Page last updated Tuesday 6th May, 2014 at 1945hrs
Greater Manchester Police’s Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan (pictured above centre) is the first ACPO officer to appear in the uPSD ‘Rogue Chiefs’ gallery who does not have West Yorkshire Police on his CV.
He shows up here, firstly, as a result of his oversight role in the Danny Major Miscarriage of Justice investigation and, secondly, from issues arising out of GMP’s bodged Operation Redbone investigation which centred on West Yorkshire OPCC’s serially dishonest Solicitor/Chief Executive, Fraser Sampson (pictured above right). The Operation Redbone “investigation” (and the term is used loosely) was signed off by Shewan’s boss, the accident-prone Sir Peter Fahy (witness most notably the disgraceful failings of the Rochdale grooming gangs, the Cyril Smith debacle, the shooting of a firearms officer by one of his own team, the apparent execution of Anthony Grainger and the killing of Jordan Begley). SPF, as he likes to be known, is pictured top left.
Details of the Danny Major investigation – codenamed Operation Lamp – and Shewan’s role in it can be found at this link here. Briefly, GMP were appointed in January 2013 to probe particular aspects of the badly flawed West Yorkshire Police investigation that resulted in their own PC Danny Major being wrongly sent to jail. This followed a sustained campaign by Danny’s family that is now in its tenth year which will, ultimately, clear his name. The Major campaign is led by the indomitable and fearless Bernadette, who is Danny’s proud mum, and father Eric. Himself a retired police officer, with 31 years exemplary service, Eric’s meticulous and painstaking detective work in piecing together a true account of the incident on the fateful night in Millgarth police station, and then Leeds Bridewell, has astounded GMP’s team of experienced detectives.
For the past two years, the Major family have been assisted by their complaint/legal friend, Neil Wilby, who brought added impetus and specialist knowledge to a campaign that was continually being blocked off at every turn. Most particularly, by the public official who had the power, influence and position to assist the Majors more than anyone else: That man, West Yorkshire Police Authority’s Fraser Sampson, instead appeared to marshall the police, the inaptly named Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) and politicians to work against the family. Only after a sustained media campaign – which included the launch of uPSD – did Sampson turn turtle and agree to review ‘new’ evidence that he had previously refused point blank to consider: But this change of tack by Sampson was simply an attempt to rein in the Majors and prevent further damage to his own reputation, rather than from a sense a duty or justice.
True to form, and it is a matter of record with GMP from the outset of their involvement, Sampson still tried to deceive the Majors by producing no less than three false accounts of the meeting that took place at the offices of the West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner (formerly the Police Authority). It was a disgraceful extension of Sampson’s three year undermining of the Major justice campaign. Indeed, it is uPSD’s confident assertion that a deal has been cooked up by Common Purpose graduates Sampson and Shewan that involves the Major family being given enough material to clear Danny’s name at the Court of Appeal (via the Criminal Case Review Commission) but no West Yorkshire Police officer will be prosecuted as a result of the “fit-up” – and the family will ultimately have to scrap very hard for restitution to place Danny in the same financial position he would have been if he hadn’t been dismissed from the Force.
Following the invitation by Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary (HMIC), ACC Garry Shewan was selected to head up the probe on behalf of GMP and liaise with the aforementioned Sampson in setting Terms of Reference for the investigation. Neil Wilby represented the family in this process and also attended all the early meetings between the GMP detectives and the family; both at the Major’s home and at GMP’s impressive new Central Park HQ. At the first of those meetings at Force HQ Shewan and Wilby were introduced and the former made great play of the fact he was “an honest cop” (sic). The latter, having spent most of his life around police officers of all ranks, through his sporting and business connections, was less than impressed and, as things have panned out, his first impressions of Shewan as a self-seeking PR player were not wrong. A view underscored by this tongue-in-cheek insight into another side of “honest cop” Garry Shewan: Click here for a very entertaining read.
At the Shewan/Wilby meeting Fraser Sampson was a key topic of conversation in respect of both the terms of reference and the false meeting notes. The meeting was tape recorded so there can be no doubts at all regarding who said what. Unknown to Wilby at the time, Sampson was under investigation by the very same Greater Manchester Police in connection with his role in the now nationally notorious suspending of Lincolnshire’s Chief Constable, Neil Rhodes (Read more here). The core issue in that probe was whether Sampson had produced false notes following a telephone conversation with Rhodes. It is inconceivable that even someone with no discernible detective background did not make the connection, yet Shewan chose to withhold the information on Sampson’s propensity for invention from the Operation Redbone probe. Incredibly, part of the GMP findings was that Sampson was a man of “very high standing”. Nonetheless, Chief Constable Rhodes version of events was readily preferred over the dodgy, agenda-driven scribblings of Sampson.
Neil Wilby was incensed when he read the Operation Redbone report and quickly deduced that ACC Shewan had concealed what he (and GMP) knew about Fraser Sampson. Wilby had met Sampson some two years earlier, had suffered the same false meeting notes scenario himself (followed by an outrageously deceitful, and plainly unlawful, Subject Access Request that concealed the “crime”) which led to them both taking up polarised positions in the pursuit of justice. Sampson had also, incredibly, stated in writing to Wilby that contemporaneous notes, and his own attendance notes, were not kept once his own version of meeting minutes are typed up. This is, of course, completely at odds with the reported outcome of Operation Redbone.
When approached about the Op Redbone outcome “honest cop” Shewan at first claimed that he had not been aware that GMP had been investigating Sampson. A position he has since retracted. He was then asked to provide answers to five simple, straightforward questions that would bring clarity to the matter (read them by clicking here). His “responses” to those five questions proved he was not an honest cop at all; but just another ducking and diving member of the ACPO self-preservation society. This is the letter Shewan sent to Neil Wilby after a two week delay (click here). Four of the five questions Shewan refused point blank to answer and the fifth question, it is strongly submitted by uPSD, that Shewan provided a knowingly false response.
These matters are now the subject of formal complaint and the squirming of Greater Manchester Police over this one will be a sight to behold. This is informed by GMP’s two failed attempts so far to make the complaint go away. The first was an entirely inappropriate approach by Shewan himself to the complainant in which he introduced a mendacious claim of being “harassed” and, more recently, via Head of Professional Standards, DCS Paul Rumney who also appears to experience difficulties in responding to emails in a timely, or truthful, manner. He states that ACC Shewan’s false claims of harassment are not a matter for Professional Standards to investigate.
Neil Wilby sums up the situation thus: “It is a matter of some concern to me that, when confronted with misconduct matters, Garry Shewan has chosen to behave in this manner. GMP were given every opportunity to self-refer the palpably false Operation Redbone outcome to the IPCC but, for their own reasons, have chosen not to. I am deeply troubled that ACC Shewan didn’t stand down from the Major investigation and, instead, put me in the position of doing so in order to pursue the complaints against him. It is, however, important to stress that an excellent relationship has been formed with the detectives actually working on the Major case – and, so far, there is no issue with them whatsoever “.
Greater Manchester Police have been given the opportunity to comment but Head of Corporate Communications, Amanda Coleman, couldn’t even bring herself to acknowledge the email requesting the Force’s statement. Ms Coleman has been part of the GMP team enlisted by ACC Shewan to try and deflect personal and professional damage so the matter hardly comes as a surprise to her. Others are the aforementioned D/CS Rumney and the Force Solicitor: Which raises a quite separate issue of misuse of public funds in appropriating police assets in this way.
As a courtesy to the Major family, Neil Wilby has stayed the complaint against Shewan until after the Operation Lamp report is published. Beyond that time, it will be pursued with rigour. Along with the ancillary matters concerning Rumney, Ms Coleman and the Force Solicitor referred to above.
Wilby is also holding a significant tranche of additional material concerning Shewan (and Sir Peter Fahy) misdemeanours on other PSD matters. These will be put formally to GMP press office shortly, and prior to publication on this website. We will not, however, hold our breath as head-in-the -sand Ms Coleman is, doubtless, wishing all this highly damaging material will go away.
Trust us, Amanda, it won’t.