Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Urgent Witnesses Required

Jared Kelly is a screenwriter. The story he tells here is not dramatic fiction, it is real-life. It is also alarming.

On Tuesday March 9th, at around 5.30pm, I was cycling west along Oxford Street, London, near Dean Street, when a taxi suddenly swerved across the front of me to pick up a fare and we collided. Following a brief verbal exchange, the taxi driver grabbed the scarf around my neck and strangled me until I was unconscious. When I regained consciousness the police were on the scene.

What seemed an open and shut case in my favour has gone horribly wrong in light of the appalling fact that the subsequent investigation failed to retrieve CCTV footage and also failed to secure the details of a witness who saw the entire incident. This witness was giving me first aid when I regained consciousness and assured me he had seen everything. The policeman on the scene assured me, twice, that he had taken the details of that witness. Two months later, when I was charged, I queried that same police officer about that witness and he denied his existence. According to him the witness is a "Figment of my imagination. You have made him up."

Read the rest of the story here.

To try to correct this growing injustice, Mr Kelly created this blog and used Twitter to get out his appeal for witnesses. One who read this was a reporter at London’s Evening Standard who wrote it up and the paper published it. Witnesses came forward with strong stories and clear evidence.

Now read on here:

So, to some extent it is a happy ending for Jared Kelly, although many people will be concerned about the mis-handling of this case by the police and the CPS.

As well as all those good people who re-tweeted the original appeal, credit is especially due to reporter Ross Lydall at the Evening Standard for these two pieces:

Cyclist charged with assault

Cyclist is cleared of assault

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