Christopher Jefferies – A Tale For Christmas
Posted on December 23, 2014
I watched a brilliant two parter with my youngest son, Harry, last week, called the ‘Lost honour of Christopher Jefferies’ written by Peter Morgan and brilliantly acted by Jason Watkins who played the part of Jefferies in mesmeric style.
If you didn’t see it, you may remember the snowy Christmas of 2010, when Jefferies, an innocent man, faced unbelievable trial by useless policing and vindictive media purely because he was an eccentric academic and the landlord of Jo Yeates, the landscape gardener brutally strangled and dumped in a snowy field by Vincent Tabak, an engineer from Holland.
This drama, based on fact, was a classic example of what the media and in particular, the police force, are capable of. I have first hand experience of the police trying to fit me up for a crime (criminal damage to a police vehicle when I was about 19) when I was nowhere near the scene and seeing this showed me that there are still sections of what is meant to be a public service, who will set-up an innocent man or indeed men, to satisfy public and media demand.
Because I don’t trust the police, I was already suspicious of the arrest when it took place. Why? Because Christopher Jefferies had no history that could link him to a sexual attack, other than being an intellectual with an odd haircut. The police had nothing to go on and surely a detective with even quarter of a functioning brain, could have come to the conclusion that a man weighing in at nine stone could not conceivably pin down and strangle a fit young woman who as a profession, carried out heavy manual work as a landscape gardener.
I don’t claim to be a detective, but I am pretty certain that if I was, I would have turned my attention first of all, to a 6′ 4″ Dutchman who lived in one of the other flats rented out by Christopher Jenkins. Vincent Tabak had dashed back to Holland for New Year so, I am sorry, you don’t need to be Poirot to work out he was worth at least an interview. However, the clowns at Avon and Somerset Police pursued the academic with an odd haircut instead. That should be a crime in itself.
Luckily for Jefferies, he was or should I say is, an intelligent man with a strong network of friends, one of whom, a former pupil, organised legal representation and psychological support through an ordeal that lasted for three months. Three months where the press wrongly and disgustingly branded him as “The Strange Mr Jefferies” and a “Peeping Tom” as the police humiliated him by dissecting every bit of privacy he had.
Christopher Jefferies: Police and Media Victim
The point here is that a mentally weaker individaul than Jefferies may have cracked up under interrogation and one misguided attempt at an alibi could easily have seen an innocent man nailed and jailed. Being in prison is one thing but being in prison as an innocent man courtesy of a bodged police operation must take take away your soul and systematically destroy it.
The Birmingham Six, the Miners strike, the murders of Rachel Nickell and Jill Dando and the Hillsborough disaster are classic examples of how the people who are supposed to protect us will, given the opportunity, save their own bacon and frame someone to protect their own image.
Even if the Somerset and Avon Police had their suspicions, there would have been some officers who would have cared not a jot if an innocent man was sentenced to a life in prison. A life in prison with men who justify their own warped morals by carrying out violent assaults on sex attackers. Christopher Jenkins could have been subjected to a life that is impossible to even contemplate because of a sick joint media and police operation.
Ever since the Police (operating as Thatchers boot boys in the 1984 miners strike) were given a reciprocal reward that constituted a cover up of the Hillsborough disaster in 1989, they have regarded themselves as beyond their own laws and able to do as they please, carrying out internal investigations and basically, covering their backs. Hopefully the metaphorical kicking they got earlier in the year from Theresa May, will be as dramatic as the genuine ones they have carried out on innocent people on picket lines, inside football grounds or at West Indian carnivals.
Christopher Jefferies fought back and eventually won substantial damages from no fewer than eight newspapers and a full apology from the Somerset and Avon police. The citizens of this country who abide by the laws of this land, pay taxes and conduct themselves in a decent way, should all be grateful for what he (Jefferies) came through and eventually achieved via the Leveson Inquiry and Hacked Off, the campaign for free and accountable press.
Maybe it takes a frail, eccentric academic with a dodgy haircut to remind us all that whilst we are being bombarded with headlines about the ‘War on Terror’ the real axis of evil sits firmly within the establishment, the Murdoch/Dacre/Desmond media groups and the British Police Force.
Not all police officers and detectives are bad, of course they are not, but as an institution, like the Governments that it supports, it is rotten to core. Until that chain is smashed, we may go on getting cases like the one involving Christopher Jefferies.
However, the world is full of good people too and whilst we have people brave enough to take on the system and beat it, we also have hope and perhaps one day, we will have a police force where people join up to make the world a better place to live in, not one where bullies are allowed to thrive and innocent people are framed so a dumbed down media obsessed public gets what a dumbed down media obsessed public wants.
Happy Christmas Christopher Jefferies, an unlikely peoples champion…well, at least in my mind anyway.