Thursday, 1 August 2013

Operation Julie

This big Police operation from the seventies conjures up differing opinions, depending on which side of the Law & Order debate you stand on.  I view it as taking down a major drugs network, whilst others obviously see their heroes as being unjustly treated by the courts.  Cries of "Savage sentences!"   Well, they did live well off their illicit gains, but the fact that they broke the law big time means nothing.  I see it as people crying that obviously middle class criminals(because that is what they were) being treated like working class council estate scumbags.  Oh the poor bastards! 

   It all started with undercover cop Martyn Pritchard being offered many thousands of LSD tabs every week if he wanted.  After building up trust with his contact and buying small amounts, it was obvious that there was a well organised network.  They formed a big squad of experienced drugs squad personnel, undercover men, intelligence gatherers, surveillance people, and gradually discovered that there were two laboratories making the tablets.  One in London, the other in Wales.  The London end was run by Henry Todd, the Welsh end by chemist Richard Kemp.  It emerged that the network split into two factions because Kemp wanted to "Give everybody a trip of a lifetime" whereas Todd, thinking like a professional villain, wanted to use half the acid Kemp did, and so boost profits.

    Kemp, an American, lived in the Welsh countryside with Dr Christine Bott.  So keeping observation was difficult, and taxed the Julie people to the limit.  Members of both networks were gradually identified and they were all taken down.  Kemp & Todd were given thirteen years each, regarded by apologists as "Savage".  Can`t do the sentence, don`t commit the crime!  It was said that when Todd left the dock, he winked at the Julie team.  No doubt, years down the line, he had the last laugh, coming out to money that a cautious and shrewd man like himself, must have had stashed, along with some of the others.  There are two books on the case, one by Martyn Pritchard, which shows how much the hierarchy of the Police, and the Home Office, had their heads buried in the sand when it came to drugs, and the other by the cop in charge, Dick Lee.  Running the case was certainly nothing like Miami Vice!

   Nigel Fielding says that Pritchard raised his arms in triumph crying "A world record!" on the amount of tabs eventually were recovered.  Reminds me of the prosecution witness in the Range Rover triple murder, Darren Nicholls, claiming that information he was supplying to an experienced detective made him "Really excited!"  Hmmm.   A total lack of professionalism, and getting carried away.  Yeah right.   

    There are the conspiracy theorists claiming the case was blown out of proportion solely to try and create a national drugs squad.  So what!  The States has long had the FBI, the DEA and the ATF.  We cannot create anything national as there are always fuckups, jealousies and one upmanship prevalent for decades within the UK Police.  After the case ended, many of them were reassigned to menial duties and a number quit in disgust.  The conspiracy mob strangely keep quiet about this.  To think that forward thinking was kicked in the bollocks and nothing happened, would surely have had them applauding the very people they despise.  Nowadays, they would not last long, as the young gun gangs, professional villains, crime families et al, would just step in and obliterate the lot of them.  The middle class hippies would get a really nasty shock!  Not long after the end of Julie, Thatcher came into power.  Conspiracy theorists claim that Thatcher deliberately allowed the drug problem to escalate solely to create division and destruction amongst the working class.  I regard this as total bollocks.  She only had two things on her mind; the unions and the wealthy.