Archive for ‘Justice’

The persecution of Patrick

Ducking heavy showers, I dashed to Soughton Hall, built in 1714 and started life as a Bishops palace. The Heesom panel was back in action & I am compulsively drawn to the spectacle as I’ve seen nothing like it in my years of legal encounters. The brochure boasts a family line which acquired this noble house as included two knights, three high sheriffs, a Chaplain to Queen Victoria, a Lord Chief Justice to mention just a few of this star studded resident list of years gone by. The Ombudsman for Wales Adjudication Panel members have returned to the wooden gilt ceiling, oak panelled room and the inquisition into Cllr Patrick Heesom’s behaviour seems destined to run for ever. Had the Panel members taken up lodgings as well, the trio would had to slum it in a choice of the 15 bedrooms with ‘sumptuous en suite bathrooms that match the bedrooms in their decadence, featuring everything from claw-foot three standing slipper baths perfect for sharing to state of the art power jets’.’The hotel nestled in truly breath taking settings with 150 acres of uninterrupted views of the Welsh countryside’. That should give enough scope to satisfy the jogging needs of panel …..

THE STAR CHAMBER FLOURISHES IN FLINTSHIRE

As September arrived, the Adjudication Panel circus rolled back into the county and set up camp again in 4star Village Hotel Ewloe. The panel require only the best facilities. Its been Northop Country Club, the Beaufort Arms and Sychden Hall. The usual panellists; judge Hywel James, fellow lawyer Peter Davies and a Susan Hurds, who is something to do with the NHS gathered together with pens poised again. My spell checker threw up a very rude word when it found “Hurds” This is the one panel member that the suggested alternative word is not appropriate. The Chairman is the sleek, imperious chap who takes no prisoners when demanding answers and looks as if he jogs. His physic is in total contrast with his “henchpersons”who flank either side of the panel table. Both are very proportionate and are suspected members of the pork pie club. I was impressed to see Peter Davies in jogging gear heading purposefully towards the front door after a heavy hearing. In green sweatshirt and white shorts, he created quite a dash. A man on another mission I thought other that his usual agenda of asking tricky question of star witnesses, this time: Patrick Heesom. I was …..

Hillsborough – All In The Line of Duty ??

A week has elapsed since the Hillsborough Panel delivered its findings which left an indelible mark on police and Establishment integrity. Liverpool’s Anglican cathedral was a fitting venue for Bishop James and his panel to confirm what the families of the 96 victims had known in their hearts for years. Coincidentally, this cathedral hosted a Hillsborough memorial service attended, unless my memory is deeply flawed by Lord Justice Taylor and Mrs Thatcher. When “You’ll never walk alone” was played as the service ended I just sobbed, leaving tears glistening amongst the silver buttons on my uniform jacket. I was a Liverpool supporter and when possible, attended all home matches. That afternoon, whilst juggling gardening with keeping an eye on my team’s progress on the telly, the phone rang. My deputy chief who was at the match had run Control Room and reported serious problems in Hillsborough. I changed in to uniform and set off to take control of setting up the dedicated Casualty Bureau. It is a specially equipped phone linked clearing house between frantic families calling in and those at the scene administering to the living and dealing with the dead. The Casualty Bureau helps identify casualties when a …..

That Other Burning Issue

Guess what?  It seems official and yet a County Council of 70 elected members have not been given the chance of debating if Deeside should be awarded the wooden spoon of waste incineration scheme in its midst.  The Chester Chronicle reported that the decision had been made but- don’t laugh: a public consultation will take place in September and October.  A bit late surely if the decision has already been made? A quick call to the former Chair of Environment confirmed that the committee had been briefed regularly on the progress of the North Wales Joint Waste Management scheme but only when members were told that a rail link had been opened (all vague) warning bells sounded in the former chair’s brain. A Scrutiny Committee does not have the function of the full Authority which is why we attend Council meetings and vote on Council proposals. The cost of the consultation fees for the joint partnership has already been given to the Audit committee.  When I queried these eye watering sums, even though shared between Authorities I was sharply rebuffed,  ‘They were worth every penny as the scheme was vital to the region and was of ground breaking proportions,’ according …..

BACK TO BLOGGING. (Back events).

Since the 3rd May election, the transition from the Coalition to a Labour led administration has been smooth with Messrs Shotton & Attridge moving into Cabinet mode. They got the majority needed to govern after Tony Sharps abandoned his former albatross Leader and formed an alliance with Labour to put Aaron into the all powerful top slot. No matter! Arnold Woolley came to power when the rightful leader in waiting, Patrick Heesom was denied the job, (Blogs passim) Cllr Woolley still hung on to the leadership role in the most dubious circumstances as have been described (ad nauseous) before. Time for a welcome change! Regular readers will know that Patrick was tossed into the waiting arms of the Ombudsman on a bullying allegation. It will be known that despite the still rising legal bill of over £3million, in an enquiry that started in March 2009, Patrick’s tribunal has still not finished! Its scheduled to resume in September 2012, some three years on. Justice delayed is justice denied will not dent our Teflon Ombudsman Peter Tyndall. Patrick’s Adjudication Panel seem unable to grasp that Patrick’s tribunal should now be stopped once and for all now that a High Court decision was …..

TICKING DOWN TO COALITION CLIMAX. 27th March – 26th April 2012.

Flintshire Councillors met on the 27th March for the last Council Meeting of the 4th year of Coalition administration. Its been a mixed time for me personally. Health wobble, commitment to Flintshire Chairman as his consort plus my own heavy committee & ward workload. If that was not enough, I had to defend myself against the relentless pursuit of the Ombudsman’s investigator. Of course, that Adjudication Panel chaired by Ms Helen Cole, a specialist in non contentious legal matters going to find me guilty but that’s water under the bridge. This four years Council term has been a series of “if only!” If only the alleged misuse of a photocopier had not barred the rightful candidate for leadership of the Authority and allowed the present incumbent to take to the top slot. If only the Corporate Management Team had not alleged bullying by Patrick Heesom in March 2009, which allowed the Ombudsman’s investigation to start we would not have had to endure Arnold Woolley’s now officially criticised leadership. If only I had not volunteered a statement for Patrick Heesom as I had not witnessed any inappropriate behaviour during a housing selection panel I would not have stumped up £10.5K for …..

tHE BRICK WALL

Dear Ms Cole, You chaired the Adjudication Panel in March and May 2010 that found me guilty of breaking Codes of Conduct and your fellow panel members are now serving on the Cllr Armstrong Braun panel. I would be very surprised if you had not been told that the evidence given at my tribunal by Cllr Woolley was false and that I have reported Cllr Woolley to North Wales Police for perjury. In October 2010, I unearthed evidence that totally undermined an entry made by Cllr Woolley in his handwritten journal in which he wrote that I had accused Cllr Heesom of bullying behaviour. Heesom’s behaviour was at the heart of the case against me. After being recalled three times by Cllr Patrick Heesom’s legal team, I was present on 15th September 2011 at the Heesom Adjudication Panel when Cllr Woolley admitted that the event he had recorded that seriously incriminated me when he stated that I had accused Heesom of being a bully could not have happened and that he had been wrong to write as he did. I had always stated that the journal was false and it comprised the main weight of evidence against me. My lawyers …..

A VIEW FROM BOTH ENDS OF THE TELESCOPE.

The Corporate Resources Meeting was more interesting that I had expected and the Chief Executive played a major part in taking members through the complexities of the forthcoming budget proposals. As I had expected, I did not learn much more about the Early Retirement issue that was up for discussion. Both the elected chair for the meeting and another member closed any debate down, an action I accepted as the press was present. The press is frequently used to get a story out that a member wishes to have published in a round about way, but obviously my story and my concerns of a certain early retirement did not press the right buttons on this occasion. I was chuffed when the Head of Human Resources credited me with pressing officers to bring the costs etc. of early retirements to members’ regular attention. Head of HR graciously agreed that this policy had fallen by the way side and my doggedness had put it back on the agenda once more. I was happy to praise officers in return as I thought our Chief Executive, Colin Everett had displayed a masterful command of the budget brief. He answered detailed and complex questions without …..

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL RESIDENTS OF EWLOE WARD.

The Council’s been in recess but started up again in earnest on 4th January with a members review of the demolition of Flint Maisonettes. I had spent New Year in a very soggy New Forest doing a fiendish jigsaw; the subject being owls. I’d bought it years ago for a friend who died. It was a total and absorbing challenge and when upon meeting Joan, my wonderful cleaning lady in the New Year, she told me that she had purchased some too years ago as they stimulated the brain! Having spent a week on the puzzle & hardly making an impact on all those almost identical owls, clearly my brain is in serious need of re-stimulating. For the time being owls are definitely having the last hoot! Stormy weather on 3rd January made me delay the return journey as I was just not willing to risk driving in suicide road conditions with 4 dogs in the back of a heavily laden car. Regret I missed the “Call in” but had read the papers and find the timing of this decision very strange indeed. How ever it is argued, it seems that the maisonette residents have been disenfranchised from the Choices …..

Murder or suicide?

Eddie Gilfoyle’s 16-year fight to clear his name Eddie Gilfoyle was jailed for life in July 1993 after being found guilty of of killing his pregnant wife. It could be a run of the mill family get-together: a devoted sister and her husband calling in on her brother to update him on the recent graduation of their children. They sit in comfortable chairs around a small table and, over coffee, proudly show him pictures of the event. But this is no ordinary family gathering. The meeting is part of an odyssey that began 16 years ago and will continue until the prisoner, Eddie Gilfoyle, is cleared of a crime he says he did not commit; a crime which his supporters say was never a crime in the first place. In a twist of fate, the brother-in-law, Paul Caddick, is a former police sergeant who spent a career building up cases against criminals. He has now used the last decade-and-a-half dismantling the evidence that convicted his wife’s brother of murder. Gilfoyle was jailed for life in 1993. In the evening of 4 June 1992, 33-year-old Paula Gilfoyle was found hanging from a beam in the garage of the family home in …..