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Letter TB to Essex Magistrates Court 27 January 2014 - More reasons why the case against Simon Bromley for 'alleged negligence' should be discontinued by the CPS

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Letter TB to Essex Magistrates Court 27 January 2014 - More reasons why the case against Simon Bromley for 'alleged negligence' should be discontinued by the CPS

Post by Tony Bennett on 27.01.14 9:51

27 January 2014

Dear Mrs James, the Chairman of Essex Magistrates and the Magistrates who will hear the case of CPS -v- Simon Bromley at Basildon tomorrow (28 January),

  1. CPS  -v- Simon Bromley

  2. Freedom of Information Request

Thank you for your information about the Court’s complaints procedures. I am informed by Mr Balkwell, in a ’phone call yesterday afternoon, that you have written to me via him. He has read out your letter to me over the ’phone (yesterday afternoon). I do not have the letter to hand, so it looks as though you did not send me a copy via e-mail, nor by hard copy, as clearly requested by Mr Balkwell. So I am not sure if you have done what we requested. During last week you had his signed letter of authorisation asking that you help him by copying any correspondence to him also to me.

Since my last e-mail to you, I have been referred to the website of the Crown Prosecution Service and in particular to what it says about the conduct of hearings in the Magistrates Court.

In that document, under the heading ‘Principle’, it clearly states:

“In committal proceedings and transfers for trial, a case should not be committed or transferred unless you are satisfied that the criteria for prosecution contained in the Code for Crown Prosecutors have been met”. Once again, I need to point out that no case should be committed for trial at the Crown Court unless the Magistrates are satisfied that there is a case to answer.

Moreover, under a section headed ‘Adjournments in Section 51 Cases in the Magistrates' Court’, it states: “Ordinarily, defendants in section 51 cases should be sent to the Crown Court forthwith (statutory wording). There is, however, an unfettered right to adjourn the case (Section 52(2) of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998). We believe that the Magistrates have a duty to consider all the evidence submitted by myself and Mr Balkwell. Having done so, we invite them at the very least to adjourn the case, whilst also asking the CPS to reconsider their decision to prosecute on grounds of negligence.  

In this connection, please note that at 2.15pm this afternoon, Mr Balkwell and I will be meeting at CPS Chelmsford with the Chief Prosecutor for the East of England, Ms Grace Ononiwu, when we will be renewing our request to her and her colleagues that they reconsider their decision to proceed with a prosecution against Simon Bromley for causing the death of Lee Balkwell allegedly in an ‘accident’ caused by ‘negligence’. This follows a complaint Mr Balkwell made earlier this month to the Independent Assessor for Complaints against the CPS, Mr Stephen Shaw CBE. It is necessary for me to state once again on the record that there is no credible evidence that Lee Balkwell was working in the cement mixer at the time of the alleged accident, namely 1.03am on 18 July 2002, and indeed that there are numerous lines of evidence which point to his death being due to deliberate acts against him. We will be asking Ms Ononiwu to withdraw the negligence charge or, at the very minimum, to ask the Court tomorrow for an adjournment whilst the Director of Prosecutions, at the very highest level, thoroughly reviews the evidence in this case.    

I turn now to other matters in your letter. I am grateful for the detailed reply and for references to the law and procedure in the Magistrates Court.

You said in your letter that the Magistrates’ functions included considering ‘information’ about an alleged crime. That is precisely what we have been giving you. It is information that we say is germane as to whether this case should proceed any further.

You spoke of your sympathy for Mr Balkwell in his loss but you also reserved what you said were ‘harsh words’ for me as his adviser.

It is one thing to sympathise with parents (and a whole family) who have lost their son. What you will not understand at the moment is the additional sympathy you would be bound to extend to him if you were made aware of all the facts surrounding Lee’s death and the extraordinary lengths and expense he has had to go to in order to ensure that the truth about how he died becomes known. If you had that knowledge, you would not have harsh words for me, and neither would any Essex Magistrate. On the contrary, you would have much additional sympathy for him and much greater understanding of why it has been necessary to make this unusual approach to yourselves. And you would also have ‘harsh words’ for those who have conspired to bring about this prosecution which has no credible evidence to support it.

To that I must add that the decision by the police and the CPS to choose the ‘negligence’ basis for charging Simon Bromley with the death of Lee Balkwell is wholeheartedly opposed by not only Les Balkwell but also by all members of his extended family, and a great many other people in the community, all of whom are aware of the key facts in this case.   

It is plain, on looking at the law and Court procedures, that the law does not generally recognise, as we say is the case here, that it is possible for the prosecution and defence to collude in trying to bring a prosecution for which there is no evidence. The material already sent you must give you and the Magistrates pause for thought, at the very least, as to the evidential basis for this prosecution. The IPCC found 26 instances of misconduct by senior Essex Police Officers stretching over 8 years (2002-2010). Contrary to the IPCC’s recommendation, the death of Lee Balkwell has not been investigated by an independent police force, but by Kent Police, who are bringing this prosecution. Indeed, the case has been reinvestigated by the joint Essex-Kent Serious Organised Crime Directorate, which for much of the time since 2010 has been headed by Gareth Wilson, who has twice been found guilty of misconduct by the IPCC in relation to his conduct of this case on 18 July 2002 - in reports dated January 2005 and again in January 2012.       

You say in your letter that one Magistrate who received Mr Balkwell’s appeal was angry about it. He should not be angry. Rather, if he has an unbiased mind, he should express deep concern about what he has read and use his influence and endeavours to ensure that a prosecution without evidence should not be allowed to proceed.

I understand that in your letters to Mr Balkwell and myself you made references to this matter being ‘sub judice’. As far as I can see, the Contempt of Court legislation is framed so as to ensure that the defendant receives a fair trial. It does not deal with the situation, as here, where there may be collusion between defence and prosecution to pervert the course of justice. You will no doubt be aware that there is much material already available and in paper form about this case, including extensive print and TV coverage, including a short BBC TV documentary, three publicly-available reports by the IPCC, Les Balkwell’s website, a documentary about the case on YouTube, and a great deal of other material.  

As you have been informed, Mr Balkwell has been told by friends of his in the area that Mr David Bromley, father of Simon Bromley, has been openly bragging in the pubs of South Ockendon that a deal has been done whereby a false charge of causing death by gross negligence/manslaughter will be brought, Simon Bromley will plead guilty, and he will be handed a very light sentence. If so, as we suspect, then rather than hinting that Mr Balkwell and I might be breaking the sub judice rules, we might be looking, at some time in the future, at certain officials being charged with perverting the course of justice. Should Simon Bromley plead guilty to what we say is an obviously false charge, the prospects of the real truth about his death ever becoming known would be greatly diminished.   

It might be thought that it is entirely inappropriate to suggest that police officers and staff within the CPS could possibly be guilty of colluding in order to avoid the truth about a death coming out. However, this was the very conclusion of Operation Tiberius, an anti-corruption investigation by the police conducted in 2002, the very year that Lee Balkwell was killed. As Tom Harper reported in two lengthy articles in the Independent  dated 10 January this year:

“Organised crime infiltrated police [and the entire criminal justice system] ‘at will’…a top-level internal inquiry identified scores of corrupt individuals working for the Met. Organised criminals were able to infiltrate Scotland Yard ‘at will’ by bribing corrupt officers, according to [Operation Tiberius’s] explosive report leaked to the Independent. The Metropolitan Police file, written in 2002, found Britain’s biggest force suffered ‘endemic corruption’ at the time. Operation Tiberius concluded that syndicates such as the notorious Adams family and the gang led by David Hunt had bribed scores of former and then-serving detectives to access confidential databases; obtain live intelligence on criminal investigations; provide specialist knowledge of surveillance, technical deployment and undercover techniques to help evade prosecution; and even take part in criminal acts such as mass drug importation and money laundering.

“…Operation Tiberius found that men suspected of being Britain’s most notorious criminals had compromised multiple agencies, including HM Revenue & Customs, the Crown Prosecution Service, the City of London Police and the Prison Service, as well as pillars of the criminal justice system including juries and the legal profession”.

Finally, your letter refers to the matter of whether the evidence regarding the death of Lee Balkwell supports an accident caused by negligence, or ‘murder’. I was careful in my letter not to suggest that, at the moment, there was necessarily sufficient evidence to convict Simon Bromley of another crime in relation to Lee Balkwell’s death. It is certainly true that at the Inquest in 2008, Les Balkwell’s barrister, Tony Ventham, suggested to the Coroner that the jury should be allowed to consider a murder verdict, claiming that there was ‘overwhelming circumstantial evidence’ that Lee was murdered. That of course is also Les Balkwell’s view.
However, to make it clear what Mr Balkwell now seeks, he wants:

  1. The prosecution of Simon Bromley for alleged ‘gross negligence manslaughter’ to be discontinued, and

  2. Kent Police to cease any further work on the case, as he believes that their investigation has been a dishonest investigation, conducted by the Essex-Kent Serious Organised Crime Directorate, which was never independent of Essex Police, who had been guilty of what the IPCC referred to as a series of ‘seriously flawed’ investigations and reviews

  3. The investigation of his son’s death to be carried out by a genuinely independent police force.

I would like to inform you in addition that Mr Balkwell, via myself, has approached his M.P., Dame Angela Watkinson, on a number of occasions, for assistance in establishing the truth about his son’s death (as he also did his previous M.P., Mr James Brokenshire). We are currently seeking a meeting with Home Office Minister Damian Green to discuss further evidence Mr Balkwell has regarding what he says is a deliberate cover-up by the police of what really happened to Lee. Four police officers from three branches of the police and security services have at different times approached Mr Balkwell and covertly given him evidence of major corruption at work in his case. They have stated that Special Branch are involved. Many more specific details have been given to Mr Balkwell which it is not appropriate for me to raise here.

I will however disclose the reply I received from Dame Angela’s Secretary, Marjorie Ramsey, on 19 December 2013 after we approached her about what we said was this dishonest prosecution of Simon Bromley for alleged negligence:

“Dear Mr. Bennett

Lee Balkwell Investigation.

Dame Angela has asked me to thank you for your email dated 3 December.

She notes with interest that Simon Bromley has been arrested and charged.  This is an interesting development but it means that the Police Minister, Damian Green, is unable to meet with you or discuss the case as it is subject to legal proceedings and such a meeting might prejudice the case.

You refer to a dossier of evidence that you have compiled and she strongly advises you make this available to prosecuting counsel, as, if it is permissible, you should be a witness at the court hearing.

Dame Angela advises awaiting the outcome of this hearing before approaching the IPCC to request a new investigation into the conduct of the Essex/Kent investigation.

Yours sincerely
Marjorie Ramsey, Constituency Secretary to Dame Angela Watkinson DBE MP

Member for Hornchurch and Upminster”

Naturally we have on repeated occasions both before Dame Angela’s letter and afterwards drawn the lines of evidence which point to deliberate acts against Lee Balkwell as the real cause of his death to the attention of a number of staff in the DPP and the Crown Prosecution Service. For whatever reason, they have chosen, so far, to remain blind to the overwhelming evidence that Lee Balkwell was not working in the lorry at 1.03am on 18 July 2002, as claimed, and therefore was not killed in an accident caused by Simon Bromley’s negligence.   

Freedom of Information Request

Please supply the following information:
For each year for which statistics are kept by Essex Magistrates Courts since 1 January 2007, please supply:

  1. The number of cases brought in the Magistrates Court for the whole of Essex, and

  2. The number of cases when a case was discontinued because the Magistrates decided there was ‘no case to answer’ and

  3. Of the above, how many ‘no case to answer’ decisions were made when the matter was first brought to the court following the defendant being charged.

Yours sincerely

Anthony Bennett
For Les Balkwell                    


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