Friend tells of driver's arrest

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THE FRIEND of a man who claims a Metropolitan Police officer planted cannabis on him told a jury yesterday how they were surrounded by a group of five officers after their car had been stopped.

Richardson Jacobs told the jury that he had been with Rupert Taylor, 32, a car mechanic, in Notting Hill, west London, in December 1984 when they were stopped after Mr Taylor had shouted at police officers questioning a cab driver.

Mr Jacobs was giving evidence on the second day of the trial of Constable David Judd, 36, who was based at Notting Hill police station and is pleading not guilty to a series of acts designed to pervert the course of justice.

Questioned by Dorian Lovell- Pank, for the prosecution, Mr Jacobs said they had gone to a youth centre at midnight to play dominoes but had found it closed. On their way there and back they had passed police questioning a cab driver; Mr Taylor had shouted comments out of their car.

Subsequently, they were stopped by two officers in an unmarked police car. They were ordered out of Mr Taylor's car, separated and questioned. Shortly afterwards, a police van arrived and, said Mr Jacobs, five or six uniformed officers emerged, surrounded Mr Taylor and took him away.

The prosecution has said that at the police station, PC Judd, who had been one of the officers, produced a plastic bag containing cannabis which he said he found in Mr Taylor's clenched fist; Mr Taylor was acquitted of possessing the drug.

The court has heard that PC Judd claimed to have been the only officer who saw Mr Taylor with the cannabis and his colleagues were occupied on other matters. The Crown says this was a false statement and that the officer planted the drugs.

Mr Jacobs also claimed to the jury that the police had driven away in Mr Taylor's car in a careless fashion and had treated them both insultingly.

Under cross-examination from Edmund Lawson QC, for PC Judd, Mr Jacobs denied inconsistencies in his account. He agreed that when he gave evidence at Mr Taylor's trial in 1986, he had said that he had no criminal record. Mr Lawson told the court that Mr Jacob had a conviction for theft in 1977 and at the time of the trial was on bail for obtaining property by deception, an offence for which he was later convicted.

The trial continues today.

(Photograph omitted)