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Scrapyard ‘sting’ police ‘lied their heads off’, trial told
10:00am Thursday 31st October 2013 in News
A BARRISTER has compared the actions of police carrying out a scrapyard sting operation to British soldiers in Afghanistan torturing detainees.
Five men are on trial at Oxford Crown Court accused of attempting to conceal, disguise or convert criminal property at TR Rogers and Sons, in Nuneham Courtenay.
The prosecution alleges they accepted “suspicious” metal cables and lead from two undercover police officers posing as metal thieves between March and May last year.
But throughout the six-week trial Peter Stage, defending Simon Rogers, has repeatedly said that the officers investigating the case had “fitted up” the defendants.
Yesterday, he continued his closing speech to the jury, in which he told them the police had been “lying their heads off” throughout their evidence.
He then likened the situation to that of a “Major in Afghanistan” who takes an enemy prisoner and does “nasty things” to try to get information that could save lives.
Mr Stage said: “Because of the situation he’s landed in, he does things that he wouldn’t otherwise do.
“Is he right or is he wrong? What’s the moral judgment in that position?” He said the police had lied and destroyed evidence because they wrongly believed nobody should have the cable which the yard had accepted.
Mr Stage added: “If you think that what you have got is cable that no-one should have, then you think that these are a bunch of baddies. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”
Terence Rogers, 70, of Drayton St Leonard; Simon Rogers, 42, of Faringdon; Martin Pace, 36, of Wallingford; Ian Marshall, 29, and Darren Andrews, 34, both of Berinsfield, all deny all the charges. The trial continues.