Justice for Terry Smith - SOCA Tampered with GPS Data to Secure Conviction
Miscarriages of justice comes in all shapes and sizes and the police are always on the lookout for new and innovative ways to bring about a wrongful conviction. For instance, we have all seen or experienced the traditional suppression of disclosure which crucially points away from the accused. Similarly, we have also seen the introduction of evidence by the trial judge that never should have seen the light of day in a courtroom as it is highly prejudicial to the accused. The most recent ploy, however, is the relatively modern ruse of police experts tampering with GPS tracker systems in order to improve the case of the Crown and suggest the accused has been caught out by digital technology.
A prime example of this occurred in May 2010 when its alleged by the Crown that five fishermen (5 Men a 104 Years) based on the Isle of Wight were in the middle of the English Channel collecting holdalls of cocaine deposited into the sea by a passing Brazillain ship called the Oriane. More significantly, its alleged the fishing vessel, the Galwad-y-Mor slowly motored in the wake of the Oriane during a Force 8 gale to retrieve the contraband. As anyone who has been caught in a Force 8 gale will tell you, the Greek god of the seas, Poseidon himself would have had trouble retrieving the contraband in such atrocious stormy conditions. It is further alleged, with the £53m haul of cocaine on board, the fishermen returned to the shoreline of the Isle of Wight where it dumped the holdalls overboard in shallow waters to be collected later. Unbeknownst to the fishermen, its alleged this activity was recorded by SOCA surveillance officers who made notes in an observation log to that effect, out of sequence. The holdalls were discovered by lobster fishermen the next day.
SOCA officers faced a major problem, however, as when the GPS tracking systems of the Oriane and the Gafwad-y-Mor were compared before trial, they found the Galwad-y-Mor (Olex GPS system) could not be placed in the wake of the Oriane and the tide at the time would have taken the alleged holdalls away from the Galwad-y-Mor not towards it. In fact, the nearest the fishing vessel had come to the Oriane was 170 feet, not close enough to retrieve the contraband. At trial the crew accepted that they had dumped old bait and rubbish overboard as is the norm before returning to port. Alas this was not enough to convince the jury and the fishermen, who were all "straight-goers" were wrongly convicted and sentence between 24 and 14 years' imprisonment respectively. Immediately, an Appeal against Conviction was lodged and subsequently dismissed in 2012.
Bizarrely, it was not the remorseless sea that took these hardworking men away from their families; it was the man-made plague and menace of police corruption and dishonesty. All looked lost until a specialist Appeal lawyer Emily Bolton took on the case and invited an independent GPS expert to interrogate the memory of the Olex GPS system of the Galwad-y-Mor. What the expert found was mind-blowing.
The SOCA GPS operative had accessed the Olex GPS systems on several occasions without informing the defence; it alleged the SOCA operative had clumsily tried to "clone" a copy of the Olex GPS hard-drive to alter internal databases and clock to make it chime with the Crown's theory about the case. More notably, the SOCA operative had left behind "an electronic fingerprint" of the tampering which suggests the crew of the Galwad-y-Mor were being framed for the offence. The fresh evidence is further bolstered by the fact that the fishing vessel could not have dumped the holdalls in the shallow waters as the water was only 6 feet deep and the vessel would have run aground at the dumpsite.
According to the lawyers of Jamie Green, Scott Birtwistle, Jonathan Beere, Danny Payne and Zoran Dresic, fresh evidence has been lodged with the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) who possess the authority to refer the case back to the Court of Appeal. The extra-Appeal process is fraught with problems, however, as given the state of the Criminal Justice System, not surprisingly the CCRC are swamped with potential miscarriages of justice and are deprived of resources to investigate the cases in a proper and timely manner. As a result, the CCRC have become the laughing stock of the prison system. The mere mention of the acronym CCRC is followed 'with heavy sighs of hopelessness and despair.
This is not the first time SOCA have tampered with GPS systems to secure a wrongful conviction, however, as it happened to me! Yes, SOCA officers tendered falsified observation logs and Data Track (GPS) records at my trials on 28 February 2008 that I was following a specific Loomis cash-in-transit (CIT) vehicle with the intention of robbing it. Inexplicably, a small army of surveillance officers including SOCA detectives failed to record the index number of the specific Loomis CIT vehicle (BW04SZX) proclaiming that the opportunity to record the index did not avail itself and the SOCA/Loomis operatives had inserted GPS pushpin markers on Data Track documents to say I followed the Loomis vehicle along the A128 towards Brentwood, Essex, when it was elsewhere in' Essex at the relevant time!
As with the Galwad-y-Mor, the unlawful amendment of positional data was orchestrated to improve the Crown's case and castigate the accused as "an absolute liar" in front of the jury. On the basis of the GPS fabrications, the trial transformed into a lions versus Christians slaughter. My wife wept profusely as I was led away to serve an IPP/life sentence of imprisonment with a minimum tariff of 12-years for a man-made offence that does not exist. As I left the dock of the court I shouted: 'I have not committed these offences. I do not recognise the sentence as the offence does not exist. How can I. be guilty of conspiring to rob a specific Loomis CIT vehicle when GPS records were tampered with to look like I was guilty of the offence.
Post-wrongful conviction, we learn the clumsy insertion of GPS pushpin markers on the falsified SOCA/Loomis documents are, amongst other things, riddled with Time, Speed and Distance anomalies and inconsistencies that are screaming out loudly for an independent GPS expert to examine the material and produce a report on the inserted data. I wholeheartedly believe the SOCA/Loomis documents/maps were clumsily compiled on a non-Loomis system as not only was the data out of sync with the SOCA observation logs, but they even contained several incorrect spellings of a road leading to major Sainsbury Superstore. A recognised Road Atlas on an authentic computer system simply would not make such elementary errors.
With what seemed the last throw of the dice, in November 2014 I contacted Loomis HQ and furnished them with a copy of the falsified documents and urged them to compare them with the documents on their systems in order to endorse their authenticity. Not surprisingly, I was informed: "These records no longer exist and therefore no comparison can be made." (Ms Baxter, Loomis UK Ltd, 28 November 2014). What is astounding, where were defence counsel when we were on trial for these GPS anomalies? Why did defence counsel not seek. the services of an independent GPS/document expert to examine and analyze these GPS tracking anomalies at the time? More especially, as there was a lengthy break between the trial and retrial (the first jury could not agree).
Most scandalously, why am I still sitting in a prison cell over eight (8) years later waiting for these clearly falsified GPS documents to be professionally examined and analyzed?
If you are genuinely outraged by this Miscarriage of Justice and believe that you have the suitable ability and nous to examine and analyze these patently false GPS documents and associated computer produced Route Time Sheet documents, please get in touch and I will send you a copy forthwith as we cannot allow unscrupulous SOCA detectives to get away with this time and time again!
Just like the crew of the Galwad-y-Mor, I desperately need your help and assistance to expose the GPS fit-up by SOCA at my trials. Small wonder Essex SOCA were disbanded after my wrongful conviction and subsequent formal complaint to the IPCC, Professional Standards Departments which was unlawfully squashed in 2011.
Strength and Honour as always!
Terry G.M. Smith
HMP Swaleside Sheerness
28th September 2016
Terry Smith - Convicted of a Crime That Does Not Exist
Sadly, it is no revelation to say that the Police often manufacture evidence during investigations. Nor that the Police often convince a jury to convict an innocent man. But what is at the extreme end of evil, is when the Police deliberately concoct an entire crime, denounce the defendant as "an absolute liar," deliberately suppress disclosure documents that confirms the suspect's innocence, and then present a distorted account of crime and evidence on a National Crime programme in order to justify and validate the bogus conviction. I know that this narrative sounds like something from the latest Dan Brown thriller, but its' true, as it happened to me.
The nightmare ordeal started back in May 2008, when I was working as a high profile, crime writer and TV consultant. Armed Police stormed my idyllic family home in the backwaters of Essex and arrested me as a possible suspect for seven cash-in-transit (C-I-T) robberies in east London and south Essex between 2000- 2008. The principal offence being the callous shooting of a have-a-go-commuter during a cash-box robbery at Rayleigh Train Station, Essex, in May 2007.
Apparently, the robbers had left a wealth of evidence behind at the scene of the crimes, including DNA, fingerprints, CCTV, handwriting, telephone evidence, but not one iota of this incriminating evidence was directly linked to me.
At one stage during the protracted, media-driven, multi-million pound Police enquiry, my name was added to, then completely erased from a hot list of 148 suspects. (see CrimeWatchSolved 01/09/2010).
Evidently, upon arrest, however, an executive Police decision was taken to build a case around me based upon significant DNA evidence that implicated three others in the offences, one of them my elder brother (54) who was subsequently acquitted at trial.
Historically, there is no dispute that I possess all the necessary ingredients to generate a routine conviction. I was a former armed robber --- last conviction 24 years ago. I had dramatically escaped from a prison van --- 26 years ago. In the meantime I had published a string of true crime books with a central theme of armed robbery. I had wished the £53 million Tonbridge robbers every success on BBC Newsnight. I had even described myself as a "Robbologist" on business cards. So there were no prizes for novelty, when two retired Essex detectives repeatedly put forward the names of my blemish-free, undergraduate son and I for these repugnant and repellent crimes.
Bolt onto this, the recent controversial changes to the Law, it dictated I was a man of Bad Character, with an inherent propensity to lie, whereby it would take a brave jury to acquit me even without hearing any evidence.
But therein lies the difficulty, however, as there was no evidence to directly link me to the crimes, only evidence that there was no evidence. Naturally, this was not good enough for the police, as they had to construct and consolidate their case against me.
This is not surprising, considering I am not a 6 foot, 2 inch, ginger-haired man; a good-looking, blond-haired man with a goatee beard; nor a mixed raced getaway driver. Inevitably, by VIPER Parade number 20, the Police objective was achieved when an ultra-convinced and convincing male witness stated that he observed me torching a getaway vehicle at the end of a cul-de- sac in Rayleigh, Essex.
There were fundamental problems, however, as the male witness originally described the suspect as a short, "Black-haired, 5 foot, inch tall, Indian Man" which is substantively at variance with my description: a salt-and-peppered haired, 5 foot, 10 inch tall, white European male.
More absurdly, under cross-examination the witness stated that he could not recall the facial features of the suspect from a distance of 50 metres, best view for 5 seconds.
The putative identification was further undermined by the real possibly of "innocent contamination" as the convinced witness had agreed that he had seen National TV News programmes on which I had appeared as a crime consultant before the Viper Identification Parades.
In a desperate effort to bolster this highly controversial, possibly assisted identification, I suggest, the prosecution stated there was a similarity between the way the getaway driver entered the vehicle at Rayleigh Train Station and the way I entered a vehicle head first.
When in fact, poor quality CCTV footage of the scene indicated the getaway driver entered the vehicle head first out of necessity to open the front passenger door for the accomplice who was approaching the vehicle with a pistol in one hand and a cash-box in the other. As a result, I demanded that a Forensic Digital Imagery Expert examine this evidence and he concluded that it was "of very little value" and "meaningless".
More confusingly, there is no dispute that I possess a pronounced leg impediment obtained in a serious Road Traffic Accident in the 1980s. Yet the sole evidence of a suspect with limp in the seven robberies occurred at the Rayleigh offence when the gunman obtained a fresh leg injury after a violent impact with a commuter and was seen limping to the getaway vehicle. The Crown state that the gunman was not me! Absurdly, it was alleged I was the short "Indian Man" observed walking around normally at the cul-de-sac in Rayleigh. What utter nonsense!
Such low-grade, extremely circumspect evidence, was enough to keep me in custody-for two trials. But this was contrary to other resolute evidence where the alleged gunman --- not me --- was heard to shout to his accomplice at the cul-de-sac, "Come on, Jason, come on!" And other authentic, corroborative alibi evidence which placed me at the time of the offence, 10 miles away at home, looking after my seven-year-old son, during a Teacher's Training Day, while my wife went to work.
By any standard, I suggest, the detectives on the enquiy team were far from satisfied with this inconsistent and contradictory evidence and sought to artificially consolidate it in other unlawful ways. The opportunity came when many months after the Rayleigh offence. I was observed by a joint British Transport Police (BTP) and Essex SOCA surveillance team, consisting of 20-plus officers, looking at an old-type, Loomis C-I-T van in Basildon, Essex.
Indeed, I do not dispute this evidence, as I told the court that I was conducting lawful research work for a commissioned true crime book, entitled: Blagger's Inc: Britain's Biggest Armed Robberies, later published. The fourth chapter which focused upon C-I-T robberies.
The prosecution tried to claim that this was a 'carefully crafted defence', but not only was there no crime committed whilst under police observation the defence was corroborated bye Emails and more crucially a visit to a Reference Library to research an old-type, C-I-T van that was successfully attacked at Barking, Essex, in 1996.
The Police having got wind of this genuine, lawful explanation for seemingly criminal activity, I propose, prepared concocted evidence in rebuttal, whereby they unlawfully switched the old type, Loomis van for a newer Loomis model in order to denounce and denigrate my evidence as "a Big Fat lie" and also me as "an absolute liar". This was because the new, unlawfully switched Loomis van was not relevant to my lawful research work.
Despite the Crown producing official-looking Data Track (DT) and Computer Produced Route Time Sheet (CPRTS) documents from the Security Company which suggests the new Loomis van was present, the jury became increasingly sceptical when the index number of the new, switched vehicle was not recorded in the Police contemporaneous observation logs.
Nor was there any alleged criminal activity captured on the police hand-held video and photographic equipment available and operational one hour prior to the alleged criminal behaviour.
Nor was there any urban, civic or Law Enforcement CCTV footage of the new, switched, Loomis van available. Not even the vehicle leaving the Loomis depot at 09:13 hours that day.
More bizarrely, nor was there any police archive Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) data of the new, switched, Loomis van travelling along the dedicated 98.9 mile route and road network throughout Essex that day.
Outraged, during my testimony, I called the new, switched, Loomis vehicle, "A Ghost Van!" As inexplicably, there were no human or technological sightings of the vehicle on the road network in 'Essex at all.
Even more astonishing, I suggest, the Data track records were at variance with the CPRTS documents, as at two specific locations --- Basildon and Brentwood --- it placed the crew inside the van, motoring along at 22 khp and 26 khp respectively while simultaneously in the ATM bunkers replenishing the cash machines.
In another glaring discrepancy, according to the same computerized documents, the alleged new Loomis van completed the 98.9 Mile specified route in 5 hours, 27 minutes, but when compared to the AA (2 hours, 43 minutes) and the RAC (2 hours, 28 minutes) travel time estimations, there is a massive comparative difference.
Other data taken from the same documents reveal the new Loomis van travelled from Brentwood to Colchester, Essex, (34 miles) in 89 minutes, average speed 23 mph. Similarly, Colchester back to Rayleigh, Essex, (39.5 miles) in 98 minutes, average speed 24 mph.
And lastly, the new Loomis van travelled the total route with an average speed of 18 mph. In short, I suggest, these fabricated DT and CPRTS documents are asking us to believe the unbelievable, that the alleged~ new Loomis van motored along fast-flowing, 50-70 mph, dual carriageways, i.e. A12, A130 and A127 at these dangerously low speeds. And no one saw it or recorded the vehicle??? Small wonder the jury in the first trial refused to believe this grade A bunkum and a retrial was ordered.
Not that the retrial was any different. This time the prosecution called my truthful testimony "A Whopper Lie" and erected evidential no-go-zones.
First of all, I suggest, there was an alleged Breach of Code D, in relation to VIPER Identification Procedures linked to the absurd "short Indian Man" identification by a female identification officer. Despite the Breach being captured on CCTV in the VIPER Suite, the female I.D. officer could not attend court to give evidence due to a pre-planned medical operation to remove a cyst from her mouth. This deprived the defence of the opportunity to cross-examine the witness who the prosecution had conceded had committed an earlier Breach during another suspicious "positive" identification which was dismissed by the trial judge.
Secondly, further documentary disclosure was sought from the Security Company in order to establish and confirm the true identity of the Loomis C-I-T van on the road that day, but the Security Personnel at Loomis --- believed to be ex-senior detectives --- refused to place the required documents in the public domain, whereas other documents that were disclosable in the previous trial were shredded during an untimely "weeding process".
And thirdly, a senior Essex ANPR Police Inspector was tendered who stated that there were no ANPR hits on the new Loomis van because there were no ANPR sites on the 98.9 mile route that the switched Loomis van had allegedly taken.
The defence, however, had found a genuine ANPR site/camera on the route, A130 Rettendon By-pass, Essex. But after an urgent adjournment, this was declared to be an Essex County Council (ECC) ANPR camera which retains the data for a Journey Time Monitoring Systems for two hours and is archived off into an unrecoverable format.
A recent Freedom of Information Act request to ECC has confirmed that all ECC ANPR data is indeed used for the monitoring of journey times, but is simultaneously stored on the local Police. "Back Office Facility" ANPR database for Two Years, which dictates that it was available at the trial, and I suggest, deliberately suppressed under a cloak of secrecy and lies.
Presently, I am being legally represented by a new, specialist Appeal lawyer, Maslen Merchant, pro bono, in the public interest. Recent research has discovered that all local Police Force ANPR data is simultaneously stored on the National ANPR Data Centre (NADC) centralized database at Hendon, north London for five years.
Hence archive ANPR data of the new, "unlawfully switched" Loomis van is STILL AVAILABLE and if disclosed would completely exonerate me of this concocted crime. The NADC, however, state that they only "process" the ANPR data for the "owners", i.e. the 43 signatory police Forces and refuse disclose the data we seek.
Repeated written request to the "owners", Essex Police, have been summarily dismissed, disregarded and finally diverted to BTP, who I claim, were the venal architects of the outrageous fit-up.
More bizarrely, why would Essex Police pass on a legitimate ANPR disclosure request to an external police force (BTP) for them to re-contact the "owners" of the ANPR data (Essex Police) for the same information?
I will tell you why, because BTP have recently disclosed the ANPR data we seek has been "weeded," deleted from the local Essex Police ANPR database. This was in spite of specific instructions from my solicitor seven months earlier to retain the data.
More disturbingly, a formal complaint from me to the IPCC/Essex Police was "temporarily overlooked" until the deletion was complete and the IPCC/Essex Police are to conduct an investigation now that the ANPR data has been wiped clean from the Police database.
It seems from the very outset I urged the prosecution from the witness box to obtain the ANPR data on the vehicles of interest at trial that would clear me, there has been an illegal blockade of the ANPR system and now we have reached the stage where the local Police ANPR database has been wiped clean of the data we seek.
I have considered an approach to the CCRC in order to obtain the same data from the National ANPR centralized database at Hendon, but the more direct legal avenue of a Judicial Review appears to be the answer. But, I claim, if BTP disclosure officers have anything to do with this legal process, whose to say they won't mislead, distort and fabricate the ANPR disclosure replies as they have done before?
Moreover, as is often. the case, the subsequent police cover-up of the concocted crime, I propose, has become more important than the original fit-up. For if it were publicly exposed it would have far-reaching legal implications for the masterminds of the most gross and deliberate miscarriage of justice in recent British criminal history.
Not surprisingly, in an act of desperation to justify and legitimize the wrongful conviction, in September 2011, the BTP profiled the case on the BBC TV Crime Programme called: "Catch Me If You Can" (broadcast" 06/09/20) in relation to the criminal activities of alleged armed robbers.
In a master-class of misrepresentation and spin, the programme producer Reconstructed Actual CCTV footage of an unidentified and unidentifiable getaway driver at Rayleigh, not only to look like me, but also attributed a limp to the suspect, which was factually incorrect and not evidence in the original CCTV footage nor the two trials.
All in all, it is inconceivable that I am caged in a top security prison serving a de facto, indeterminate Life prison sentence for a crime that 'Could Not' and 'does Not Exist'.
Moreover, that I was misidentified by an eyewitness that could not recall facial features of the suspect, yet somehow, managed to identify someone of a different height, colour, race and and physical capablility over one year later.
Even more inconceivable, the Police are forever crowing about ANPR technology as being "a revolutionary tool in the detection and prevention of crime," but when it can be used immediately to resolve a genuinely hideous miscarriage of justice, it pulls up the drawbridge of public access until it can delete the information. This cannot be right at any level.
Finally, if you have any practical suggestions or solutions that may resolve this ANPR/ID fiasco, please contact either, myself Terry Smith at HMP Whitemoor,or Maslen Merchant @ Hadgkiss, Hughes & Beales Solicitors, 83 Alcester Road, Moseley, Birmingham, B13 8EB or MOJUK.