Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 10 July 2014

Met faces payout over ex-detectives

Scotland Yard faces a huge compensation claim after two detectives jailed on the word of supergrasses walked free

The Metropolitan Police force is facing a huge compensation claim after two detectives jailed on the word of supergrasses walked free from the Old Bailey.

Robert Clark and Christopher Drury, both 50, served prison sentences but launched a legal bid for a retrial on their release.

The former policemen, now working as bus drivers in the north of England, won a Court of Appeal case and a new trial had been due to take place in April, next year.

But following legal argument and disputes involving the Crown Prosecution Service and their two supergrasses, the CPS dropped the case against the men. Both denied conspiracy to supply class B drugs and perverting the course of justice.

The move is a further embarrassment for the Met which earlier this year had to admit that other supergrasses in the failed Daniel Morgan prosecution were unreliable following a judge's ruling.

A statement from Clark and Drury's solicitors said: "Mr Clark and Mr Drury have had their careers ruined by these allegations.

"They will now be looking for appropriate compensation and damages. Above all, they call for a thorough inquiry into how the prosecution has been permitted to rely on such discredited and tainted evidence in their own and other trials."

The detectives were convicted in 1999. Clark was jailed for 10 years and Drury for eight. They were alleged to have been corrupt officers involved in drug dealing with Evelyn Fleckney, who became a supergrass after being jailed for 15 years, later reduced to eight years.

Neil Putnam, a corrupt detective involved in drug dealing, was the second supergrass to testify against them.

The Court of Appeal ordered a retrial on corruption charges in December last year, following earlier unsuccessful appeals, because it found some information had not been disclosed at the first trial.

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