Constable 'planted cannabis on motorist'

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The Independent Online
A CONSTABLE racially abused a motorist and planted cannabis on him after stopping his car, a jury at the Old Bailey was told yesterday.

PC David Judd, 36, stationed at Notting Hill police station in west London, denies acting to pervert the course of justice by falsely claiming that the man, Rupert Taylor, was arrested in possession of a small amount of cannabis.

Dorian Lovell-Pank, for the prosecution, said that in layman's terms the charge meant the policeman had 'planted' the drugs on Mr Taylor.

He said that although the incident occurred in December 1984, there were 'many and varied' reasons why the case had taken such a long time to reach court and it would only complicate matters if they were explained to the jury. The court was told that Mr Taylor, now 32, of Ladbroke Grove, Notting Hill, was driving home from a community club with a friend when he passed a policeman chatting to a taxi driver.

Mr Taylor shouted out a 'silly comment' that the officer should give the cabbie a breath test, Mr Lovell-Pank said. Mr Taylor drove off but realised he was being followed. He was eventually cornered in a cul-de-sac by two plain- clothed officers.

A minute later, a Transit van arrived and PC Judd got out. The officer allegedly said to him: 'You had to open your fucking black mouth. You're nicked for drugs.'

Mr Taylor's friend was searched and released, but he was taken to Notting Hill police station. At the station, PC Judd disappeared and then returned, holding a plastic bag containing cannabis; he told the custody sergeant he had found it on Mr Taylor, who was held for four hours before being released.

He was charged with possession of cannabis, but acquitted at Knightsbridge Crown Court, west London, after evidence from PC Judd which Mr Lovell-Pank described as 'bizarre'.

PC Judd had insisted that when he approached Mr Taylor he noticed his hand was clenched into a fist. He ordered him to open his hand and found the drugs.

But Mr Lovell-Pank pointed out that, in a memo to the barrister prosecuting the case at Knightsbridge Crown Court, PC Judd had claimed he was the only officer to witness what went on as the other policemen were 'dealing with other things'.

'That is untrue. The other officers were dealing with Taylor,' Mr Lovell-Pank told the court.

The case continues today.

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