Police informer is jailed for perjury over knife murder: Testimony led to man's life sentence for killing of stallholder at 1987 Notting Hill Carnival

A POLICE informer was jailed for three years at the Old Bailey yesterday for lying during the trial of a man convicted of murdering a stallholder at the 1987 Notting Hill Carnival in London.

Kevin Sarbutts claimed he was coerced by police into giving evidence against Alban Turner. After the jury failed to agree a verdict during the first trial at the Old Bailey in September 1988, a retrial took place at Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire.

Sarbutts's testimony at Aylesbury Crown Court in December 1988 had led to Mr Turner, 26, being jailed for life for stabbing Michael Galvin.

Sentencing Sarbutts, 27, Judge Brian Smedley said: 'Whether Mr Turner was the victim of your perjury or the beneficiary of it I cannot say. It is not for me to express a view.'

He added: 'There is no doubt that one of the consequences of your perjury was that a vast amount of public money and police time had been totally wasted. It must be remembered that when perjury is committed there is always one victim - justice.'

Sarbutts had 'enjoyed' being a police informer before Mr Turner's trial - and had then collected a pounds 6,500 reward, Jeremy Roberts QC, for the prosecution, told the court. He also knew that he could escape jail and be granted bail for a series of dishonesty offences for which he had been arrested.

The jury heard that Sarbutts had been arrested for two cheque frauds and stealing pounds 300. He had failed to turn up at Harrow magistrates' court for one cheque fraud and a warrant was out for his arrest.

He was also in breach of a suspended sentence and knew that he was likely to be refused bail and faced jail. 'He knew he was in quite serious trouble. He did not want to go to prison and decided to try out a well- known method of avoiding a jail sentence and offer his services as a police informer,' Mr Roberts said.

The murder had been headline news but for six weeks detectives had drawn a blank until Sarbutts came forward and named the killer.

Mr Roberts said that detectives at Shepherd's Bush police station, west London, allowed Sarbutts to use the station like a 'social club'.

'The police paid him sums of money in cash for his living expenses and so he could drink in pubs where people he named in association with the murder frequented.

'He was rather enjoying his new- found status, certainly he was using the money they paid him. He was allowed to play snooker at the police station and used it like a social club.'

But 'remarkably' Sarbutts then went to the Daily Mirror and said he had lied at the trial. He told the newspaper the only reason he gave false evidence was that the police had beaten and threatened him, Mr Roberts said.

Mr Turner appealed and the Police Complaints Authority began an investigation into Sarbutts's claim. Sarbutts repeated his allegations against the police at the appeal hearing in March 1990. The judges then decided they could not be sure which of Sarbutts's two stories were true and quashed Mr Turner's conviction.

Sarbutts, an unemployed chef of Skelmersdale, Lancashire, denied committing perjury at the appeal court.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Life and Style
techCould new invention save millions in healthcare bills?
Sport
David Moyes gets soaked
sport Moyes becomes latest manager to take part in the ALS challenge
Voices
A meteor streaks across the sky during the Perseid Meteor Shower at a wind farm near Bogdanci, south of Skopje, Macedonia, in the early hours of 13 August
voicesHagel and Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise, says Robert Fisk
News
peopleEnglishman managed quintessential Hollywood restaurant Chasen's
Life and Style
food + drinkHarrods launches gourmet food qualification for staff
Arts and Entertainment
Michael Flatley prepares to bid farewell to the West End stage
danceMichael Flatley hits West End for last time alongside Team GB World champion Alice Upcott
Life and Style
Horst P Horst mid-fashion shoot in New York, 1949
fashionFar-reaching retrospective to celebrate Horst P Horst's six decades of creativity
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
i100
Life and Style
Black Ivory Coffee is made using beans plucked from elephants' waste after ingested by the animals
food + drinkFirm says it has created the "rarest" coffee in the world
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie T plays live in 2007 before going on hiatus from 2010
arts + entsSinger-songwriter will perform on the Festival Republic Stage
Life and Style
food + drinkThese simple recipes will have you refreshed within minutes
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
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

Service Desk Analyst- Desktop Support, Helpdesk, ITIL

£20000 - £27000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst- (Desktop Su...

Service Desk Analyst - (Active Directory, Support, London)

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst - (Active Di...

Junior Quant Analyst - C++, Boost, Data Mining

£30000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Junior Quant Analyst - C++, Boost...

Junior Quant Analyst (Machine Learning, SQL, VBA)

£30000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Junior Quant Analyst (Machine Lea...

Day In a Page

All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Robert Fisk: All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise
Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

So claims an EU report which points to the Italian Mob’s alleged grip on everything from public works to property
Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Once the poor relation, the awards show now has the top stars and boasts the best drama
What happens to African migrants once they land in Italy during the summer?

What happens to migrants once they land in Italy?

Memphis Barker follows their trail through southern Europe
French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

The ugly causeway is being dismantled, an elegant connection erected in its place. So everyone’s happy, right?
Frank Mugisha: Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked

Frank Mugisha: 'Coming out was a gradual process '

Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked
Radio 1 to hire 'YouTube-famous' vloggers to broadcast online

Radio 1’s new top ten

The ‘vloggers’ signed up to find twentysomething audience
David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

A blistering attack on US influence on British television has lifted the savvy head of Channel 4 out of the shadows
Florence Knight's perfect picnic: Make the most of summer's last Bank Holiday weekend

Florence Knight's perfect picnic

Polpetto's head chef shares her favourite recipes from Iced Earl Grey tea to baked peaches, mascarpone & brown sugar meringues...
Horst P Horst: The fashion photography genius who inspired Madonna comes to the V&A

Horst P Horst comes to the V&A

The London's museum has delved into its archives to stage a far-reaching retrospective celebrating the photographer's six decades of creativity
Mark Hix recipes: Try our chef's summery soups for a real seasonal refresher

Mark Hix's summery soups

Soup isn’t just about comforting broths and steaming hot bowls...
Tim Sherwood column: 'It started as a three-horse race but turned into the Grand National'

Tim Sherwood column

I would have taken the Crystal Palace job if I’d been offered it soon after my interview... but the whole process dragged on so I had to pull out
Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard admits he is still below the level of Ronaldo and Messi but, after a breakthrough season, is ready to thrill Chelsea’s fans
Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

The Everton and US goalkeeper was such a star at the World Cup that the President phoned to congratulate him... not that he knows what the fuss is all about
Match of the Day at 50: Show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition

Tom Peck on Match of the Day at 50

The show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition