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*NEW* UPDATE - LES BALKWELL TO SUE ESSEX POLICE (was: Arrests of 5 members of Bromley family on suspicion of MANSLAUGHTER, GROSS NEGLIGENCE, PERVERTING THE COURSE OF JUSTICE and PERJURY)

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*NEW* UPDATE - LES BALKWELL TO SUE ESSEX POLICE (was: Arrests of 5 members of Bromley family on suspicion of MANSLAUGHTER, GROSS NEGLIGENCE, PERVERTING THE COURSE OF JUSTICE and PERJURY)

Post by Tony Bennett on 14.11.12 10:45



To all media and other contacts:

[Issued by Tony Bennett 10.00am 14 Nov 2012 - IMMEDIATE]

Detective Chief Superintendent Lee Catling of Kent Police, heading up Operation Nereus, has 'phoned me this morning with the following news:

THREE MEN and TWO WOMEN have been arrested on a combination of the following four charges:

1. Manslaughter
2. Gross negligence
3. Perverting the course of justice
4. Perjury

43-year-old man
66-year-old man
63-year-old woman
48-year-old woman
39-year-old man.

They are all being held at police stations in Kent.

Please check these details with Kent Police: 01622 690690 or 101
Lee Catling 01634 884021 Mobile 07815 875660

The above are believed to be, in order:

Simon Bromley
David Bromley
Linda Bromley
Susan Lawrence (partner of Simon Bromley)
Scott Bromley.

Les Balkwell said that he has been waiting well over 10 years for news of arrests of those responsible for his son's death, and hopes and expects that all of those arrested will be charged, convicted, and suitably punished for their crimes.

He had been hoping that one or more individuals would be charged with his son's murder.

Lee Balkwell was reported dead or dying in a concrete mixer at 1.03am on 18 July 2002.

A 5-week investigation was concluded by Detective Chief Superintendent Graeme Bull which held that Lee's death was a 'tragic accident'. On 30 January 2012 the Independent Police Complaints Commission issued a report after a 4-year-long investigation which condemned the original investiagtion as 'seriously flawed'. It upheld 26 separate complaints of misconduct against 8 Essex Police Officers, most of them of senior rank.

The Kent Police re-investigation commenced in August 2010.

Prior to that, the case had been subject to three lengthy reviews:

1) by D.C.S. Simon Coxall and D.S. Peter Hood of Essex Police 2003-2006
2) by D.C.S. Keith Garnish of Essex Police 2006-2009
3) by former D.C.S. Mirfield of West Midlands Police 2009-2010.

Les Balkwell continues to insist that Essex Police Officers, from Day One, conspired to cover up the true circumstances of Lee's death. The I.P.C.C. however could not substantiate that allegation.

FURTHER DETAILS & CONTACTS:

Les Balkwell Mobile 07925 999607
01708 446850
Mobile 07908 752522

Tony Bennett (representative) Mobile 07835 716537

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Re: *NEW* UPDATE - LES BALKWELL TO SUE ESSEX POLICE (was: Arrests of 5 members of Bromley family on suspicion of MANSLAUGHTER, GROSS NEGLIGENCE, PERVERTING THE COURSE OF JUSTICE and PERJURY)

Post by littlepixie on 14.11.12 11:14

At last!! Lets hope the charges stick and Justice is served.

Thinking of you Les x

Excellent news Tony!

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Re: *NEW* UPDATE - LES BALKWELL TO SUE ESSEX POLICE (was: Arrests of 5 members of Bromley family on suspicion of MANSLAUGHTER, GROSS NEGLIGENCE, PERVERTING THE COURSE OF JUSTICE and PERJURY)

Post by Guest on 14.11.12 13:10

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0b7bpOQIXM

I've just seen this video for the first time - with a very familiar face therein! - and will be reading up on the case now. I wasn't very familiar with it before though it happened not that far from where I live.

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Re: *NEW* UPDATE - LES BALKWELL TO SUE ESSEX POLICE (was: Arrests of 5 members of Bromley family on suspicion of MANSLAUGHTER, GROSS NEGLIGENCE, PERVERTING THE COURSE OF JUSTICE and PERJURY)

Post by pennylane on 14.11.12 14:48

Very encouraging news!

It is shocking to encounter time and again, such rampant corruption within the British authorities. These (so called) 'seriously flawed investigations' seem to abound.

Hopefully Les Balkwell's valiant struggle to obtain justice for his son Lee is about to pay off, and those responsible for his death and for perverting the course of justice, will all be held accountable.

So good to see the fruits of your courageous efforts paying off, Tony.

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Re: *NEW* UPDATE - LES BALKWELL TO SUE ESSEX POLICE (was: Arrests of 5 members of Bromley family on suspicion of MANSLAUGHTER, GROSS NEGLIGENCE, PERVERTING THE COURSE OF JUSTICE and PERJURY)

Post by Guest on 14.11.12 15:06

Guardian ..

Cement mixer death: five arrested after police forced to reopen case


Three men and two women held after campaign for full inquiry by father of man found dead at Essex farm 10 years ago

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/nov/14/cement-mixer-death-police-arrest-essex

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Re: *NEW* UPDATE - LES BALKWELL TO SUE ESSEX POLICE (was: Arrests of 5 members of Bromley family on suspicion of MANSLAUGHTER, GROSS NEGLIGENCE, PERVERTING THE COURSE OF JUSTICE and PERJURY)

Post by Tony Bennett on 14.11.12 16:55

BBC report in full:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-essex-20325953

Five arrested over Lee Balkwell cement mixer death

Lee Balkwell, 33, died in July 2002 at an Essex farm after suffering from multiple injuries

Five people have been arrested over the death of a 33-year-old man found with multiple injuries in a cement mixer at a farm in Essex in July 2002.

A 43-year-old man from Upminster was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter, perverting the course of justice and perjury over the death of Lee Balkwell.

Two men, aged 49 and 66, a woman, 63, also from Upminster, and a 38-year-old man from Southend were also held.

They are suspected of perverting the course of justice and perjury.

Mr Balkwell of Upminster was found in the cement mixer in suspicious circumstances, police said.

A report by the Independent Police Complaints Commission earlier this year said Essex Police were found to have made "serious flaws" in their initial investigations of the death in 2002.

Senior officers were criticised in the report which was carried out following a long campaign by Mr Balkwell's father Les.

The five people arrested are understood to be members of the Bromley family who owned the cement mixer at the farm.*

They were arrested at their homes under the direction of Det Ch Sup Lee Catling of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime directorate.

The directorate said it had been investigating the circumstances leading up to Mr Balkwell 's death since August 2010.



[ * NOTE: 'tigerloaf' on the StoptheMyths forum went into hyper-overdrive today criticising me for naming the Bromleys in my press release. No doubt he will now be filing an urgent complaint with the BBC LOL! The muggins doesn't know that for the press to name suspects - even if the police don't - happens every day. Doh! ]

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IBTimes

Post by Tony Bennett on 14.11.12 17:07

Five Arrested for Concrete Mixer Death of Lee Balkwell in Upminster

By Hannah Osborne: Subscribe to Hannah's RSS feed

November 14, 2012 1:00 PM GMT


Lee Balkwell died in 2002 and police have been investigating his death ever since (BBC)


Five people have been arrested in relation to the death of Lee Balkwell, whose body was found under a concrete mixer lorry in July 2002.

Balkwell, then aged 33, died in an industrial incident on a farm near South Ockendon. His death has been under investigation for the past ten years.

Now, five people have been arrested by Essex police. A 43-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of gross negligence manslaughter, perverting the course of justice and perjury.

A 66-year-old man, a 63-year-old woman, and a 49-year-old woman from Upminster were also arrested for for perverting the course of justice and perjury, while a 38-year-old man from Southend was also arrested for the same crimes.

The arrests were made today by officers working under the direction of detective chief superintendent Lee Catling, who has been investigating Balkwell's death since August 2010.

Catling joined the investigation following a review conducted by the West Midlands Police. An inquest found that Balkwell's death was a result of unlawful killing through gross negligence.

Tony Bennett, a retired solicitor who represents Mr Balkwell, told IB Times UK: "Obviously it's been a long old haul.

"You long for results of some kind and this is progress, but they could be released on bail. It's been very painful for Les and the family, who have coped with Lee's death in different ways.

"The inquest took five and a half years and police approached it as a tragic accident.

"I have spoken to Les today and he is content. He sees the arrests as very significant.

"His daughter went to visit the site today and said it is crawling with police, so it is a major development. We want to see it followed through with charges and convictions."

Balkwell had been drilling set concrete on the evening before his death. A post-mortem showed he died from injuries consistent with being drawn into moving parts of the cement mixer.


Five people have now been arrested in relation to Balkwell's death following an IPCC investigation (YouTube/Harlovian)

Following his death, over 130 complaints were made against Essex Police officers and an investigation was launched by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

It found there were failings during the course of the investigation and after the report, deputy chief constable Derek Benson sent a letter of apology to Balkwell's father, Les Balkwell and the victim's partner, Lorraine Mitchinson.

The IPCC report said: "Lee Balkwell was found dead at a farm in Upminster, Essex with his head and shoulders wedged between the drum and chassis of a cement mixer. His family was understandably devastated at their loss and expected Essex Police to thoroughly investigate the incident.

"At an early stage, Lee Balkwell's father, Mr Leslie Balkwell was dissatisfied with the police investigation and made a number of formal complaints.

"Mr Balkwell has campaigned tirelessly to find the truth, whilst also enduring the trauma and grief associated with the loss of a son. His persistence and determination have been admirable, but have undoubtedly taken a massive toll on him and his family."

During the initial investigation, crucial forensic evidence was not examined, including a knife found inside the cement mixer and a pair of trainers.

To report problems or to leave feedback about this article, e-mail:

h.osborne@ibtimes.co.uk

To contact the editor, e-mail: editor@ibtimes.co.uk

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                            "Maddie's Jammies. Where is Maddie?" - Amelie, May 2007 -  "Maddie's Jammies. Where is Maddie?"


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Tonight's Basildon Echo

Post by Tony Bennett on 14.11.12 17:17


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Re: *NEW* UPDATE - LES BALKWELL TO SUE ESSEX POLICE (was: Arrests of 5 members of Bromley family on suspicion of MANSLAUGHTER, GROSS NEGLIGENCE, PERVERTING THE COURSE OF JUSTICE and PERJURY)

Post by Tony Bennett on 14.11.12 17:34

I can scarcely believe the stream of lies about my involvement in the Lee Balkwell case (and about other matters) on the StoptheMyths forum, but I must nail one outright and deliberate lie put out over there by a poster called 'urcrazy' tonight.

He wrote: "As an aside, I wonder if when Mr Bennett told the press about the arrests he mentioned his theory, propounded all over Havern's forum, that the real reason for this unfortunate man's death was that he and the rest of them at the farm were all involved in drug running?"

This a wholesale misrepresentation of what I have said and about the facts of the matter. So let me correct 'urcrazy's deliberate lies by setting the record straight as follows:

1. On the date of his death, Lee Balkwell was in his second short spell of employment working as a driver for Mr Simon Bromley, owner of Upminster Concrete.

2. There is no evidence whatsoever that Lee Balkwell was ever involved in drug-dealing of any kind, and the Deputy Chief Constable of Essex Police, Mr Derek Benson, recently made that emphatically clear in a letter sent to Lee's father, Mr Les Balkwell.

3. On a CCTV which was running on the night at Baldwins Farm (home of the Bromley family) for a total of 7 hours, there is plain evidence of a delivery of drugs by a well-known local drugs dealer. On that evening, those drugs were distributed to a number of people who arrived by car to make collections. Lee Balkwell was in no way involved in any of that dealing as the CCTV also reveals. There is evidence that drug-dealing was allowed to continue unabated at Baldwins Farm for as long as it did because of a ring of corrupt police officers at nearby Grays Police Station.

4. In 2005, as a result of Operation Portwing, three members of the Bromley family were arrested, charged, convicted and sentenced to prison terms for their offences.

5. It is a poster on 'StoptheMyths', therefore, not me, who has made the false allegation that Lee Balkwell dealt in drugs.I trust they will withdraw that slur on Lee Balkwell immediately.

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                            "Maddie's Jammies. Where is Maddie?" - Amelie, May 2007 -  "Maddie's Jammies. Where is Maddie?"


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Messages for Les Balkwell

Post by Tony Bennett on 14.11.12 17:52

Here's a couple of the messages Les Balkwell has received on his website tonight:

+++

Hello, this is a message for Les Balkwell.

Les, I remember, years ago, reading about you and your fight for justice for your son. I am so, so pleased to see the Essex news today and see that you are finally getting somewhere. I've never met you, I didn't know Lee. I remember being touched by your quest and in my heart, as much as I believed you. I didn't think you would get your voice heard against Essex Police.I'm so pleased to see that I was wrong and I have so much respect for you for persevering. It must have been such a hard road to walk and I just wanted to congratulate you.

Well done Les.

Much admiration and respect to you.

L

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Good work sir!

I read about you in the Mail and just checked out your website. You are an inspiration and your son would be so proud. Your story is a very important one, and shows that sometimes persistance pays off. Many would have given up, I am glad you didn't.


Not sure what I can do to help - but I am here if you need anything.

I will be following the story as it unfolds.

May your son rest in peace.

Respect,


A



Also, the story is being reported here:

http://www.theenquirer.co.uk/read.aspx?id=8943

http://www.yourthurrock.com/2012/11/14/five-arrests-over-ockendon-cement-mixer-death-in-2002/

http://www.brentwoodweeklynews.co.uk/news/basildon/10045822.Exclusive__Five_arrested_in_Lee_Balkwell_unexplained_death/


http://www.london24.com/news/crime/five_arrests_in_investigation_into_death_of_man_crushed_in_cement_mixer_1_1693108

http://www.thisistotalessex.co.uk/arrested-Lee-Balkwell-investigation/story-17319360-detail/story.html

http://www.itv.com/news/anglia/2012-11-14/five-arrests-in-connection-with-farm-death/

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Re: *NEW* UPDATE - LES BALKWELL TO SUE ESSEX POLICE (was: Arrests of 5 members of Bromley family on suspicion of MANSLAUGHTER, GROSS NEGLIGENCE, PERVERTING THE COURSE OF JUSTICE and PERJURY)

Post by Tony Bennett on 03.02.13 11:16

DEATH OF LEE BALKWELL: UPDATE & MEDIA ADVICE - 2 FEBRUARY 2013

Lee’s parents to sue Essex Police for their failure to investigate their son’s death

Last week, Lee Balkwell’s parents, Mr Leslie and Mrs Jackie Balkwell, launched a legal claim for damages against Essex Police.

The claim, issued by their Yorkshire-based lawyer, Mr Simon McKay of McKay Law, at Leeds High Court on Wednesday, has been brought against the Chief Constable of Essex under Section 6 of the Human Rights Act 1998. It claims that the human rights of the couple under Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights were violated by Essex Police’s failures over 8 years to conduct a proper investigation into Lee’s death.

In line with common legal practice, the initial claim is for £50,000 damages. Essex Police has already resisted the claim, maintaining that it has no legal liability or duty of care to the Balkwells arising from their seriously flawed investigations and reviews.

On 30 January 2012, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), following an investigation lasting four years, issued a damning report, describing the initial investigation by Detective Superintendent Graeme Bull, and subsequent internal reviews, as ‘seriously flawed’. They upheld a total of 26 separate complaints of misconduct against eight Essex Police officers, most of them senior officers. Lee’s father, Les Balkwell, had claimed that the investigation was corrupt, suggesting that senior police officers had improper relationships with major drug dealers in the area, but the IPCC was unable to substantiate his claims.

Whilst Essex Police had always maintained Lee’s death was no more than a ‘tragic accident’, a 10-person Inquest jury in February 2008 unanimously found that Lee died as the result of ‘homicide by gross negligence/manslaughter’. The Coroner, Mrs Caroline Beasley-Murray, had ruled that the jury were not allowed to bring in a murder verdict because, she said, there was ‘insufficient evidence’ on which the jury could form that view.

Following 91 recommendations made in the report of an independent review ordered by the IPCC and carried out by Detective Chief Superintendent Dave Mirfield of West Midlands PoIice, Detective Chief Superintendent Lee Catling of Kent Police began a new investigation into Lee’s death in August 2010.

On 14 November last year, five members of the Bromley family, at whose premises Lee was found dead, were arrested and bailed for a variety of offences, including manslaughter and perverting the course of justice. They were re-bailed in January to attend for bail in April at a Kent Police Station.

D.C.S. Catling retired from uniformed service in December and is now the Head of Training for Kent Police. The new senior investigating officer is Detective Superintendent Janine Farrell.

Criminal Injuries Compensation

In 2007, Lee Balkwell’s representative Tony Bennett claimed Criminal Injuries Act compensation for Mr and Mrs Balkwell from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). The sum of £5,500 is currently payable to each parent of a son or daughter who is adjudged by the CICA to have been more likely than not to have died from a crime of violence. The CICA usually act of the advice of the police, but Kent Police have to date been unwilling to give a ruling on this key issue. Kent Police are currently awaiting a detailed report from a top pathologist before deciding what charges to bring against any members of the Bromley family and whether to recommend a CICA payment:

Contacts:

Les Balkwell - 01708 446850 – 07925 999607 - 07908 752522

Tony Bennett – 07835 716537

Simon McKay, McKay Law – 0845-1233-5571 - Carlshead Business Centre/Paddock House La, Sicklinghall, WETHERBY, Yorkshire LS22 4BJ

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                            "Maddie's Jammies. Where is Maddie?" - Amelie, May 2007 -  "Maddie's Jammies. Where is Maddie?"


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