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LEE BALKWELL - Romford Recorder 12.1.2014 - Retiring Kent Chief Constable of Kent wants 'reparations' from Les Balkwell

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LEE BALKWELL - Romford Recorder 12.1.2014 - Retiring Kent Chief Constable of Kent wants 'reparations' from Les Balkwell

Post by Tony Bennett on 13.01.14 21:58


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Re: LEE BALKWELL - Romford Recorder 12.1.2014 - Retiring Kent Chief Constable of Kent wants 'reparations' from Les Balkwell

Post by Smokeandmirrors on 13.01.14 22:04

That is beyond disgusting. I can't believe the heartlessness of not giving a grieving father justice for the loss of his son. And to try and turn the tables against him, that Learmonth creature is beneath contempt.

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Re: LEE BALKWELL - Romford Recorder 12.1.2014 - Retiring Kent Chief Constable of Kent wants 'reparations' from Les Balkwell

Post by Tony Bennett on 29.01.14 18:15

The Kent Police and Crime Commissioner (KPCC) has now answered my Freedom of Information questions about the decision of former Chief Constable of Kent Police, Ian Learmonth, to demand 'reparations' from Mr Les Balkwell, father of Lee, following an article about Learmonth in the Mail on Sunday on 22 December 2013 to which he objected. Learmonth had already resigned from Kent Police, his final date at work being 4 January this year. Learmonth's letter, dated 23 December, threatened libel proceedings and demanded 'reparations' from Les.

Here are my questions and the answers from Mike Stepney, Chief of Staff for the KPCC:

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

29 January 2014

Dear Mr Bennett,

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request.

In response to your queries, please see below:

You have asked for information pertaining to the 'authorisation' of legal proceedings. However, the Chief Constable does not require authorisation to take such decisions. Therefore we do not hold this information.

1. On what date was the KPCC notified of Mr Learmonth's intentions?

The Office of the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner was notified of the Chief Constable’s intention to write to Mr Balkwell on 23rd December 2013. However, the content of the correspondence was not discussed in detail.

2. Has the KPCC either consented to or authorised the expenditure by Kent Police on Mr Learmonth prosecuting a civil libel claim against Les Balkwell? 

As per the paragraph above, the Chief Constable does not need authorisation from the Commissioner on matters such as this, therefore we do not hold this information.

Yours sincerely

Mike Stepney
Chief of Staff




 

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Re: LEE BALKWELL - Romford Recorder 12.1.2014 - Retiring Kent Chief Constable of Kent wants 'reparations' from Les Balkwell

Post by aiyoyo on 29.01.14 18:20

What does it mean ?
Wash their hands from this, and this is the end?
Is it left to you to pursue with another authority?

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Re: LEE BALKWELL - Romford Recorder 12.1.2014 - Retiring Kent Chief Constable of Kent wants 'reparations' from Les Balkwell

Post by Tony Bennett on 29.01.14 20:48

@aiyoyo wrote:What does it mean ?
Wash their hands from this, and this is the end?
Is it left to you to pursue with another authority?

The answer from the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner simply means this:

That if Ian Learmonth, in his capacity as Chief Constable of Kent, even though he is retiring within seven working days, can use taxpayers' money to indefinitely fund a libel action agaisnt a person who he thinks has libelled him.

And the texpayers must go along with it. In that capacity, he is answerable to no-one.

No-one in the world can stop him from bringing a libel action and doing so at taxpayers' expense. Even after he has left the service of Kent Police!

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Re: LEE BALKWELL - Romford Recorder 12.1.2014 - Retiring Kent Chief Constable of Kent wants 'reparations' from Les Balkwell

Post by aiyoyo on 30.01.14 1:12

@Tony Bennett wrote:
@aiyoyo wrote:What does it mean ?
Wash their hands from this, and this is the end?
Is it left to you to pursue with another authority?

The answer from the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner simply means this:

That if Ian Learmonth, in his capacity as Chief Constable of Kent, even though he is retiring within seven working days, can use taxpayers' money to indefinitely fund a libel action agaisnt a person who he thinks has libelled him.

And the texpayers must go along with it. In that capacity, he is answerable to no-one.

No-one in the world can stop him from bringing a libel action and doing so at taxpayers' expense. Even after he has left the service of Kent Police!

I got the gist of what KPCC meant.
This is a grey area. Cunning of him to start the litigation while he was still in service knowing very well that even after he retires, because the case is already set in motion, the process will run its own course at taxpayers expense.
So, what's next for LB?

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Re: LEE BALKWELL - Romford Recorder 12.1.2014 - Retiring Kent Chief Constable of Kent wants 'reparations' from Les Balkwell

Post by Tony Bennett on 30.01.14 21:02

@aiyoyo wrote:
@Tony Bennett wrote:
@aiyoyo wrote:What does it mean ?
Wash their hands from this, and this is the end?
Is it left to you to pursue with another authority?

The answer from the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner simply means this:

That if Ian Learmonth, in his capacity as Chief Constable of Kent, even though he is retiring within seven working days, can use taxpayers' money to indefinitely fund a libel action agaisnt a person who he thinks has libelled him.

And the texpayers must go along with it. In that capacity, he is answerable to no-one.

No-one in the world can stop him from bringing a libel action and doing so at taxpayers' expense. Even after he has left the service of Kent Police!

I got the gist of what KPCC meant.
This is a grey area. Cunning of him to start the litigation while he was still in service knowing very well that even after he retires, because the case is already set in motion, the process will run its own course at taxpayers expense.  
So, what's next for LB?

No libel claim has yet been served on Les Balkwell in the courts, it is merely a demand by Ian Learmonth for 'reparations' - and threats of a libel claim to follow if he doesn't offer 'reparations'.

As for the action of the police and the CPS in prosecuting Simon Bromley for negligence in relation to Lee's death, the matter is sub judice.

It would probably make no difference to what happens if I were to comment further at this stage, but to be on the safe side - and because certain people may be watching here - no further comment is my best policy until further notice.

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Re: LEE BALKWELL - Romford Recorder 12.1.2014 - Retiring Kent Chief Constable of Kent wants 'reparations' from Les Balkwell

Post by Tony Bennett on 25.04.14 21:06

Nearly 4 months have passed by since Les Balkwell received an angry letter from the Legal Adviser to retiring Chief Constable of Kent, Ian Learmonth, threatening to seek 'reparations' from him over a comment attributed to Les in the Mail on Sunday.

Les sent the reply below on 6 January, but has not communicated further.

I am pleased to report that Ian Learmonth has not written any further letters nor taken or threatened any legal action:

++++++++

From: Les Balkwell  
HORNCHURCH                                             
Tel:                                                
Mobile:
                                                                                
Monday 6 January 2014

Mrs Beverley Newman
Head of Legal Services
Kent Police Legal Department
Sutton Road
MAIDSTONE
Kent
ME15  9BZ

Dear Mrs Newman

re:  Mr Ian Learmonth’s complaints

I acknowledge receipt of your letter dated 23 December 2013.

Your letter makes a number of serious allegations against me. I will therefore need to take legal advice and either I or my Solicitor will get in touch with you as soon as possible.
It is sad that Mr Learmonth feels the way he does, because all of this could have been avoided had he agreed to meet me when, 18 months ago, I made the request to see him via DCS Catling [Head of the Kent Police investigation into the death of Lee Balkwell.

Yours faithfully

Les Balkwell

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