Saturday, 22 August 2015

BIN LORRY CASE HIGHLIGHTS CROWN OFFICE INTRANSIGENCE AFTER WRONG DECISIONS


Mr E Cairns
72 Hillhouse Street
GLASGOW G21 4HP
17 July 2008                 
 
 
Area Procurator Fiscal
Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service
Procurator Fiscal’s Office
10 Ballater Street
GLASGOW G5 9PS
 
                                              
Dear Sir or Madam,
ENTERPRISE AYRSHIRE AND SCOTTISH ENTERPRISE
In accordance with your policy of giving reasons to victims of alleged crimes for not proceeding, please clarify the following:
 
1. Why was there such a difference in the length of the original investigation including the involvement of the Procurator Fiscal and the length of the review including the involvement of the Procurator Fiscal? These were respectively less than a month compared to several years.
 
2.  Why was I informed that I was the only witness when I had already submitted the names of other witnesses, for example Alison Norton and Valerie Spence whose work in the cash section plainly ought to have been central to the investigation? The Scottish Enterprise report confirmed my allegation that the £187,069 had not been entered into the accounts by the cash section. Why? The Scottish Enterprise report further confirmed my allegation that there had been an instruction not to enter the money into the accounts ‘NO JOURNAL REQUIRED’. That instruction had been acted upon. Also, the Scottish Enterprise report stated that the cash in question had been transferred through three separate high interest bank accounts within a week of being received while it was excluded from the company financial ledger.
 
3. I alleged that I had been invited to enter a conspiracy to commit fraud. My memorandum dated 17 August 1993 which I copied to Strathclyde Police supports that. It provides documentary evidence of incitement to support my witness statements given to Strathclyde Police. The actions of the other accounts staff in excluding the money contrary to the normal accounting routine indicate that they had accepted such an invitation. In the period under investigation no other bank transaction had been excluded from the accounts. Was this taken into consideration?
 
4. The rather obvious motive for excluding the money from the accounts was to delay its reimbursement ultimately to UK taxpayers in order to gain interest that otherwise would not be gained. The police report included a section confirming that Enterprise Ayrshire was meant to transfer direct receipts from Europe to Scottish Enterprise in the monthly accounting period immediately following such receipt.
However, bank documents available for your investigation show that the money in question was deposited again on 3 August 1993 in a high interest bank account while still excluded from the financial ledger. Clearly, there was no intention to transfer the funds in the month following its receipt. The transfer was only made after my memorandum objecting to the irregularities. Was this taken into consideration?
 
5. A document that I submitted to Strathclyde Police included independent confirmation of the importance of the documentary evidence available to you, the originals of which were at Enterprise Ayrshire. A letter dated 23 September 1993 from the Scottish Office to Tom Woodbridge who was then the Head of Finance at Scottish Enterprise, contained the following admissions:
‘.......I am afraid that, given the serious nature of Mr Cairns’ allegations, the contents of the documents which Mr Cairns took from Enterprise Ayrshire and the use which could be made of them by the press, this is an issue which is not likely to go away quietly.’
The Scottish Office file disclosed to me on 27 February 2003 also contained copies of those documents. They were confirmed to have matched documents sent separately to the Scottish Office by Scottish Enterprise in a letter to me from the Scottish Office dated 17 February 1995, also contained in that file, which stated:
‘The photocopies which you enclosed with your letter of 19 December, which we had previously been sent by Scottish Enterprise........’
This letter was written by the same person who had referred above to ‘the serious nature of Mr Cairns’ allegations, the contents of the documents which Mr Cairns took from Enterprise Ayrshire.....’
Were the contents of these documents taken into consideration? They were also available from an independent source.         
 
6. In my letter to you dated 11 February 2006 I pointed out:
‘According to Clare Connelly’s book Criminal Law Basics, W Green/ Sweet & Maxwell, (2002), pages 30-32 ‘A conspiracy requires the intentional agreement of two or more people to commit a crime (Maxwell v HM Advocate (1980). The mens rea of this offence is intention and the actus reus is agreement to commit a crime. Nothing else needs to be done in pursuance of that agreement for a crime to have been committed, however, it will be difficult to prove a conspiracy unless there is evidence indicating that such an agreement was reached (Sayers v HM Advocate (1981)).......... In conspiracy cases it is unlikely that a witness will be available who can speak to agreement being reached between the accused. As a consequence, evidence of a conspiracy will be inferred from the actions of the accused (West v HM Advocate (1985))......’’
‘The actions of my superiors in Enterprise Ayrshire as disclosed in the documentary evidence indicate that an agreement was reached to falsify the bank balance and place this money on deposit for a prolonged period to gain additional interest in breach of the operating contract.’
As indicated above, documentary evidence shows that the money was received in June 1993 and ought to have been transferred to Scottish Enterprise in July 1993. However, the money was still in a high interest bank account at Enterprise Ayrshire in the middle of August 1993 when I wrote my memorandum. The transfer was not made until three days later, on 20 August 1993.   
Were the actions of the alleged conspirators taken into consideration in your determination? I went into considerable detail on that matter in my letter dated 11 February 2006, concluding with:
‘The explanations in your letter that the evidence in this particular case is only from one source and that there is no corroboration of any of my allegations do not seem to be valid and I request that these points be reviewed in the public interest......’
The actions of the alleged conspirators were revealed in other sources of evidence in addition to what was contained in my witness statements.
What were the intentions of those responsible for instructing that there was ‘NO JOURNAL REQUIRED’ for the £187,069 and for simultaneously transferring the cash into high interest bank accounts marked ‘STRICTLY PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL’ and ‘ALL ENQUIRIES TO ..... ANDREW DOWNIE  NO-ONE ELSE’ where it was resting in the name of my boss ‘C/O ENTERPRISE AYRSHIRE’?  What possible suspicion could arise from their furious reaction to my memorandum dated 17 August 1993?
I was swiftly removed from the premises of Enterprise Ayrshire around lunchtime on 18 August. I never met or spoke to the investigating accountant and she disregarded the evidence of my reconciliation work and my communications on the matter in her report. In plain language, the receipt of £187,069 was fraudulently excluded from the management accounts until after I insisted upon its inclusion. This matter was ‘resolved’ by the investigating accountant on 18 August according to a letter to the Scottish Office from Tom Woodbridge the Head of Finance at Scottish Enterprise but in reality he knew that it was ‘resolved’ by Enterprise Ayrshire correcting the accounts in the morning of 18 August before the investigation began and by sacking me shortly afterwards.  
All these details were contained in the documents available for investigation. But were the actions of the alleged conspirators as revealed in these documents taken into consideration?
 
7. According to Fiona Raitt’s book Evidence, Third Edition, W Green/ Sweet & Maxwell, (2001), at page 140:
‘’As a general rule, in criminal proceedings an essential fact cannot be proved by the testimony of one witness alone. Instead, that witness’s testimony must be proved by corroborative evidence. Corroboration means that the testimony should be supplemented, supported and confirmed by independent evidence to the same effect from a second source. That second source need not be another witness – it could, for example, be evidence of a documentary nature.’
Was any evidence of a documentary nature taken into consideration in this case? As I highlighted in my letter to you dated 5 July 2008:
‘In your letter dated 17 December 2007 to Mr Bill Aitken MSP you stated that the Crown’s position had not altered and referred to your letter to me dated 8 April 2005, in which you had indicated that since I was the only witness no amount of evidence from me would suffice. An extract from that letter confirms: 
‘The evidence of one witness, no matter how credible or reliable, will not be sufficient. In this particular case the only witness alleging that criminal conduct took place by either the police officers or any personnel of Ayrshire Enterprise or the organisations that reviewed Ayrshire Enterprise’s intromissions with these funds is a single source, namely yourself.’
What about all the available documentary evidence? What about all the other people who were involved? Were no witness statements obtained from them?
I think what Lord McCluskey wrote a couple of years ago in the Scotsman applies:
 ‘I am dismayed by the failure of ministers to recognise the relevance and importance of one of the fundamental principles underlying the rule of law in a mature democracy, the principle that justice must be seen to be done’.   
 
Yours sincerely,
                              Eddie Cairns.
 
 
 
 


Mr E Cairns


72 Hillhouse Street

GLASGOW G21 4HP
22 September 2010
 
                 
Crown Office
25 Chambers Street
EDINBURGH EH1 1LA
                                              
 
Dear Sir or Madam,
FORMAL COMPLAINT AGAINST MS SHONA BARRIE, MR SCOTT PATTISON AND MS LESLEY THOMSON
I want to raise a formal complaint against Ms Shona Barrie, Mr Scott Pattison and Ms Lesley Thomson.
Disclosures recently obtained from the Information Commissioner’s Office under the terms of the Data Protection Act 1998 include the following extracts from the COPFS files:
 
Memorandum from Area Procurator Fiscal, Lesley Thomson, to Divisional Procurator Fiscal, dated 8 August 2008
‘You will see from the file there has been a great deal of recent correspondence from Mr Cairns.’
‘There are allegations against a number of people including the Lord Advocate and Catherine Dyer and obviously I will now need to report to Crown Office.’
‘From what I can see he’s not been classed as a persistent correspondent in this organization but it may reach that stage. I’d be grateful if you could go through this and draft a report that I can send to the Crown Agent.’
‘I’d be really grateful if I could have the draft back by Monday, 18 August as I’m keen to get this out of this office and onto Crown Office.’
 
Internal note to DCA dated 17/9
‘Mr Cairns is a persistent complainer who clearly will not accept decisions he doesn’t like.’
‘The position in relation to the no pro of the ‘fraud’ he alleges took place has been explained to him numerous times and there is no point attempting to explain it again.’
‘I agree with the course suggested by the APF – she should advise him the case is closed + no further correspondence will be entered into. Are you content with this approach?’
 
Email from G&S Area PA to DCA, copied to DCA PA (G Leslie/G Sandison), PS/CE-CA,  and G&S Area PF, dated 11 September 2008, Subject: Eddie Cairns
‘Please see attached report and enclosures from Lesley in respect of the above. A hard copy has been sent via DX today. Many thanks.’
 
Email from DCA’s Office, Crown Office to Director of Operations, dated 14 September 2009, Subject: Edward Cairns
‘Cairns is listed as a vexatious litigant on Scottish Courts, and has raised complaints about various members of staff.’
 
Memorandum from DCA’s Office, Crown Office to Director of Operations, dated 14 September 2009, Subject: DATA PROTECTION SUBJECT ACCESS REQUEST – EDWARD CAIRNS
‘Although the correspondence is uncontroversial. I do not consider that we should provide Cairns with information of this type.’
‘Other than emails, there are 2 internal reports and associated notes which are of concern – one from Shona Barrie to Lesley Thomson which details the background to Cairn’s (sic) request – it mostly deals with a legal analysis of his original complaint, and thus does not fall into his present complaint, but concludes with a paragraph indicating that any response would doubtless not satisfy Mr Cairns, and that further correspondence would not be helpful. Following this report, a report by Lesley Thomson was sent to you indicating her recommendation that no further correspondence should be entered into. That course of action was then followed, and Mr Cairns advised of this in the APF’s letter of 10 October 2008.’ 
 
Email from DCA PA (G Leslie/G Sandison) to Leslie Thomson (G&S Area PF), copied to Divn PF, Glasgow South, G&S Area PA and PS/CE-CA, dated 2 October 2008, Subject: Eddie Cairns
‘The Director of Operations has considered your report and is content with the course of action suggested. Please advise Mr Cairns that the case is closed and no further correspondence will be entered into.’
 
Email from PA Deputy Head of Policy of Division to G&S Area PA, dated 19 November 2008, Subject: MINISTERIAL CORRESPONDENCE
‘We have been allocated an item of Ministerial Correspondence from Mr Eddie Cairns and it appears to be a complaint against the APF.’
‘We suspect from the content of the correspondence that there is maybe a letter of complaint already lodged with Glasgow PFO and is perhaps being dealt with on RESPOND.’
‘Can you advise please?’
‘Sue’s view is that if there is already correspondence with Glasgow that the item allocated to us should be re-allocated to Glasgow to tie up with existing correspondence.’
 
Email from G&S Area PA to PA Deputy Head of Policy of Division, dated 20 November 2008, Subject: MINISTERIAL CORRESPONDENCE
‘I understand Anne e-mailed you yesterday to explain that Mr Cairns is a persistent complainer. We have no letter of complaint as such just numerous letters in general from Mr Cairns. This was reported to CO (copy report attached) and an instruction was received saying that we were no longer to correspond with Mr Cairns. I also attach a copy of our final letter to Mr Cairns.’
 
Contrary to the information about me contained in these extracts there was no justification for treating me as a persistent complainer when it was recognised that my letters were generally not complaints and when I had in fact received no full responses to my letters (contrary to what had been advised earlier), most of which were simply requests for clarifications in any event.
I plainly stated in my letters that I was requesting clarifications in accordance with the Crown Office policy.
Why was I treated differently from any other requester under this policy? A reasonable suspicion of impropriety could arise in the mind of an independent observer.
Separately, the Crown Office appears to have breached the Human Rights Act 1998 and Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights by treating me in this unfair way on the basis of inaccurate personal information.      
There was no justification for referring to me in derogatory terms and implying that since I had raised some complaints I ought to be treated effectively as an enemy or at least as a timewaster. There was no consideration given to the possibility that any of my complaints may in fact have been valid.
Neither was there any mention of the fact that the Lord Advocate’s Office had already received a copy of an Opinion from the Legal Services Ombudsman issued in 2007 which concurred with advice given to me on behalf of the Faculty of Advocates by Valerie Stacey, now Lady Stacey, a judge at the Court of Session, that I had grounds for a complaint about the Lord Advocate’s alleged misconduct in relation to the vexatious actions petition. 
Although Ms Thomson initially undertook to provide a full response to my requests for clarifications, she never did.
A letter dated 25 July 2008 sent to me by Ms C Horner on behalf of the Area Procurator Fiscal at Glasgow, Ms Lesley Thomson, stated the following:
‘ENTERPRISE AYRSHIRE AND SCOTTISH ENTERPRISE’
‘I acknowledge receipt of your letters dated 5, 17, 18, 19, and 21 July 2008 which are receiving attention. A full response will be sent in due course.’ 
However, a letter dated 10 October 2008 sent to me by the Area Procurator Fiscal at Glasgow, Ms Lesley Thomson, stated the following:
‘ENTERPRISE AYRSHIRE AND SCOTTISH ENTERPRISE’
‘I refer to all the correspondence from you (dates undernoted). It has been considered but as there is nothing new referred to in the correspondence, I can confirm that this case is now closed and no further letters will be responded to.’
‘Undernote:’
‘Letter dated 5 July 2008’
‘Letter dated 17 July 2008’
‘Letter dated 18 July 2008’
‘Letter dated 19 July 2008’
‘Letter dated 21 July 2008’
‘Letter dated 26 July 2008’
‘Letter dated 27 July 2008’
‘Letter dated 28 July 2008’
‘Letter dated 28 July 2008’
‘Letter dated 28 July 2008’
‘Letter dated 31 July 2008’
‘Letter dated 1 August 2008’
‘Letter dated 1 August 2008’
‘Letter dated 2 August 2008’
‘Letter dated 3 August 2008’
‘Letter dated 4 August 2008’
‘Letter dated 6 August 2008’
‘Letter dated 7 August 2008’
‘Letter dated 14 August 2008’
‘Letter dated 14 August 2008’
‘Letter dated 15 August 2008’
‘Letter dated 16 August 2008’
‘Letter dated 23 September 2008’
‘Letter dated 25 September 2008’



Clearly, this dismissive response contained no explanations or clarifications at all.
Therefore the impression given in extracts from recent subject access disclosures and earlier subject access disclosures, that I had already received numerous explanations but had remained dissatisfied and unreasonably repeated the same requests over and over again, is absolutely false.
Why was the widely promulgated policy of providing explanations for not proceeding deliberately and unjustifiably disregarded in my case?
Ms Shona Barrie, Mr Scott Pattison and Ms Lesley Thomson appear to have acted in concert unfairly towards me in breach of my civil rights. They have caused serious damage to me thereby.
In view of the very serious nature of the above and its relevance to wider issues in this case I have copied this letter to Strathclyde Police, to Scottish Enterprise, to the Scottish Government’s Ms Stella Manzie, Director General Justice and Communities, to Audit Scotland, to Mr Bob Doris MSP and to the Crown Office.
This is clearly a matter of public interest that would tend to undermine the public’s confidence in the administration of justice, justice not having been seen to be done.
This letter has therefore been put into the public domain as is entirely appropriate in these circumstances.
Yours faithfully,
                               Eddie Cairns.











Mr E Cairns

72 Hillhouse Street

GLASGOW G21 4HP

30 October 2011

                 

 

Mrs Michelle Macleod

Head of Policy

The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service

29 Chambers Street

EDINBURGH EH1 1LB                                              

 

 

 

Dear Mrs Macleod,

I refer to your letter dated 28 October 2011.

Your portrayal of my stated concerns as ‘unreasonably persistent behaviour in terms of section 4.5 of the Policy’, meaning your Customer Feedback Policy, is undermined by the rather obvious unfair handling of my stated concerns.

This has been a persistent feature of the conduct of COPFS employees, as detailed in my previous correspondence. Your response is only the latest in a long line of disgraceful responses that blatantly flout the rule of law, in particular the very important principle of fairness. My letter dated 1 October 2011 referred back to serious criminal allegations against you. The fact that you have handled the COPFS response yourself could undoubtedly raise a reasonable suspicion of impropriety in the mind of an independent observer. Clearly you are not sufficiently impartial to respond formally to allegations against yourself.

If my concerns are so lacking in substance what is the problem in submitting them to Crown Counsel for independent assessment? Your repeated refusal to do so further undermines your credibility.

In my letter to you dated 7June 2011 I included the following statements:

‘Since this allegation against you is a serious allegation of criminality the correct procedure would be for the matter to be submitted to Crown Counsel for assessment.’ 

‘If this is not going to happen I formally request the reason for that decision under the COPFS’s published policy of providing such reasons.’

Your repeated false assertion that my concerns had already been addressed was already highlighted as false in my letter dated 17 June 2011 in the following terms:

‘Your recent assertion that all these matters have already been addressed is also undoubtedly false since you have inconsistently stated that my allegations against COPFS employees did not amount to conduct of a criminal nature therefore those allegations were not addressed at all and your pretence that they were is simply a blatant lie.’

‘The truth is that the allegations certainly did amount to conduct of a criminal nature, as can easily be verified with reference to my previous correspondence, but you have dishonestly refuted that and you have effectively entered into the existing conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.’

Again, in my letter dated 9 July 2011 the following relevant points were included:

‘New evidence that I have obtained since September 2008 indicates serious failures by Strathclyde Police in carrying out the original investigation into my allegations of financial irregularities in Enterprise Ayrshire in 1993 and in carrying out subsequent reviews of that investigation.’

‘........... Strathclyde Police’s relatively recent assertions that all the documentary evidence submitted by me in recent years had been available to the police in 1993 indicates that the police did not handle that evidence properly because that evidence was not passed on to the Procurator Fiscal according to clarifications provided to me.’ 

‘Clarifications obtained from the Procurator Fiscal in 2005 included an assertion that I was the only witness to the alleged financial irregularities in 1993.’

‘............ Documentary evidence available to the police since 1993 according to the new evidence detailed above contains references to Mr Gary Tracey, Ms Janie Maxwell, Mr Andrew Downie and Ms Alison Norton.’

‘Since the Procurator Fiscal has maintained since 2005 that I was the only witness to the financial irregularities in 1993 the police appear not to have passed on this evidence to the Procurator Fiscal.’

‘............ Therefore I request an effective, independent, impartial and prompt investigation into these matters.’

‘This is clearly a matter of grave concern to the general public who are currently becoming acutely aware of such abject police failures.’

 

Similarly, in my letter to you dated 16 July 2011 I included the following:

‘Your assertion that my recent correspondence raised no new substantive issues is simply a blatant lie.’

‘I was given the following very important advice by the COPFS for the first time in a letter dated 15 April 2011:’

‘‘In response to your query as to why allegations of criminal conduct made by you regarding COPFS employees have not been referred to Crown Counsel, I can advise that none of the allegations made by you amounted to conduct of a criminal nature.’’

‘My subsequent letters have all raised the very important new substantive issue that the COPFS appear to have dishonestly refused to handle my allegations against COPFS employees properly and that this has been perpetrated by COPFS employees falsely pretending that the criminal allegations submitted were not criminal allegations. The general public already know that the actions listed in my recent letters do amount to criminality.’

‘Your concurrence with the COPFS’s abject failure to address my genuine concerns indicates that you have entered into the existing conspiracy to pervert the course of justice in this case.’   

‘The COPFS’s angle that I was the only witness to the original financial irregularities, which was insufficient for a prosecution, remains an outstanding very significant falsehood.’

‘I did not make any entry in the accounts in respect of the £187,069 of public money in question. I did not make any arrangements for the transfers of the cash, over a period of a week, through three separate bank accounts while the money was excluded from the balance sheet.’

‘How was I the only witness? Were the financial manipulations as revealed in the available documentary evidence conjured up by Harry Potter? Or was it Paul Daniels?’

‘What about the names on the documents recording the financial manipulations and my objections? The names that appear are Andrew Downie, Gary Tracey, Janie Maxwell and Alison Norton.’

‘I also provided the name of Valery Spence, who had been instructed by Gary Tracey not to enter the cash into the accounts at the time of its receipt.’

‘In truth the COPFS’s reason given for not proceeding has no basis in fact or in law. I was plainly not the only witness and the COPFS’s disgraceful persistence in this obvious lie should be properly investigated in the public interest and in the interests of justice.’    

‘The issues detailed above would tend to undermine the public’s confidence in the administration of justice, justice not yet having been seen to be done in this case.’

 

Consequently I will of course be writing to the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman about your failures.

In the event of the SPSO rejecting that I will submit an application for a judicial review to the Court of Session.

If authority to proceed is refused I will add that to my existing application to the European Court of Human Rights.

In that regard I believe that your threat of further state action against me does not comply with your obligations where an application to the European Court of Human Rights has already been submitted.

This is clearly a matter of public interest that would tend to undermine the public’s confidence in the administration of justice therefore this letter has been published on the internet, along with your letter, as is entirely appropriate in these circumstances.

I have also copied this letter to the Lord Advocate, to the Cabinet Secretary for Justice, to the Chief Constable of Strathclyde Police, to the Police Complaints Commissioner for Scotland and to Mr Bob Doris MSP.

Yours sincerely,

                              Eddie Cairns.

 









 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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