back to article Judges rap police over raid on paedo expert

The courts have delivered a sharp rap over the knuckles to Avon and Somerset police, reminding them in no uncertain terms that it is they – and not individual police officers – who rule on legal matters. This was the result of a decision handed down from a judicial review last Friday, before Lord Justice Richards and Mr Justice …

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I'm sure all this could have been avoided...

If only he had submitted his DNA to Wacky Jacqui's database.

Then it would just be a matter of... oh, err, maybe it wouldn't have helped in this case, because we where the ones in the wrong.

Ah yes. If he had submitted his DNA we could have studied his criminal profile to see was he guilty without having to arrest anybody. Avoided all this unpleasentness.

Could I have an icon for the 'Police! A Law onto themselves'

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Anonymous Coward

This man has an unfortunate last name.

If I had the last name 'Bates' and was working in criminal investigations involving kiddy porn, I would change my name post-haste.

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Linux

How was he vindecated?

Whether or not he has lied or anything has no bearing in this case. What does have bearing is that his ability to perform any duties in relation to his past experience has been destroyed as most people truly believe in the idea of "where there is smoke, there is fire".

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Flame

outraged...

blah blah blah broken britain blah blah blah police state blah blah blah reactionary codswallop blah blah blah

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how long to get his hard drives bacvk>??

Isn't the current Police turnaround time for illegally removed hardware about 2 years or until it is no longer current technology (whichever is longer).

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Anonymous Coward

Does his mum

also run a guest house ?

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Alert

Plod is as plod does

No surprises here - whether it's Brazillian carpenters on the tube, G20 protests or dealing with awkard people who provide evidence for the defence, plod will wade in with size 10s, batons and, if they think they can get away with it, semi-automatic weapons.

Just as well we don't have a Home Secretary who wants to give plod even more powers...

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Anonymous Coward

material recovery

So, can he sue the asshats for ruining his business and personal life, and jeopardizing ongoing cases because of their (the police) fascistic behavior? I don't know about GB, but in the US, the local government would be liable (I think, but then I'm not a lawyer) for a HUGE penalty for such an egregious violation of his rights.

I think the penalties, both personal and financial, should be huge for situations like this, when the police authorities so violate the rights of individuals under colour of authority. They should think before they shoot, so to speak, since they have the capability of so totally ruining the life of a person if they are wrong.

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Is it just me...

... or is it almost daily now that we have reports about the UK police overstepping their powers?

WTF is happening?

It all seemed to start with the notorious 'sus' law in the '70's when you could be stopped, questioned and searched for literally 'wearing a loud shirt'. Think I'm exaggerating? I got stopped and searched on a summers afternoon in Soho. When I asked why they'd stopped my I was told 'given the way I was dressed...' I was actually (for those days) quite fashionably attired in loons and a velvet jacket (please stop sniggering at the back). But apparently 'a lot of drug dealers in the area' looked like this (and no I wasn't one).

They're making it up as they go along. We can only hope that the judiciary hold out and clobber the b'stards. I've heard that a lot of them are very fed up with police incompetence and bad attitude.

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Silver badge

desired result still acheived

A bystander could be forgiven for thinking that the police knew this search would not lead to any charges and that it's only real goal was to punish the victims through harassment.

So a DI might get their wrist tapped lightly for signing a warrant that he/she/it knew had no real cause - big deal. I'm sure nothing will come of that. Similarly, that the cops on the raid exceeded their remit and took a load more stuff than they had a right to? Again, nothing will happen to them.

What did happen was that a couple of people, acting within the law, had their lives upset hugely on the say-so of a minor official who had taken a dislike to them. Again, this sort of thing happens every day (although doesn't make the news, as it's so common) and the officers involved continue to be employed - as they know they can reign down this sort of punishment on members of the public, with impunity.Hell, we know they can even kill people without having to say "oops, sorry".

The police have evolved their own methods of punishing people - completely outside the law, and with zero oversight or comeback. Obviously it's not called punishment, but whether it involves having all your business computers confiscated, getting arrested and held - then released without charge, or getting nicked for an "on the spot" fine, that would cost far too much to contest - the result is the same: arbitrary "justice" that is impossible to rectify or address as the cost of contesting it is far too high for a normal member of the public to afford.

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Black Helicopters

Rr: material recovery

"So, can he sue the asshats for ruining his business and personal life, and jeopardizing ongoing cases because of their (the police) fascistic behavior? I don't know about GB, but in the US, the local government would be liable (I think, but then I'm not a lawyer) for a HUGE penalty for such an egregious violation of his rights."

Actually, I think in the UK all you are officially entitled to a note from the Chief Super (or some minor admin person "pp"ing for the Super) stating that "It seems that we didn't have enough grounds... this time"

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Stop

Good, let's have some more.

Vindictiveness on behalf of the police?

No, we need more of this, if we had more of this we would have less crime, in exactly the same way that speeding cameras have eradicated speeding and roadkill in this land.

The police in the UK are very much misunderstood, we need more random killing of immigrant carpenters, not less, think of British jobs for british people, especially in our moment of desperation.

We need more stop and search powers for the UK police, how else are we going to stop underage drinking and smoking.

We need the police to be harassing the general public, using laws meant for other purposes, especially the anti-terrorism law, so that you can be held for 30 days for no reason for saying "Brown is a c+++", so that the real decent people of the UK( and also plods real paymaster) heroin traffickers, cocaine traffickers and albanian crack whores can continue their trade unmolested.

Hatemongerers like the death cult called Islam should be allowed to flourish naturally, whilst white native christians should be horse whipped to within an inch of their lives for protesting at such.

3 cheers for the British Police, especially the Met, who I believe have the highest rate of complaints against them, and also the highest number of still serving random killers amongst their midst.

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Happy

@Pete - "impossible to rectify"

Hey, they all have to sleep sometime.

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Flame

Lets treat the police with the same policies they themselved used.

If a person has data from previous cases that dealt with child pornography and his profession is in dealing with evidence and maintaining that evidence for research into finding even more evidence for what ever that profession may require then you can place many police depts and people who help police as guilty as charged for holding onto child pornography.

So this man is innocent and his rights violated.

The man should have known better and should have used a secure server to hold his data encrypted for his EYES ONLY. Since I am sure many police dept around town and cities may want to hire to do more investigations into data retrieval on suspect hard drives.

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Anonymous Coward

Perhaps somebody

should remind the officer in charge of the BT/Phorm complaint that it isn't his job to make legal judgements either. IIRC he didn't pass the file to the CPS because he decided that there was no case to answer. That wasn't his decision to make.

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Anonymous Coward

someone

under 18 should get jacqui smiths number, send her a message of their private parts. Alert the police that that phone number/phone has, or has had indecent images on it....

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Flame

@Inachu

Bit of a wrongth in the last paragraph: all the porn was on separate hard drives, and had to stay there to preserve the evidence chain.

As to the rest of it, I think we're all agreed that Plod decided to make an example of someone they didn't like, just as they did in the Sallly Murrer case. Murrer was slightly different, as they also wanted to discipline the local press and the unofficial police sources.

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Gates Horns

This does not surprise ......

me at all. Avon and Somerset Police do not give a damn about the Law themselves ,they ride

roughshod over it whenever they wish. I recall case not long ago where they were getting information from an informer within a Solicitors office in Bristol ,in breach of every law.

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Operation ore

The targeting of Jim Bates by the police is sinister. Jim is working on a copy of the Landslide subscription database and has revealed that most of the subscriptions were fraudulently made by criminals using stolen credit card details. The police refuse to recognise this and are attempting by all possible means to silence the messenger. To concede the truth would concede what has been described as the worst miscarriage of justice so far this century “Operation ore”.

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So how long do the thieves get?

Who broke into his home and stole a whole lot of his (and his client's) computing equipment?

You'd expect them to be made an example of given the fact that they were in responsible positions...

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Vive le judiciaire!

Don't ever knock the judiciary - it's only they who stand between the executive and us, making sure that overstepping the law is reined in!

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Anonymous Coward

This was utter rubbish from the onset

I've spoken to Jim on a number of occasions

The guy didn't deserve being arrested for being an expert witness

I Am part of the Group Action against the police for 'peration Ore'

I Am also Sueing CEOP and *********** Police for their negligence

I and my Wife have lost all our respect for the police, AND MY WIFE IS EX-MET

Where does it end?

Being unemployed and bankrupt because of this, is nothing to most people, they don't care..

My employer in London was told of my arrest and their servers searched.

I'm now thinking of working for Lidl or Tesco. WHY? because I have a database record

somewhere, that says I was arrested for possession of child porn. I can't work in IT anymore

All that training & Experiance down the pan

Nice to see a few positive comments, JB never did anyone any harm

Clever guy if you know him

ME

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Anonymous Coward

Idiots

So that's what can happen to you if you volunteer to work as an expert witness? I mean, just an expert witness? The message is loud and clear: don't get involved with the police or CPS, either on their behalf or on the part of defendents.

Were the police wanting to knobble someone who, so the article suggests, was becoming a thorn in the side of their cases? If so I think they were missing the point of their jobs somewhat. In this increasingly technological age the court system needs all the help it can get. This matter is not going to encourage able people to step forward and assist the judicial system.

The whole expert witness system is in a mess anyway. Look at the damage Roy Meadows did in the Angela Cannings and Sally Clark cases. Now there's a fellow, apparently fully qualified, who didn't think to tell the court he was talking out of his arse. How can it be that as a scientist you can't get anything published without peer review, but you can go and spout complete bolderdash in a court of law and put innocent people behind bars? WTF?

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Spiteful Behaviour....

The Police were happy enough with JB when he was helping them, but it's obvious that when he started taking defence commissions they re-categorised him as an enemy and went on the attack. Sadly he'd exaggerated an old qualification, so a muck-raking exercise was easy to arrange.

Bates is still one of the most expert forensic analysts in the biz, and I don't think his skill or integrity have been mortally damaged by this spiteful beasting from the police.

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Reading between thin blue lines.

"Reading between the lines, it appears that the legal profession is now very wary of him"

Reading between the lines? He'd been convicted of lying to a court about his professional qualifications. The same qualifications that established his expertise as a professional witness.

I'm pretty sure few barristers would look forward to annoucing to a judge "And my next witness doesn't have any actual qualifications but does have a recent conviction for lying in court"

Having said that he did know his stuff and successfully hurled spanners into the works of Op Ore. As the old saying goes "Hell hath no fury like the CID scorned"

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Black Helicopters

Plod

So Plod give Master Bates a HDD, asking as 'an expert' if it contains child p0rn. Then arrest Master Bates for the possession of containing said HDD! Honey Trap anyone?

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Honeytrap. Duly warned...

and thank'ee. AC@21:42 GMT is right.

"Just the driver"? Standard-issue good-ol'-boy wisecrack where I live. It's a pun - the expert "drives" the action - but Ossifer Plod hath no punny-bone in his gone-black 'n' schwizzled little heart; he apparently Just Don't Get Those'uns, ever, except among other uniformed ones.

Then it can go quite pun-ugly; this one once happed into one of those bully-bull-bull-sessions, years ago. Had to wait (respectfully listening with rising horror) before addressing the business at hand.

All police operations that depend on sucker-play, Non-Cooperative Game Theory and the Hegelian Dialectic for their ongoing sustenance really should now cease, or face discontinuance. They sure most likely won't - but sure as tish stniks, so help me they should.

After this coming to light, I shall insist on a public "Hold Harmless" notice first being published in the local paper's Legal Notice section before ever I consent to touch *any* evidentiary laptop against which Ossifer Plod might desire to ever engage my own tools, keys and expertise to open for the Publick Good and the Sake of the Children.

Needn't have much from academic bona fides at all to see where the Civic Duty Road now leads, these days. (Chuck-holes galore.) Social contract is now even further broken - sorry, dunno much 'bout these newfangled Vista/wotzat boxen anyway, and do not want to, ever at all, any more, now.

MISTER Plod: Go crack yer own evvy-dense. You BLEW it *bigtime*. No trusted party any more in YOU!

IMHO: Police officers who operate in such a manner as was done in this instance should be given to practice the "Want fries with that?" speech until they Get It Right - and then punch into that fine corpy burger stand right regular on-shift and on-time every day, for the Prevailing Wage. (See prior comment re recyling a job-lot of Former Investment Bankers for tantalizing details of the Ideal Burger Scene.)

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Thumb Down

So, really, he was lucky

The coppers could have just shot him down like a mad dog or clubbed him to death, because... they could.

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Black Helicopters

Yup, they really are out of control

>The man should have known better and should have used a secure server to hold his data encrypted for his EYES ONLY.

That's not going to work. He'll either have to hand over the keys or be guilty of a real offense.

That's how it works....

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Bronze badge
Boffin

s19

"I don't know about GB, but in the US, the local government would be liable (I think, but then I'm not a lawyer) for a HUGE penalty for such an egregious violation of his rights"

There's always recourse of suit, but most people don't care enough to. The IPCC are there for a reason too, if they [police] abuse their powers, which could easily be argued in this case, it's the very role of the IPCC to investigate and deal with such claims. On top of the tree of course is the ECHR as it stands in British law and failing that the other thing EHCR stands for.

But indeed, good old s19, aka section "I'll take that for any reason I choose and there's nothing you can do about it".

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Paris Hilton

Bates?

reminds me of a limerick

A dashing young fellow named bates

Danced the Fandango on skates

But a fall on his cutlass

rendered him nut-less

and practically useless on dates

Paris cos she's danced the fandango before I'm sure,

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Anonymous Coward

It has always been like this.

The first time I bribed a policeman was in 1969.

The current instance reminds me of the way Thames Valley Police harassed Dr W Thompson, an academic expert on whether or not images are pornographic, because he kept defending people instead of working for them.

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@Anonymous Coward 13:23 GMT

The disturbing case of Bill Thompson

Can be read at:

http://www.xuk.biz/UKLR/Landslide/library/31/INNOCENT.htm

The parallels are very close

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