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LES BALKWELL WINS YEAR-LONG COURT BATTLE TO SEE ESSEX POLICE DOCUMENTS - High Court ruling, 4 Nov 2016

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LES BALKWELL WINS YEAR-LONG COURT BATTLE TO SEE ESSEX POLICE DOCUMENTS - High Court ruling, 4 Nov 2016

Post by Tony Bennett on 07.11.16 10:00

LES BALKWELL WINS YEAR-LONG COURT BATTLE TO SEE ESSEX POLICE DOCUMENTS

After adjourned hearings on 20 October and 1 November, on Friday 4 November Mr Justice Supperstone ruled that Essex Police must disclose to Les Balkwell and his advisers the vast majority of all the documents he had asked for back on 15 January.

Below, in order, are:

1 A statement on the website of Les Balkwell’s new legal team at Doughty Street Chambers

2 A personal statement by Les Balkwell

3 A very short history of the case

4 Background correspondence leading up to Friday’s decision   
 
News on the Doughty Street Chambers Website   
 
http://www.doughtystreet.co.uk/news/article/les-balkwell-v-chief-constable-of-essex-police
 
Les Balkwell v Chief Constable of Essex Police
04.11.16 |
Alex Gask, Kirsty Brimelow QC

The High Court orders Essex police to disclose documents in order to enable the court to fully assess its culpability as to the extent of its breach of Article 2 of ECHR in failing to carry out an effective investigation in Lee Balkwell’s death.
 
Judgment has been entered against the Chief Constable of Essex police for failure to carry out an effective investigation into the death of Les Balkwell’s son, Lee Balkwell in breach of its obligations under Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Essex police resisted disclosure pre-quantum hearing. On 4/11/16, before Supperstone J, Kirsty Brimelow QC and Alex Gask succeeded in their application that Essex police discloses documents. 
 
STATEMENT BY LES BALKWELL, AGREED BY HIS NEW LEGAL TEAM:
 
“Essex Police say they are sorry for the appalling investigation into the killing of Lee Balkwell, but it is an empty apology, as the recent hearing in the High Court has shown.
 
“Instead of disclosing documents that would help the family go towards understanding Lee’s death, they forced us into court, causing more stress and pain to my family.
 
“The judge saw through this latest disgraceful attempt to cover up what happened, using local taxpayers’ money. We will continue to fight for justice for Lee until Essex Police come clean”.
 
ENDS
 
Les Balkwell has generously asked me to add the following statement:
 
“I pay tribute to Tony Bennett and my new legal team for this result and for the exemplary, professional and dedicated manner in which they have gone about their business”.  
 
 
HISTORY

18 July 2002 – Lee Balkwell killed

7 July 2005 – 1st IPCC investigation clears Essex Police

8 February 2008 – Inquest jury delivers verdict of manslaughter by gross negligence after Coroner refuses to allow jury to bring in homicide verdict; Les’s barrister claims there is ‘overwhelming evidence’ that Lee was murdered

29 June 2009 – Complaints to IPCC submitted by Tony Bennett on behalf of Les Balkwell result in interim IPCC finding that Essex Police investigations were ‘seriously flawed’ – IPCC recommends fresh re-investigation by outside, independent  force  

10 August 2010 – Essex Police hand investigation to Kent Police despite the fact that the two forces run a joint Serious Crime Directorate and Kent Police is clearly not an ‘outside, independent’ force - despite strenuous objections by Les Balkwell

30 January 2012 – IPCC second investigation upholds 26 complaints of misconduct against 8 senior officers, 13 of them against Det Chief Supt Bull, the original Senior Investigating Officer

28 January 2013 – Les Balkwell issues High Court claim against Essex Police with the help of McKay Law. Essex Police apply to ‘Strike Out’ his application

21 December 2013 – Irreconcilable differences between Les Balkwell and McKay Law; Tony Bennett takes over the running of the court case as Les’s ‘McKenzie Friend’

14 October 2014 – Simon Bromley found ‘Not Guilty’ by jury at Chelmsford Crown Court on a charge of Manslaughter by Gross Negligence. Les Balkwell had strenuously OPPOSED this prosecution because he says there is overwhelming evidence Lee Balkwell was murdered     

15 January 2015 – Essex Police’s ‘Strike Out’ application fails – Les Balkwell allowed to proceed

15 June 2015 – Essex Police admit liability

15 October 2015 – High Court sets date for trial on the issue of the amount of compensation

15 January 2016 – Tony Bennett writes to Essex Police requesting disclosure of a list of documents, see below  



  
BACKGROUND
 
Here is the run of correspondence regarding the disclosure of documents
 
From: Anthony Bennett M.A.                                            66 Chippingfield     
Tel: 01279 635789                                                             HARLOW              : ajsbennett@btinternet.com                                                   Essex   
Mobile:  07835 716537                                                            CM17  0DJ
 
Mr Adam Hunt,                                                       Friday 15 January 2016
Force Solicitor
Essex Police
P.O. Box 2,
Headquarters
Springfield
CHELMSFORD
Essex
CM2  6DA
 
Copy to High Court
Ref:  CASE NO. HQ 13 X 03738
 
Dear Mr Hunt
 
re: Leslie Balkwell v The Chief Constable of Essex Police: Court Order of   October 2015 – Request for originals/ copies/ inspection of documents
 
Further to the Court Order of 15 October 2015, I now make, on Mr Balkwell’s behalf, a request for sight of or copies of relevant documents. I continue to act for him on the previous basis i.e. that he is a Litigant-in-Person, but I am doing my best to assist him. 
 
I have been unable to find out whether there are any prescribed procedures in asking for disclosure. To the best of my knowledge and understanding, any request is to be put in writing in the form of a letter initially. Should there be refusal for any reason to supply the documents requested, or permit inspection of documents, or other disagreement between Mr Balkwell and yourselves in terms of what documents in your possession, power or control you are able to disclose, my understanding is that Mr Balkwell can the apply to the Court for any further disclosure he seeks. No doubt, having regard to the fact that Mr Balkwell is a Litigant-in-Person and that I have now been out of legal practice for 17 years, you will be kind enough to inform me if I am mistaken about that. 
 
It is intended that Mr Balkwell will exhibit this letter of application in his Witness Statement.     
 
Appended below for reference are Mr Balkwell’s Amended Particulars of Claim.
 
As per the verbal directions of Master Eastman, further particulars and sight of relevant documents are sought for two key reasons:
(1) To examine the extent of the failure of Essex Police to carry out an effective investigation into the death of Lee Balkwell 
(2) To apprise the court of the effect on Les Balkwell’s mental and physical health of the failures of Essex Police.
 
In each case I will specify whether either inspection or copies of documents are required:
 
1 The Original Scenes Of Crime Report (inspection of all original documents)
2 All policy documents from 18 July 2002 onwards in which decisions or important results of lines of enquiry or other investigation findings are logged, whether by the S.I.O. or by others (inspection)
3 The personal notebooks of the following officers insofar as they relate to the killing of Lee Balwkell (inspection of all of them):
C1 - Notebooks of Det Sgt Weald
C2 - Notebooks of Det Chief Supt Bull
C3 - Notebooks of Det Sgt Argles
C4 -- Notebooks of Det Const Savvides
C5 - Notebooks of Coroner’s Officer Philip Sitch
C6 - Notebooks of former Inspector Richard Croft
C7 - Notebooks of former Det Sgt Mark Hall 
C8 - Notebooks of former Det Chief Supt Gareth Wilson
4 Notebooks and all notes including official minutes taken at the original Post Mortem (inspection) by anyone attending (inspection)
5 Full list of those attending (copy)
6 Notes of ’phone calls, e-mails and any other communications between (a) any officer from Essex Police and (b) Dr Michael John Heath and (c) any other Pathologist, Doctor or medical practitioner during 18 to 20 July 2002 and any other notes dealing with the list of actions taken in connection with the post-mortem (inspection)
7 Specifically, any notes relating to the decision by Dr Heath not to visit the scene of the death (inspection)
8 All letters of instruction sent to any and all pathologists (inspection)
9 A list of all experts consulted (copy) together with details of their expertise and experience, including details pertaining to the ‘analyst’ who in late 2007 analysed articles written by Tony Bennett M.A. in which he set out an analysis of obvious lies told by members of the Bromley family about the events of 17 and 18 July 20032 and contradictions between their various witness statements
10 A copy of the analyst’s report (copy)
11 All letters of instruction sent to any engineering and other experts (copies)
12 Notes, recorded details of any ’phone calls, e-mails correspondence, letters or other communications between any Essex Police officers and any and all of the experts, other than letters of instruction  (inspection)
13 Any documents showing (a) why Lee’s body was not covered with a tent or other  protection from the elements and (b) why surgical gloves were not used in handling the body and handling exhibits at the scene (copies)
14 Notes of any instructions, ’phone calls, e-mails, discussions or meetings from the moment of the reporting of the death onwards (1.03am, 18 July 2002) regarding the decision as to whether or not to declare Lee’s death either a suspicious death or a suspected murder (inspection)
15 The original extraction video (to be shown to and viewed by Mr Balkwell or Mr Bennett), including and written notes on thy 35 minutes of the extraction time is missing
16 Display of all photographs taken at (a) the scene of the killing of Lee and (b) the post-mortem (to be inspected by Les Balkwell or Tony Benntet as appropriate) (inspection) 
17 List all photographs taken at the scene of the killing of Lee and at the post-mortem (copy)
18 Display all the original ’phone records of Lee Balkwell obtained from T-mobile (and of any other persons whose ’phone records were sought) and display all notes and records of Essex Police’s requests for the telephone records from any telecommunications companies whether by ‘’phone, e-mail, hard copy correspondence or otherwise (inspection)
19 Disclose the letter and report sent by Det Chief Supt Graeme Bull to Christopher McCann of the Crown Prosecution Service on or about 23 August 2002 in which he asserted (so we have been led to understand) that Lee Balkwell was killed as a result of a traffic accident (inspection)
20 Disclose all e-mail and hard copy correspondence between Essex Police and the Crown Prosecution Service (copies)
21 Disclose the minutes of all meetings between Essex Police and the Crown Prosecution
22 Provide an original copy of the Original Storm Incident report as taken directly from the computer (inspection)
23 Provide an explanation in writing of why two lines of text are missing and whether they were deleted from the computer record or tippexed out after the computer entries had been printed out
24 All pages of the original hand-written Crime Scene Log 
25 The original CCTV seized from Baldwjns Farm on 18 July 2002 (to view)   
26 The report obtained by Kent Police on the tachograph (copy)
27 All notes made by Essex Police on the reconstructions that took place on the cement mixer, namely: two in 2003, and two in 2009, and any others (copies)
28 All correspondence between Essex Police and any and all experts who attended the reconstructions, whether by ’phone (in which case provide notes of ’phone calls), e-mail, hard copy correspondence or otherwise (copies)
29 Minutes of all meetings held between Essex Police officers and members of the Balkwell family (copies), specifically including:
All meetings with the I.O., et Sgt. Jason Weald ,at Grays Police Station and elsewhere, and
All meetings with either Det. Chief Supt. Graeme Bull and Det. Sgt. Martin, including the meeting where DCS Bull asked to meet with Les Balkwell and his daughter Tanya Munns in a lay-by, but which meeting was later held at Rayleigh police station at Les Balkwell’s request
30 The report written by Det Constable Ian Raynor of Essex Police on a telephone call between him and the Coroner’s Officer which took place at Brentwood Police Station with Les Balkwell present, during February or March 2007, in which he stated, corruptly, that he intended to ‘run the Inquest as an accidental death’ [this report was later read by Les Balkwell and Tony Bennett at a meeting in the office of Det Chief Supt Garnish] (copy)   
31 Notes of all actions taken by Essex Police from 1 July 2006 onwards, including notes ’phone calls, e-mails, and notes of a meeting at a Brentwood hotel in 2008 or 2009 between Det Chief Supt Garnish and Les Balkwell and Tony Bennett in relations to allegations made directly to Les Balkwel by Susan Lawrence (long-term partner of Simon Bromley) that she was present on the night Lee Balkwell was killed and knew that he had been murdered (inspection)
32 Notes of Det Sgt Wojcek and Det Constable Bennett on their actions during and in connection with the inspection of the cement mixer at OnTime Services  on 24 July 2002 (inspection)
33 All correspondence between Essex Police and any branches of the Health and Safety Executive, including, in the case of Eddie Scoggins, notes of any ’phone calls and all e-mail correspondence (copies)
34 The precise remit given to Det Chief Supt Garnish when he took over as S.I.O. in July 2006, including any related correspondence (copies)
35 The report of Mr Felsted of the HSE, July or August 2002 (copy)
36 The results of the DNA and blood tests carried out on a pair of trainers found in the cab of the cement mixer on 18 July 2002 and copies of all notes and correspondence connected with that examination (inspection)
37 Any records or notes explaining why the trainers were not tested for blood or DNA until 2008 (inspection)
38 All records relating to Operation Guthrie (a wilful act against Lee Balkwell) (inspection)
39 All records, notebooks and notes relating to the visit of officers Inspector O’Toole and Det. Constable ‘Taff’ Phillips to Belmarsh Prison when those two officers met with Simon Bromley and Glen Nicholls when allegedly they discussed evidential issues in the Balkwell case (inspection) 
40 Notes made by DCS Simon Coxall and/or by Christian Khan Solicitors of a 57-minute telephone call held between them in or around June or July 2003 (copy) 
 
Mr Balkwell reserves the right to seek further disclosure as may prove necessary.
 
I await hearing from you as soon as possible.
 
Yours sincerely
 
Anthony Bennett
For Leslie Balkwell


REPLY BY ESSEX POLICE

4 February 2016


Dear Mr Bennett,

Les Balkwell v Essex Police

Thank you for your letter dated 19 January 2016 and your three emails dated 1 February.
 

I note your request for disclosure of material.  The overriding principle is that disclosure should be restricted to that which is necessary in the individual case.  Given that quantum is now the only live issue between my client and Mr Balkwell the material you seek is neither relevant or proportionate.  Accordingly, at this point in time I will not provide the material you seek.  The material disclosed to date, together with the admissions made in respect of liability allow your client to address the issue of quantum.

I suggest that it is for Mr Balkwell to disclose any evidence, including his statement as required by the Order dated 15 October 2015, and any medical evidence he wishes to rely upon to support his claim for compensation. 

Upon receipt of this material I shall review the material held by Essex Police in accordance with the on-going duty to disclose relevant material, in accordance with the Civil Procedure Rules (including rule 31.6).

If you do intend to rely on expert evidence you will need to have regard to CPR 35 and Practice Direction 35, both available through the Ministry of Justice web site.

I hope you and Mr Balkwell are recovering from your ill-health.

Yours sincerely,

Adam Hunt
Force Solicitor


REPLY THE SAME DAY BY TONY BENNETT

4 February 2016
 

Dear Mr Hunt

Thank you for your response.


The material we seek goes to the degree, not the fact of the admitted ineffectiveness of Essex Police's investigations into the killing of Lee Balkwell. 

Yours sincerely

Anthony Bennett
for Leslie Balkwell

-------

Despite further correspondence, Essex Police stuck by their decision to release nothing. Therefore a Disclosure Application was made to the Court in May this year.  

____________________


2007 (28 June) Dr Gerry McCann: “I have no doubt we will be able to sustain a high profile for Madeleine’s disappearance in the long-term”.

2017 (February) Dr Kate McCannthrust into a global bidding war…news giants battle to sign her up for the 10th anniversary…offered huge bids…bombarded with offers…30 sitting on the table…getting new bids every other day…one told Kate and Gerry: ‘Name your price!’
                        

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Re: LES BALKWELL WINS YEAR-LONG COURT BATTLE TO SEE ESSEX POLICE DOCUMENTS - High Court ruling, 4 Nov 2016

Post by Doug D on 07.11.16 10:21

Well done Tony.

Keep fighting the fight(s)!

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Re: LES BALKWELL WINS YEAR-LONG COURT BATTLE TO SEE ESSEX POLICE DOCUMENTS - High Court ruling, 4 Nov 2016

Post by Get'emGonçalo on 07.11.16 13:28

Excellent work, Tony!
How utterly shameful that the Police can do this to a grieving family for fourteen years, and what an utterly shameful waste of taxpayers money trying to cover up Lee's death with numerous forced court cases. This is going to look so much worse for Essex Police, than it already does, when the truth finally comes out.
Best wishes to Les and his family for this prolonged torment over the murder of his son when all he wants is answers.
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Re: LES BALKWELL WINS YEAR-LONG COURT BATTLE TO SEE ESSEX POLICE DOCUMENTS - High Court ruling, 4 Nov 2016

Post by aquila on 08.11.16 18:52

@Get'emGonçalo wrote:Excellent work, Tony!
How utterly shameful that the Police can do this to a grieving family for fourteen years, and what an utterly shameful waste of taxpayers money trying to cover up Lee's death with numerous forced court cases. This is going to look so much worse for Essex Police, than it already does, when the truth finally comes out.
Best wishes to Les and his family for this prolonged torment over the murder of his son when all he wants is answers.
Ditto. The Balkwell family are entitled to the whole truth. It's testament to Tony's skill, friendship and tenacity that this case gets ever closer to achieving the truth.


Great work Tony.
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Re: LES BALKWELL WINS YEAR-LONG COURT BATTLE TO SEE ESSEX POLICE DOCUMENTS - High Court ruling, 4 Nov 2016

Post by plebgate on 09.11.16 8:57

@Get'emGonçalo wrote:Excellent work, Tony!
How utterly shameful that the Police can do this to a grieving family for fourteen years, and what an utterly shameful waste of taxpayers money trying to cover up Lee's death with numerous forced court cases. This is going to look so much worse for Essex Police, than it already does, when the truth finally comes out.
Best wishes to Les and his family for this prolonged torment over the murder of his son when all he wants is answers.
Well said, very well said and it could happen to anyone.  

A gong for Tony (as I have posted before) is long overdue.

Forget the pop stars, actors and cronies.   Real people need to be recognised and a good place to start would be Mr. Tony Bennett, Pensioner, hauled before the courts for asking questions (what it amounts to imo).

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Re: LES BALKWELL WINS YEAR-LONG COURT BATTLE TO SEE ESSEX POLICE DOCUMENTS - High Court ruling, 4 Nov 2016

Post by Tony Bennett on 09.11.16 9:29

@plebgate wrote:
@Get'emGonçalo wrote:Excellent work, Tony!
How utterly shameful that the Police can do this to a grieving family for fourteen years, and what an utterly shameful waste of taxpayers money trying to cover up Lee's death with numerous forced court cases. This is going to look so much worse for Essex Police, than it already does, when the truth finally comes out.
Best wishes to Les and his family for this prolonged torment over the murder of his son when all he wants is answers.
Well said, very well said and it could happen to anyone.  
Many thanks for the kind comments:

DAD BLASTS ESSEX POLICE

http://www.romfordrecorder.co.uk/news/crime-court/lee_balkwell_death_dad_blasts_essex_police_after_winning_year_long_battle_in_high_court_1_4766909

Through the Lee Balkwell case, the Stuart Lubbock case, and certain others I've investigated, I have learnt a very great deal about how terrible truths may be covered up, all with the help of a pliant, neutered mainstream media that seems almost powerless to challenge the lies that cover up these truths

____________________


2007 (28 June) Dr Gerry McCann: “I have no doubt we will be able to sustain a high profile for Madeleine’s disappearance in the long-term”.

2017 (February) Dr Kate McCannthrust into a global bidding war…news giants battle to sign her up for the 10th anniversary…offered huge bids…bombarded with offers…30 sitting on the table…getting new bids every other day…one told Kate and Gerry: ‘Name your price!’
                        

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Balkwell case makes the pages of Private Eye for the third time in recent weeks

Post by Tony Bennett on 05.12.16 10:15

The case of the mysterious killing of Lee Balkwell on 18 July 2002 makes the pages of investigative journal Private Eye once again - 'FARMING DATA' (2nd article):


[ Thank you @ PeterMac for sending me the link ]





____________________


2007 (28 June) Dr Gerry McCann: “I have no doubt we will be able to sustain a high profile for Madeleine’s disappearance in the long-term”.

2017 (February) Dr Kate McCannthrust into a global bidding war…news giants battle to sign her up for the 10th anniversary…offered huge bids…bombarded with offers…30 sitting on the table…getting new bids every other day…one told Kate and Gerry: ‘Name your price!’
                        

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Re;Death of Lee Balkwell.

Post by willowthewisp on 05.12.16 10:35

Well Done Mr Tony Bennett in supporting Les Balkwell in bringing to light the corruption of serving Police Officers,who are supposed to,Up hold the laws,not twist or bend to their own findings?
It is"Truly"astonishing to read that piece from Private Eye on both of these deaths,that the IPCC had formerly cleared the Police of any untoward behaviour on their Police investigations into these deaths,then had to Re-examine their own findings,which then highlights their own Incompetence,"talk about the Lunatics taking over the asylum"?
PS. sorry to any Lunatics for any offence in tone of speech usage?

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