Monday 19 January 2015

More details emerge on Brent Council's investigation into Kensal Rise Library emails

Guest blog by Meg Howarth

New information has come to light about the data Brent Council handed to the police in the case of the Kensal Rise Library alleged fraudulent email affair. In a response to a query about the five ISP addresses used to post the fake comments in support of Andrew Gillick's original planning application, a senior council officer has revealed that 'the Council did provide the Police with all the IP addresses and details of how Council officers had linked these to Mr Gillick or his company via open source research'.

This is the full text of the response:
Dear Ms Howarth

I write further to your previous emails resting with your email dated 16 January 2015 and I apologise for the delay in responding to you.

In response to your query,  Council officers did not obtain the ISP subscriber details. The Council does not have the power to force the ISP Providers to disclose the subscriber details. However, the Council did provide the Police with all the IP addresses and details of how Council officers had linked these to Mr Gillick or his company via open source research.

As for the Police and the CPS, you will need to raise those queries with them.

As I stated previously in my e-mail dated 23 December 2014, if you have any queries regarding the decision of the CPS not to pursue this matter, they should be addressed to the partnership Brent Borough Chief Inspector, Andy Jones.

Yours sincerely
As stated on a previous blog (No prosecution in the Kensal Rise Library case - December  23rd 2014) 'it seems that the key to ultimately tracking back an IP address to a user is to engage with the ISP and get it (or force it via a judge) to release the data showing which client was issued with what IP address at a particular time of day'.  The question is, therefore: did Brent police seek the ISP subscriber details before handing over its dossier to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS)? If not, why not? 

It was on 19 December 2014, in the run-up to the Xmas holidays, that the CPS advised Brent's Audit and Investigation Unit that 'there is insufficient evidence to proceed against Andrew Gillick'. In a New Year's Day interview with the Brent and Kilburn Times, a CPS spokesman elaborated: 'Having carefully considered all the material supplied we have decided there was insufficient evidence to support a realistic prospect of conviction in this case. The evidence did not prove this to the required standard and we therefore advised the police that no further action should be taken'.

So if Brent police didn't seek the ISP subscriber details, did the CPS do so instead? If it didn't, how could it conclude that the 'required standard' of evidence for a prosecution in the fraudulent email affair was unproven? A reply from Brent's partnership borough chief inspector and the CPS is awaited. 


Anonymous said...

Keep up the good work Meg

Anonymous said...

This has to be investigated further.

It makes a mockery of the Law if charges can't be brought when it seems there was evidence collected by Brent that the fraudulent emails came from Gillick and or someone close to him.

Perhaps they could not prove who actually sent them !

Charge them all in any event, as would rather see them argue it all in a court of Law than have the case dropped.

Anonymous said...

It would be good to know what councillors Mashari and Denselow have to say about this. Both were, I believe, involved in discussions with Mr Gillick after the fake emails posted in favour of the developer's first planning application.

Anonymous said...

I wonder what cllr Butt and the local cllrs have to say.

Anonymous said...

Seems like Money Talks and no prosecution !

Anonymous said...

Ssshhhhh ......... you don't want to wake up that person(s) who repeatedly tells you that Mr Gillick is a nice bloke/a clever man who is simply doing what an entrepreneur's gotta do/ a shining example of the virtues of freedom/capitalism/opportunity etc etc etc and you're all jealous/hippies/ jealous hippies or limp-wristed book-reading faggots, do you?

Anonymous said...

Well-said - and LOL!

Anonymous said...

Surely this was material consideration in the planning decision if Brent themselves believe there was an attempt to defraud the planning system ?

Martin Francis said...

You would think so, wouldn't you? The Planning Committee postponed a decision to seek legal opinion on the email issue and then after receiving it went ahead and approved the application:

Meg Howarth said...

Apologies for the 'alleged' which crept into the opening sentence of the above blog. The fake emails were clearly fraudulent - residents addresses were stolen and used with fake names to support the planning application for change-of-use of Kensal Rise Library.