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Similarities between the Gosport case and failures in IOW case, incompetence or corruption?

Updated: Oct 9, 2018

Police hand over its investigation into Gosport 'Dr Opiate' scandal to outside force after failing with THREE probes

Hampshire Police finally admitted that it would be best to hand over case Chief Constable said report caused ‘considerable damage to confidence’ Revealed how the force repeatedly failed to realise danger patients faced

Detective in hospital deaths scandal runs care firm for elderly: Families' shock at his new role after he stopped probe into how 650 patients died

Detective Superintendent John James shut down a criminal investigation This was despite warnings from medical experts that Dr Jane Barton was prescribing powerful painkillers

Grieving families last night demanded to know why Det Supt James was allowed to retire on a full pension in 2005

A new police force will launch a fresh investigation into Gosport GP Dr Jane Barton, it was announced last night.

Hampshire Police finally admitted that after three disastrous inquiries it would be best to hand over the case. Chief Constable Olivia Pinkney said the force ‘cannot hide’ from the ‘considerable damage to confidence’ caused by the independent report.

She said: ‘I have listened to the reported views of the families and those who represent them.

'Having taken time to carefully consider the matter, I have made the decision that Hampshire Constabulary must take a step back. ‘I certainly would never want to absolve my force of its responsibilities. ‘But we cannot hide from the fact that the legacy of what has happened has caused considerable damage to confidence in the agencies involved, including my own. 'In its report, the panel has given a clear view on the quality of the investigations by police and other agencies.

Now that the Gosport War Memorial Hospital scandal has been given much publicity and three failed Hampshire police investigations, Chief Constable Olivia Pinkney has decided to pass the matter to another force to investigate.

Will she now do the same for the residents of the Isle of Wight who have consistently been short changed. One of the disclosures that I made to the force and the HMIC concerned a nurse who I suspected was involved in the deaths of elderly patients by the same method as highlighted in the Gosport case.

The force failed to deal with the information and covered up due to the adverse publicity that was going on at the time with the Gosports deaths. I was also warned off speaking to relatives by a Chief Inspector Clarke who will also feature in another post as I have mentioned previously, readers have to join the dots.

I note that in the public domain there is correspondence linking Mr Clarke to the Gosport Inquiry

A succession of senior officers failed to take positive action to rectify the situation which; I believe has left many unanswered questions for relatives of senior citizens on the Isle of Wight.

This was another case I had personal involvement with as the initial investigating officer where there were various attempts to silence me and prevent a proper and thorough investigation.

In the public interest I will now fill in the gaps in the hope that Chief Constable Olivia Pinkney will do the right thing.

Background of this case

This was another case on the Isle of Wight which I investigated due to the laziness of local CID officers and was cut short by the then DI Dave Stewart who is now Leader of the Isle of Wight Council and chair of the Hampshire Police and Crime panel.

Cllr Dave Stewart

I had come on duty as a patrol sergeant and a forged prescription had been left in the handover binder with a note that CID had refused to deal with it and that it was to be dealt with by the Uniform Branch.

My officers had several calls to deal with so I dealt with the prescription matter. The prescription had not been properly preserved or packaged and there was a lack of continuity in the chain of evidence. Had the suspect who is now known to be Raymond Kent not admitted the offences, there would have been difficulty in linking Mr Kent to the presecription,

In a short space of time I was able to identify the suspect who had walked out of a chemist leaving the prescription when the pharmacist had become suspicious. I had also identified that pads of prescriptions had been stolen from a doctor's surgery and had not been reported as stolen.

At this stage I decided that the CID were the best people to deal with the case due to resources and that my role was at that time still a patrol sergeant having to lead a small team of officers dealing with a host of other matters including 999 calls.

I approached at that time Detective Inspector David Stewart to seek a CID officer to be allocated to the case. I was to put together a file and informed DS David Pilbeam take over the matter.

I found DS Pilbeam to be lazy and he refused to take on the case wanting the uniform branch to deal with it. This caused additional friction between the Uniform Branch and the CID. Officers from my own team were also dealing with other complex matters which; should really have been dealt with by the CID.

This prompted me to submit a report with suggestions as to how to improve the relationship between the two departments. One of the excuses given by the CID was that they had too much work on however; when I checked the CID workload I noticed that one Detective Constable had 15 crimes registered that he was investigating but in fact had only one crime he was actually investigating. The other 14 should have been filed but had been left open to give the appearance that the officer was still investigating those matters.

DS Pilbeam I understand was dismissed in 2009 from Hampshire for computer misuse and is now a freelance police station representative on the Island.

I then continued with the investigation and as part of the investigation I obtained a large number of prescriptions from where they eventually end up in Newcastle. I noticed that there also appeared to be two different styles of handwriting on the prescriptions and suspected that there may have been a second person involved.

The Isle of Wight is not a large place and the suspect(s) would have to use different chemists around the Island to avoid suspicion. I involved an NHS investigator who also raised concerns regarding the suspect who was a male nurse and had acted unethically in moving Marguerite Sason-Povel aged 91 into his own home.

I had also established that Mr Kent had later moved Marguerite Sason-Povel into a private nursing home on the other side of the Island where she died within 24 hours. By this stage I was being confided in by local residents who would inform me of matters that they would not bring direct to the attention of the police as they had lost confidence in the local police.

I had developed a reputation for getting things done and worked with a philosophy that I would always do something rather nothing. I did not believe in police officers saying to members of the public that there was nothing they could do.

One of the volunteers from a church who was also a nurse working at a local surgery informed me that elderly citizens who they would regularly visit were turning them away and that it appeared Mr Kent was informing them to do so and isolating them from their friends and family.

I was informed that in one case a senior citizen had gifted a horse and stables to Mr Kent. Some of the prescriptions also related to persons who were now deceased and who Mr Kent had cared for. This case was looking more like a mini 'Harold Shipman' case and required a full and thorough investigation.

I again updated DI Stewart on the developments in the case, it was at this stage following my representations that an agreement was reached that the CID would take over the case. The case was passed to a Detective Constable and it appeared that further up the chain of command, decisions were being made to keep the lid on this case.

I arranged to accompany the CID officers when they arrested Mr Kent and searched his home address. Not for the first time, I felt that the suspect had been tipped off before we arrived, you may recall that this also happened in the Paedophilia case.

I was involved in the search and evidence was found in the outside bins and his vehicle.

He shared a substantial home with his wife and one room appeared to have been used solely for the care of Marguerite Sason-Povel. I noticed that in addition to the Co-Proxamol Mr Kent had been obtaining there was also morphine.

I also made sure that I sat in on the interview with Mr Kent and did not believe his story that he was using incredible amounts of Co-Proxamol because he was addicted. The NHS investigator also did not believe the amount of drugs Mr Kent was claiming to be taking to account for the large amount of drugs he was obtaining.

Mr Kent was subsequently charged with simply stealing and forging prescriptions and did not receive a custodial sentence. As the family were contesting the will, Mr Kent later forced a son of the deceased off the road, punched him and through his cycle down on top of him.

He was subsequently convicted of this assault and received 6 months, serving 3 months before being released. Mr Beath the victim of that incident died within a year following the assault.

I subsequently found out that the family of the deceased also raised concerns regarding the death. My suspicion was that Mr Kent was unlawfully administering medication slowly over a period of time. I was subsequently informed by the arresting officer in the case of his concerns regarding the inquest and persons connected with Mr Kent.

Each and every senior officer mentioned below had the opportunity to ensure that a proper investigation was conducted to give peace of mind to elderly residents on the Island and establish the truth of what had been going on.

I had made many efforts to have this matter looked in to and submitted reports to ACC Simon Cole who is now the Chief Constable for Leicestershire, DCC Readhead who is now the Chief Executive for ACPO and Chief Constable Paul Kernaghan who went on to be the Standards Commissioner for the House of Lords.

For completeness, Hampshire Police Authority (HPA) had also been made aware of this situation and rather than take steps to deal with the situation; simply acquiesced in what I perceived to be internally networked corruption by failing to record or investigate a number of allegations concerning the conduct of Deputy Chief Constable Readhead.

At the time Simon Hayes was in the chair at the HPA and subsequently became the PCC for Hampshire. I have raised concerns regarding my treatment and disclosure to Michael Lane; the latest PCC and have come up against the usual buck passing an failure to take responsibility.

I used the words incompetence or corruption in the title of this post because during employment tribunal proceedings, the barrister for the force Mr Gary Self informed the Judge that the conduct of the force down to incompetence not corruption.

We have to ask ourselves how many times the force can use the same excuse before someone is held to account for the alleged "incompetence" amounting to criminal conduct.