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PC in cell death case 'capable of violence'

A POLICE officer, who is accused of helping to cover up a murder at his station, is 'capable of serious violence', the Court of Appeal was told yesterday, writes Rachel Borrill.

Michael Mansfield QC told the court new evidence must render Malcolm Kennedy's conviction for the murder of his cell-mate unsafe, but he was unable to say who was responsible for the killing. 'I am not in a position to say PC Paul Giles did it, but it is interesting that we have an officer at the centre of this case capable of outrageous violence,' he said.

Kennedy, 45, of Stoke Newington, denies murdering Patrick Quinn at Hammersmith police station, west London, on 24 December 1990, after both men had been arrested for drunkenness.

Kennedy alleges he was woken up by a police officer battering Mr Quinn to death. His injuries were consistent with somone jumping on his chest, crushing his heart and larynx. Mr Giles, of Hammersmith police station, admitted assaulting two women before and after Kennedy's trial.

Mr Mansfield said officers had lied on oath, tampered with documents and several notebooks relating to the case were missing. 'If it is a straightforward drunkenness case, it is quite extraordinary that so many things are at odds. There is something fundamentally wrong in this case.'

The most 'crucial' piece of new evidence was the conflicting testimonies of PC Emlyn Walsh and Sgt Peter Bleakley which suggested that officers were told of Mr Quinn's death before it was officially announced.

The Lord Chief Justice, Lord Taylor, sitting with Mr Justice Hidden and Mr Justice Judge, reserved judgment until tomorrow.