"The victim was made to feel as bad as the perpetrators, and that can't be right"

As time has gone on, and the police response becomes more and more 'bizarre', there has been a tendency for this site to get a bit messy and disconnected. I have tried to chop off some stuff into an 'archive', while now starting off with something I wrote in response to a radio program in 2016, which condenses a lot of my thoughts (although that article now has been relegated to second place). Below this article, this page then proceeds as it did originally - a while back now


My first experience of terrorism was when my tutor from University, Peter Rowe, was killed in the Yemen in an operation which is generally considered to be the work of Abu Hamza.

My second, more indirect, experience was when I was prosecuted by the Portsmouth Police for harassing someone who latterly wrote on Twitter what a great guy Abu Hamza is.

View some of the above-mentioned Twitter messages

This prosecution proceeded because I was bamboozled by the police. Furthermore, the lawyer (from Rowe Sparkes, appointed to me by the police) was poor - and over-riding all this was the knowledge that pleading not guilty would result in this person finding out my new address, and all that implied.

It soon became apparent that ‘my lawyer’ had not taken too much notice of what was going on, and since then I have been trying to find out what I have exactly I did to break the law. My desperation even led me to give the police 300 pounds to be used as expenses in giving me this information. The police just kept the money, and did nothing. The law firm involved, Rowe Sparkes, said they would not help because they do not deal with cases like mine

This case has rather unforeseen consequences – it appears to have taken my life off me. I no longer get interviews from job applications and I have to work as a postmen, a job I find soul-destroying.

I think my story has of interest to the public at large as an example of how easy it is to fall foul of the police – to be more precise how easy it is to be prosecuted despite being the victim, and how easy it is for stories to grow with the telling.

The saga had an almost ‘Hollywood’ beginning (e.g see ‘Single White Female’), with the introduction of a new tenant into the bedsitter property in which I was living at the time, a tenant who appeared quite ‘naïve’ but otherwise quite friendly.

After a period of maybe a year, this situation deteriorated such that he eventually hit me three times. The third time, he hit me directly in the eye so hard that I ended up flat on my back. I genuinely thought for a few moments that I had lost my eye, an effect exaggerated by the fact that my contact lens was sent down the side of my eye from where it was retrieved in hospital.

The direct reasons for these assaults were not obvious at all. There were ‘tensions’ resulting from the fact that he was far from being the most intelligent person I have ever met and from the fact that he was the most bone-idle person I have ever met – he essentially refused point-blank to clear up after himself, he refused to take the rubbish bags out etc. etc. etc. etc……… And there were problems w.r.t. things that can only put down to his mental health, e.g. defrosting the freezer would cause him to throw a wobbly.

This other party was unemployed. He hardly ever went out, but just sat in front of his TV all day, every day. No-one came around to see him. This ‘fantasy’ stereotype of someone living on the dole because they didn’t want to work suddenly became reality. On one occasion, he was sent on a six week course for the long-term unemployed, and didn’t turn up so he was sanctioned six weeks dole money – he then got a job which lasted for six weeks before it was back to sitting in front of the TV all day again. (He did actually also do some ‘clandestine’ work on the side, as a paperboy - and left his mucky fingerprints everywhere)

The police reacted to this third assault by giving him a caution. This was taken by the other party as an ‘anti-deterrent’ and he ratcheted up his harassment of me, continually threatening to hit me for a fourth time. By the time of my own arrest, criticism had begun to appear in the media about the award of cautions, but this proved to be a false dawn. Cautions in the meanwhile have been handed out to burglars caught in the act, for example.

I could go on for ever about this new harassment (I was unemployed myself so options to counter it were limited).

I did write to fellow tenants requesting them to bear witness to what I was having to put up with, with a view to taking legal action (this was after the police told me they would not help me). It was these written requests that were considered by the police to be against the law.

Eventually I was awarded my own Housing Association flat and left. But about four months later, the police arrested me. I was prosecuted for harassing the other party, including at his place of work despite the fact that he was unemployed (see above – I have no proof but I get the impression that he has been unemployed for the whole of his adult life).

Latterly, the other party has spent time in a mental institution, and he has announced over Twitter that he has been classified as a psychopath. And it is via Twitter that he has announced, to anyone who wants to hear, that he is a fan of Osama bin Laden and Abu Hamza

View the statements where he announces that he is a psychopath

The police have been apathetic to the above points despite the number of people who have been killed a) by fans of Osama bin Laden et al. and b) by psychopaths.

The information I am requesting is due me as my democratic right. Large numbers of people probably believe that this right is asserted in Magna Carta. Franz Kafka wrote a famous book about someone who was prosecuted without being told what he had done wrong, the entire sinister turn of this story being related to the fact that they would not tell him what he had done to break the law. (I might start getting the impression that they can’t tell me how I have broken the law because I haven’t actually broken the law)

The last contact I had with the police was in December 2015 when I was rung up by an Inspector Mark Brearley. He made just the two accusations

Specifically, he refused point-blank to tell me how I had broken the law when I started quoting from a relevant document. I asked him how the police could dissuade me from repeating my ‘offence’ if they didn’t tell me what I had done wrong, to which I did not receive the most intelligent answer I have ever received. In fact, talking to Mr. Brearley reminded me of talking to Jehovah’s Witnesses, and in particular how they react when you make a point which should expose their contradictions.

Previously I had appealed to the IPCC on a more indirect feature. I had complained to the police that one of the letters involved (a recorded letter, which requested Matthew Winder to forward mail to me) had been stolen. The police ignored me, so I complained to the IPCC

The response of the resulting IPCC report (not actually anything to do with the IPCC but dealt with entirely by Portsmouth Police, more precisely an Inspector Charlton at the same station as the officer who originally arrested me) was that the letter had not been stolen. The ‘evidence’ I presented : i.e. 1) that the envelope from this letter had ended in the hands of a third party (and was thereby given to the police from where it came to light as part of their ‘evidence’ against me) and 2) that the intended recipient had told me he had not received this letter as a recorded delivery letter, was classed as ‘not proof’ – thus presumably making it impossible to ever complain to the police about the theft of a recorded delivery item because there is no other evidence that can be collated by a complainant.

A Sergeant Christopher Pitfield of the Professional Standards Department showed that a section of this IPCC report had been fabricated. But not only did he fail to then investigate the rest of the report, he even had the brass neck to later use this IPCC report against me.

I feel very disempowered – and the police just have no accountability. The police refused to do anything when I was being subjected to this harassment / stalking, and logically they will do nothing if ever it starts up again. Whatever the probability is of being hit or subjected to harassment once more, everything the police have done has increased this probability. I have little confidence that I will get proper treatment from them if ever I am subjected to criminal behaviour of any description at any time in the future

One side issue explains this lack of accountability powerfully. I had requested assistance from a local neighbourhood police officer, Tina Whale, and after an initial email from her I explained what it was I was wanting. And then she just ignored me (despite further enquiries on my part). When Inspector Brearley was confronted with this he stated that ‘Officer Whale had tried repeatedly to contact me, but to no avail”. To a third-party this could be suspected as being false because no attempt was made to explain what method she had used to try and contact me. And if ever pressed to be more precise, she would never be able to provide proof of these attempts to contact me. This is just a blatant lie on behalf of the police, and this is what we have to put up with.

There is quite a long list of instances where the police appear to be following contradicting behaviour : there are stalking laws to protect us but here the police have acted in favour of the stalker, the government appeals to us to shop dole cheats but here the police has given protection to a dole cheat (likewise the government also tells us to shop terrorist suspects), bullying is supposed to be frowned upon but here there a case of someone being motivated by the fact that he can easily bully someone of small stature like myself.

There is also a classic ‘Elephant in the room’, namely that his father was a police officer. No-one has ever acknowledged this statement whenever I have brought it up (I have the impression that in Deutschland (for example) such cases are taken off the police when a police officer has direct involvement)

It would be interested to hear any police officer outline how they would react if they had suffered the type of harassment that I experienced. It is my guess that very few people would react in such a lenient way as I reacted. If this guess is right, then the police have no right to judge me, they are hypocrites. They should have given me a medal for putting up with all that harassment without retaliating.

Re : Stalking Under Scrutiny (Radio 4, Wednesday 3 August 2016, 2100)

A major theme of this program was the claim that the police have been rather tardy in getting up to speed on this matter

I had a problem which I have always considered to be stalking, a direct affront to my dignity over an extended period, and I can add my own ideas of how lax the police have been in dealing with this topic.

It concerned an unemployed person who lived in a bedsitter in the same house as me. He did some ‘work’ as a paperboy – apart from the time he left to work at this job, and apart from Xmas Day and Boxing Day (when he disappeared), he never went out. Apart from the exceptions just mentioned, the number of times he was out for longer than an hour was probably in single figures during all the time I was there.

What he would do included :

He hit me three times. On the third occasion, I genuinely thought for a brief moment that I had lost my eye. I had to attend the QA hospital about half a dozen times. Nowadays I do have problems when I move my eyes to extremes. Typically, when looking to the side before crossing a road, there is a brief moment before I can focus properly. In this sense, it is not untrue to say that he has permanently damaged my eyesight.

For this assault, the police gave him a caution, which had the unfortunate effect that the stalking escalated. When I complained to the police about this enhanced harassment, they said they were not prepared to do anything, so I made some small attempts to prepare for a civil action.

When I got a job and had some money coming in, I thought more seriously of following this line of action, but soon after I was able to obtain a flat of my own.

About three months after moving, the police arrested me and accused me of harassing the other party, mostly because of my attempts to take civil action against him. I did plead guilty but only because of two main reasons

(When I later found out how thoroughly clueless this lawyer was, I attempted to get the police to tell me specifically how I had broken the law, but I still don’t have an answer)

I always knew the other party had mental problems and this has been confirmed by his detention latterly in a mental institution.

Knife attacks from mental cases have been common (and still continue with a driver being stabbed to death in Sussex and an American tourist stabbed to death in London). Other possibilities offered include an axe or (as recently in Liverpool) a paintball gun, which didn’t do the victim any good at all.

It hard to say how I should evaluate the risk of all this. It’s no use anyone trying to convince me the risk is low. It’s a bit like safety belts in cars – the probability of being involved in a smash is very small but you would use a seat-belt anyway because the cost of any problems that might otherwise arise could be catastrophic.

In my view, there is only one instance in which the police could technically accuse me of anything, but I would suggest that this requires a commitment to the letter of the law rather than the spirit of the law. This concerned his ‘employment’ as a paperboy [3]. The facts of the matter were :

If he had not only learnt exactly where I lived but also realised he could get in ‘legitimately’ that would have been a disaster. Even if he had encountered difficulties with burgling my flat, he might have found it easier to pour something inflammable through the letter box and setting it alight (an example of this was mentioned in the radio program)

The police officer involved (PC Michael Wakefield) seemingly had difficulties understanding the points raised in the two paragraphs above [4].

Other similarities with examples mentioned in the radio program

Finally, but crucially, the actions of the police appear to have disabled my career plans. I no longer get interviews from job applications. Brian Daugherty

Brian.Daugherty@dunelm.org.uk

[1] I most certainly did not stay in the kitchen. The procedure for a long period of my life was this : switch the kettle on and when he appeared pour the water into a vacuum flask (thankfully it was normally hot enough to make a drink), and retire to my room complete with bread etc. to make sandwiches.

[2] From Rowe Sparkes

[3] Everyone knows that working while claiming dole is an offence – nevertheless it appears that the police did bother to prosecute him for this offence. The clandestine nature of his work would have made it hard for me to check any facts – presumably he was earning less than the minimum wage, not properly insured etc. etc.

[4] He said that ‘if he is as bad as you claim, then he will get his comeuppance sooner or later” (although what comfort that is to me eludes me)

Synopsis

I used to live at 55 Victoria Road North, Portsmouth.

One day a very strange person moved in. He started acting very strangely, accusing me of spying on him.

He then started to hit me. The first time was two days before I was due to embark for a very prestigious and well-paid job in Spain. The landlord promised me he would be thrown out if he repeated the offence.

The second time he hit me, he entered my room and threw my on the floor. I hit me head on the way down and the bump is still traceable on my head to this day. The landlord did not keep his promise

The third time he hit me, I genuinely thought for a few seconds that he had taken my eye out – an effect aided by the fact that he had hit my contact lens down the side of my eye, where it was removed later in hospital. Despite the fact that he seems to have permanently damaged my eyesight in that I often have problems in immediately focussing, the police gave him a caution.

He took this caution as being equivalent to being let off. He proceeded to subject me to constant threatening behavior. The landlord yet again failed to carry out his promise.

At the time I was unemployed myself. When I gained employment, I began to think in terms of taking legal action. This was to end in a surprising manner – the police decided that this attempted legal action was harassment and awarded me a career-wrecking caution. I no longer get interviews from job applications.

Essentially a benefit cheat has gone to the police to complain about being 'harassed' at his place of employment (i.e. where he was working as a paperboy, just up the road from my new address) and the police have taken this complaint seriously, while omitting to arrange for his prosecution for fraudently claiming unemployment benefit. To which this benefit cheat presented 'evidence' of my attempts to take legal action whilst at my old address (which he had stolen before they arrived in the hands of my fellow tenants) and which, as I have said, the police decided was also harassment, for reasons I cannot fathom to this present day. I believe that if the police had prosecuted him for cheating on benefit, then my current problems with employment would not have arisen to the extent that they have.

Apart from the police, I have also been enquiring from local Conservative Party politicians as to how we are to differentiate between a) 'shopping' benefit cheats in the manner we are being encouraged to do by the British Government and b) 'shopping' benefit cheats in a manner which leads us to be prosecuted by the police for harassment. So far, no answer has arrived (despite promises).

I accepted this prosecution initially because

  1. I was under the impression that I was being prosecuted under the type of ancient and unrepealed legislation unearthed by Thatcherites to prosecute people who hadn't actually broken the law otherwise
  2. I was advised by my lawyer that I would have to tell him my new address, which is unthinkable. It is not fanciful to think that not only would this threatening behavior resume but there was too much of a risk that I might as well have sat back and waited for him to try and burgle the place.

When I later received a letter from 'my' lawyer (i.e. the one appointed by the police) it became obvious that he not taken much notice of what I had been saying.

Since then I have been requesting the police to tell me specifically what I have done to break the law.

Answer came there none

This is an appalling response. It is my democratic right to know what I am being punished for. It is this knowledge which separates a democratic procedure from arbitrary procedures typical of non-democratic procedures. Being prosecuted without any knowledge of wrong-doing is what characterizes one of Franz Kafka's better-known works.

In the meantime, this other party has had several run-ins with police. On one occasion he was locked up for a month, and according to his own information via his Twitter page, while there he was diagnosed by four doctors as a 'psychopath'.

See the Twitter page just mentioned in the last paragraph, where he talks about being slammed up

I could go on all night about his statements on Twitter. To mention just a few important points : he was claiming people in white vans were waiting outside his residence to spy on him and that the BBC were continually hacking his phone. His threats to find out where Danny Cohen, head of BBC television, lived so he could exact his revenge, probably led to his Twitter account being suspended for the second and final time. He has also detailed how he attempted a cheque fraud (but was found out) and how he managed to obtain food from the 'Barley Mow' in Castle Road without paying for it.

Email sent Sunday 17th May 2015

The Human Rights Act protects the right to life and imposes an obligation on the State to protect people from serious criminal attack

http://police.neam.co.uk As a result of the recent publicity surrounding this Act, I have come to wonder whether the police have breached my human rights, for the reasons implicit in the opening sentence. I am under some threat from a violent thug and I consider the police response to be inadequate.

I was hit by a certain person three times but he was only ‘punished’ on the third occasion when he nearly knocked my eye out, resulting in 5 visits to the Eye Hospital. The police awarded him a caution (which he told me, verbally, that he considered equivalent to being let off)

The top of my head still bears the scars of the second attack and, according to my barber at least, does still bleed every so often. After the third assault, the harassment worsened (he lived in the same block of bedsitters as me) – worsened I think as a result of this leniency on the part of the police. I asked the police to do something but they said there was nothing they could do.

So I attempted to take legal action but the police said this was harassment and prosecuted me instead, which will have done nothing to reduce the prospect of this harassment starting up again, if this said thug were ever to find out my current address.

Since my change of address, the other party has been slammed up at least once (and I have suspicion it might be more than once) and been classified (according to his Twitter account) as a psychopath. Whether this latter claim is exactly true or not, I think we can take it as read that he has severe mental problems of that general order.

Click on this link to view the source of the above information

I am therefore vulnerable to further threatening behaviour from this individual and the police have failed to protect me appropriately.

-----

When the police prosecuted me for harassment, I was advised by a lawyer appointed to me by the police. When I found out that this lawyer had not been paying too much attention to what I said at the time, I asked the police to tell me what exactly I had done to break the law. Over five years later, they still haven’t answered me. At one stage I was so frustrated that I gave them £ 300 to be used as expenses in supplying me with this information, but still nothing happened.

There is a certain problem in describing this incident fully to a third party. For example, I was also prosecuted for harassing this individual at his place of work. That’s what it says on the charge sheet anyway, there is no mention of the fact that he was working 1 hour a day as a paperboy and also simultaneously claiming the dole. Although I have not been able to get the police to comment on the matter, I think we can take it as read that he was not prosecuted for benefit cheating. Since that time, I have been unable to get a proper job, a situation which I think is related to my ‘prosecution’.

-----

If the police can’t even carry out this simple task and give me the required information, information that is my democratic right to possess, then how can we have any confidence in their coping with something more complex.

In fact, there is an indication of this in a further feature of this case. I was prosecuted for harassment on the basis of letters I had written to a fellow resident (why these letters are against the law, I cannot tell you currently). However these letters were stolen. One of them was a recorded delivery letter with the recipient telling me he never received it.

I complained ‘separately’ about these thefts, via the IPCC as it turned out because initially the police just ignored me. I received eventually a report from an Inspector Charlton stating that no theft had occurred.

On complaining further, a Sergeant Chris Pitfield of the Professional Standards Department showed that part of this report had been fabricated, but then failed to take the hint and look at the rest of the report.

Since this time, the Government has abolished the right for the general public to complain about the police through the IPCC. Consequently, there is not a great deal I can do to complain.

Just before last Christmas, I come across the name of a new Community Officer in our area, Tina Whale. I did state my complaint to her, she did reply but when I stated my problem more concisely, i.e. I want to be told what I have done to break the law, she appears to have decided to completely ignore me.

Previously I have taken to describing myself a ‘Second Class Citizen’ because of the appalling way I believe I have been treated. If it could be shown that the police have broken the law by treating me this way, it would go a long way to restore my faith in the order of things.

(P.S. My attacker is the son of a police officer)

Initial Statements

After all the stonewalling, I think it possible that the police are protecting the son of a police officer.

After all this time, I am not impressed at all by the mediocrity that characterizes my contacts with the police.

My requests are either ignored or receive a reply which bears no relation to the question. They seem quite capable of outdoing Humphrey Appleby

I was reminded a bit of their attitude when Mark Steel stated w.r.t the tube strike

“And second, Transport for London’s press office is staffed by one of these Argentinian football managers who give incomprehensible interviews after a game. If they’re asked about negotiations with the union they’ll say, “Many will hope carriages is longer for when Jubilee is northbound southbound take one train at a time at a local level”.

Or the portrayals in Asterix the Gaul

"The inhabitants of Normandy are shown as being unable to give a direct answer and smothering their food in creamy sauce."

The Main Current Issue

The police accuse me of harassment because of letters I sent to fellow residents asking them to act as witnesses if they were able. The first letter was a one-liner which ran :”Matthew, can you bear witness to the continual door-slamming”?

I would like a reply from the police that starts : You have broken the law in this letter because …...

They could then move on to the other letters (2 or 3 of them) pointing out the places where I have broken the law.

I have been requesting this information since December 2009 but never receive any reply.

Now and again, I do receive replies which bear no relationship to the question (although the police themselves obviously think that they are being relevant).

Out of sheer desperation I have sent them money to be used as expenses in providing this information – to shame them into giving me an answer. Currently they have 250 pounds of mine, although they claim differently. The latest communication stated that they had given me this money back, which is obviously untrue. More on this issue later (since I wrote this, I made a claim through the County Court for the return of this money which they claim that had already returned to me. I did get my money back - but I only made this claim because I could saw the police were claiming they did not have the money any longer)

Corollary to my experience of Violence

Before my harasser was arrested for his third assault on me, he actually managed to get me arrested by informing the police that I had attacked him with a knife, in the kitchen. He had attacked me on the Monday. I made a formal complaint to the Police on Tuesday (because I spent Monday afternoon and evening in hospital). On the Wednesday, about 1700, he started acting up while I was in the kitchen - on me telling him to 'leave me alone', he stormed off with words : "I'll get you, my Dad's in the CID".

About quarter of an hour later, four police officers turned up and kicked my door open (I was on the phone at the time and initially thought that my harasser had managed to corral some accomplices - I was urgently asking the person on the phone to summon help). The police handcuffed me and led me, in full view of the neighborhood, into a van manned by a fifth policeman.

Reading the statement my attacker made, it seems likely that he had not actually seen me in the kitchen - I was standing at a table behind the door while he was standing in the doorway. His statement said I was wearing a grey top whereas I was actually wearing a white T-shirt far too big for me with a large pictorial image on the front advertising some African charity

And best of all, despite giving a description of my physical appearance including hairstyle etc.., there was no mention of the black eye that he had given me 48 hours beforehand.

Anyway I was eventually let go without charge.

A frightening thing about this incident (i.e. frightening for myself) is that if I had actually been the owner of a knife then I am sure I would have had it on my person during this period, purely for self-protection. As I note below, this experience did not put him off following me into the kitchen on every subsequent occasion that I went into the said room. Likewise he continually slammed the door adjacent to my room, regularly throwing abuse at me, etc. etc. etc. , which are not recommended activities to direct towards someone who has attacked you with a knife. That is to say, his subsequent activities should be enough to convince anyone that the 'knife attack' did not actually happen.

There is the question of the role of his father in all this. I have not been able to find out whether his father was directly involved or not.

There is the question also of whether he was indirectly involved. I wonder often whether there is a specific method of 'reducing' a potential punishment for wrong-doing by accusing your victim of some wrong-doing before you are yourself arrested. This could obviously be a factor in the Portsmouth Police awarded him such a lenient 'punishment' - whether he was instructed in this course of action by his father is something I haven't totally discounted.

For completeness, I should add that his statement on this occasion contained allegations that I made a habit of watching him whenever he went out.

On one level, this would be hard to do given that he never went out.

From a logistic viewpoint, there would be a problem here – it would only be when he had actually left the flat that I would have realised he had left, which would be too late. Otherwise, I would have to get up and watch him every time he went to the kitchen or bathroom as well to ensure that I was watching him every time he exited the flat. His statement contained no allegation that I watched him every time he went to the kitchen or bathroom.

I have already mentioned that very early on in this whole sorry episode he had started making allegations to the landlord that I was spying on him. What information I could garner by spying on him is not clear, apart from which television channel he was watching.

My Further Experience of Threatening Behavior

The IPCC and Commissioner

Previously the police were 'subject' to supervision by the Independent police Compaints Commission. This was, and still is, a very lightweight organization but at least when you made a complaint via this body, the police were obliged to give a response.

The Tory Government introduced Commissioners of Police, who have no obligation to respond to complaints. And in practice, the Commissioner for Hampshire, Simon Hayes, has taken full advantage of this lack ogf obligation. Simultaneously, the IPCC has been downgraded such that the last time I looked, they were stating on their website that any complaint would have to wait for 40 weeks before the IPCC would consider it (to be strictly correct, I am a bit unsure about the current situation – the 40 weeks message appears to have disappeared).

Suspected Theft of Letters

There is a parallel theme to my grievance, which I state here towards the end to avoid confusion with the main thrust of my grievance, i.e. that I want to be informed, specifically, as to how I have broken the law

Essentially, the letters upon which the police based their case were stolen.

My case as stated to the police started off with the statements that

  1. I sent a fellow tenant a letter, by recorded delivery, asking him to forward my mail. The envelope from this letter was attached to one of the documents presented to me in the police station (not the same document that it originally contained). If there a good case to explain why a letter requesting mail to be forwarded should be handed over, by the recipient to a third party complete with the envelope, then I have still to hear it
  2. The intended recipient tells me he never received this letter

Originally the police ignored me.

Then when I appealed to the IPCC, they stated that I had no evidence to suggest that theft had taken place.

I could go at length about the police reaction, but (as stated already) that might divert from my main point at the current time.

One point I could make however is that the Professional Standards Section of Hampshire Police did show that a section of this police report to the IPCC had been fabricated, but did nothing further. If they delved further, I think they could have found a few more fabrications.

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