Killing retrial 'to hear police cover-up claim'

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The Independent Online
THE RETRIAL of a man accused of kicking and stamping to death his drunken cellmate when both men were locked up in a London police station, opened at the Old Bailey yesterday.

In what the Crown yesterday called a case with an 'unusual history', Malcolm Kennedy, 46, is facing a third jury over his alleged murder of Patrick Quinn, a labourer. Three years ago he was convicted of killing Mr Quinn. The Court of Appeal quashed the conviction last year after it emerged that new evidence been found.

The retrial, in September last year, was abandoned after further new evidence came to light during the proceedings.

Mr Kennedy denies stamping to death Mr Quinn, 56, inside a cell at Hammersmith police station on Christmas Eve 1991. Both men had been arrested that evening after separate incidents involving drunken behaviour.

According to the prosecution counsel, Timothy Langdale QC, the defence will allege that a police officer is responsible for the killing and that there has been a 'massive cover-up' operation involving falsification of documents and the planting of evidence in the cell to incriminate the defendant.

Mr Kennedy, who Mr Langdale said had told arresting officers that he was a multi- millionnaire, even though he was in debt and his business in trouble, was arrested for being drunk and disorderly and taken into custody. He was put in a cell normally used to hold drunks. Mr Quinn was already in 'the tank'.

The officer who formally arrested Mr Quinn and who escorted him to the cell would, Mr Langdale said, 'in the normal course of events' be called as a witness in the trial. However the officer, PC Paul Giles, who gave evidence in the previous trials, was 'unable to be called as a witness and was therefore unable to give evidence'.

Mr Langdale said that some 45 minutes after Mr Kennedy had been placed in the cell, officers found Mr Quinn 'lying on the blood-stained floor with Mr Kennedy alone with him'. He had been kicked, stamped and jumped upon.

The retrial last year ended when a document relating to the fresh evidence came to light. Mr Langdale said the document was in papers handed to Thames Valley Police after Mr Kennedy had made a complaint about Hammersmith officers. He said although Thames Valley could be criticised for overlooking the document, it had been 'folded and stapled to the back of other documents'.

Mr Langdale told the jury they would hear of unexplained errors in how the police had noted down the events of 23 and 24 December. There were discrepancies over times and where officers had been. The defence would allege that 'nothing a police officer says he did that night should be taken at face value'.

The trial, expected to last several weeks, resumes today.