The Disgraceful Sir Michael Wright, A Grovelling Tool of the Police State 37


One of the features of a transition to a police state is that those who should defend our liberties transfer their allegiance to the executive of the state. Viz the Speaker of the House of Commons and the Serjeant at Arms. Now we have a senior coroner. Sir Michael Wright, coroner in the Jean Charles de Menezes inquiry, who has told the jury they are not permitted to return a verdict of unlawful killing.

That is of course the obvious verdict from the evidence. Were it not so, the disgraceful Wright would not have needed to serve the police by so instructing.

Wright went on to give a completely one-sided summation of the evidence, restating police evidence and ignoring the evidence of many close eye-witnesses who contradicted it. In perhaps the most extraordinary passage in a summation in recent English legal history, he went on to justify the occasions where the police killers were caught obviously lying:

However, Wright added, even if the jury found the officers had lied, they would not be able to blame them for the death. “Many people tell lies for a variety of reasons … [including] to mitigate the impact of what might be a … tragic mistake,” he said.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2008/dec/02/menezes-police-inquest

Read that again.

However, Wright added, even if the jury found the officers had lied, they would not be able to blame them for the death. “Many people tell lies for a variety of reasons … [including] to mitigate the impact of what might be a … tragic mistake,” he said.

Incredible, isn’t it? So it is fine to shoot a completely innocent man repeatedly in the head, and lie about it in Court, because you are only trying to “mitigate the impact”.

What?

Read it again.

However, Wright added, even if the jury found the officers had lied, they would not be able to blame them for the death. “Many people tell lies for a variety of reasons … [including] to mitigate the impact of what might be a … tragic mistake,” he said.

I still can’t believe the disgraceful old bastard said it.

I still do believe that we will come to recover from the terrible poison of the New Labour years, and return to being a liberal society. We will look back at all this as Americans now look back at McCarthyism, with horror and shame. And when historians write the history of these times, there will be a special footnote devoted to the infamous, the disgraceful, the appalling Sir Michael Wright.

There is a place reserved for Sir Michael in the deepest, blackest, hottest corner of Hell. He has already had much more time on this Earth than was allowed to poor Jean Charles De Menezes, who Sir Michael wishes us to believe was quite lawfully blown away by the police.

Let Sir Michael take his own good time to reach Hell. I certainly do not wish anyone to shoot him in the head while he is sitting peacefully on the Tube. But if they did, I certainly hope they deploy the defence “He was asking for it: he stood up”. And I certainly hope the judge agrees, and the words filter down to tease Sir Michael in his eternal torment.


37 thoughts on “The Disgraceful Sir Michael Wright, A Grovelling Tool of the Police State

1 2
  • Sabretache

    That pretty much sums up my reaction on reading that report too. In fact I had to read it a couple of times and check with other sources before I could bring myself to believe it; and that in spite of being a cold hard realist about those for whom service to our Orwellian State machinery will always trump considerations of decency, justice or honesty.

    If I were on that jury I would simply ignore the Judge. Easy to say I know, since it would probably invite a charge of contempt, but frankly that is exactly how I view his so-called 'Court' – with total contempt.

  • Sabretache

    …. And speaking of our 'Orwellian State', apparently the Home Office are holding an open day today, "to highlight the importance of Human Rights in our work as part of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights." There will be various "stalls" and "panel discussions" and Foreign Secretary David Miliband will present a human rights prize. I kid you not.

    I heartily recommend John Pilger on the subject here: http://tinyurl.com/5j5kou

  • Tom Welsh

    My thoughts exactly. And, moreover, those of the first dozen or so readers to post comments when The Times ran this story on its Web site yesterday afternoon. I happened to post the first comment, and when I came back an hour later, all the comments were in exactly the same direction. Next time I looked, the comments had vanished! (Together with the control that lets you add one). Then the story disappeared too. This morning it is the front page lead – but still no comments, nor any provision for adding them.

    Odd, that.

  • chipped

    "I so direct you the jury to consider how economical the police were in shooting Mr De Menezes only seven times in the head, saving the taxpayer the burden of extra spent rounds.

    The fact that 17 passengers on the tube train did not hear the police shout any warnings, should not mislead you into thinking the police did not shout. When people are absorbed in reading a particularly stimulating novel it is easy to miss the shout of 'STOP, ARMED POLICE!'

    Even if the police officers had not shouted a warning, that would not constitute an unlawful killing. A verdict of unlawful killing could only be allowed if you were in a free society where you could decide that a specific officer had committed manslaughter.

    I would like to remind you that British police are still the best in the world at carrying out awful… lawful killings and cover ups and to think otherwise will soon be illegal."

  • Abdassamad Clarke

    Thank you for your forthright condemnation of this disgraceful verdict. If nothing else, it lifts the heart a little to hear some straight speaking. Maybe if there are enough little boys laughing at the emperor's new clothing they might actually get the point.

  • john

    I was also amazed at this stipulation, an open verdict or lawful killing are the only choices. What is the point of the jury if they are only allowed one of two options, one of these options being the equivalent of "we don't know" and the other being "it's legal to kill people by mistake".

    I wonder if they have thought this through, as I understand UK law precedent is important, this stipulation may come back to haunt the legal system in ways they do not enjoy. Clever lawyers can defend some very unpleasant people.

    I've also noticed how stories carrying comments can vanish quickly, or the option to comment is not available on some issues on the newspaper websites.

  • ruth

    I don't think it's odd. The Times is just following the government agenda as it normally does.

    In a fairly recent appeal involving HMCE/HMRC the prosecution counsel remarked about one of the NIS officers involved in the case who hadn't told the truth, "He lied. So what?" Then the judge, in spite of the overwhelming evidence that the appellant had been set up and the investigation conducted by the Metropolitan police a whitewash, proceeded to dismiss the case.

    Cases in which the state are involved either because of being hiding illegal activity or protecting reputations are shams.

    Little by little it is becoming accepted that it's OK for people in power to lie.

  • david halpin frcs

    I have tried very hard to get information about the forensic pathologist into the light. A letter was sent to the key persons but NO acknowledgment was received from any of the five people. My letter and an introduction will be posted on my web site this evening I hope.

  • Sean Finlayson

    So, basically the Police can shoot whoever they want, ad lib, with no warning whatsoever, and stuffy old farts like Wright will blatantly cover their tracks for them? Independent inquiry, my ARSE!

  • James

    Sir Michael Wright said to the jury,"In any event, it is quite wrong for anyone to seek to put pressure on a jury…"

    That, from the man who directed them to preclude a verdict of Unlawful Killing.

    17 witnesses all claimed that the police did not issue a warning. All the police present claimed that a warning was issued.

    The witnesses have no obvious reason to lie but there is a glaringly obvious reason why the police at the scene might collude and lie.

    I know what verdict I would return.

  • Bill Burrows

    How many killings is it possible to get away with in eleven years. One point five million in Iraq, an eminent Professor and a Brazilian citizen in UK. All with the collusion of whitewash artists.

  • Noel

    A fiasco from the word go and a national disgrace thus far which perhaps explains a number of things, not least the attempt to have Coroners hear cases without a Jury.

    You can also forget about Human Rights in Britain, the government of Blair continued to abuse them long after he had them incorporated into British Law. Exceptions include those who work for State & Crown or others doing them favours!

    Long ago we often "exported" our criminals to Aussie, these days they let those accused skip all the way there on the QT rather then do anything about them. A face saving exercise perhaps!

  • noel

    A fiasco from the word go and a national disgrace thus far which perhaps explains a number of things, not least the attempt to have Coroners hear cases without a Jury.

    You can also forget about Human Rights in Britain, the government of Blair continued to abuse them long after he had them incorporated into British Law. Exceptions include those who work for State & Crown or others doing them favours!

    Long ago we often "exported" our criminals to Aussie, these days they let those accused skip all the way there on the QT rather then do anything about them. A face saving exercise perhaps!

  • BGD

    What is the legal position here? Can the jury go against the coroner's instructions if they disagree vehemently? For instance, in different types of case there is the argument for jury nullification in some circumstances where the jury goes against both the judge and the law. With jury service widespread it would be good to know where you have no choice and where here is a choice but it is hidden from you.

  • ken

    A pretty disgusting state of affairs. I wonder if the jury foreman has the strength to persuade the jurors to ignore the "instruction", otherwise known as interference. A big decision as it probably amounts to contempt of court. Some justice!

    Just as a measure of public opinion on this, I went to see Jeremy Hardy last night. He ripped into the coroner pretty savagely, and got quite a big round of spontaneous applause as a result. – Not much democracy these days.

  • j

    My wish, and fervent prayer, is that the Jury are aware that they are not bound by the Coroner's directions on their possible verdicts. They have primacy and may bring whichever verdict that they determine to be the correct one. This has been an integral part of our inquest system for the last 700 years. The independece of a jury is VITAL to the balance of our legal systems.

  • Noel

    Sir Michael said: "You may notice that Mr Mansfield and Miss Hill and their instructing solicitors are no longer in their places.

    "The evidence and legal submissions, of course, are now all over, and we have had all their assistance throughout those very important stages. I understand, however, that from this point they will no longer be here.

    "There is absolutely no difficulty about that, no disrespect is meant by it to anyone, and I am sure that you will have been greatly assisted by their work over the course of this inquest. The other representation remains as before."

    Sorry Sir Michael, but I strongly suggest that they were not at all happy about British Justice and it's "independance" – and they are by no means alone.

  • craig

    BGD

    My understanding is they do have a choice but the judge is attempting to instruct and intimidate them that they do not. Whether there are any sufficiently forcible or knowledgeable jurors I do not yet know…

  • Tom Smith

    Why do you use emotive adverbs like 'repeatedly' in your original post? Wake up. Leaving aside the Jean Charles question, multiple shots to the central nervous system are the only way to stop a terrorist from detonating the bomb. Come down from Cloud-Cuckoo Land. What alternative are you suggesting? "Ahem. Ahem. Yes, you over there. I was wondering…well, really hoping, that we might have a short discussion over a cup of tea about your grievances".

  • BobD

    david halpin frcs :

    I have tried very hard to get information about the forensic pathologist into the light.

    Please tell us more, David

  • doug barker

    I was an oxford contemporary of Michael Wright.I have written to suggest that he must have been leaned on to misdirect the jury as he did.If the decision was his,he should be deeply ashamed.Now it is clear the police lied the court should be reconvened and the jury properly directed.

  • deonantipo

    We expect no less from Sir when the 'i'm alright jack' motto has led Brit morality from the rear forever and beyond –

    there has been no retreat from the Thatcher years, and expect to see no recovery from 'new' labour, just the other side of your corrupt coin –

    and leaders in surveillance society? – well, don't you refer to your own children as monsters – so fine to be British

  • James

    If anybody would like to ask Sir Michael Wright why he chose to clear the court room of public and media during the summing up, not permit the jury to give a verdict of unlawful killing or why he apparently thinks its justified for a serving Police Officer to lie under oath (Perjury – get em charged) in court to mitigate the impact of what might be a … tragic mistake . Yeah what does mitigate mean here??????????????

    His email address is available through:
    http://www.crownofficechambers.com/

    just search under the barrister link on the left.

  • James

    For Justice to Be done it must not only be done but must also be seen to be done.

    Had Sir Michael Wright allowed the jury to have the option to give a verdict of Unlawful Killing then the suspicion (if not the reality) of a cover up could have been avoided. I do not believe Jean Charles was murdered, I do believe that the commander Cressida Dick should be guilty of manslaughter for her gross negligence in command of the operation. The reality is as the law stands a manslaughter charge probably could not happen. However, had the jury had the freedom of a narrative verdict and the option of unlawful killing and good legal direction (something they cleraly wern't going to get from Sir Micahel) they could have rejected unlawful killing, but recorded a narrative verdict which one guesses would have been highly critical of the negligently poor command of the operation – forcing the Met to do real reform not just talk. Also could have led to legislative review of the law and where culpability lies when Police shoot to kill (not necessarily with the adrenaline stoked psycotic killer cops – but more like their handlers who failed miserably but reap rewards by the day).

    This is the silencing of the people by the Police state in my view. Make your voices heard now!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The frightening thing Cressida Dick could now end up as the next commissioner, be scared be very very scared!

  • James

    This Sir Michael Wright should have allowed the jury the option of Unlawful Killing; for justice to be done it must be seen to be done.

    A charge under current manslaughter legislation might well not stick, and the legal direction would have therefore directed against such a verdict; the jury would most likely not therefore have choosen the unlawful verdict. Had they also had the option of recording a narrative verdict (something else this stitch up denied) they could have criticised the command of the opertaion which seems negligent. This could have led to real reform in the Met and allowed subsequent legislative scrutiny of the law when Police shoot to kill, especially in respect of the liability of those handlers of such operations.

    Speak up aginst this now for who will be next. Cressida Dick stands an outside chance of becoming the next Commissioner of the Met – be scared – be very scared, especially if you are inncoent.

1 2

Comments are closed.