The Liberal Agenda – Who killed Blair Peach?

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WHO KILLED BLAIR PEACH?
Easter Monday, April 22nd, 7.30pm.Upstairs, Grey Lynn RSC, Francis St, Grey Lynn, Auckland

Blair Peach was a New Zealander murdered by a unit of the British police Special Patrol Group. He was beaten over the head while he was protesting against a meeting of the anti-immigrant far right in Southall, London, forty years ago this month.

No one has ever been charged with his murder.

Who Killed Blair Peach? is a docu-drama being presented by Michael Hurst and Donogh Rees upstairs at the Grey Lynn RSC, 1 Francis St, on Easter Monday night, April 22, 7.30pm.

This is an excerpt, the dialogue taken directly from the police record—

 

1.

INVESTIGATOR:    Inspector, this is a very serious business. I understand you have made a 991 and cannot assist as to how Clement Blair Peach received the fatal injury to his head?

COP:   No, I can’t. I got out at the junction of Beachcroft and Broadway.

INVESTIGATOR:   So you wouldn’t have seen Peach hit?

COP:   That’s right.

INVESTIGATOR:   You realise we’re going to check that.

COP:   How much longer have I got to stay here and be questioned like this?

INVESTIGATOR:   Until we’ve finished our questions.

COP:   I don’t feel well. I need some food.

 

2.

INVESTIGATOR:   Constable, who was in the front passenger seat?

COP:  I don’t know.

INVESTIGATOR:  Who else was in the van?

COP:  I think Murray, Richardson and the driver, but I can’t recall if anyone else was in the van.

INVESTIGATOR:  How many officers can a van carry?

COP:  Any amount.

INVESTIGATOR:  How long had you been in the van?

COP:  I can’t recall, it was a confusing incident.

INVESTIGATOR:  Where was PC Richardson sitting?

COP:  I don’t know.

INVESTIGATOR:  Did you get out of the van on your own initiative?

COP:  I don’t know.

INVESTIGATOR:  Did you follow anyone out?

COP:  No.

INVESTIGATOR:  Was it on Inspector Murray’s orders?

COP:  I don’t know. I have almost no memory of what happened.

INVESTIGATOR:  But you are quite certain that the van had stopped at the start of Beachcroft Avenue rather than further down the road where Peach was struck.

COP:  Yes.

INVESTIGATOR:  I put it to you that you’re lying.

COP:  I’ve got nothing to hide.

INVESTIGATOR:  I have a list of officers who remember you getting out at the corner of Orchard Avenue and Beachcroft Avenue.

COP:  If they recollected it different, there you go.

INVESTIGATOR:  Once more I put it to you that you’re lying.

COP:  All I can say is that’s how I recollect it.

INVESTIGATOR:  Perhaps your memory might be faulty.

COP:  That’s how I recollect it.

 

3.

INVESTIGATOR:   Constable, during a search of your locker you were found to have been in possession of a lead-weighted leather-plaited stick, Nazi regalia, bayonets, German awards and medals from the first and second world wars. What’s that all about then?

COP:  I also have British regimental badges and bayonets.

 

4.

INVESTIGATOR:   Constable, three officers climbed into your van and you drove them away.

COP:  I really don’t remember.

INVESTIGATOR:  Did you recognise those officers?

COP:  As I said, I don’t recall.

INVESTIGATOR:  They were from your unit.

COP:  As I said…

INVESTIGATOR:  But you do remember that you stopped the van at the start of Beachcroft Avenue rather than further down the road where Peach was struck?

COP:  Yes.

INVESTIGATOR:  You’re sure?

COP:  Yes.

 

5.

INVESTIGATOR:    Constable, you had six unauthorised weapons in your locker. When you realised your locker was about to be searched, you tried to conceal one, a metal cosh.

COP:  When I heard the officers from the complaints division were on their way, I think in a moment of panic, or whatever happens in those split seconds, I put the cosh in my anorak pocket.

INVESTIGATOR:  This cosh was made from a heavy gauge spring, topped by lead and wrapped with tape.

COP:  Yes.

INVESTIGATOR:  As well you had a crowbar and a jemmy in your locker.

COP:  They were to help with executing search warrants.

INVESTIGATOR:  A long whip.

COP:  A souvenir. I’d been on a trip to America.

INVESTIGATOR:  A whip handle.

COP:  I’d picked it up… One of the carriers.

INVESTIGATOR:  From one of the police carriers?

COP:  An SPG carrier.

INVESTIGATOR:  And a heavy brass handle, as used on some winches.

COP:  Yes.

INVESTIGATOR:  Do you realise how serious this is? Did you have them with you at Southall?

COP:  Well, that’d be a stupid thing to do, wouldn’t it?

 

6.

INVESTIGATOR:   Constable, do you remember how the van you were in, SPG Carrier U1/1, was first driven into Beachcroft Avenue?

COP:  No.

INVESTIGATOR:  Did it stop?

COP:  I can’t recall.

INVESTIGATOR:  Did it slow down?

COP:  Can’t recall.

INVESTIGATOR:  Did it make a clean sweep of the area?

COP:  I really can’t recall.

INVESTIGATOR:  Who was in the van?

COP:  I don’t remember.

INVESTIGATOR  Who was in charge of the van?

COP:  I don’t know.

INVESTIGATOR:  Were you ordered to get out of the van?

COP:  I don’t know.

INVESTIGATOR:  You must have been ordered out.

COP:  I can’t remember.

INVESTIGATOR:  Which door did you get out?

COP:  I can’t recall.

INVESTIGATOR:  But you do remember—this is your statement—you do remember getting out of the van, seeing a white man holding a brick as if to throw it at you, then chasing the man, who had turned and run away, back toward the Broadway, thus taking you out of the area where the incident occurred and hence in no way involved in the death of the deceased?

COP:  Yes.

 

7.

INVESTIGATOR:    Inspector, I’m going to read back to part of the transcript of our first interview:

“Question: This is a very serious business. I understand you made a 991 and cannot assist as to how Clement Blair Peach received the injury to his head?

“Answer:  No, I can’t. I got out at the junction of Beachcroft and Broadway.

“Question:  So you wouldn’t have seen Peach hit?

“Answer:  That’s right.”

You now admit you got out of the carrier at the corner of Beachcroft and Orchard.

COP:  Yes.

INVESTIGATOR:  Why did you say you got out of the carrier at the junction of Beachcroft and Broadway?

COP:  Look, I’ve put it right. I’ve been thinking about it fifty times a day. It came to me.

INVESTIGATOR:  It came to you because you know we know you got out at the junction of Beachcroft and Orchard.

COP:  I’ve been thinking about it and it came to me.

INVESTIGATOR:  If you got out at the junction of Beachcroft and Broadway, you wouldn’t have seen Peach hit. But in fact you got out at the junction of Beachcroft and Orchard. So you were there, you would have seen how it happened.

COP:  Well I didn’t.

INVESTIGATOR:  I want to know how Peach got his injury. Did you or one of your men hit him on the head?

COP:  Is that what you want me to say?

INVESTIGATOR:  I want the truth.

COP:  I can’t help you.

INVESTIGATOR:  You claimed in your original report that there were non-SPG officers ahead of you in Beachcroft Avenue. After no small investigation we have found this to be untrue.

COP:  My solicitor says I don’t have to answer any more questions.

 

8.

INVESTIGATOR:   Constable, in your original interview you gave the same account as two other officers, that you stopped the van at the start of Beachcroft Avenue rather than further down the road where Peach was struck.

One of the officers, under further questioning, has rescinded that. I am now cautioning you. Do you realise the implication of being cautioned?

COP:  Yes.

INVESTIGATOR:  A man has been killed. You are a suspect. Anything you say may be used as evidence against you in court. Further, anything you fail to mention and which you later seek to rely on in court may draw an adverse inference. You were the driver. Where did you stop the van?

COP:  We stopped further down the road.

INVESTIGATOR:  Near where Peach was struck?

COP:  Yes.

INVESTIGATOR:  Then what happened?

COP:  Inspector Murray got out and he and other officers forced the demonstrators round the corner into Orchard Avenue, pushing them in face-to-face close contact.

INVESTIGATOR:  This is the location where Peach was struck down?

COP:  That’s where they went.

INVESTIGATOR:  Inspector Murray and other officers?

COP:  Inspector Murray and Officer Bint. They got out of the carrier on the corner and went straight into the crowd.

INVESTIGATOR:  Who was in the van? In all?

COP:  Inspector Murray, constables Bint, Scottow, Richardson and Freestone.

INVESTIGATOR:  And you’re able to name them?

COP:  Yes.

INVESTIGATOR:  You remember them?

COP:  Yes.

INVESTIGATOR:  Previously you denied any memory of what took place. Now you’re able to name all the occupants of the vehicle.

COP:  It’s come back to me.

INVESTIGATOR:  I suggest to you that you’ve been prevaricating in order to frustrate the identification and punishment of Peach’s killer.

COP:  In my position now, I wouldn’t be protecting anyone and that’s the truth.

INVESTIGATOR:  What position is that, do you think? You mean the cosh and the weapons found in your locker?

COP:  Yes.

INVESTIGATOR:  Yes. Indeed. However, the wound on the deceased in fact doesn’t match with the cosh. In the opinion of forensics a standard-type steel-cased Motorola was the most likely instrument… Who had the radio?

 

WHO KILLED BLAIR PEACH?

Easter Monday, April 22nd, 7.30pm.

Upstairs, Grey Lynn RSC, Francis St, Grey Lynn, Auckland

Dean Parker is a NZ Playwright who  played football and socialised with Kiwi protester Blair Peach in the 1950s.

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Authorised by Martyn Bradbury, The Editor, TheDailyBlog,