Man jailed for trying to rig police ID parade
A NEIGHBOUR has been jailed after trying to fix the result of an identity parade.
Keith Clare, aged 49, wrote a letter to a fellow assault victim telling who to pick out in the police line-up, Bolton Crown Court heard.
Clare and his wife Julie had been walking to their home in Deane when they were attacked by two men.
Neighbour Michael Smyth suffered a broken jaw as he tried to break up the scuffle in June this year.
Mr Smyth was in hospital for three days but, in the week following his release, he received a letter from Clare pointing the finger at a suspect.
The Clares, now of Harley Avenue, Harwood, had both earlier attended an ID parade where Mrs Clare identified the man who she believed was responsible for the attack.
Prosecutor Lindsay Thomas said: “It was quite clear the letter was from Clare and he forewarned Mr Smyth that the person believed to be responsible for the attack was to be positioned at number four in the ID line-up.”
Mr Smyth told police about the letter and officers then arrested the couple. The identity parade was then cancelled and rescheduled.
They were charged with perverting the course of justice but charges against Mrs Clare were dropped.
The court heard yesterday how Clare had numerous previous convictions including battery, a racially aggravated incident and a public order offence — all relating to incidents involving his neighbours.
Mark Friend, defending, said Mr and Mrs Clare had moved from the Bolton at Home house they had bought due to “issues with neighbours”.
He said: “His action was the behaviour of a desperate man, committing a desperate act not one that would assist him financially but simply to ensure that the right man was prosecuted.”
Recorder Mukhtar Hussain QC, sentencing, said: “This is not the first time you took the law into your own hands.
"You are not satisfied with either the police or the criminal justice system because you are in breach of three conditional discharges and have animosity from matters that you thought the police had not investigated properly or that the court had dealt with people leniently.
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“I can’t predict what the outcome will be and whether you have fatally jeopardised the prosecution of those two men involved and charged in the offence.
“I would be failing in my duty if I didn’t send the message to people who are minded to follow in your footsteps.”
Clare admitted perverting the course of justice and was jailed for eight months.