Page last updated Saturday 10th April 2013 at 0735hrs
West Yorkshire Police‘s mounted section is headed up by Inspector Trevor Thackray. He recently achieved nationwide fame as a result of one of his equine charges, Bud, having been punched by a Newcastle United football fan as trouble flared after the Tyne-Wear Premier League football derby in April 2013. The publicity was extraordinary as this huge horse could scarcely have felt the punch from a 45 year old man who has been on medication and living on a disability allowance since 2005. Animal-lover Barry Rogerson, from Morpeth, was arrested and bailed after the incident in which he claimed the punch was mis-timed and carried little weight.
This was all very much in contrast to one of Thackray’s other charges, the dark bay horse Brennan – and it’s rider PC Marie Lawrenson – assaulting a football fan at a Leeds United v Manchester United Carling Cup-tie in September 2011. The motivation then, and still to this day, is for the same Trevor Thackray and West Yorkshire Police to cover up that incident. Whatever lengths that may take.
There has been publicity about the Elland Road case, firstly in the Wakefield Express in May 2012 when the assaulted member of the public, Wakefield businessman Mr Tony Ramsden, won an appeal to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) concerning a woeful police investigation into the incident signed off by Thackray. It has also been more widely publicised across the region recently in the Yorkshire Post and the Evening Post, as a result of the matter being heard in Leeds High Court. At the hearing, HH Judge Shaun Spencer decided that Mr Ramsden had won the right to have a limited Judicial Review of a second IPCC appeal concerning the cover-up of the Thackray investigation by the terminally dishonest Professional Standards Department (PSD) detective, Inspector Damian Carr. More on Carr can be found by clicking here.
The assault by mounted officer Lawrenson and her horse Brennan, outside the Elland Road premises of Production North Ltd., was the second of two on Mr Ramsden as he waited for his partner to arrive with his lift home from the match for his party of two adults and two children. The first assault had been a baton strike across his back by an Operational Support Unit (OSU) officer, believed to be PC Umer Saeed and an as yet unknown female officer, outside Alexander Volkswagen garage close to the football ground.
The following day Mr Ramsden visited the scenes of the attacks, approx. 500 metres apart in an attempt to ask to view any footage of the assaults on him by the police. He was too late. The police had been there before him and seized the film as there had been significant disturbances between the football fans and a number of arrests (believed to be 24). PC 336 Bryn Stokes confirmed this in his original witness account and then later sought to change his mind.
Mr Ramsden then went on to nearby Holbeck police station to make a formal complaint about the assaults on him. It was here that he was confronted by an aggressive Chief Inspector Roger Essell who told him quite bluntly: “This complaint is going nowhere. You are wasting your own and the police’s time”. That was to set the tenor for an elaborate cover-up that is still being perpetuated to this day.
After a delay of three months, Inspector Thackray was given the job of investigating the Ramsden complaint. To describe the outcome of that investigation, delivered by email to Mr Ramsden in February 2012, as a farce would be to give it credence it did not deserve. It included, inter alia, the following police claims and assertions:
– Only one short section of CCTV film, which showed neither assault, existed.
– There was no film available from X-Ray 99, the police helicopter
– There was no film available from four police video vans at the scene
– There was no film available from the Leedswatch mobile video unit
– Other members of Sgt Gary Fretwell’s serial could not be identified despite four inch high serial numbers/letters on their NATO helmets
– The Alexander Volkswagen film had been “overwritten” and in event its vision range did not reach the location where Mr Ramsden was assaulted. That has subsequently, and with the kind assistance of Alexanders, been proved to be completely false.
– There was no film available from that siezed from Production North Ltd despite the assault having taken place in full view of two of their cameras. Again, kind assistance was given to Mr Ramsden by PNL in proving this.
– No photographic evidence was available from the large team of West Yorkshire Police evidence gatherers both in uniform and in plain clothes.
– No contact had been made with Greater Manchester Police who also had spotters and evidence gatherers at the match
– Other CCTV film could not be released as it ‘had to be stored for 5 years pending any appeals against public order convictions by Leeds Utd fans’
– Mr Ramsden was “dressed like a hooligan” as he was wearing expensive designer clothes and that he had been offered medical assistance at Holbeck police station when he neither needed it nor requested it.
Witness accounts from Lawrenson, Fretwell and nine other officers that, individually, made so sense and, collectively, simply did not match up. Even as an attempted cover-up it was a pathetic effort. It has also been recently revealed that Thackray himself was part of the mounted officer group that attacked Mr Ramsden and, in no circumstances, should have been investigating the complaint.
Mr Ramsden and his family group were pushed into a hail of bricks and bottles as a result of police tactics, instructed by the Silver Commander at the game C/Insp Kate Riley, being strictly followed. That was a deliberate falsehood as Thackray was well aware that other family groups had been allowed to slip through the police cordon to safety.
Taken as a whole, Thackray’s investigation outcome was, quite plainly, a work of fiction that had been devised to achieve the result for the police that C/Insp Essell had forecast five months earlier. Incredibly, it had been signed off by Thackray’s line manager, C/Insp Neil Hunter. Unsurprisingly, the IPCC upheld Mr Ramsden’s appeal against the police investigation outcome.
Thackray’s further dishonest involvement came when DI Carr, who had been appointed by West Yorkshire Police to take over the investigation, attended Mr Ramsden’s work premises, in June 2012, with a DVD of CCTV film taken at Elland Road on the night of the assault. Once the film was played, Carr realised there had been a terrible blunder by the police and very rudely left the premises without even basic courtesies. The mistake he had made is that he had brought film not previously shown to Mr Ramsden and this version clearly showed a number of officers around Mr Ramsden with the serial numbers on their NATO helmets visible, even to the naked eye. Thackray had demonstrably lied in his report about not being able to identify any officers and the fact there was only a single piece of film available. Fortunately for Mr Ramsden, the entire interchange with Carr had been witnessed and tape recorded. uPSD have also identified a BBC report, presumably fed to them by the police press office in which Essell’s Holbeck police station colleague, DCI Vernon Francis, clearly states that there is a “wealth of CCTV” siezed by police. Read full BBC story by clicking here.
In the second round of witness accounts, which almost to an officer varied from their first, Thackray then procured another of his officers, PC 5804 Annette Twigg who rides a grey horse called Storm, to make a first statement thirteen months after the incident which stated there was no recollection of Lawrenson, and her horse, making contact with Mr Ramsden. So where had PC Twigg been hiding since September 2011 and why did he/she only come forward when the net was closing in on their mounted colleague? The witness account has as much evidential value as if he/she said she couldn’t remember what day it was. Twigg also placed herself in a location 500 metres from where the assault by Lawrenson actually took place. Lawrenson’s husband is Detective Chief Inspector Mick Lawrenson in the same West Yorkshire Police force and they are near Guiseley neighbours of disgraced ACC Ingrid Lee. Which may, or may not, be significant in the “cover-up” to protect her from prosecution or disciplinary action.
Mr Ramsden is still patiently waiting for news of the disciplinary action to be taken against dishonest police officer, Inspector Trevor Thackray. It has also emerged from a reliable source inside West Yorkshire Police that one of the two police officers injured on the night of the match is now seeking medical retirement after also being struck by one of his own Force’s horses. Incredibly, Thackray is also involved again as he is leading the charge against one of his own police colleagues saying that he wasn’t liable for the injury sustained by the officer who had his leg badly broken.. He might have some difficulty explaining away the bent horseshoe that some of the mounted officers presented to the injured sergeant to ‘commemorate’ his injury. Thackray also told Mr Ramsden at the meeting refrred to above that the two injured officers at Elland Road had suffered at the hands of their own colleagues – not the fans as implied to the press.
The other officer taken to hospital that night was also injured in a blue-on-blue incident and not, as the BBC report would infer, by football fans. Some Operational Support Unit ground officers are also very critical of the police tactics employed by the Gold and Silver Police Commanders at the match and feel that they were a significant contributory factor in the injuries sustained by the two policemen. There is also criticism amongst the troops about the tenor of the pre-match briefing delivered by C/Supt Marc Callaghan, who self-styles himself as “Big Boss Hogg“. Callaghan was subsequently appointed Head of West Yorkshire Police’s nationally disgraced Professional Standards Department and led the continued top down cover-up of events that night at Elland Road. He has much to hide.
If you would like to ask Inspector Thackray about the Tony Ramsden incident or the whereabouts of the missing CCTV or why he and his fellow mounted officers lied, and continue to lie, about the case give him a call on 01924 292354 or email him on firstname.lastname@example.org
For the rest of the story on this quite extraordinarily extensive and increasingly costly cover-up please see our original Assault on Tony Ramsden webpage about this incident by clicking here.