The Jenni McManus Tapes

In 1987-88 seriously corrupt Police Officers conspired with a local newspaper to destroy three successful businesses.

The reason they set about doing this? One of the owners had given evidence against a Police Officer in a trial four years earlier. That cop was Constable Stanley Matthew Willcox. Willcox went on to become a Detective and used that institutions power in a conspiracy designed to get revenge.

Willcox enlisted the services of his bent colleagues and together they successfully conspired to bring down the businesses by phoning Banks, finance companies, insurers and using the Media to create a smoke screen behind which they hid their own criminal offending.

McManus was an unwitting pawn, not however a valid excuse. Her blatant bias and the fact that she did not check properly before going to print are beyond forgiveness.

Photo of Jenni McManus

Jenni McManus

The men that Willcox had enlisted were known to be bent: Detectives Malcolm John Thomas, Dave Neilson, Hemi Hikawai, Laurie Naden, Condon, James Kenneth Cunningham and Senior Sergeants Alan Davidson and Chester Haar.

Willcox’s plan started immediately after his trial in 1984.  He was found to be guilty, but under New Zealand law he could and did apply for what was then called a Section 42. This meant that whilst Willcox had been found to have committed the assault the Judge could and did dismiss the matter without conviction  as it would have affected Willcox’s career as a Police Officer.

On the steps of the Court Willcox made it clear to the victim and his witness that he would get them back, whatever it took.

He kept his promise, in the early years setting the men up on false charges. The witness changed geographical location and for a while thinking that he was out of Willcox’s reach things appeared to come right.

However, unbeknownst to him Willcox had  followed, using his position as a Police Officer to enlist the support of other corrupt members of the New Zealand Police force.

Senior Sergeant Alan Davidson

Detective Malcolm Thomas

On Saturday the 4th June 1987 Detective Stanley Matthew Willcox telephoned the Gisborne Police Station and spoke to Senior Sergeant Alan Davidson No 1306. During that conversation  Willcox set in motion a conspiracy that would cause a devastating financial collapse and the loss of 6.5 million dollars in assets.

He and his corrupt colleagues achieved their objective by contacting Banks, Financiers and Insurers and using their inherent credibility as Police Officers to obtain confidential financial information; detail that they were not legally entitled to; on one occasion Detective Malcolm Thomas was not successful as the bank manager had refused their request without a warrant; alerting the owners to the fact that the Police were acting unlawfully and inappropriately.

Willcox then used the information and his new found contacts;  falsely claiming that the businesses and their owners had links to organised crime. The accusation immediately caused loan agreements to collapse. Once the companies were in difficulty he and his colleagues raised the stakes with a plan to get a national newspaper to write a series of articles that would cause business associates and creditors to panic.  NBR a  respected news organisation and their unwitting journalist McManus took the bait, police had maintained arms length by getting a local journalist, friend and co-conspirator, Marianne Spence to make the call to McManus.

Police had already moved to contact the creditors inciting a host of repossessions and laying fabricated criminal charges designed to cover the conspiracy and destroy any credibility the victims had.

For two decades Police denied the conspiracy – claiming that the businessmen had over active imaginations, that the “Willcox Dossier” had never existed and that bank visits never occurred.  However, with time people forget, institutions have a change of guard and in doing so the walls protecting buried information are not maintained.  Evidence was eventually released. In particular one small document, a hand written note, that Senior Sergeant Alan Davidson had neglected to destroy. The Davidson memo was the last piece of the jigsaw. This note finally proved that Police had been lying by denying Willcox’s involvement – Willcox assisted by Thomas had been there the whole time, hiding behind the Gisborne C.I.B and the Police silence; responsible for the conspiracy, the false charges and the commercial collapse.

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