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'Lying' officer led to convictions of murders being quashed


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'Lying' officer led to convictions of murders being quashed

DC now faces 'disciplinary process' following retrial verdict.

DC Rebecca Bryant: Facing force disciplinary proceedings    Picture: Facebook

DC Rebecca Bryant: Facing force disciplinary proceedings Picture: Facebook

Date - 20th March 2019
By - Nick Hudson - Police Oracle

 

A detective whose lies about her relationship to a juror led to three killers having their murder convictions quashed is facing a disciplinary process that could end her career of more than 30 years.

Detective Constable Rebecca Bryant tried to hide the fact jury member Laura Jones in the killers’ first trial was her son's girlfriend at the time.

DC Bryant sent texts telling her "don't tell anyone who you are" during the murder trial in 2016.

The officer's relationship to Miss Jones, a teaching assistant, was eventually discovered just weeks after Dwayne Edgar, Jake Whelan, and Robert Lainsbury, were sentenced to life in prison for knifing 29-year-old Lynford Brewster to death in Cardiff.

The three men then managed to get their convictions overturned in the Court of Appeal after a High Court judge ordered a retrial, accusing DC Bryant and Miss Jones of wasting court time and public money.

No criminal charges were brought against the South Wales officer and the force said its own internal investigation had not found "any evidence" that DC Bryant had intended to undermine the criminal justice process.

However a damning Court of Appeal judgement handed down on July 19 last year said the officer and nursery teaching assistant Miss Jones “connived” together in what three senior judges branded a “shocking state of affairs”.

lynford%20brewster.jpg

  • Murder victim Lynford Brewster

Lord Justice Treacy told the appeal hearing: "It is crystal clear that this juror should never have sat on this trial and that the assertion of objective bias is fully made out.

"In the circumstances, this trial was fatally flawed and the safety of the convictions is totally undermined.

"The folly of the juror and the police officer have wasted vast amounts of time and cost the public a great deal of money.

"There has not been a fair and proper trial because of the conduct of the officer and the juror and in those circumstances it is our duty to act.

"Moreover, the agony for the victim's family is inevitably prolonged. We very much regret that fact.”

Text exchanges between the two women before the original trial at Cardiff Crown Court showed Det Con Bryant was aware Miss Jones could be involved as a juror, and also that both women knew Miss Jones worked at the school of victim Mr Brewster's young nephew.

One text the officer sent to Miss Jones read: "Remember what I sed (sic) though, as long as you don't know any of the witnesses that's fine.

"Don't tell any of them who u r to me tho in case they think I've told u about it although u know I haven't xxx".

DC Bryant, who was working as a family liaison officer with Mr Brewster's family during the court proceedings, initially lied about her relationship with Miss Jones after she was questioned by police, but later admitted the juror was in a long-term relationship with her son.

The officer is still employed by South Wales Police and is now due to face disciplinary proceedings.

Assistant Chief Constable Jeremy Vaughan said: "When issues regarding the original trial came to light, the matter was voluntarily referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct and has been investigated by the South Wales Police Professional Standards Department.

"Our investigation, which has also been subject of independent review, has not found any evidence that the officer intended to undermine the criminal justice process, and following a formal submission to the Crown Prosecution Service the matter will now be dealt with through South Wales Police disciplinary processes.

"Our thoughts remain with the family of Mr Brewster who we have continued to support throughout this difficult time."

Edgar, Whelan and Lainsbury were all convicted of murder on Monday following their retrial at Bristol Crown Court, and will be sentenced on March 26.

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Who cares about her career?!

If what she has said is true, she needs to be locked up for misconduct in public office.

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Having limited experience of court and zero experience of sitting on a jury, I can't understand why she (the DC) would tell her (the juror) that/to say that? 

Surely, if the juror just disclosed that she had links to the DC, and the victim's nephew (neither of which is her fault), the judge would have just replaced her with a reserve?

I just can't understand it...

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