Sayers not singled out by police, insists chief
A SENIOR cop has denied John Henry Sayers’s claims he can “never” get fair treatment at the hands of Northumbria Police, saying he is “no different from any other member of the community”.
The 54-year-old has been cleared by a jury of ordering the drive-by shooting outside Tup Tup Palace nightclub in June 2015.
But on Friday he was sentenced to three years and six months in prison for perverting the course of justice by getting convicted murderer Michael McDougall to confess to the crime himself after the two met in prison.
Judge Mark Lucraft QC said he had taken into account the 18 months he had already spent on remand.
Throughout the twomonth trial at the Old Bailey in London, jurors heard details of a troubled history between Sayers and Northumbria Police – starting when he was just six years old and working on the then-illegal family fruit barrows in Newcastle’s West End.
Giving evidence in his own defence, Sayers accused the force of “fitting him up” on numerous occasions, claiming, “honesty doesn’t come into Northumbria Police when they’re dealing with me.”
But the force’s Head of Crime, Detective Chief Superintendent Lisa Orchard, said there was “no evidence” to support his claims.
She said: “John Henry Sayers has used that defence for various different cases so it was something we were expecting in this one.
“But during the whole trial, at no point has there been any evidence given by his defence team to identify any corruption.
“I’m content the investigation team did a thorough investigation, diligently and with integrity.
“These allegations are very easy to make but there hasn’t been any evidence to demonstrate that they’re true.”
During the trial, Sayers took to the stand for three days. He claimed Northumbria Police was “corrupt” and used him as an “example of what you get” for refusing to work with them. Jurors heard he had spent most of his adult life in and out of custody, while at that point only having two convictions.
In one case, Sayers claimed police kept him on remand charged with rape “knowing he couldn’t have been the person who did it” before the charges were discontinued. And on a 2008 jury-nobbling trial that collapsed when the prosecution failed to disclose key evidence, he told the court it “proved without a shadow of a doubt how corrupt they were towards me”.
Sayers also maintained his innocence for his 1990 armed robbery conviction, saying he was convicted “on perjured evidence”.
But Det Chief Supt Orchard said: “All people who are charged with offences have a defence – John Henry Sayers uses the defence that Northumbria Police are corrupt.
“John Henry Sayers is no different from any other member of the community – if there’s any intelligence which indicates someone is involved in criminal activity, we will put it before a court of law.
“I have complete confidence in my officers that they deal with things ethically.” DETECTIVE CHIEF SUPERINTENDENT LISA ORCHARD