Detectives 'fabricated Silcott evidence': Notes were altered after interview with Blakelock murder suspect, court told

TWO DETECTIVES investigating the murder of PC Keith Blakelock during the Broadwater Farm riot fabricated evidence which was crucial in wrongly convicting Winston Silcott, the Old Bailey was told yesterday.

A written account of an interview with Silcott, supposed to be a contemporaneous note, was later altered to include damaging comments which he had not made and was used as evidence against him at the Old Bailey in 1987.

Yesterday the two officers principally responsible for Silcott's conviction, which was quashed by the Court of Appeal in 1991, were themselves in the dock.

Detective Chief Superintendent Graham Melvin, 52, and Detective Inspector Maxwell Dingle, 57, are pleading not guilty to conspiracy to pervert the course of public justice. Det Chief Supt Melvin also denies perjury.

David Calvert-Smith, for the prosecution, told the court that in October 1985 there had been a riot on the Broadwater Farm Estate in north London, during which PC Blakelock had been brutally murdered.

Det Chief Supt Melvin and Det Insp Dingle were called in to investigate the murder. Six days after the riot Silcott was arrested and was interviewed five times during the next 24 hours, Det Chief Supt Melvin asking the questions and Det Insp Dingle making the notes.

During the first four interviews Silcott refused to answer most questions or sign the notes. But the police account of the fifth interview was very different.

According to the note, Det Chief Supt Melvin said to Silcott that he was one of those standing over PC Blakelock and struck him with either a machete or a sword- type weapon. Silcott allegedly replied: 'Who told you that?'

When told that police had information that he had been actively involved in the murder Silcott was said to have answered: 'They are only kids. No one is going to believe them.'

He was said to have paced around, sworn, cried and said 'Jesus, Jesus' before telling the detectives:'You ain't got enough evidence. Those kids will never go to court, you wait and see.'

Mr Calvert-Smith said: 'There appears on the face of it to have been a distinct change in the attitude of Mr Silcott.

'The Crown's contention is that these pages were fabricated. They were not what Mr Silcott had to say at all, they were written after the event in order to make a stronger case against him.'

Both defendants made statements declaring that the notes of the interviews were true and Det Chief Supt Melvin gave evidence at Silcott's trial that they had been made at the time.

Four years later the notes were examined by experts using a technique called ESDA (Electrostatic Deposition/Detection Analysis) which detects a small electrostatic charge left on a page when someone writes on the sheet above it.

On pages three to six of the note of the fifth interview there were no impressions from earlier pages which there were throughout the rest of the series. The forms on which they were written were a different type of paper from the rest of the report.

The analysis also revealed an imprint of a different page five from the one submitted in evidence which was clearly the same interview with Silcott but in which he made no implicit admissions.

Laser tests showed the imprint of another officer's endorsement on the back of one of the allegedly false pages. The officer had to sign the notes because Silcott would not do so, but the imprint showed that the page had been written after he had approved the document.

The case continues today.

(Photographs omitted)

News
Russia Today’s new UK channel began broadcasting yesterday. Discussions so far have included why Britons see Russia as ‘the bad guy’
news

New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain

News
people
Voices
Left: An illustration of the original Jim Crowe, played by TD Rice Right: A Couple dressed as Ray and Janay Rice
voices

By performing as African Americans or Indians, white people get to play act a kind of 'imaginary liberation', writes Michael Mark Cohen

Arts and Entertainment
music
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
i100
Life and Style
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
Hand out press photograph/film still from the movie Mad Max Fury Road (Downloaded from the Warner Bro's media site/Jasin Boland/© 2014 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)
films'You have to try everything and it’s all a process of elimination, but ultimately you find your path'
Arts and Entertainment
Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films
books

New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning

News
people

Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy

News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Humanities Teacher - Greater Manchester

£22800 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: The JobAt ...

Design Technology Teacher

£22800 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: Calling al...

Foundation Teacher

£100 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: EYFS Teachers - East Essex...

English Teacher- Manchester

£19200 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: Are you a ...

Day In a Page

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes