Former Lancashire Chief Constable Andy Rhodes is awaiting the decision by the IOPC on how he will be investigated for a criminal offence.
Former Chief Constable Andy Rhodes brought a civil application against Mr Ponting to prevent him from blogging about alleged wrongdoing committed by officers in Lancashire police.
Within the Chief Constables civil application, it was discovered that a female Lancashire police officer, DC Harrison, had fabricated a criminal offence against Mr Ponting and submitted it in her signed statement of truth.
DC Harrison said she ‘Jumped at the chance‘ to write a statement against Mr Ponting. Now her statement has now been shown to be Perjury, contrary to Section 1 of the Perjury Act 1911.
This is on the basis that it is false and DC Harrison (and Lancashire police) have refused to provide any material to support the false statement or more importantly, material that they know would discredit her statement.
Lancashire police have been invited on several occasions to provide evidence, but they have refused. Their reasoning was that anything they provide would be used to further a complaint against DC Harrison? (no shit sherlock!)
Being that perjury is a criminal offence, this falsification of a witness statement by DC Harrison was reported to Lancashire police. This was done well in advance of any civil proceedings.
Lancashire police responded to this criminal report, saying that the alleged perjured evidence will not be investigated and that the police intended to submit and ‘test‘ the perjured evidence in civil proceedings!
In a nutshell, Lancashire police refused to investigate a criminal offence, and this is because it would have hampered their civil application against Mr Ponting by discrediting their ‘star witness‘, DC Harrison.
Mr Ponting had successfully sued Lancashire police for £2,000, for a previous unlawful arrest and detention by DC Harrison and Mr Ponting had recently been acquitted of a criminal offence where another police officer witness, Sgt Ormiston lied to magistrates about using his foot against Mr Ponting. Check out the video of Sgt Ormiston… using his foot.
As you would expect, Lancashire police won their application against Mr Ponting. Mr Ponting didn’t stand a chance as he was battling against police officers openly lying in court.
This was not helped by the fact that the judge, QC David Knifton is a police defence barrister in his day job and he intentionally disallowed evidence that would have further discredited DC Harrison who lied about a medical condition that she falsely attributed to Mr Ponting.
Mr Ponting had an audio recording of Lancashire police Superintendent Eddie Thistlethwaite that confirmed that DC Harrison was ‘very ill‘ and that her illness was nothing to do with Mr Ponting and that her sickness related to a raging argument she had had with her Inspector, after which, she went off ill for 12 months.
Knowing this recording would discredit DC Harrison (their witness), the prosecution, Lee Bonner sought the permission of QC Knifton to have it excluded from Mr Pontings submitted evidence. Lee Bonner knowingly failed in his duty of candour to the court process. DC Harrison stated on oath that her illness was attributed to Mr Ponting but she refused to allow any disclosure of her medical evidence to substantiate her claim which will in fact show she lied.
Mr Ponting is now prohibited from ‘insulting‘ Lancashire police, something that was never his intention.
After the trial, Mr Ponting made a complaint about the Chief Constable for knowingly bringing a civil application against him using known perjured evidence.
The complaint was taken to Clive Grunshaw, the then OPCC (Police And Crime Commissioner). On behalf of the OPCC, Ian Dickinson made the decision NOT to investigate claims that the Chief Constable allowed perjured evidence to be used in a civil court even though there is substantial evidence to support the allegation.
Perjury is a criminal offence, therefore Perjury allegations are tested in the criminal courts, not during a civil application, especially by a biased judge.
The decision made by the OPCC not to investigate the Chief Constable was taken to the IOPC who immediate overruled the decision (upholding Mr Ponting’s appeal) and they insisted that Chief Constable Andy Rhodes should be investigated.
In a surprise twist, Ian Dickinson on behalf of the OPCC refused to investigate.
Instead, Dickinson passed it back to the IOPC who have, for many months, been figuring out what the hell to do. They have confirmed that Chief Constable Andy Rhodes will be investigated, just not how.
On 24th September, Mr Ponting received the following email from Clara Harriott of the IOPC confirming that the Method/Mode of Investigation (MOI) is being decided.
Dear Mr Ponting,
Thank you for the emails you have sent to the casework team/assessment unit. I can confirm that your case is now with me for decision, with Alan having made a recommendation in relation to the mode of investigation (MOI).
I now need to review the information before making the final MOI decision.
As I am aware there are some complexities around the case I will need to take some time to consider the information, including any background information and previous decisions. At this time I cannot give you an exact timeframe for when it will be complete, however I will provide you with an update by Wednesday next week.
I understand you may be frustrated with the length of time we have had the case, and I apologise for the delay. However I am sure you will appreciate that we do need to ensure all of the relevant information/facts are considered before the decision is made. Unfortunately this can be a lengthy a process.
The only complexities, in this case, are that this is a criminal allegation against a Chief Constable and that it was a clear, force-wide decision to target Mr Ponting and that they used public money to do so and refused to investigate a criminal offence.
Mr Ponting received no updates as promised the following Wednesday and has chased the decision from the IOPC on a regular basis.
In the last IOPC response on 3/11/2021, Clara Harriott, on behalf of the IOPC, said;
Dear Mr Ponting
Unfortunately the decision will not be ready today as it is still under assessment. I’m sorry that I am unable to provide a more meaningful update at this stage, however I will continue to keep you updated on a weekly basis. I don’t want to commit to a date that the decision will be ready in case it’s not, however I will update you again this time next week. If I am able to provide an update or decision before then, then I will do. Once again apologies for the delay and thank you for your patience.
The decision is how the investigation will take place. Being a decision, it will be subject to Judicial Review if it is an unreasonable decision.