Man wrongly jailed for 25 years unhappy with police inquiry

A SCOT who wrongly spent 25 years behind bars finally got the chance to confront the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) yesterday as he continued his calls for an independent inquiry into his case.

Glasgow-born Robert Brown, 51, was jailed for life in 1977 after he was found guilty of the murder of Annie Walsh, in Manchester’s Hulme district that same year, but was dramatically freed by the Court of Appeal last November.

During Mr Brown’s appeal, judges were told of a "conspiracy of corruption" at Platt Lane police station, Manchester, where his alleged confession to the murder of Ms Walsh was recorded.

The PCA recently confirmed that a review into the conduct of Greater Manchester Police officers who investigated the murder, and the subsequent trial, is to be conducted by West Yorkshire Police and supervised by the PCA itself.

But speaking after his meeting last night, Mr Brown claimed he was deeply unhappy with such an investigation. He said: "The reason I have no faith in the police investigating is because not one police officer has been sent to prison for a miscarriage of justice. The police should not be investigating the police. I want justice, not just for me, but for the family of Annie Walsh and for the people of Greater Manchester."

Last night, Duncan Gear, a spokesman for the PCA, said: "We have listened to Mr Brown’s viewpoint today and we will continue to do so."

Mr Brown was freed by three judges in London, who ruled that the verdict could not be considered "safe".

The Court of Appeal heard that one of the police officers central to the case, Detective Chief Inspector Jack Butler, was "deeply corrupt".

Mr Butler was later forced to quit the police force in disgrace. He resigned after being jailed in 1983, for four years, for conspiracy to pervert the course of justice in a separate case.