Peter Bottomley – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Attorney General

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Peter Bottomley on 2016-06-09.

To ask the Attorney General, how and why the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) joined the Metropolitan Police in announcing that retired police sergeant Gurpal Virdi was charged with misconduct in public office and with indecent assault on a person under 16 years; what publicity the CPS recorded as resulting at the time; when the memorandum of a conviction proved 1 April 1987 for offences on 7 November 1986 of a defendant born on 5 September 1970 with informant or complainant recorded as PC Markwick came to the attention of the CPS; what steps were taken to put right the effect of the wrong statement; when those steps were taken; and what the results of those steps were.

Jeremy Wright

A press release was issued by the Metropolitan Police Service which stated that the complainant was under 16. The CPS was not a party to this release and did not issue any other release. The CPS does not retain records of publicity resulting at the time.

When the case was reviewed in 2014 for charging, the complainant and the witness clearly stated that the complainant had been 15 when the incident took place in 1986. In addition Mr Virdi also said in interview that the complainant had been 15 at the time of the incident. The police summary stated that the complainant was 15. However the complainant’s date of birth and the date of his arrest were known and this mistake should not have been made.

The CPS was supplied with the memorandum of conviction referred to on 17 September 2014.The indictment was formally amended thereafter.

No steps were taken to publicise the fact that the charge was later amended in open court to remove the assertion that the complainant was under 16.