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When Does Negligence Become Perversion? - The Case of Julian Wright

Julian Wright

Julian Wright was charged with possession with intent to supply cannabis and money-laundering in 2016. He was arrested in September 2014 under Operation Seabridge - its name changed to Ampare after unused material went missing - and convicted in April 2016. He received and served a one year prison sentence. Proceeds from crime (POCA) proceedings started in February 2017 (with a 42 month default sentence if monies weren’t paid).

Julian, who is a landlord and now also a part-time private investigator, has lived in Essex since 1975, and was born in Edmonton, North London. For reasons unknown, his custody record listed him as being born in Jamaica. Three other suspects, who were white, were given No Further Action (NFAs) from the police before any evidence on them came back - while Julian is of mixed heritage. Before any of the forensic results or evidence came back, this was hidden at trial.

Julian admitted possession of half an ounce of cannabis, which was in a washbag with his identity documents. However, this half ounce of cannabis was not shown in the official records of the search, and the half-ounce of which he was found guilty of possessing was in an exhibit which was subsequently split, without any explanation, and to which a carrier bag was added from another location.

The prosecution case was that in 2014, routine monitoring of a Big Yellow Storage in Ilford, using sniffer dogs, resulted in a warrant being obtained to search a unit. Traces of cannabis were found within. Consequently, the Police obtained a warrant to search the home of JB, Julian's then partner, who had leased this unit. The Police did not inform Julian’s legal advisers that JB had absconded with their money.

A fingerprint linking Julian to cannabis found at the property where he was arrested could not be relied upon because the bag on which it was found was not found where it was claimed by the Police. Why four sniffer dogs? A warrant obtained from HMCTS have denied this warrant. The police did not inform Julian's legal advisers that JB had sold his Range Rover (worth £44,500) and absconded with the money. A carrier bag with his and another suspect's fingerprint was introduced as secondary evidence was added to a 'black pot'.

JB was doing Julian’s bookkeeping, and all financial records were removed from her house but then lost by the police. The investigation began in June 2014 when certain text messages took place between Julian and JB. The existence of these text messages was denied by the CPS in 2016. The messages were discovered within a computer file in mid-2017, when Apple informed Mr Wright that he had a backup copy of the files on a computer. The police and IOPC have confirmed that there were no search records and Apple have confirmed back up. (The Court of Appeal has said the text messages were genuinely contemporaneous, dated before Julian's arrest and that these text messages related to a Range Rover.)

Julian alleges failure on the part of the police to disclose over 800 text messages, their aiding in selling his Range Rover, the Range Rover document not being accounted for and concealed or destroyed, procedural impropriety, interview tampering, being set up by a Detective Superintendent, that the Confiscation Unit deliberately lied, and chronic defence incompetence.

Record-keeping by the Police fell below the standards required, to the extent that there were no continuity statements, and the MPS have lost records confirming what was taken from two of the properties searched. Records of the third search also appeared to have been altered (though interview tampering has been resolved). Julian claims he was set up by the Confiscation Unit and then any evidence supplied in his complaint was hidden from the IOPC case manager. No continuity statements or search records were made at the time of the search.

Julian's trial Judge commented that he would have given him longer in prison but for the small amount of cannabis involved. Julian commented on this:

'I believe that the Police were disappointed with the length of sentence I got, so they deliberately sabotaged the efforts I was making to comply with the Confiscation Order. This was in order to get me sent to jail again, to serve the default sentence.'

Mike Naughton, a private investigator with Lewis Legal, commented:

'In this particular case, there is an absence of records which amounts to professional misconduct. It is my professional opinion that Julian is a victim of a miscarriage of justice and that officers involved, named and unnamed of the Metropolitan Police Service, have colluded to fabricate evidence and have mislead the Courts in an effort to ensure a conviction against him.'

According to legal advisor Paul Clark:

'The evidence in this case shows that the Economic Crime Unit of the Metropolitan Police Service constructed a case against Julian in order to obtain a financial advantage. This demonstrates financial corruption by the Police.'

The IOPC told the Superintendent of the Economic Crime Unit to re-investigate.

Julian Wright's case seems to be a litany of vague, grey-area allegations, gerrymandered 'evidence' and face-saving. A dizzying number of claims and complaints have been made, some rejected, some upheld, some ignored.

The combination of a relationship gone wrong, negligent evidence collection/retention and arguably prejudicial behaviour have seemingly mounted to a sustained, multi-year miscarriage of justice, with the authorities hoping that Julian will skulk off like so many others might in a similar situation.

It's testament to his tenacity and determination to stand up for himself that justice just might eventually be done in his case. The question is why finding the truth of things is so impenetrably difficult – but maybe we already know the answer to that.

By Sean Bw Parker

Please let us know if you think that there is a mistake in this article, explaining what you think is wrong and why. We will correct any errors as soon as possible.

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