Mr Eddie Cairns
72 Hillhouse Street
GLASGOW G21 4HP
19 April 2017
Mr Ilya Zharov
Head of Reviews & Policy
The Police Investigations and Review Commissioner
Hamilton Business Park
Hamilton ML3 0QA
Dear Mr Zharov,
DPA SECTION 10 NOTICE
I refer to your letter dated 18 April 2017.
My letter to you dated 12 April 2017 included the following statements, reproduced here in italics for convenience:
Every wider issue that you raised in your letter dated 8 February 2017 added to the inaccuracies about me unlawfully held and processed by the PIRC as detailed in my letter to you dated 9 February 2017.
Consequently, I want to submit formally a new Section 10 Notice under the terms of the Data Protection Act 1998 in respect of the additional inaccuracies about me held and processed by the PIRC that I already identified in my letters dated 9 February 2017 and 11 February 2017.
This letter contains details of the additional inaccuracies in question therefore the time for responding will be extended accordingly.
The additional inaccuracies are reproduced below in italics for convenience and my explanatory notes follow in normal type:
1. As you are aware, you asked PCCS to review how Strathclyde Police had handled your complaints about what you perceived to be an incomplete investigation into allegations you made back in 1993.
No I did not. I asked the PCCS to review two letters sent to me by Strathclyde Police, one from DCS Ruaraidh Nicolson dated 19 September 2008 and one from DI Graham Cowley dated 26 March 2010 both of which contained several false statements about the investigation in 1993 and subsequent reviews.
2. In order to do that, PCCS had to request all relevant paperwork from Strathclyde Police. That information was thereafter carefully assessed before a CHR report was published stating whether, in the Commissioner’s view, the handling of your complaint was to a reasonable standard.
Just how carefully the PCCS assessed the relevant paperwork is revealed with reference to the blatant falsehood upon which the recommendation to the police was based, namely that I had supposedly written 82 letters of complaint to the police.
I wrote several letters to the PCCS exposing the many lies contained in that disgracefully inept report that can still be confirmed as lies with reference to relevant documentary evidence.
3. Whilst you remain of the view that the initial investigation was incomplete ....
I have never expressed the view that the initial investigation was incomplete. I plainly stated that the police carried out no investigation at all and I provided a copy of the Scottish Enterprise report on their investigation along with an attached compliments slip signed by DS Watters the police officer supposedly in charge of the investigation showing that he had simply endorsed Scottish Enterprise’s own manifestly defective report.
You have the proofs I provided showing that in response to overwhelming evidence confirming the operation of a conspiracy to pervert the course of justice in 1993 involving Scottish Enterprise and the police, which evidence was produced by the government in February 2003 under the terms of the Data Protection Act 1998 and was immediately passed on to the police, the police disgracefully and unlawfully took swift action in July 2003 to have me categorised as a vexatious litigant.
Contrary to your unconvincing and indeed fake argument that they did this because of my ‘continued attempts to take legal action against Strathclyde Police’ the police were in reality acting to cover up their own criminal acts in 1993.
Why did the Solicitor to the Scottish Executive write to Scottish Enterprise’s solicitors informing them that action was being taken against me as a matter of urgency to have me categorised as a vexatious litigant? How does that fact fit with your pretence about the police taking that action in response to my supposed ‘continued attempts to take legal action against the police’? Indeed it does not fit because your angle is a blatant falsehood.
I provided for the police a copy of that letter to Scottish Enterprise’s solicitors which amounted to very serious evidence of corruption and of criminal interference with ongoing civil actions but the police, surprise surprise, completely ignored it and so did the PCCS.
At that time the police were supposedly carrying out a review of the new evidence but clearly acted corruptly to nullify my legal rights before carrying out that review which was abruptly terminated in 2005 before further important evidence that the police had arranged to pick up from me was in fact picked up although I had telephoned and written to remind the police of that. The police never did collect that evidence.
The supporting evidence that I provided to you included a copy of the letter sent by Ms Claire Cullen at the Office of the Solicitor to the Scottish Executive to solicitors Anderson Fyfe who were at that time acting for Scottish Enterprise Ayrshire, Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Enterprise director Mr Andrew Downie, my opponents in separate live civil actions and, simultaneously, suspects in the review of the criminal investigation based upon the same allegations relating to the £187,069 fraud.
The text of that letter, dated 18 August 2004, is reproduced below:
‘PETITION UNDER SECTION 1 OF THE VEXATIOUS ACTIONS (SCOTLAND) ACT 1898’
‘I refer to previous correspondence, and in particular to my colleague’s letter to you dated 7 July 2004.’
‘The Lord Advocate has now instructed that the Petition be presented in terms of section 1 of the Vexatious Actions (Scotland) Act 1898. Counsel has been instructed and has been asked to deal with this Petition promptly.’
‘Claire F Cullen’
A copy is attached again.
The live civil actions and the criminal investigation were not concluded until several months later, in 2005.
This shows that during the time that he was meant to be independently directing a criminal investigation by Strathclyde Police into allegations of fraud and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice the Lord Advocate was in reality, and in the full knowledge of the Scottish Government, secretly colluding with the suspects to nullify my related civil claims against them.
Outrageously, the suspects were being informed by the Scottish Government that the Lord Advocate was taking urgent action against me, the whistleblower at the centre of the allegations of criminality, even before the criminal investigation had been concluded and before important evidence that the police had undertaken in writing to collect from me had in fact been collected for consideration. That evidence was actually never collected by the police, providing additional grounds for grave concern about the conduct of the Lord Advocate and the Scottish Government.
The letter proves that the Lord Advocate was not acting independently at all, nor was he acting in the public interest or in the interests of justice, and that individuals in the Scottish Government were indeed involved in the alleged conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. The letter also reveals that the Scottish Government had already been corresponding with the solicitors acting for my opponents for some time, since it refers to previous correspondence on the matter. The Lord Advocate’s supposed independent direction of the police and prosecutors had actually been biased against me from an early stage, contrary to the most fundamental requirements of justice, completely at odds with the Human Rights Act 1998 and the European Convention on Human Rights, and with the collusion of named individuals acting for the Scottish Government, which is absolutely disgraceful.
This matter will inevitably have to be addressed properly in due course and those who persist in trying to cover for the corrupt conduct of their colleagues will get what they deserve, as has been shown to be the case in numerous other instances of corruption. The public are very unforgiving towards those who effectively condone the theft of a substantial amount of taxpayers’ money.
4. .... there is nothing in the documentation provided to suggest that the information is factually inaccurate.
Contrary to your statement that there is nothing in the documentation provided to suggest that the information is factually inaccurate I actually provided overwhelming documentary evidence proving that this section contains several inaccurate statements about this case and about me.
What did Scottish Enterprise’s solicitors have to do with my supposed continued attempts to take legal action against Strathclyde Police?
Why have the PCCS, and now you personally, deliberately disregarded this crucial evidence and misrepresented the facts on this point?
5. However, it is a matter of fact that you made more than one attempt to raise legal proceedings against Strathclyde Police.
‘More than one attempt’, meaning two attempts here, does not equate to ‘continued attempts’. Your angle here is frankly pitiful.
Regardless of any number of alleged attempts in that regard the available evidence proves that my categorisation as a vexatious litigant was in fact directly targeted to interfere with my claims against Scottish Enterprise.
6. It is also a matter of fact that Strathclyde Police successfully raised an action against you in terms of the Vexatious Actions (Scotland) Act 1898.
You have culpably omitted to mention that Strathclyde Police were supposed to have been conducting a criminal review under the direction of the Lord Advocate at the time the Lord Advocate raised this petition and contacted the agents for my opponents in related civil actions.
This is particularly inexcusable since you know that external scrutiny by the Faculty of Advocates and the Legal Services Ombudsman for England and Wales held that I have grounds for a formal complaint against the Lord Advocate for unlawfully interfering in live civil actions and misdirecting the police.
7. Accordingly, the information referred to is factually correct.
No it is not factually correct. It is instead a disgraceful manifestation of the police’s inordinate and corrupt efforts to cover up their participation in a conspiracy with other public authorities to pervert the course of justice in this case.
You are already well aware of the documentary evidence supporting my allegations about such failures by the police over a prolonged period since you personally referred my allegations and proofs to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service in November 2016.
8. It is accurate to say that all of your correspondence stems from your dissatisfaction with how the police dealt with allegations you made in 1993.
No it most certainly is not accurate to say that all of my correspondence stems from my dissatisfaction with how the police dealt with allegations I made in 1993. I formally call upon you to retract that damaging falsehood about me.
As can be verified with reference to the 82 letters in question, which I have copies of, the vast majority were simply covering letters providing additional proofs relating to this case as I obtained them from various sources. For example, several were covering letters accompanying new proofs I obtained from Audit Scotland in 2009 under the terms of the Data Protection Act 1998.
In that regard, Audit Scotland’s disclosures to me in 2009 show that Audit Scotland recognised years ago that official responses from Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Office in this case had been ‘disingenuous’.
Documents disclosed by Audit Scotland included the following statements in a document headed Notes from review of papers submitted by E Cairns, prepared by Audit Scotland’s Mr Jim Martin, dated 20 August 2004 and reproduced here in italics for convenience:
Mr Cairns is correct in his view that the ERDF monies should have been included in the EA June Management Accounts and it looks as though they might have been omitted from the July accounts but for his actions ....................... Speculation on why the monies were not disclosed in the management accounts is academic at this stage but it does seem odd that he was allegedly instructed to exclude them from the July accounts.
Responses to Mr Cairns (sic) complaints from Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Office Ministers dismiss the omission of the receipts as a technical accounting matter. That is disingenuous. Mr Cairns (sic) issue is about the deliberate misstatement of management accounts; there are governance issues here ................ The Board of EA were receiving these management accounts as was Scottish Enterprise, the principal funders. I see no reason why the ERDF monies should not have been shown in the first management accounts after their receipt. Scottish Enterprise should have been concerned that Mr Cairns was allegedly instructed to exclude them.
.............. If Mr Cairns is seeking recompense for his dismissal we should not get drawn in.
Of course you already know all this because I provided this evidence to you in recent months and it had been provided to the PCCS previously, again to no avail.
9. Accordingly, I do not consider the information contained in our report as inaccurate.
Only by applying the warped and dishonest reasoning disgracefully displayed by you in this point could anyone conclude that the information contained in your report on this point is not inaccurate.
I did not write 82 letters expressing dissatisfaction with the police. Your insulting lie about me on this point is outrageous.
10. In addition, since the publishing of our CHR report in August 2010, you have continued to write to Strathclyde Police, now Police Scotland, and made a number of new allegations and complaints.
A number of new allegations and complaints? How many? Another 82? In fact I have raised only a very few complaints against the police since 2010 and every one has been valid but rejected because of the PIRC’s defective recommendation that the police should ignore me.
Of course, again, you already know this so how many complaints from me have been responded to by the police. I happen to have the exact figure and so do you. NONE.
Consequently, your derogatory insinuations about me are completely unfounded and reprehensible.
Any defence of qualified privilege that you may present in defence of a defamation action would easily be countered because of the malice I could prove you to have acted upon by knowingly asserting damaging falsehoods about me.
Twice in recent years I have been granted authority by the Court of Session to raise actions despite the vexatious actions order.
You ought to retract those damaging falsehoods about me which the evidence available to you shows to be false.
11. Accordingly, the up-to-date number of letters sent by you to Police Scotland is significantly higher.
So now you are quietly dropping the PIRC falsehood that the 82 letters were letters of complaint? Now you are suggesting that just writing a number of letters over a period of several years is unacceptable?
I challenge you to identify any one of my letters to the police that was unjustified.
In reality the number of letters sent over many years reflects the multitude of proofs I have obtained supporting my position.
12. On this basis, it is unclear why you consider that the information in our CHR report, which is no longer readily accessible to the public, is causing you substantial unwarranted damage or distress.
You appear to have a very short and extremely selective memory. Only a few months ago the unjustified recommendation to the police based upon this lie about me supposedly having written 82 letters of complaint to the police was applied to nullify my valid complaint about misconduct by ACC Nicolson that the PIRC has already held not to have been reasonably handled by the SPA.
13. In so far as the recommendation made by PCCS is concerned, the extract in question is factually correct.
No it is not factually correct.
In fact you had already been notified of the far more probable reason for ACC Nicolson’s refusal to carry out the Chief Constable’s direction to contact me, namely in order to avoid any consideration of his own previous dishonest involvement in this case which he knows would not stand up to any scrutiny.
The PIRC relatively recently received several relevant proofs of that from me which you appear to want to forget about.
14. Thereafter Mr Milne expressed his assessment on whether ACC Nicolson’s actions (not responding to your correspondence) were indeed justified in his opinion. There is nothing in this extract that I can identify as factually incorrect and, in any event, you will appreciate that we cannot correct the letter sent to you by Mr Milne.
But you can correct the PIRC’s defective recommendation to the police which is what ACC Nicolson and Mr Stuart Milne relied upon to ignore my competent complaints.
15. To conclude, points 1, 2 and 3 are considered reliable and factually correct information.
No they are most certainly not reliable and factually correct information as already explained above.
Of course you already know this because of the PIRC’s prior involvement in this case and because you have received multiple proofs from me exposing your reasoning here as dishonest.
To restore some perspective, this is an important case that ought to be adequately investigated and tested for truth and accuracy in accordance with the terms of the Data Protection Act 1998. Your false and derogatory comments about me and about this case confirm the crassness of your pretence that it is unclear why I consider that the information in question is causing me substantial unwarranted damage or distress.
You have in fact amply demonstrated clearly in your letter why I consider that the information in question is causing me substantial unwarranted damage or distress.
In summary, the figures in the monthly management accounts at Enterprise Ayrshire were the basis for obtaining public money. Evidence available confirms that I had been instructed to commit a criminal act in Enterprise Ayrshire, treated with open hostility by the other members of staff who had already agreed to enter into the conspiracy, summarily dismissed before any investigation by Scottish Enterprise had taken place, stonewalled thereafter and unjustifiably publicly disparaged, rendering me unemployable in my profession.
Perusal of the original Scottish Enterprise report in conjunction with other available evidence confirms that material evidence was concealed by employees of Enterprise Ayrshire and Scottish Enterprise in the context of assisting the police enquiry in this case, a very serious matter.
The employees involved included Mr Andrew Downie, Mr Gary Tracey and Ms Janie Maxwell of Enterprise Ayrshire and Mr Tom Woodbridge and Ms Mandy Dickson of Scottish Enterprise.
Material evidence that was concealed included the following:
(a) Any evidence or witness statement from me.
The investigating accountant made no contact with me whatsoever and disregarded all the documentary evidence in support of my allegations that was available on the premises of Enterprise Ayrshire and Scottish Enterprise.
(b) My witness statements to Detective Sergeant William Watters on 7 September 1993.
Since the Scottish Enterprise report was dated 20 August 1993 the police ought to have ensured that the report was updated.
(c) My letter to Detective Superintendent Gordon Ferrie, dated 19 August 1993, and the documents I enclosed with that letter ‘showing the omission of a receipt from the EC of £187,069 in the balance sheet of Enterprise Ayrshire’.
(d) My email dated 17 August 1993 to my supervisors in Enterprise Ayrshire, Mr Gary Tracey and Ms Janie Maxwell.
(e) Evidence of my regular monthly reconciliations to the financial ledger which were held in the Enterprise Ayrshire Excel files at my workstation, in particular the reconciliation which had been forwarded to Mr Gary Tracey by email showing the discrepancy in the first accounting month in which it had arisen, June 1993. The Scottish Enterprise report falsely stated that there was no evidence that this reconciliation had been carried out.
Mr Tom Woodbridge, Scottish Enterprise Head of Finance, and Enterprise Ayrshire employees Mr Andrew Downie, Mr Gary Tracy and Ms Janie Maxwell knew that I had produced reconciliations showing the £187,069 to have been omitted from the balance sheet in the June 1993 and July 1993 accounts that had been presented to me for reconciliation.
(f) Names of all the finance workers involved in the financial irregularities and witness statements from them. These ought to have included Mr Tom Woodbridge, Mr Andrew Downie, Mr Gary Tracey, Ms Janie Maxwell, Ms Alison Norton, Ms Valery Spence and myself.
(g) A plausible explanation for the irregularities.
The money had been received in June 1993 and should have been entered into the accounts in that month but had not been entered until 18 August 1993.
(h) My allegation that I had been incited by Mr Gary Tracey to enter into a conspiracy to falsify the accounts.
My allegation was supported by the note blocking the journal entry and the actions of finance workers who had accepted the invitation to falsify the accounts.
(i) The fact that one of the bank accounts through which the £187,000 in question was transferred was not in the name of Enterprise Ayrshire, contrary to what was falsely stated in the Scottish Enterprise report, but was in the name of Mr Gary Tracey. This is the person that the evidence shows had instructed the financial irregularities and had thereby corrupted staff more junior to him.
(j) The fact that the bank account in the name of Mr Gary Tracey was not a high interest call account managed by the Royal Bank of Scotland on EA’s behalf, contrary to what was falsely stated in the Scottish Enterprise report. Deposits into Mr Gary Tracey’s account did not mature at call. They matured one month and one day after the deposit had been made. The bank did not manage Mr Gary Tracey’s account.
(k) My allegation that I had been questioning the financial irregularities in my reconciliation work and had objected in writing to the instruction to comply.
(l) My allegation that I had approached Mr Tom Woodbridge, Scottish Enterprise Head of Finance, for help when I had been immediately threatened with dismissal by my one of my supervisors, Ms Janie Maxwell, when she read my email recording my objections to the financial irregularities but that Mr Woodbridge had declined to give me any support.
(m) The evidence showing that the £187,000 had been re-deposited in a high interest bank account on 3 August 1993, maturing not at call but on 4 September 1993, in the name of Mr Gary Tracey while still omitted from the company’s financial ledger whereas it ought to have been transferred to Scottish Enterprise in the month following receipt. This indicated that the senior finance staff had no intention of handling this money in accordance with correct procedure until I raised my objection in writing on 17 August 1993.
(n) My allegation that I had been instructed to overlook in my account reconciliation work the deliberate omission from the accounts of a cash grant for £187,069 received on 25 June 1993 by electronic transfer from the European Regional Development Fund.
My allegation was supported by my email to my supervisors dated 17 August 1993.
(o) My allegation that the reason for the financial irregularities was to gain interest that would otherwise not be gained.
(p) Any recognition that in Scots law the definition of theft is taking control of an asset that does not belong to you without the owner’ s permission.
(q) Any recognition that fraud has been defined as ‘the bringing about of any practical result by false pretences.’ (Macdonald, 52)
In fact the SE report itself, although inadequate in several crucial respects, did nevertheless contain points that indicated fraudulent activity:
(a) It concluded that £187,069 that had been received on 25 June 1993 ought to have been entered into the accounts at that time but was not entered into the ledger until 18 August 1993.
(b) It recorded that there was a note including the words No journal required as per G. Tracey next to the entry for this money in the cash book. This indicated that the irregularity was instructed by Mr Tracey, not an oversight or a mistake.
(c) No plausible explanation was stated in the SE report to have been elicited from Mr Tracey or from anyone else.
(d) However, the note corroborated my witness statements and my email dated 17 August 1993 alleging that I had also been incited to enter into a conspiracy to falsify the accounts in respect of this cash.
I declined the invitation to enter into a conspiracy to falsify the accounts and the immoderate responses and blatant dishonesty of more senior workers in Enterprise Ayrshire and Scottish Enterprise as revealed in the available evidence further corroborated my allegations of financial irregularities.
What did these managers have to hide? Why did they falsely pretend that there was no substance to my allegations? Why did they pretend that investigations by Scottish Enterprise and Strathclyde Police had found no wrongdoing when in fact they had found that £187,069 was missing from the accounts for exactly the period I had alleged while it was deposited in a high interest bearing bank account in the name of Mr Gary Tracey? Why was an immediate correction to the accounts made in the morning of 18 August 1993 within hours of my written objections to the irregularities and before any investigation had been carried out? Clearly, the managers already knew that the accounts had been falsified and needed to be corrected because effectively the game was up.
The PIRC already has copies of documentary evidence supporting these points.
Your paltry disapproval of my determined efforts to put matters right in these circumstances would tend to induce nausea. If you fundamentally disapprove of complaints against the police regardless of their justification, as the record shows in this case, are you sure you are in the right job?
16. That letter formed the basis of your application to the PIRC for a CHR and was quoted in our CHR report for reference only. In so far as quotes from that letter which refer to the recommendation made by PCCS back in August 2010, I consider that there are no factual inaccuracies.
Yes there are factual inaccuracies as plainly identified above.
I am beginning to wonder if you are allowing your overt prejudice to cloud your judgment in this case.
17. Police told to ignore complainer
Strathclyde Police has been advised to have no further dealings with a man who has bombarded the force with complaints against its officers for the past 17 years.
Edward Edelsten Cairns, Scotland’s most prolific vexatious litigant, wrote 82 letters of complaint to Strathclyde Police between 2001 and 2009. His correspondence with officers and other public bodies continued on a near weekly basis.
The letters are confusing and difficult to understand, a report by John McNeill, Police Complaints Commissioner for Scotland said. Mr McNeill found that a large amount of money had been spent on dealing with the complaints, which started shortly after Mr Cairns, 59, accused former colleagues from Enterprise Ayrshire of fraudulent behaviour in 1993. The allegations were referred to the procurator-fiscal, who decided there was not enough evidence to prosecute.
In his conclusions, Mr McNeill said: “The Commissioner is aware that during the course of his review the applicant has continued to write to Strathclyde Police regarding some of the above complaints.’’
‘’A substantial amount of resources has been expended by Strathclyde Police in dealing with the above complaints, which in the vast majority of cases have been dealt with reasonably. In the particular circumstances of this complaint, the Commissioner recommends that Strathclyde Police no longer considers or responds to any complaint made by the applicant which is directly related to those listed in this report.’’
“The Commissioner does not make this recommendation lightly, but for the reasons stated considers it necessary to do so.”
I refer again to your letter dated 8 February 2017.
The following statement in your letter, reproduced here in italics for convenience, merits particular consideration:
'I fully accept that only 8 of those letters were recorded formally as complaints about police.'
This admission exposes as false all the PCCS’s disparaging statements about me detailed above.
At the time of the PCCS’s published report on this case in 2010 there was considerable media coverage of this point which greatly damaged my professional and personal reputation unjustifiably as the above statements in the Herald complete with my photograph illustrate.
In truth I did not bombard the force with complaints against its officers for 17 years, I did not write 82 letters of complaint to the police, my letters were not confusing and difficult to understand, in fact most consisted of a single sentence covering the submission of new evidence obtained at various times in subject access disclosures under the terms of the Data Protection Act 1998, a substantial amount of resources had not been expended by Strathclyde Police in dealing with 82 letters of complaint from me, in fact the police only responded to about 4 of the genuine 8 letters of complaint, two of which letters had been swiftly withdrawn by me in any event because I recognised that the officers involved were young and inexperienced, the vast majority of the alleged 82 letters of complaint had not been dealt with reasonably, in reality the vast majority, about 95%, of my letters had been completely disregarded by the police despite the fact that they had presented significant information and evidence to assist the police in their enquiries into this case, and In the particular circumstances of this complaint the Commissioner should not have recommended that Strathclyde Police no longer considers or responds to any complaint made by me which was directly related to those listed in his report.
You have 21 days to respond to this Notice.
Since these matters are of interest to the general public I have published this letter on the internet.