Page last updated Monday 30th September 2013 at 2200hrs
Behind the ceremonial pomp and grand air of respectability of West Yorkshire Police Band lies a number of dark secrets that these particular players are keen to conceal. Amongst the silverware and music sheets lurk a number of crooks and perverts who appear to use their position in the Band as leverage for protection from disciplinary or criminal sanction.
Established in 1974 and now styled in the traditional Brass Band format for which the mining villages of the area is famous, WYPB was originally composed solely of serving police officers. The Band, which appears all around the country for charitable organisations in concerts and parades, now also draws from the wider police family, retired police officers and, even, members of the public.
First on the stage to receive his badge of dishonour is solo baritone Mike Percival, more widely known as the Force Solicitor in West Yorkshire Police. The fact that Percival is still employed at all by a police force is remarkable in itself given his propensity for lack of professionalism, dishonesty and covering up for criminal police officers. His most recent exploits in Leeds High Court stand best testimony to that when a police sergeant gave evidence on oath to the effect that Percival had coerced him to give false testimony in a civil claim brought by former police officer Kashif Ahmed (full story of that case can be read by clicking here). There were a number of other professional practice breaches involved in that case, that uPSD are aware of, and that are now the subject of formal complaint. Percival was also at the heart of the defence of the criminal police officers escaping sanction in the nationally-known Operation Douglas scandal. Read more by clicking here. As many as eighteen police officers committed offences, some of them very serious such as perjury and perverting the court of justice yet none even faced disciplinary proceedings let alone a court of law. A recent Freedom of Information request concerning the number of complaints received by the Force against Percival has been stonewalled by the Force which relies on a Section 40 (5) exemption when it is plainly in the public interest for this information to be shared.
The singing solicitor is joined in the band by his wife, Julia Percival, a Second Cornet. Two of their children are also occasional singers/players.
Another seriously dodgy cop has recently left the Band in mysterious circumstances after sustained publicity about his criminal activities. Horn-playing Sergeant David Oldroyd was at the heart of the fitting-up of fellow police officer, Danny Major, who went to prison for a crime he didn’t commit. The full story of how Oldroyd was prepared to perjure himself on oath can be read by clicking here. Suffice it to say that not a single jury member at Bradford Crown Court believed him.
Oldroyd also has the dubious distinction of being reported for sexually abusing his own child by none other than his wife at the time, Adele. Herself a West Yorkshire Police employee. The case was, incredibly, investigated by none other than convicted paedophile detective, Michael Vause. Read more on Vause and other police sex abusers by clicking here.
West Yorkshire Police Band has declined to comment on the sudden departure of Oldroyd from their troupe, as have West Yorkshire Police on his removal from the Neighbourhood Police Team at Killingbeck/Seacroft. uPSD understand that he has been placed on restricted duties pending the Greater Manchester Police investigation into the Danny Major miscarriage of justice. His place in the Band remains unfilled, according to their website.
Second Euphonium and Assistant Band Manager, Simon Marshall, is a big lad and needs to be to handle the Euph (picture top right). As a Huddersfield based constable who joined the police in 2007 he also had no trouble manhandling diminutive, well-known local businessman Steve Bradbury to the ground as he was peaceably going about his business near the town’s police station. It was an unprovoked assault by Marshall that was preceded by an American cop style slewing of his police vehicle across a main road. The case is still being ‘investigated’ by West Yorkshire Police but is hampered, as ever, by ‘missing’ CCTV and the involvement of the perennially dishonest PSD detective, DI Damian Carr and the aforementioned Percival. For more details on the Bradbury assault read here.
More to follow……