Police whistleblowers who gave evidence in Sunday Times gangster libel trial were themselves targeted by Met - Press Gazette

Police whistleblowers who gave evidence in Sunday Times gangster libel trial were themselves targeted by Met

Two police officers who gave evidence in the Sunday Times defence of a libel claim brought by gangster David Hunt have received apologies from the Met Police after themselves being subject to criminal investigations.

The Sunday Times reports that David McKelvey, a former detective chief inspector, and Darren Guntrip, a serving detective sergeant, sued the Met for misfeasance in public office, false imprisonment and malicious procurement of search warrants.

David Hunt has successfully avoided criminal prosecution over a career involved in serious crime. But in 2013 the Sunday Times took him on at the High Court and won, after exposing his criminal activities.

During the trial, bodyguards for Sunday Times journalist Michael Gillard refused to show up for work apparently because they feared getting on the wrong side of Hunt.

The trial heard that DI McKelvey made a report to his borough commander in January 2008 saying that he and other officers involved in investigating Hunt faced threats to their lives.

McKelvey said in the report: “I have no doubt that David Hunt has the motive, means and capability of funding this contract to kill. He runs his criminal network by use of extreme violence.

“Murder is second nature to him. He is believed to have been personally involved in several contract killings. Law enforcement agencies have to date been unsuccessful in targeting him no doubt due to his links with corrupt officers and officials.”

The Sunday Times reported yesterday that after this warning was issued, McKelvey and Guntrip (and a third detective) were themselves subjected to a two-year investigation based on what they claimed was “flawed evidence, discredited intelligence and information which the Met knew to be false, in order to cover-up widespread corruption”.

According to the paper the pair have received apologies and “substantial financial compensation”.

It reports that the Met has told them: “The MPS would like to apologise to the claimants and their families for any injury or damage caused to them as a result of the investigation.”

A spokesman for the Met Police said: "Following a mediation, on 2 December the MPS agreed to the settlement of a civil action brought by two former officers. The settlement was agreed without admission of liability and with a confidentiality agreement in place, as such we cannot discuss this further."

This is the latest in a series of cases where Met Police officers who many would regard as whistleblowers have themselves been the target of investigations.

In November, former Met Police detective chief superintendent Dave Cook was cleared four years after he was arrested on suspicion of giving information to a News UK journalist.

There has never been any suggestion that Dave Cook was paid any money by a journalist for information.

And the information he disclosed is understood to relate to the notorious unsolved murder of Daniel Morgan, who was killed with an axe in South London in 1987.

The Daniel Morgan murder inquiry has been the subject of five failed police investigations and has been mired in allegations of corruption.

Last year it emerged that three police constables found to have been involved in leaking information about the Plebgate affair to The Sun were all sacked from their jobs, despite the fact that the Crown Prosecution Service declined to prosecute them on the grounds that they acted in the public interest.



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Author: Dominic Ponsford

Dominic Ponsford is the editor of Press Gazette