbiniere, also then 19, undressed her and carried her to bed in her halls of residence.
But she only reported Mr Joly de Lotbiniere to police 14 months after the alleged attack when he appeared on television in six episodes of the BBC2 quiz show University Challenge.
After such a long passage of time there was no forensic evidence, only individual testimonies, accounts from friends and text messages.
Mr Joly de Lotbiniere insisted what had happened was a 'two way', consensual one-night stand, saying : 'Drunk or sober I would never rape anybody.' After two trials spread over seven months — the first ended in a hung jury — he was found not guilty of rape and sexual assault in September.
'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
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