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The evidence of an expert engineer - accident to Lee Balkwell 'highly improbable'

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The evidence of an expert engineer - accident to Lee Balkwell 'highly improbable'

Post by Tony Bennett on 26.06.14 13:15

This report, commissioned by Les Balkwell, analyses whether an accident, as described (though not always consistently) by Simon Bromley, could actually have happened as described by him. His verdict is that it was 'highly improbable'. Which means we are left with one simple alternative: namely that Lee Balkwell was deliberately killed:

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

J Bond & Partners  
SAFETY AND ENGINEERING CONSULTANTS        
18 High Street,
Bassingbourn
ROYSTON,
Herts. 
SG8 5NE
                                                            
Tel/Fax:  01763 [withheld]

Email:  [withheld]
 
From Mr John Bond

Dear Sirs.

Re: CPS -v- SIMON BROMLEY, 28 January 2014, Basildon Magistrate Court:  TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN

As the result of an article in the Mail on Sunday dated 22 December, that I saw on my return from a holiday in France, I considered that I should write to appropriate persons to register my concern at the report that Mr Simon Bromley has been charged with negligence.

My concern results from two inspections of the lorry at which Mr Lee Balkwell is said to have suffered fatal injury/ies.  As the result of my first inspection of the lorry I prepared a report dated 24 September 2009 giving my opinion and conclusions about the matter.   At the time of my inspection I was denied access to the interior of the drum on the grounds that it was unsafe.  I was eventually permitted to inspect the interior of the drum on 30 March 2011 and I prepared my report giving my opinion about the inspection in my report dated 03 January 2012.   I was instructed later in the year by Detective Chief Superintendent Catling to give my views on a report prepared by a Mr Price.    Following my study of Mr Price's report I prepared a further report giving my opinion and conclusions about the report and also re-affirming my opinion that the control rod did not fail due to vibration or any other operational stresses.
There appears to have been fundamental anomalies from the results of my inspections, my calculations and tests with the statements made by Mr Simon Bromley.   Some of these are:
1          Mr Bromley says that removing of the hardening concrete inside the drum, “gunning out”, was carried out jointly by him and Mr Balkwell.   To carry this out they took it in turns to exit from a hatch at the base of the drum, start the lorry engine, then go to the rear of the lorry to operate the drum rotational control to “inch” the drum round, that is to rotate it in small increments, so as to expose a further area of hardening concrete to be removed.  When a sufficient area of hardening concrete on the drum's interior surface had been positioned, the person inside the drum would tell the other person to stop the drum.  That person would actuate the lever at the rear of the drum to stop the drum, go to the drivers’ cab at the front of the lorry, stop the engine and return to the inside of the drum and carry on with the “gunning out”.
The anomaly in this is that on the previous occasion, when it would have been Mr Balkwell who had climbed out of the drum, he would have entered the lorry cab, started the engine, walked to the rear of the lorry, operated the drum rotational control lever until told to stop by Mr Bromley who would have been inside the drum.   Mr Balkwell would then have returned to the driver's cab and stopped the engine prior to returning to the inside of the drum where he and Mr Simon Bromley, who had remained in the drum, carried on with the gunning out.
There has been no explanation to account for Mr Bromley’s statement that when he went out of the drum immediately following the work in the static drum, described in the previous paragraph, carried out jointly with Mr Balkwell, ostensibly to inch the drum round, he started the lorry engine and the drum “started to rotate quite quickly”  Logically, even if the drum control rod had failed, by some miraculous means immediately after Mr Balkwell had stopped the drum rotation using the control lever, which in my opinion it did not, the drum must have stopped - otherwise he would not have been able to re-enter the drum to join Mr Simon Bromley. It is therefore necessary for a credible explanation to be given to account for the scenario given by Mr Bromley.  It is my opinion that the control rod, connected to the drum speed control lever at the rear of the lorry, was fully operational until some time after the alleged incident at 1.03am when it is claimed that Mr Balkwell suffered fatal injury/ies.
2          Following my first inspection of the drum I calculated the probable time available to Mr Balkwell for him to gain egress from the drum.  Had he decided to leave the drum and follow Mr Simon Bromley out of the drum it is highly probable that there would have been some verbal exchange between the two men.  Had he decided to leave the drum some seconds after Mr Bromley had left the drum, again, there would have been some verbal interchange, so, in both scenarios, the most probable result would have been that Mr Balkwell would have been completely outside of the drum before Mr Bromley had started the lorry engine.  
From my subsequent inspection, when I was allowed to enter and leave the interior of the drum, it is my opinion that Mr Balkwell would not have been able to remain completely stable inside the drum when it started to rotate.  He would have been hard pressed to remain upright, due to the drum rotation, not giving a thought to climbing out of one of the access hatches diametrically opposite each other.  
3          On the assumption that Mr Balkwell was found fatally injured after the drum had been stopped it is my opinion that the drum would have rotated well in excess of one revolution before Mr Simon Bromley would have been able to stop the lorry engine, as he says in his statements, by stalling it.   In this case there would have been evidence of an unbroken deposit of blood and body tissue round the whole periphery of the drum.
It is my further opinion that it is highly improbable that the alleged incident as claimed by Mr Simon Bromley took place at all.
I attach herewith a copy of my CV for your information and I would be pleased to provide copies of my reports if you so desire.
Yours faithfully,


J F Bond

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Re: The evidence of an expert engineer - accident to Lee Balkwell 'highly improbable'

Post by worriedmum on 26.06.14 17:47

Where has this report been submitted to Tony?

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Re: The evidence of an expert engineer - accident to Lee Balkwell 'highly improbable'

Post by Tony Bennett on 26.06.14 17:52

@worriedmum wrote:Where has this report been submitted to Tony?
To:

1. Essex Magistrates Court
2. Chelmsford Crown Court
3. Essex Police
4. Kent Police
5. East of England Crown Prosecution Service
6. Top barrister Karim Kahlil QC.

They have all deliberately ignored it

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Re: The evidence of an expert engineer - accident to Lee Balkwell 'highly improbable'

Post by worriedmum on 26.06.14 17:59

Did they acknowledge receipt?
Have you been to see your Member of Parliament?
What about Tom Watson?

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Re: The evidence of an expert engineer - accident to Lee Balkwell 'highly improbable'

Post by Tony Bennett on 26.06.14 18:49

@worriedmum wrote:Did they acknowledged receipt?

All of them acknowleged receipt. The police, the CPS and Karim Kahlil QC all have their reasons for doing their best to ignore this and a raft of other convincing evidences that Lee's death was no accident. The two Court say they can do nothing, maintaining that this is purely a matter between the police, the CPS and the Defendant. This position, however, assumes that both the police and the CPS are pursuing a geniune prosecution here.
   
  
Have you been to see your Member of Parliament?

Before the General Election, we saw Les Balkwell's former M.P. James Brokenshire on a number of occasions, including once in the House of Commons Tea Room, where we all held a strategy meeting. He asked two questions in Parliament for us about the case. Due to boundary changes, Les now has a new M.P., Dame Angela Watkinson. We have seen her three times and she has so far written some letters for us.

What about Tom Watson?

He's not Les's constituency M.P., however we are awaiting replies from, inter alia:

* Theresa May
* The Justice Secretary and
* Keith Vaz, Chair of the House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee

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Re: The evidence of an expert engineer - accident to Lee Balkwell 'highly improbable'

Post by plebgate on 26.06.14 22:36

Thanks for update Tony.  Very interesting reading and once again I take my hat off to you for the work/help you give others.

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Re: The evidence of an expert engineer - accident to Lee Balkwell 'highly improbable'

Post by ultimaThule on 27.06.14 3:44

Has Mr Balkwell Snr sought leave to apply for judicial review of any of the allegedly questionable decisions which have been taken by various of the agencies, such as the CPS, involved in this case?

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Re: The evidence of an expert engineer - accident to Lee Balkwell 'highly improbable'

Post by Tony Bennett on 27.06.14 7:39

@ultimaThule wrote:Has Mr Balkwell Snr sought leave to apply for judicial review of any of the allegedly questionable decisions which have been taken by various of the agencies, such as the CPS, involved in this case?
That is a very good point.

It has been considered, but the problem seems to be that Les Balkwell, who is employed, does not qualify for Legal Aid and does not have sufficient funds to hire a lawyer, having spent literally tens of thousands of pounds on hiring barristers for the Inquest*, obtaining expert engineers' and medical reports and otherwise seeking evidence to demonstrate the obvious - that his son was deliberately killed and that an organised corrupt network has covered this up.

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

* The Inquest was due to be held April 2007. Several weeks before that, Les Balkwell was being interviewed by Det Const Ian Raynor at Brentwood Police Station. A call came through from the person appointed as the Coroner's Officer, a Mr Derrick Bines*. Bines was heard by Les Balkwell to say "I'm going to run this Inquest as a tragic accident so that you boys can get on with your other work". Les Balkwell was outraged and, through his then lawyer Christopher Bowen, made a vigorous protest to the Coroner, Mrs Caroline Beasley-Murray. Bines was dismissed by Mrs Beasley-Murray through gritted teeth, and another Coroner's Officer had to be appointed, delaying the Inquest for six months. Les had had to pay upfront fees to his barrister which as a consequence were wasted.

The Inquest was fixed for 4 October 2007. Late on Monday 1 October, the Coroner learnt that one of the key witnesses in the case, David Bromley, father of the Defendant, could not be present because, after serving a prison sentence  for drug-dealing, he had been extradited to Saarbruecken in Germany where he was wanted on a robbery charge. The Inquest was duly opened on 4 October and the Coroner asked if the Inquest should proceed. Les's barrister, Tony Ventham, got up and said that running this Inquest without David Bromley being called as a witness would be like watching Hamlet without 'The Prince'. All parties agreed that the Inquest should be adjourned, once again costing Les Balkwell thousands of pounds in wasted costs.

The Inquest was eventually held in January and February 2008, and resulted in a 10-person jury unanimously deciding that Lee Balkwell was 'unlawfully killed by gross negligence/manslaughter'. The jury was however barred from considering a verdict of 'homicide', despite Les's barrister stating (correctly, we say) that there was 'overwhelming circumstantial evidence' that Lee was murdered. The Coroner told the jury that they could not bring in a murder verdict. 

* Derrick Bines is a former Metropolitan Police Officer who has an interesting history. When the Oxford Coroner started bringing in verdicts that British soldiers had been 'unlawfully killed' in Iraq and Afghanistan e.g. because they were sent out in inadequately-protected vehicles ('Snatch' Land Rovers for example) and with inadequate equipment. Derrick Bines was swiftly dispatched by the government to Oxford to act as the Coroner's officer to 'assist' the Oxford Coroner.

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Re: The evidence of an expert engineer - accident to Lee Balkwell 'highly improbable'

Post by ultimaThule on 27.06.14 19:33

Is it correct to say that the jury at the Inquest returned a verdict of manslaughter by gross negligence and that, albeit some years later, Bromley has been arraigned on a charge of manslaughter by gross negligence?

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Re: The evidence of an expert engineer - accident to Lee Balkwell 'highly improbable'

Post by Tony Bennett on 27.06.14 19:38

@ultimaThule wrote:Is it correct to say that the jury at the Inquest returned a verdict of manslaughter by gross negligence and that, albeit some years later, Bromley has been arraigned on a charge of manslaughter by gross negligence?
Yes, your statement as it stands is 100% correct

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Re: The evidence of an expert engineer - accident to Lee Balkwell 'highly improbable'

Post by ultimaThule on 27.06.14 20:07

Is a transcript of the Inquest procedings available and, in particular, the Coroner's directions to the jury?

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Re: The evidence of an expert engineer - accident to Lee Balkwell 'highly improbable'

Post by Tony Bennett on 27.06.14 20:42

@ultimaThule wrote:Is a transcript of the Inquest procedings available and, in particular, the Coroner's directions to the jury?
Yes. I have every single word of the Inquest transcript, including of course the Coroner's directions to the jury, in three large Lever Arch files at home.

And so of course has Les Balkwell.

We had trouble getting the transcript, though - Coroner Mrs Beasley-Murray wanted him to pay the full whack of several thousand pounds to obtain a copy.

We won that particular battle.

She gave in.

We also won this one - when Les was asked to pay £1,700 to clean out the cement mixer that killed his son (or did not, as the case may be): Daily Mail article >>>>

 
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1362994/Father-ordered-pay-1-700-clean-cement-mixer-killed-son.html

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Re: The evidence of an expert engineer - accident to Lee Balkwell 'highly improbable'

Post by ultimaThule on 01.07.14 3:50

As the transcript is not available online, my interest in the Inquest proceedings is confined to what directions, if any, the Coroner gave to the jury in respect of the verdict(s) they could return and what became of Mr Balkwell Snr's subsequent complaint to the OJC?

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Re: The evidence of an expert engineer - accident to Lee Balkwell 'highly improbable'

Post by plebgate on 01.07.14 9:04

@Tony Bennett wrote:
@ultimaThule wrote:Is a transcript of the Inquest procedings available and, in particular, the Coroner's directions to the jury?
Yes. I have every single word of the Inquest transcript, including of course the Coroner's directions to the jury, in three large Lever Arch files at home.

And so of course has Les Balkwell.

We had trouble getting the transcript, though - Coroner Mrs Beasley-Murray wanted him to pay the full whack of several thousand pounds to obtain a copy.

We won that particular battle.

She gave in.

We also won this one - when Les was asked to pay £1,700 to clean out the cement mixer that killed his son (or did not, as the case may be): Daily Mail article
>>>>

 
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1362994/Father-ordered-pay-1-700-clean-cement-mixer-killed-son.html
Ref. pink highlighting, I want to say words fail me, but have to say that this is absolutely disgusting.

 People can stay in  bed all day and get paid to do it, people can come to Britain and be given homes free of charge, benefits etc. and yet people who have worked all their lives are expected to foot the bill for something like this.   What on earth is happening in UK.

Why does it cost so much to get a court transcript? 

Keep fighting Tony you are doing a good job.

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Re: The evidence of an expert engineer - accident to Lee Balkwell 'highly improbable'

Post by worriedmum on 01.07.14 9:07

Is it time to set up a new forum or Facebook page about the Balkwell case, Tony?

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Re: The evidence of an expert engineer - accident to Lee Balkwell 'highly improbable'

Post by ultimaThule on 02.07.14 1:57

As there has been an indictment in this case, a Facebook page or alternative website would be inadvisable at this point in time, wm, and it may be prudent for this entire topic to be moved to the Members Lounge or to a place where it can only be viewed by invitation only.

My concern is that, while Lee Balkwell and his family may never get the justice they truly deserve, they deserve to get some justice which may provide the means to continue their quest for the truth which, to date, seems to have eluded them.,

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Re: The evidence of an expert engineer - accident to Lee Balkwell 'highly improbable'

Post by Tony Bennett on 02.07.14 7:47

@ultimaThule wrote:As the transcript is not available online, my interest in the Inquest proceedings is confined to what directions, if any, the Coroner gave to the jury in respect of the verdict(s) they could return and what became of Mr Balkwell Snr's subsequent complaint to the OJC?
Les Balkwell's barrister submitted to the Coroner, in the absence of the jury of course, that there was 'overwhelming circumstantial evidence' that Lee Balkwell was murdered.

That's an assessment I fully agree with.

However, the Coroner said there was INSUFFICIENT evidence of murder for the jury to be able to consider a plain homicide verdict - and directed them in open court not to do so.

The OJC complaint didn't get anywhere. You can only complain to the OJC about non-judicial issues, not about any decision made by a Coroner. To challenge Coroners' decisions, you have to take routes like judicial review, appeals or an application for a fiat by the A-G ordering a new Inquest.

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Re: The evidence of an expert engineer - accident to Lee Balkwell 'highly improbable'

Post by Tony Bennett on 02.07.14 7:59

@ultimaThule wrote:As there has been an indictment in this case, a Facebook page or alternative website would be inadvisable at this point in time, wm, and it may be prudent for this entire topic to be moved to the Members Lounge or to a place where it can only be viewed by invitation only.

My concern is that, while Lee Balkwell and his family may never get the justice they truly deserve, they deserve to get some justice which may provide the means to continue their quest for the truth which, to date, seems to have eluded them.,    
The case is indeed classed as 'sub judice', which means that, under the law of 'Contempt of Court', nothing may be published which, to quote the law 'constitutes a substantial risk of serious prejudice'.

That might apply, for example, to a major newspaper publishing, while a jury trial is in progress, embarrassing facts about a defendnant - even if they are true.

A 'substantial' risk of 'serious' prejudice could hardly arise from a few factual matters posted on an internet forum where there have only been a few hundred views on a thread. Moreover, jurors are given the strictest of instructions by judges, at the start of a trial and even during it, to try a case only on what they hear in court and nothing else - and are specifically advised not to consult the internet during the trial about anything connected with the trial.

Les Balkwell is in fact setting up a new website, not with my help, though - with someone else's, which will contain some very revealing material about police corruption in Essex, Kent and the Metropolitan Police, and about the extraordinary decisions of Grace Ononiwu, the Head of East of England CPS, and top barrister Karim Kahlil Q.C., to continue with this prosecution despite overwhelming evidence that Lee's death was no accident.

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