Kashif Ahmed v West Yorks Police

Page last updated Tuesday 1st October 2013 at 1105hrs

In January 2012 West Yorkshire Police appeared in a list of five forces described as the worst in the country for not recording or investigating crimes (read more here). In contrast to that alarming statistic, former Police Constable Kashif Ahmed, who is of Asian origin, was subjected to a long-running, concentric and intrusive interrogation into relatively trivial financial irregularities. All this by a force that is prepared to overlook paedophilia, rape, drug dealing, serious assaults, data protection breaches, fraud, money laundering if it suits their purpose. Many of these West Yorkshire Police non-investigations will feature on the uPSD website in the coming months and provide a very sharp contrast to what has happened to Kash Ahmed and other BME officers. The inescapable conclusion from recent statistics obtained by campaign group  Just West Yorkshire is, also, that you are much more likely to be inappropriately and disproportionately  investigated by West Yorkshire Police if you are a BME officer, in comparison to a white officer.

PC Ahmed joined West Yorkshire Police in 2005 as a constable, with a Huddersfield University degree in Law and a Post Graduate Diploma in Law and, during his time as a police officer, received two Police Commendations for bravery. In spite of this background he was constantly subject to discriminatory and demeaning behaviour by colleagues.

He was based in the Leeds North-West division at Weetwood under the command of Rogue Chief Ian Whitehouse and following a complaint against DCI Steve Bennett (A Rogue Officer regular on this website) concerning car parking at Millgarth Police Station during a duty visit there, PC Ahmed was subjected to a protracted criminal investigation that commenced in 2008 and finally ended in 2011 at Bradford Crown Court.  At the Hearing, HHJ Peter Benson described West Yorkshire Police officers as ‘untruthful‘ and commented that there had been ‘a very significant impropriety and irregularity at the root of the investigation’.  Nothing happened subsequently to the white officers by way of criminal or disciplinary action.

During the course of the investigation PC Ahmed was arrested 17 times, re-bailed five times, held in custody for 35 hours, interviewed some 19 times, which included interrogation by the elite murder team for renting out his main home, whilst it was being financed on a residential mortgage rather than a buy-to-let arrangement. He was also subjected to passport and immigration checks, despite being born in the UK. These checks were conducted four years after he joined the Police as part of a what appeared to Mr Ahmed to be a racist investigation against him. As part of the investigation West Yorkshire Police also carried out immigration enquiries on Mr Ahmed’s father in 2009, despite the fact that Mr Ahmed’s father had passed away in 2004. The Force welfare officer assigned to PC Ahmed during the investigation, and his suspension from duty, was none other than Rogue Officer and sex addict, DCI Liz Belton.

PC Ahmed has since resigned and is now suing West Yorkshire Police in the High Court and the Employment Tribunal following the Force’s refusal to apologise.

Press coverage of the ending Kashif Ahmed criminal trial brought against him by his former West Yorkshire Police colleagues, which ultimately collapsed as an abuse of process, can be found at this link. The case had received substantial publicity at its outset after local newspapers were tipped off by detectives investigating the case. That story which was very damaging to PC Ahmed and his co-accused Shamim Khan, as per the intentions of the police, can be read by clicking here.

Following preliminary hearings before HHJ Sir Peter Coulson, Presiding Judge of the NE Circuit, in October 2012 and, more recently, on 25th March before HHJ Mark Gosnell, the civil trial in which Kashif Ahmed alleges wrongful arrest commenced on Monday 29th April 2013 at Leeds High Court.

Thirty-four West Yorkshire Police officers have filed witness evidence against Mr Ahmed in the case, although the number giving oral evidence at the trial will be reduced. Two retired police officers, Eric Major and Cedric Christie, together with investigative journalist Neil Wilby, filed witness statements in support of Mr Ahmed but this were subsequently removed from the case files following unrelenting pressure by Force Legal Services Manager, Mike Percival. The police were absolutely determined that the damning evidence of those three would not be heard

The trial is expected to last three weeks and costs could run well into six figures. Among the officers to have given written evidence against Kashif Ahmed is convicted paedophile detective, DC Mick Vause. His cross-examination should create some interest as Vause siezed a CD containing family images of PC Ahmed’s young relatives and West Yorkshire Police have steadfastly refused to provide a satisfactory exhibit audit trail of that CD’s passage to the police property store, or an appropriate assurance that the paedophile policeman did not retain a copy for his own use.

Mr Ahmed is pursuing the case without legal representation whilst West Yorkshire Police have retained the services of police claims specialist, Mark Ley-Morgan, of 3 Serjeant’s Inn Chambers in London. Read full profile here. Mr Ley-Morgan is defending a 100% record for the Force, having won all six previous cases. Mr Ley-Morgan is also currently acting in two other civil claims for West Yorkshire Police but they have declined to give any details of the court cases, including the claim numbers. However, a reliable police source has informed uPSD that the two cases are those of Danny Mansell and Gary Ford (More on their two cases can be read here)

The present claim by Mr Ahmed against the police describes a process where the actions of the officers who investigated him “undermined the rule of law and threatened basic human rights”. It goes on to say,  “These officers acted in bad faith and other than in the interests of justice.” The officers principally involved in the investigation were Senior Investigating Officer Supt Steve Bennett (see above), DI Peter Howarth, DS Penny Morley and DC Karen Wade.

During a sensational first day of the civil trial Mr Ahmed was questioned in court by aforementioned police barrister, Mark Ley-Morgan, in connection with the criminal allegations that led to the Crown Court appearance. Mr Ley-Morgan accused the former West Yorkshire officer of misleading two mortgage firms over whether he was renting out a property he owned in Bradford. It was then claimed Mr Ahmed lied about having a job as a middle manager with a charity when applying for a credit card. Mr Ahmed denied both of those accusations.

Mr Ahmed further denied doing any wrongdoing when it was revealed he had printed out a restricted police document relating to an alleged assault of a friend’s son, and then left the confidential report at his friend’s house. At this point, Mr Ley-Morgan asserted: “Mr Ahmed, you are incapable of telling the truth about anything. One lie after another trips out of your mouth.”

It is understood, from a source close to Mr Ahmed, that many of the police witnesses spent an uncomfortable time in the witness box as a result of the investigative flaws, highlighted by HHJ Benson, in the criminal proceedings that followed from Mr Ahmed’s many arrests. HHJ Gosnell, presiding, told Mr Ahmed at the conclusion of the trial, on Friday 10th May 2013, that he had presented his case well as a litigant in person.

Judgement was reserved by HHJ Gosnell and in a decision handed down verbally on Tuesday 25th June 2013 the Court ruled in favour of Mr Ahmed on only 2 of the 30 heads of claim, finding that West Yorkshire Police had unlawfully carried out a search of Mr Ahmed’s car. Dismissing the remaining 28 issues, which had included negligence, false imprisonment and theft, Judge Gosnell said: “I fully accept that Mr Ahmed was convinced in his belief that he had been the victim of a witch hunt.” He added: “I consider the officers involved merely carried out their jobs to the best of their ability and were not motivated by any ulterior motive in dealing with the claimant.” He also ordered Mr Ahmed to pay 85 per cent of the West Yorkshire Police’s legal costs, which uPSD understands are in the region of £125,000. This leaves Mr Ahmed a bill to pay in the order of £106,000.

In a statement emailed to uPSD immediately after the ruling, Mr Ahmed, indicated he would take the matter to the Court of Appeal. Employment Tribunal proceedings alleging racial discrimination, instigated by Kashif Ahmed against West Yorkshire Police, were stayed pending the outcome of this trial. There are also other civil cases linked to this one, notably that of Shamim Khan who was co-defendant with Mr Ahmed at the criminal trial in Bradford Crown Court and Iris Gabriel, a work colleague of Mr Ahmed’s.

Attempts to persuade the Force to take action against the police officers who gave dishonest evidence at the trial have so far not met with success. This letter between Mr Ahmed and DCI Osman Khan has been published on the internet and widely distributed on social media sites (click here). DCI Khan is already well known on the uPSD website as a Rogue Officer (read more here) and we don’t expect Mr Ahmed to get much change from him.

In the past 3 years, according to official sources, 3 Serjeant’s Inn Chambers – where Mark Ley-Morgan is a Member- have received £431,000 in fees from West Yorkshire Police.