Sunday, 5 June 2011

Tony Lundy

Writers are divided over this former detective.  Was he a great cop or was he bent as a boomerang?  Lundy effectively used the criminal supergrass to bring to book dozens and dozens of villains.  Certain people were dismayed at what Lundy was achieving and the methods he was using, but one point that journalist Martin Short made, and has been ignored by Lundy`s detractors, is that nine out of every ten villains he put away, put their hands up to the crimes alleged.  This involved the use of villains such as Billy Amies, Maxie Piggott, David Smith, and others.  

    What brought him down was two villains in particular, Billy Young and Francis Attard.  It seems that one of them, Young, had a champion in journalist Andrew Jennings, whom wrote a book making serious allegations against Lundy, but Lundy did not respond with legal action.  Obviously, the feeling was that shit stuck.  Martin Short defended Lundy,stating that due to his rank, Lundy was in the Superintendants Association, which was not as financially equipped to support Lundy in a costly libel action.  Short also wrote in his book about Lundy, a scathing atack on the allegations by Jennings in his book.  He also stated to Lundy, thaty if he did unearth positive proof of his corruption, he would publish it without hesitation.  This appears not to have happened, even now, all these years later.

    Another point about Lundy was his use of a big time informant named Roy Garner, who eventually went to prison for twenty two years for, I believe, drugs.  Lundy did speak up for him, but then again, he would because he was a top flight informant.  Jennings claimed that Garner was the "Top Villain" in London, which Short savaged.  Jennings also claimed that Garner had a licence to rob. My belief is that what brought Lundy down, was being too successful and this dredged up resentment and jealousy amongst his colleagues.  It beggars belief what police officers will do to each other, when they are supposed to be on the side of Law and Order.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Spilsbury - Myth or Legend?

Sir Bernard Spilsbury, the famous pathologist has been the subject of a few books, in the main, complementing the man`s reputation, though one did not.  The pro-Spilsbury crowd, include one written about 1951, which just stops short of declaring Spilsbury to be a god, the man whom is still the final word on pathology.  It seems great to say that defence lawyers withered when questioning him in court, but it would seem that they simply would not dare state that this "God" was in any way mistaken.  I also believe that judges would not have allowed that to happen.  He was an out-and-out self-promoter, and was so arrogant as to dismiss anything that did not agree with his diagnosis.  He was right, and right all the time.  Other well-known pathologists such as Smith, Bronte, Grace, Gardner, etc, were obviously not as brilliant as he!

    Barrister Andrew Rose wrote an alternative view on Spilsbury entitled "Lethal Witness", highlighting a number of cases in which Spilsbury`s opinions went unchallenged, simply because he said so.  One man, hanged on Spilsbury`s evidence, stated that he was a victim of "Spilsburyism", because he was so revered.  Yet, it seems that Spilsbury relied more on his word and the manner he presented everything, than irrefutable medical proof.  This is so in line with the great advocate, Sir Edward Marshall Hall, who relied on flamboyance and theatrics rather than legal brains.  One of his most famous cases was that of Hawley Crippen.  Medical knowledge now, has proved that the skin sample he stated was an operational scar, was not, and the skin belonged to a man, not a woman.  I wonder if the Spilsbury fan club will put these in their books.  One positive development from this man, is that he put forensic work to the fore and is regarded as the father of CSI.