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James Ashley shooting by Sussex Police

NY Independent Press Association | 29.01.2004 05:16 | Repression

The Heartbroken family of James Ashley, shot dead by Sussex Police in his St Leonard's home during a bungled raid, have sent a message to his killers in the sixth anniversary of his death.



STORY BY Hastings Observer,

Hastings Observer January 16th 2004

Ashley family send wreath to police on 6th anniversary

By Kay Harrison

The Heartbroken family of James Ashley, shot dead by Sussex Police in his St Leonard's home during a bungled raid, have sent a message to his killers in the sixth anniversary of his death.

To mark the tragic day, his Merseyside relatives ordered a funeral wreath to be sent to the Sussex police Authority yesterday, reading: "In loving memory of James Ashley who died January 15,1998.

"We will never forget---there is no peace for us, his loving family."

Father of one Ashley, 39,was shot in front of his girlfriend, as he lay in bed, naked and unarmed.

Officers burst into his Western Road second-floor flat, firing a single shot into his chest six years ago-but the hurt and injustice live in for his family.

Sister Pauline Ashley said:" it's been an emotional time in the lead up to it. It should never have happened-we have to live with this each day.

"We are waiting to hear back from solicitor, to see whether or not the government will give us the enquiry. We just want to carry on and get this public enquiry."

Mr Ashley's death led to one officer being charged with murder, and the resignation of the then chief constable, Paul Whitehouse.

No officers were found guilty or sacked over the incident.

In November Ken Jones, chief constable of Sussex Police, travelled to Liverpool to make a personal apology to his family for the killing. END



STORY BY James Bonneto home affairs correspondent

Campaigners for a public inquiry in to Policing in Sussex



Campaigners for a public inquiry in to Policing in Sussex claim David Blunkett mp is blocking a public inquiry in to the shooting of James Ashley. The Labour party dare not have an inquiry in to the case campaigners claim that information they have if revealed in a public inquiry would name two Labour MP s involved in covering up major crimes and corruption in Sussex Police. Chief Constable Ken Jones claimed he would restore the publics confidence in Sussex Police Nothing has been done by him in removing officers named by Sir John Hoddinotts, No anti-corruption unit has been set up by Ken Jones.

Assistant Chief Constable Nigel Yeo is still has his job after Sir John, Hoddinott reported the following about Nigel Yeo, against whom he said there was evidence of criminal misfeasance and falsehood over the press release; and the deputy chief constable, Mark Jordan, against whom he said there was evidence of criminal misfeasance, neglect of duty, discreditable conduct, and aiding and abetting the chief constable's false statements.

Now to make matters worse a formal complaint has been made against Sussex's new Chief Constable Ken Jones after a two-year investigation by concerned members of the public helping a Mr Neilson the member of the public who was the major witness in the murder of Katrina Taylor has placed these complaints with Sussex Police Authority, over Ken Jones which cover. Corruption- falsehood- perverting the course of justice- failure of duty- criminal misfeasance in public office- malicious falsehood- harassment and intimidation of a witness to pervert the course of justice- negligence- improper disclosure of information- criminal conspiracy with other persons to intimidate Mr Neilson- witness intimidation-

David Rogers of Sussex Police Authority quoted" Increasing trust and confidence is something that Sussex Police Authority has at the top of its agenda. Over the years, we have tried to ensure that our complaints procedure is as transparent as possible and we have intentionally encouraged people to come forward if they feel unhappy with the way in which they have been dealt with. But he will not hold a public meeting so concerned members of the public can question him over Sussex Polices actions. Campaigners want the unpublished details of the confidential report by Sir John Hoddinotts, former chief constable of Hampshire made public. It is believed it suggests that the Sussex police authority, which had to decide Whitehouse's future, was actively covering up over the shooting and not doing its job properly.

The original charge against Whitehouse was that on the day of the shooting he issued a press release which was thoroughly misleading and made comments to reporters about Ashley which seemed to blacken the dead man's character. Ashley's family made a formal complaint On 12 February 1998 the Sussex police authority considered that complaint and rejected it: Whitehouse was completely exonerated. A few months later Sir John Hoddinotts was called in to find out whether senior Sussex officers had been obstructing the Kent detectives who were investigating the shooting. Sir John Hoddinott looked again at the "exoneration" of Whitehouse and found several very strange things. First he discovered something "rather strange and a cause for concern" about one Andrew Ogden, the Sussex police solicitor, who appeared to have suffered a conflict of interest. He acted as Whitehouse's aggressive legal adviser, sending away Kent detectives with a flea in their ear when they had the impudence t
ask embarrassing questions about the press release; he also acted, as deputy clerk to the Sussex police authority, offering advice to the members whose duty was to judge Whitehouse in relation to the self-same press release. Sir John Hoddinott discovered that Ogden had himself been involved in producing the press release and had failed to give the authority key facts. Crucially Ogden knew that, before he told the world that all was well with the shooting, the chief constable was already aware of two worrying things: that the dead man was naked and unarmed, and that the officer who shot him had previously had his firearms permit temporarily withdrawn.

Andrew Ogden is still working for Sussex Police Authority.

"One would have thought," Sir John Hoddinott, wrote, "that a deputy clerk owed a duty to the authority to have drawn these matters to their attention."

Sir John Hoddinott also discovered that on the morning of 12 February, just before the hearing to examine Whitehouse's behaviour, the clerk to the authority, Helmut Cartwright, had received an urgent fax from the Kent detectives. This warned that the officer whose behaviour had been cleared by the press release was in fact likely to be charged with manslaughter; and it drew attention to evidence that the chief constable had indeed tried to blacken the name of the dead man.

The Sussex police authority says it took no action at all against either its clerk or its deputy clerk on the grounds that it was not any part of Hoddinott's brief to investigate them. It says neither man took part in the meetings to discuss Hoddinott's report. And, even though Hoddinott had found evidence of crime as well as disciplinary offences being committed by Whitehouse, the authority decided simply to issue him with "words of advice", the lowest form of disciplinary sanction.

Now the same authority, with the same clerk and deputy clerk, went on to retire the deputy chief constable, Mark Jordan, on health grounds. He was accused of neglect of duty for authorising the firearms operation, which killed Jimmy Ashley, and of falsehood for lying to Kent detectives who were investigating the shooting.



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