But We’re Supposed To Worry About G4S Taking Over?

Warden Elizabeth Fairbank battled for two years against charges of fraud from an elderly resident in her care at sheltered housing complex Alexander Hutchinson Court in north Hull.

She was in charge of handling one resident’s finances when almost £9,000 was left unaccounted for.

Miss Fairbank claims she used some of the savings to decorate the woman’s flat.

The police were handed bundles of receipts, which Miss Fairbank claims prove her innocence and show all the missing money went on refurbishing the lady’s flat.

Another carer from the complex gave evidence stating she countersigned one receipt for a carpet.

Well, that should be a short trial then, shouldn’t it?

However, the police’s property unit destroyed the evidence after the officer in the case failed to respond to an e-mail confirming the evidence was still needed.

Ah. Ummmm… OK.

Well, at least they didn’t waste the court’s time by…

Oh, FFS!

It was not until the second day of Miss Fairbank’s trial that the police admitted the evidence in the form of receipts had existed but had been destroyed, although Miss Fairbank’s legal team had been asking for the documents for two years.


Did they hope they’d find them down the back of the staff room sofa?

A judge stopped the trial on the grounds she could not be fairly tried.

Well, indeed! And now, she can never be formally cleared, either.

Miss Fairbank, 35, said: ..”The police have admitted they made a mistake but I have received no apology.

“I don’t see how on earth we can trust the justice system and the police when something like this can happen to a normal person like me. If it can happen to me, it can happen to anyone.

“I was fortunate to have the barrister I did, who spent endless hours going through the information and who believed that these receipts existed.

What the police did was slapdash and incompetent. This all been a complete nightmare.”

Who could disagree?

When the case collapsed, Detective Superintendent Scott Young said: “Unfortunately, despite great efforts made by Humberside Police to ensure all administrative processes are fail-safe, occasionally incidents such as this do happen.

“Sadly, on this occasion, evidence appears to have been destroyed because of a mistaken belief that it was no longer needed.”

Well, lessons will be learned, eh?

He said a “more robust” IT system would be introduced to prevent similar problems.

Really? I can’t see how that’ll help, since the point of failure here was on the other end of the keyboard.

8 comments for “But We’re Supposed To Worry About G4S Taking Over?

  1. November 5, 2012 at 9:38 am

    It’s a bad procedure that is set up to destroy people’s property anyway. Surely the receipts should *by default* be returned to their *owner* when no longer required by the police.

    That whole question still needs to be raised: why is destruction apparently the norm?

    • November 6, 2012 at 5:41 am

      Good point.

  2. Andrew Duffin
    November 5, 2012 at 10:55 am

    She handed over the originals?.

    Oh dear.

    • Greg Tingey
      November 5, 2012 at 3:39 pm

      I think they probably SIEZED the originals ….

      • November 6, 2012 at 5:42 am

        Yes, it’s unlikely she had any way in the matter, after all. Which makes the destruction of evidence point even more valid.

  3. Derek
    November 5, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    This stinks of someone covering up for corrupt social services. It is far too easy for social services and their “Safeguarding” organisation to get hold of peoples personal bank accounts and property. The lady mentioned is probably not corupt, but the system is wide open to misuse. Where there is secrecy there will always be temptation to divert. This whole system needs opening up to public scrutiny.

    • November 5, 2012 at 2:38 pm

      Derek, spot on. I’ve recently heard the example of a case in the Labour run borough of Newham where social workers are going round pressuring elderly people to give up their homes to the council before the law changes to limit what the councils can take. Thieving corrupt bastards.

      • November 6, 2012 at 5:42 am


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