Cops framed musician with cannabis find'
PUBLISHED: 16:22 09 September 2009 | UPDATED: 11:03 23 August 2010
TWO police officers were caught out trying to frame a musician for possession of cannabis when he secretly taped his arrest, a court heard. PC Wayne Campbell, 41, from Cliffe, and PS Marcus Garvey, 44, from Abbey Wood, allegedly lied about finding the dr
TWO police officers were caught out trying to frame a musician for possession of cannabis when he secretly taped his arrest, a court heard.
PC Wayne Campbell, 41, from Cliffe, and PS Marcus Garvey, 44, from Abbey Wood, allegedly lied about finding the drug in Benjamin Thacker's pocket during a raid.
Both appeared at the Old Bailey on Monday charged with one count of 'doing acts tending or intended to pervert the course of public justice.'
Mr Thacker, a squatter, was cleared of possessing the class C drug after the dictaphone recording was played at his trial at Greenwich Magistrates Court in March last year.
A police community support officer, Stefanie Loftus, 23, is said to have colluded with the cops over the incident, at a squat in the Ferrier Estate, Kidbrooke, south east London, on January 26 last year.
Claire Howell, prosecuting, said the trio, based at Eltham police station, sledge-hammered the door down, dragged Mr Thacker outside, discovered cannabis inside the property, then pretended they had pulled it out of his pocket.
The barrister said: "Mr Thacker is not in the police. He is someone who smokes cannabis and squats in empty properties.
"He is someone who these three officers thought did not matter, who these three officers thought no one would believe."
Previously PS Garvey had stopped and searched the accused for smelling of cannabis and had also removed him from the squat and gave him a warning for a class C drug.
It is claimed on the day of the search Mr Thacker refused to let the police in, believing he had a legal right to squat. PS Garvey then used a sledge-hammer to get in, dragged Mr Thacker outside and upon discovering cannabis in the property claimed it was found in his pocket.
Prosecuting Ms Howell told the jury they would hear a recording of the whole incident and a 999 call the victim made.
Holding up an exhibit inside a bag, the prosecutor added: "This is a small voice recording device.
"He is a musician and often records music on this device. On this occasion he recorded what was happening to him."
Talking about Mr Thacker's trial, she added: 'Garvey and Campbell were called to give evidence. The recording was played. The case was stopped and this prosecution commenced."
The case continues.