Sunday, July 29, 2007

UK: Killer denies corrupt police link

Gunn is accused of using a corrupt detective to evade police

Killer denies corrupt police link

A convicted killer from Nottingham has gone on trial accused of using a corrupt detective to get sensitive police intelligence.
Colin Gunn, 40, is already serving a life sentence for conspiring to murder Lincolnshire couple John and Joan Stirland, Birmingham Crown Court heard.
The prosecution said the jury needed to know about the previous conviction to help them understand the case.
Gunn was not in court having sacked his legal team. He has denied the charge.
'Sinister attempt'
Opening the case on Thursday, Graham Wood QC, prosecuting, said the trial was about "a sinister attempt by a man who sees himself above the law to steal a march on law enforcers".
It is alleged Gunn used an intermediary to contact a corrupt detective, Charles Fletcher.
Colin Gunn was at the apex of a complex pyramid of individuals, most of whom have already admitted their responsibility in obtaining ... police intelligence
Graham Wood, QC
Fletcher was jailed in 2006 after he admitted making regular searches of police computers for information that the prosecution said would help Gunn lay low.
The jury was told that Gunn sent orders to Fletcher through Jason Grocock - a friend and associate who ran Limey's clothing store in Nottingham city centre.
Grocock would then send Gunn's demands to Fletcher, 27, who had worked in the shop before joining Nottinghamshire Police as a trainee detective constable in 2001.
Fletcher, Grocock, and Phillip Parr, another Nottinghamshire Pc have already admitted their part in the conspiracy.
"The prosecution say that in this conspiracy of corrupt practice, he, Colin Gunn, was at the apex of a complex pyramid of individuals, most of whom have already admitted their responsibility in obtaining and disseminating police intelligence," Mr Wood said.
The jury was told that Gunn claimed in police interviews the searches were done without his knowledge.
Murdered jeweller
The court heard that Gunn first allegedly sought information the day after Michael O'Brien - Joan Stirland's son - shot dead Marvyn Bradshaw in a Nottingham car park in August 2003.
His requests allegedly picked up pace in August 2004, the month the Stirlands were killed, and continued into 2005.
The prosecution also allege that Gunn was behind searches made by Fletcher into intelligence surrounding the murder of Nottingham jeweller Marian Bates.
Mrs Bates, the jury heard, was shot dead during a robbery at the Time Centre in Arnold, Nottingham on 1 October 2003.
Gunn, the court was told, had a particular interest in this high-profile investigation as he was once suspected of involvement in the robbery.
At one point detectives also discovered two sheets of paper containing seven intelligence reports about Gunn at his mother's address which, Mr Wood alleged, had been passed from Fletcher to Gunn, through Grocock.
The trial continues.
Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2007/07/19 17:31:23 GMT

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