Many of the past blog posts have dealt with the issue of corrupt collusion between the Gisborne police and sections of the New Zealand media, in particular The Gisborne Herald and the National Business Review.
This post, however, looks specifically at a complaint the brothers had made to the police regarding the release of false and intentionally detrimental information by police officers in Gisborne. In particular it involves a complaint involving Roger Handford, who at the time was a Radio New Zealand Journalist.
Handford had divulged that a police officer in the CIB, probably Malcolm Thomas, had shown Handford copies of written allegations of threats that the brothers were purported to have made against witnesses in the Health departments failed action against the family. Of course these alleged threats never occurred and when the issue was pressed the so-called informants evaporated into thin air.
This blog is really about the integrity of journalists and whether you can trust them to thoroughly investigate and report the truth or as in the case of Jenni McManus demonstrate a complete disregard for fact and then close ranks with exceptionally bent cops to conceal her own incompetence and the criminal offending of serving police officers.
Roger Handford, Radio New Zealand and the Gisborne Herald are classic examples of who could not be trusted. Handford had not realised it but he had just sat an exam; he failed miserably. In the taped conversation Handford was told of the systemic theft of Petrol by as many as 18 police officers stationed at Gisborne.
There is absolutely no doubt that the thefts had occurred, but they were immediately buried by HQ in Wellington. The officer was, according to Chief Inspector Ratahi, disciplined following an internal police inquiry but continued to be a serving member of Police.
One of the brothers during that conversation with Ratahi stated; “it is a well-known fact that senior sergeant Alan Davidson was involved” importantly Ratahi did not refute Davidson’s involvement.
The other officer was Gerald Tamaki, the petrol pump required two people to operate; the person filling their car and someone in the watch house; normally a Senior Sergeant such as Davidson. Apparently the cop caught had threatened to name at least another 18 cops if he was charged.
We suspect that their was a little more to the story. We have established that Senior Sergeant Alan Davidson was the investigating officer assisting chief Inspector Ratahi in charging Thomas and the others in the kidnap and assault of Dickie Maxwell. If Alan Davidson was, as the brothers police informant had alleged, the other cop involved then the police had a very real incentive for concealing the thefts from public scrutiny.
They couldn’t risk having Senior Sergeant Davidson’s credibility obliterated by being charged with the theft of petrol and dismissed from the police force. This observation also then calls into serious question whether Thomas and the others after their acquittal had some sort of hold over Davidson – as accomplished sociopath’s are so often inclined to have and use to their own advantage.
Back to Handford. In the taped conversation Hanford when asked whether he knew Chester Haar state’s: “yeah I know Chester” – a statement made with a tone of voice that very much implies he had an ongoing almost affectionate regard for Haar – which of course he obviously did. Handford in the same conversation mentions another senior officers name with the same level of affection, “Cookie” otherwise known as “Norm”
Handford when asked about the petrol thieving cop, by one of the brothers with the question: “why wasn’t he charged……., after all this man could be stealing cartons of weetbix “ Roger Handford’s answer: “well we’ll have to ask them won’t we” Handford then continues: “We can’t have one law for one and another law for the other” .
Strangely Haar makes no mention of Handford mentioning the thefts in his report, Haar has intentionally concealed the petrol thefts in amongst the “great hodgepodge” of allegations he purports the brothers to have made when first filing the complaint. Haar has also intentionally concealed the fact that Handford had full knowledge of it, including the name of one of the offenders; we very much doubt that Roger “the dodger” Handford would have been that absent minded.
No, Haar knew that Handford knew about it, the conversation with the brothers that Haar suggests was had at the time the complaint was filed never occurred, it was a construct of Sergeant Chester Haar’s criminal imagination. A clue to that vivid imagination is to be found on page one at paragraph 1.6, wherein Senior Sergeant Haar states: “I also formed the opinion that they were potentially dangerous people……..” get the picture, we did immediately!
Roger had no idea that the second conversation had also been taped, the first the subject of the complaint and the second a carefully scripted test, for both he and Chester Haar – designed to prove that more than a nodding acquittance existed and extract further evidence of Handford’s complicity in the concealing of the systemic police corruption in Gisborne at the time.
The brothers by now knew that this was very much a long term project. The political landscape would need to change dramatically before it could ever see the light of day – after all when the Minister for Polices secretary advises you not to hand evidence of corruption to police HQ you know something is seriously wrong. With this level of blatant corruption and collusion and of course the Dicky Maxwell saga, the brothers by now held very real fears for their own personal safety.
Time was indeed needed twenty two years to be accurate. A clue to the prophetic outlook taken by the brothers is to be found in the conversation with Handford, with the brother stating: “I think that the corruption in the New Zealand Police force nationally is large……..” However, Handford had taken the bait and despite the risk of winding up dead, bound in barbed wire the brothers continued to gather the evidence!
Roger Handford was of course a liar, a hypocrite and working in collusion with highly dangerous and corrupt police officers; so as to conceal the crimes they had committed from the New Zealand public. Of course Roger had no idea that the previous area Commander Whiro Ratahi had already verified the thefts had indeed occurred. No one did, except for the honest journalist from the Sunday News – after all he was the only one game enough to put it in print.
Incidentally, Senior Sergeant Chester Wayne Haar was the same cop that had conspired with his wife Marilyn who, whilst working at the local hospital, had access to the confidential medical records necessary to inveigle the surgeon; enabling Haar to subsequently solicit a letter that was then used as an excuse to refuse to investigate the assault complaint against his mate ex-cop Peter Carroll.
Carroll, assisted by McBreen had assaulted the brother on the 14th of October 1988 and caused the serious injuries that required the remedial surgery. Senior Sergeant Chester Haar, however, neglected to cover all bases. The files held by the Accident Compensation Commission far from supported Haar’s constructed conclusions. Those records in fact confirmed the brothers version of events, the assault of the 14th October 1988 had caused the injury – but that’s for another post or maybe the book.
I digress, back to Handford and Haar. Handford was questioned by Haar following the brothers complaint. Not so much a police interview. Haar had invited Gisborne’s entire bent media to his very select little soiree; so as to warn them all of the danger the brothers posed to the local bent cops.
John Jones and Marianne Spence of the Gisborne Herald were there, Spence making a valuable contribution for Haar by writing a heart wrenching vignette; how she and Jenni McManus had been caught out by the brothers.
Chester Haar’s subsequent report makes for very interesting reading; especially after having listened to the taped conversation with Handford, McManus and Ratahi. Haar’s entire report was finally released in 2007, prior to that a request in 1988 had resulted in the brothers only being given a heavily redacted version; including the redaction of the investigating officers details – Chester Haar himself.
The complete report names all, including Marianne Spence and John Jones of the Gisborne Herald – Jenni McManus’s self effacing friends, although the annexures Haar attributes to Spence are for some mysterious reason missing – with ample reason we obviously suspect destroyed by Haar himself prior to sending the file to archive.
Listen to the Handford tape and then read Senior Sergeant Haar’s subsequent report – the only thing Haar gets half right as previously mentioned is that the brothers were indeed very dangerous people, not because they were violent, that was a myth created by the bent cop’s themselves to prevent people talking, rather because they were beginning to get to the bottom of a very dirty little relationship between the Gisborne Police and the local media.
Interestingly, Haar attempts to validate the local Media’s corrupt activities by association. He notes that National papers had also reported the brothers business difficulties. Indeed one had, but then the National Business Review and McManus had only written their defamatory stories after having been conned into it by none other than Marianne Spence and the Gisborne Herald – the reality of which Chester Haar was well aware of !
Haar further notes the oral decision of Judge Elliot. Elliot had declared that the media were to report what had occurred during the proceedings; Elliot’s sincere belief was that the media would report the truth; the lies and fabrications that had been promulgated by the witness’s and Dr Margaret Guthrie.
Justice Elliot did want the “facts” aired, the truth of what had been going on. The police officer complained of had not been showing Roger Handford anything that had been presented to the court, nor had there been a genuine complaint.
Tum DeRidder a corrupt local health department official, who was about to loose her position as a result of what had occurred had made a false complaint to the police. Her complaint alleged that certain un-named individuals had feared for their safety, falsely claiming that the brothers had made threats. Police documentation relating DeRidder’s spurious complaints is what Handford had been shown; obviously an attempt to inveigle Handford’s co-operation in doing a new’s story, in much the same way as the corrupt police officers had done with Jenni McManus.
The Gisborne Herald, well they reported alright; articles so far from the truth that it ought to have been shelved amongst other fictional works in any good library. Spence had totally twisted the truth of Judge Elliot’s total disgust with Dr Margaret Guthrie’s actions, the health department and its witnesses, Paul Martens, Maxine Bezzant and Lotti Bickford. To qoute Judge Elliot at the end of day two of the hearing after the crown had presented its case: “I am looking forward to hearing some real facts in this matter” (on publication of the book the authors associated website will make available the Gisborne Herald articles and a transcript of the court hearing enabling the reader to see for themselves just how far from accurate the Gisborne Herald articles had been)
Spence’s malicious and slanted articles appeared almost daily in the Gisborne Herald – for no other reason than to further damage the families business. Chester Haar knew that; Haar’s report was a total sham, designed to exculpate media thugs. Haar, given the volume of work had become adept at writing up false and misleading reports, without an investigation having ever been carried out.
We have been led to believe that Chester Haar worked for that particular Gisborne failure? A company whose predatory and shonky lending practices had caused the serious fraud office to investigate. This career change, apparently, came some time after his first post police job, having managed a local Gisborne liquor store.
It is our view that the police collaborators in this story as a whole were no better than those who collaborated with the Nazi’s and the corruption of democracy and the truth during the 1930’s and 40’s.
These men and women had been happy to completely vilify and destroy their fellow citizens. Each of them confident that they would be protected by a perverted system and get away with it unscathed; having displayed a total disregard for the rule of law. Conspiratorial behaviour such as this, by the media and or government, should never be tolerated in any genuine democracy – it is immoral, lacking in principle and nothing short of the darkest evil!