Page last updated Monday 12th May 2014 at 1815hrs
By any measure, Huddersfield businessman Steve Bradbury (pictured above) is a charming, engaging individual: Classic car and motorbike enthusiast with a unique collection of rare Porsche cars and top of the range two-wheelers (Read Yorkshire Post story here). Also, widely travelled, experienced and knowledgeable on all manner of topics. But behind the affability and ready chuckle lies a steely determination not be lied to, or cheated out of what he believes to be his constitutional right by dilatory or dishonest public servants.
Steve first came to our attention in a West Yorkshire Police Authority meeting at which Eric & Bernadette Major (parents of miscarriage of justice victim PC Danny Major) were also present. The burning sense of injustice that drives on all of uPSD’s collective of justice campaigners had uncovered a resourceful, indefatigable and ready ally.
His story begins with his local Council, Kirklees in West Yorkshire, where he had issues dating back to 2003 connected with planning and unauthorised entry into properties that form part of his investment portfolio. Ultimately, this led to a branding of Steve, by Kirklees, as a ‘persistent complainant’ – and a ban from all their Council buildings which the Yorkshire Post newspaper covered in some detail (read here). More seriously, it led to an unwarranted arrest by West Yorkshire Police in what appeared to be a pre-planned operation ‘to teach Mr Bradbury a lesson by putting him a cell for a couple hours’.
This ‘police-state’ operation was revealed in an excruciatingly embarrassing email between the Council’s Legal Officer, Sarah Swarbrick, and Divisional Police Commander for Kirklees, C/Supt (now ACC) John Robins. It is a document that raises grave doubts about Robins’ own integrity and impartiality. Read here.
The substance of his arrest was nothing short of nonsensical and uPSD have seen the entire custody record which supports that assertion. Steve was detained in a cell, DNA taken, fingerprinted & photographed. He was then interviewed, charged with a Public Order offence and bailed to appear at Huddersfield Magistrates Court.
Unsurprisingly, the police could produce no witnesses at Court to attest to the charges and the case was dropped by CPS, and Steve acquitted. This was the signal for Steve to, quite rightly, commence the fight to have his DNA, fingerprints removed and he also intended making a video film (another interesting hobby) featuring the entire police/council episode for posting on YouTube.
He was filming the exterior of Huddersfield Police Station quite openly when an individual, not in uniform, and in an undistinguished saloon car slewed his car across the road American-cop style, jumped out and started aggressively asking questions and intimidating the small-in-stature Mr Bradbury. This resulted in Steve being pushed to the ground by PC Simon Marshall and a one-sided altercation that involved an increasing number of police officers. (Marshall is a noted member of West Yorkshire Police Band and , in fact, deals with all their first line email and phone queries. See here). None of them could identify any offence that Steve could have committed and the fracas ended by one of the officers, NPT Sergeant Guy Harland (pictured top right), impersonating the Divisional Commander (by now C/Supt Tim Kingsman on the transfer to other duties of Robins) and arranging a meeting with Steve. A lie by Harland that was laid bare the following day when Steve phoned the Commander’s secretary. (Kingsman is pictured top left).
The matter of this assault was dealt with by West Yorkshire Police’s Professional Standards Department. Led by none other than Rogue Officer main man DI Damian Carr we already have the CCTV not working/unclear story being peddled. There is much more to follow in this fascinating saga as there is a Part 2 and Part 3 which involve further police assaults on Steve outside Police HQ in Wakefield and then subsequently outside Wood St police station in the same town.
Assault part 2 occurred in full view of city centre shoppers in Wakefield as burly PC Chris Raby wrestled Mr Bradbury to the ground in another unprovoked attack outside Wood Street police station. Despite the dire shortage of police officers (according to the Police and Crime Commissioner) Raby was quickly joined by seven other officers who proceeded to pin the passive Mr Bradbury to the ground with knees and elbows. He was taken to the police station and placed in the cells but released without being questioned or charged. Raby is best known within police circles as an insufferable creep, and for his antics as a PCSO when he tampered with his clothing and equipment so that he looked like a ‘real’ policeman rather than a community officer.
Part 3 of the saga also occurred in central Wakefield. an NPT team from South Kirkby led by a gobby South Kirkby NPT PC, who claimed he was entitled to seek identification from a member of the public who was neither suspected or committing any offence. Mr Bradbury was also grabbed in the face, Fernando Torres style, by a brutish-looking, heavyweight female constable, PC Sally Court. This was all witnessed by another South Kirkby officer, PC Sian Simons who sat there and said nothing whilst her colleagues behaved in this fashion.
The final installment on 31st January 2013 was in two parts. Firstly, he was accosted by DC 1309 Richard Tyler who proceeded to make a complete fool of himself on film, followed by A short while later the most alarming and spectacular assault took place outside Police HQ at nearby Laburnum Road. DC 2343 Shaun Hurd, an incredibly scruffy-looking Crime Division detective attacked Mr Bradbury and deliberately damaged his camera in the process. Fortunately, the entire episode was captured on film which left Hurd and West Yorkshire Police with a substantial problem.
The job of covering up the worst of the excesses of the assaults and unlawful arrests visited upon Mr Bradbury fell to fellow Huddersfield man, DCI Simon Bottomley, who was an elite HMET detective at the time but, having learnt the public complaint cover-up ropes on this case, he has now transferred to the Professional Standards Department. The saga on this case has continued to the High Court in Leeds where Mr Bradbury forced the IPCC into conceding a judicial review application. A rare victory against the IPCC for any complainant against the police.
This led to a series of discussions with C/Supt Andy Battle in order to try to resolve issues between the Force and Mr Bradbury. The final in the series was a without prejudice meeting on 3rd October 2013 between Mr Battle, Force Solicitor, Mike Percival, and Andy Battle, a former South Yorks Police officer and, until September 2012, Head of Professional Standards. The Force, after having repeatedly denigrated and assaulted Mr Bradbury were now seeking to settle his disputes to avoid having the evidence on show on open Court.
Steve Bradbury had already made it clear in a meeting earlier this year with senior Professional Standards manager, DCI Osman Khan, that any compensation he receives will not benefit Steve in any way, as proceeds net of costs will be paid direct to a charity of his nomination.
In the event, a derisory financial offer was made to Mr Bradbury who then countered with a perfectly reasonable sum to settle matters that properly reflected the damage to his property, false arrest/imprisonment and injuries to his person. At that point, the police unilaterally dissented from mediation. Andy Battle then, inexplicably, stopped responding to correspondence and failed to return several phone calls from Mr Bradbury.
Mike Percival had, unsurprisingly, produced a nonsensical response to the mediation process and was happy to let the taxpayer fund his belligerence and poor judgement, yet again.
The upshot is that Mr Bradbury has now asserted his right to follow through with the complaints that the Force were trying to hide, which apart from the significant cost (many times more than the figure put forward by Mr Bradbury) the reputational damage already caused to the police and the IPCC as these matters enter the public domain, and particularly via a Channel 4 documentary in June 2014, will be huge. A rare judicial review victory over the IPCC has already been secured by Mr Bradbury in what are expected to prove a highly embarrassing series of complaint outcomes.
More to follow..