I share here a response from Ross Meurant received this morning with a little intertwined comment, as it deserves to stand for what it is, variously support, encouragement, wisdom and warning. Enjoy.
In a recent post concerning Police culture I shared a top cop insider’s comments on the Police culture, something that I’m acutely aware shows a difference to that of their desired public perception (that they can be trusted), although this is thankfully changing from blatant gullibility to a more realistic caution.
Please read Ross’ commentary When Good Cops Go Bad, if you haven’t already.
This morning, having digested my recent post, Ross says:
“Having been exposed to some of Dennis’ theories pertaining to the Crewe Homicides which happened to be the first murder investigation I worked on, I compliment him for stepping outside the paradigm persistently promoted by police as the gospel.
“Unquestionably Hutton and Johnson fabricated evidence which resulted in Thomas being twice convicted.
As I have said previously, the fact that the NZ Police could and did fabricate evidence shook the NZ public to the core at the time.
“As a scene detective I was well aware that the prime suspect was Demler. Well I recall the astonishment among others of my rank at the time, when suddenly the focus was on Thomas.
This change occurred in October 1970 and while I wasn’t there, it is fairly obvious to most commentators that something untoward occurred at that time. Ross, of all people knows the pressure that was exerted by the Commisioner Bob Walton to get results. As he says in his article he too was pressured to changing his evidence to assist the Police to secure a conviction. Ouch!
“Evidence Dennis has uncovered is leading towards “who done it” and that’s for him to expose in due course.
“For me the beguiling question is: Why did Hutton change targets from Demler to Thomas?
“Axiomatically the planting of a cartridge case in the strip of lawn I had methodically searched and found no such device, demands the rationale conclusions that it was not crime scene evidence which had precipitated Hutton’s change of targets.
“I have no doubt that pressure from Assistant Commissioner Walton was a factor ( evidence supporting this conclusion may be found in my 8000 word article in North and South magazine and in Chris Brit’s book – All The Commissioners Men) but in my assessment of the case, there must have been something else which tipped Hutton.
Indeed there was and I will be sharing my conclusions about this, having established to my satisfaction that Hutton, Walton and Johnston were united in their efforts to achieve a conviction, regardless of guilt or otherwise. I will also claim that there was a very logical reason why this change occurred.
“Finally I will say this. Near the end of the life of former detective sergeant Bryan Stewart ( who had been my NCO when I was a qualified detective on Drug Squad where Hutton was the detective inspector) I visited Bryan at his request during a brief return to NZ at a time I was domiciled in Prague.
“Bryan had been an exceptionally close confident of Hutton – and in fact during my time on Drug Squad we three became very very close.
“On his deathbed Bryan explained to me why he and Hutton had fallen out (this happened while I was abroad and I had no knowledge of that).
Ross then concludes with his contempt for what he calls a “parody” of a Police Review in 2014. Others have called it a whitewash and a cover-up.
“When a chap by the name of Lovelock contacted me asking for contribution to some parody he was undertaking to re-investigate what the Royal Commission had investigated in 1979 when all the evidence was still available (much of the evidence was destroyed after the Commission finding) and events were still fresh in the minds of witnesses, I momentarily resorted to imprecations. His task – in my view – was and remains an insult on the justice system New Zealand insists is a leading example of “ justice “.
“For me to have wasted my time presenting on that forum, what Bryan Stewart told me, would have been an insult to Bryan. For be assured, when I departed Bryan for the last time and we embraced an embrace I had never had from a true friend, my eyes were wet with tears; my heart was heavy with grief and my mind was vicious with anger.”
Undoubtedly Andy Lovelock really fulfilled the role that he was tasked to do – to address (if not answer) the public’s many questions, to attempt to protect the Police reputation and to secure the passing of the matter into the official dustbin of history.
It’s a shame that a guy down in Taumarunui with a sticky beak, brain and balls asks difficult questions now eh?
I understand that Ross Meurant rejected outright any involvement with what the Thomas family have called a cover-up – the 2014 Police Review. A wise man – probably the reason why he escaped the forest!