Page last updated Wednesday 22nd May 2013 at 1945hrs
West Yorkshire Police officer, PC Kevin Ellis was found hanging from a tree on Thursday 18th April in a wooded area which forms part of the grounds of Rodillian School at Lofthouse, near Wakefield. There were no suspicious circumstances according to the police statement given the following day.
PC Ellis was 33 years old, and lived with his police officer partner, Sarah Whyke, and two young sons in the Castleford area. A very short distance away from recently convicted £3 million drug thief/dealer, and fellow police officer, DC Nick McFadden. Ms Whyke is a Neighbourhood Police Officer with the Castleford team, which is where PC Ellis worked before his transfer to Wakefield. He started his police career as a probationer based at Holbeck police station, in Leeds.
He was arrested on Wednesday 17th April by his own Professional Standards Department officers on suspicion of offences connected to child images found on his computer. The Force are claiming that just a single image was found but, as with many other instances connected to paedophile offences committed by their own officers, PSD and the police press office just plainly, and calculatingly, deceive the public. The thorny and troubling issue of whether the images were connected to his own children is not denied by the Force, at this point, and they need to address this as a matter of urgency. Information vacua such as this are a disservice to the public this police force is supposed to protect and, regrettably, an all too frequent occurence.
Following the tip-off from the authorities in The United States of America, PC Ellis was taken to Dewsbury police station after his arrest and released on bail, to his father’s address in Lofthouse, at around 9pm the same day. He was legally represented and also received support from a West Yorkshire Police Federation ‘friend’ after being arrested (believed to be Fed full-timer, Darren “Ned” Liddemore). It is understood that Ellis was snared after a contact in America was caught with child pornography and images had passed between the two. After he was bailed, and not allowed back to his own home, the two PSD officers who had conducted interviews, delegated the job of taking PC Ellis to Lofthouse to two patrol officers. Those officers were not made aware, either by the PSD detectives or the Fed rep, of the vulnerable situation Kevin Ellis was in or the need for him to be delivered safely into the care of a relative or friend.
West Yorkshire Police claim that a welfare officer visited his father’s address at 9.30pm. uPSD have strong reason to doubt this police account and our information, which has proved correct in all details from the outset of this case, suggests the police were not aware he was missing when he hanged himself.
The Force has referred the matter to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), which is standard procedure for incidents involving death in, or following, police station custody. The IPCC commented: “We have assessed the referral and decided we are content for the incident to remain under investigation by West Yorkshire Police at this stage. The IPCC has requested that the matter be re-referred should any conduct matters come to light during the investigation.” Or, put another way, Professional Standards officers will investigate other Professional Standards officers who arrested and then failed to ensure appropriate safeguarding measures were in place for Kevin Ellis without any hierarchal, or institutional, independence.
The Head of the police’s PSD squad is, apparently, “livid” that uPSD became aware of the arrest, and subsequent suicide, only a few hours after PC Ellis’s body was discovered. The usual hunt for uPSD’s whistleblower is already under way.
HM Coroner for West Yorkshire, David Hinchliff, opened the inquest into Kevin Ellis’s death on Friday 27th April and adjourned it shortly afterwards. uPSD will be drawing it’s concerns to the Coroner regarding the police evidence to his Court and the reasons why it is doubted. He is familiar with West Yorkshire Police officers lying before him, so it will not present the biggest shock of the year.
PC Ellis was rostered at Wood Street, Wakefield where he was part of a response patrol team. Wood Street police station was also the base for a 50 year old inspector – and former custody sergeant – who was arrested in 2010 on suspicion of child image offences. There is also another bizarre – and tragic – connection with Wood Street as it was at that location where Keith Mark Camm suffered 25 hours of the most appalling neglect, in the police station custody suite, before later dying in Leeds General Infirmary (Read more on Mark’s death by clicking here). It is an established fact that West Yorkshire Police officers lied repeatedly to the Coroner, at the inquest touching on the death of Mark Camm, and four of those officers committed perjury.
Other West Yorkshire Police police officers who have been driven over the edge when subjected to PSD investigation include PC David Blair, who was accused of deriving pecuniary advantage from renting his home on a residential mortgage. As an officer who had received a number of commendations for acts of bravery in his 17 year police career, he was so traumatised by his ordeal that he attempted to commit suicide by throwing himself off a bridge. The case against him proved unfounded after the Judge threw it out of Court. David also served in the NPT team at Castleford for a significant spell in his career, coincidentally enough. Like Kevin Ellis, he was a popular individual.
Sgt Simon Jenkinson was not so fortunate – he made two attempts on his life whilst he was being investigated by PSD on allegations of fraud. The first attempt was whilst he was in custody and, on his second attempt on 29th July 2010, he tragically succeeded in ending his life by hanging himself at his home in Meanwood, Leeds. The incident was three days after he had been bailed and suspended from duty. Simon was based at Weetwood police station in North Leeds and his death led to an outcry against disproportionate investigations by West Yorkshire Police Professional Standards Department. uPSD understand that, despite the attempt to self-harm whilst in police custody, no welfare officer was assigned to him on his release. The IPCC also refused to investigate Simon’s death independently at the time and, once again, left a discredited Professional Standards Department to investigate itself.
Hugely respected and popular West Yorkshire detective, DC Fred Wilcock, also took his own life in July 2012 four months after completing 41 years service in the police. During that time he had worked on many headline crimes including six of the murders of Yorkshire Ripper, Peter Sutcliffe. Fred Jnr had followed in the footsteps of his father Fred Snr, a policeman for 22 years with the same Force and a mainstay in West Yorkshire Police Brass Band for much of that time. Fred Snr’s other son, Peter Wilcock, also worked for West Yorkshire Police for 34 years.
Figures released from the Office of National Statistics show that, in a three year period, a total of 55 police officers in England and Wales committed suicide. In 2009, 15 police officers ended their lives. In 2010, 23 police officers ended their lives. In 2011, 17 police officers ended their lives.
PC Jon Christopher, Chairman of beleagured West Yorkshire Police Federation, said: “Our thoughts go out to the family, friends and colleagues of this officer. We will do all we can in terms of the welfare of those affected, as and when it is appropriate”.
Calls to the aforementioned Head of West Yorkshire Police PSD, C/Supt Marc “Chucky Doll” Callaghan were being referred to the police Press Office. Callaghan, curiously, likes to refer to himself as “Big Boss Hogg” and is known in police circles as a persistent bully. He is pictured top right and will have some significant questions to answer regarding his policing style and the unedifying image he likes to portray of himself. It is also worth noting that, if our reports are accurate regarding the involvement of the US authorities in the Kevin Ellis case he would become the second WYP officer to be snared by them in the past year concerning indecent images.
Discredited West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Mark Burns-Williamson, whose reputation has nosedived following a series of nationally-reported scandals concerning his conduct, declined to comment to uPSD on the case but, in contrast, PCC Election runner-up, retired West Yorkshire detective Cedric Christie (pictured top left in familiar football referee garb) provided this telling and highly-informed summary:
“In 2009, I was subjected to two hours intensive bullying by ACC Ingrid Lee. It was nasty, pre-meditated and designed to crack me up. Sadly, suicide was something I considered on more than one occasion due to that bullying and throughout a sustained, ill-founded anti-corruption investigation by West Yorkshire Police PSD. The investigation came to nothing, despite my finances being checked all the way back to 1991. It began because organised criminals I was rigorously investigating, in my role as Head of Economic Crime, maliciously informed my WYP colleagues that I was corrupt. After 28 years exemplary service I became the suspect. My friends and police colleagues were used against me in, so called, Force “integrity tests”.