Jagger 'was blackmailed by detective' in drugs raid

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The Independent Online

This was the assessment of the millionaire Rolling Stone delivered by a senior Metropolitan Police officer after Jagger claimed he had been stitched up by a corrupt detective during an infamous drugs raid on his London home in 1969.

The singer was arrested with his actress girlfriend Marianne Faithfull at his house on Cheyne Walk in Chelsea by officers claiming to have found cannabis, LSD and heroin. The raid led to Jagger's nascent status as the bad boy of British rock being sealed with a £200 fine for possession of cannabis at Marlborough Street magistrates' court.

But in previously secret documents, published today by the National Archives in Kew, west London, Jagger said the drugs had been planted by a police officer who then demanded £1,000 to ensure charges were dropped.

The internal Metropolitan Police inquiry led to Jagger and Faithfull being interviewed by anti-corruption officers, along with his barrister, Michael Havers, father of the actor Nigel Havers, who would become Conservative attorney general.

Commander Robert Huntley, in charge of the internal investigation, wrote: "The private persons interviewed during the course of this investigation represent the extreme ends of the scale. At one end are public figures while at the other are the dregs of society. It is interesting to note that those who purport to give evidence in support of the allegations are at the lower end of the scale, being drug users or trafficking in them."

The investigators said they had failed to find "any substantial corroborative evidence" for Jagger's claims. Faithfull, who despite appearing to admit buying drugs in her police statement, never faced charges. She was described as a "most unreliable person".

The Scotland Yard file notes that when the investigation was passed to the director of public prosecutions, he decided not to charge the officer, Detective Sergeant Robin Constable.

In his statement, the singer, named as Michael Philip Jagger, said DS Constable had picked up a white box from a table in the dining room of the Cheyne Walk house and pulled out a piece of folded white paper, saying: "Ah, ah, we won't have to look much further." Jagger said: "[Constable] had earlier been asking me where the LSD was. He was holding the unfolded paper up level with his eyes.

"As I got to him he showed me the paper and I saw it contained some white powder. I said, 'You bastard, you planted me with heroin'. He made no comment."

The musician, whose arrest in May 1969 made headlines around the world, said he and the officer tasted the powder. "It had a talcum powder flavour. I said I thought it was talcum powder. I would not know what heroin tastes like but the flavour of the powder was not bitter. [Constable] then folded the paper up and I think it was at this stage he said, 'Well, we won't send this to the lab for a couple of days'."

The documents, which include photographs of the drugs alleged to have been seized, say DS Constable then produced a lump of cannabis "the size of a toecap" which had been reduced to a small lump weighing a third of an ounce when the case reached court.

The musician wrote: "After I came out of court, Constable saw me and said, 'Did you notice the amount was down? Not a quarter of a pound any more, was it?' I said, 'But you know it wasn't mine'. He said, 'But I didn't put it there'. I said, 'Well, who did? And he said, 'That will cost you a big drink'. I said, 'You can put a note through my door'."

Jagger said the detective repeatedly made offers to "sort it all out" and suggested a sum of £1,000 to ensure charges against him were dropped after pointing out a conviction would make it hard for him to enter the US.

In her statement, Faithfull said her expertise in the different types of cannabis allowed her to differentiate between her own hashish and that "found" by police. She said her drugs were supplied by a male dresser at the Round House Theatre. She also said she saw Jagger struggling with plainclothes officers outside the house so she had rushed to the door to help him. The document says Jagger told her: "Shut the door you silly twit, it's the police."