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Bonkers Blog January 2013

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18 January (Part 2) - Peter Craske is innocent. OK?

The obscene blog/Peter Craske affair has entered a new phase.

A telephone conversation with a Detective Sergeant at Bexleyheath revealed that a case which she admits has been mired in political interference and extreme and unnecessary delay, has just about reached the end of the road. Apparently councillor Peter Craske insists that whoever used his phone line to make obscene remarks about four Bexley residents must have been parked outside his house and broken into his wi-fi, or it may have been a family member, but he would never do such a thing himself. You will have to accept that that is true.

How that wi-fi hacking intruder came to know that Elwyn Bryant and I were in the Civic Offices only hours before the deed was done isn’t explained. Ditto the fact that no one but Craske was likely to have recognised Nick Dowling and me in the Cinema Car Park. His computer was clean after the police had conveniently granted him such a long respite from investigation.

The police officer admits that the circumstantial evidence associated with Peter Craske’s IP address is overwhelming but the 13 months that elapsed between the crime and the police taking action has been absolutely critical to their failure. A carefully engineered failure in my view.

Teresa and WillEver since council leader Teresa O’Neill and chief executive Will Tuckley were advised of the blog on the morning of 6th June 2011 and its content disappeared before lunchtime - but they subsequently denied all knowledge of who did it - it seemed likely that Bexley council would do its utmost to pervert the course of justice. When DCI Alison Funnell accompanied by DC Neil Thomas investigated in July 2011 and told Will Tuckley at a meeting - in a Freedom of Information response he denied the meeting took place - that they didn’t regard the obscene blog as a real crime, it was just Elwyn and me getting back at the council for their illegal use of the Harassment Act, the writing was on the wall. When Chief Superintendent Dave Stringer and his deputy, Tony Gowen, said I should trust them while secretly arranging meetings with the council to see how Craske could be helped out, the end was always a foregone conclusion.

They may believe their case is satisfactorily concluded but it is not the end of the road.

Daily Telegraph headlineAt the mid stage of the investigation, around the time that the new Borough Commander, Victor Olisa, came on the scene I entertained the idea that an ambitious police officer would balance the impact on his own reputation with that of Craske and would want to ignore the political pressure. But with Teresa O’Neill’s close links to Boris Johnson it may be that the pressure was irresistible.

If Craske had been thrown to the wolves 18 months ago the episode might not have been forgotten, but at least Teresa O’Neill, Will Tuckley and a whole host of police officers would not have been forever tarnished by a rescue operation mounted to save his skin. Now they will all face accusations of criminal behaviour. That is where phase two is going. It’s no good just making complaints, Bexley council doesn’t seriously entertain complaints and the police will not even look at one for six months or more so deluged are they with reports of malpractice.

A recent email to the police gives a little more detail for anyone who is taking more than a passing interest in the corruption to be found here in Bexley.


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