Say­ers not sin­gled out by po­lice, in­sists chief

Sunday Sun - - News - By Katie Dick­in­son Re­porter katie.dick­in­son@reach­

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

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