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Chief Constable says he will do all he can to maintain peace in Birmingham

Chief Constable Chris Sims has relseased a statement following the verdict of the Winson Green trial yesterday where eight men were found not guilty of the deaths of three men who died in last summer's riots. He assured he will do all he can to ensure peace remains in Birmingham.

"I understand the terrible impact that yesterday"s verdict had on two families who were already grieving the loss of three young men."It is also clear that the trial decision has affected all the communities of Birmingham."My officers carried out a painstaking investigation in difficult circumstances. The people involved in the incident were identified and the facts put before the jury, including disturbing CCTV footage of the event."

– Chief Constable Chris Sims

The Chief Constable went on to say the police respect the jury's decision and commented on the IPCC enquiry.

"There has been comment in the media over the judge's decision concerning an officer lying in court. I understand that this particular issue is of significant concern to our communities."Determining a police officer has lied in court is a serious issue.

"I do not at this time understand how, on the facts currently known, this decision has been reached. Whilst we support the IPCC enquiry, I have asked officers and legal advisors to review transcripts and statements on that part of the proceedings to determine what steps I may wish to take on this matter.

– Chief Constable Chris Sims

The Chief Constable concluded his statement by saying that he continues to meet with members of the community who are working hard to maintain calm and strengthen relationships, doing all he can to support their work.

  1. Kate Fisher

Winson Green Verdict, full report

Eight men have been cleared of murdering three friends who were knocked down by a car during last summer's riots.

Haroon Jahan and brothers Shazad Ali and Abdul Musavir were protecting local businesses in the Winson Green area of Birmingham when they died.

Today the Independent Police Complaints Commission has launched an inquiry after the senior investigating officers lied during the trial. Our correspondent Kate Fisher has our top story.


IPCC begins investigation into conduct of senior West Midlands Police officer following murder trial

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has launched an investigation into the conduct of a senior West Midlands Police officer related to the Winson Green murder trial.

Evidence was heard during the trial suggesting that certain witnesses may have been promised immunity from from prosecution by police in return for them giving evidence against the defendants.

"The trial judge, Mr justice Flaux, temporarily halted the trial and questioned police officers and others on oath to establish the facts around the non-disclosure of this information.The judge in a statement to the court has since raised concerns about the evidence given to him by a Detective Chief Inspector during this questioning, this was the senior investigating officer in the murder case."

– Independent Police Complaints Commission

This matter was referred to the IPCC by West Midlands Police, as a result the IPCC has decided to undertake an independent investigation.

Father says 'a fair verdict' has been reached in Winson Green trial

The father of Aaron Parkins has said the verdict was a fair one in the Winson Green trial, which cleared eight men of the murder of three friends who were hit by a car during last summer's riots.

After praising the judge father Donald Parkins told how the the trial has affected his son "very stressful, emotional at times, sometimes you can hardly talk to him, he had a lot on his mind put it that way."

When the riots took place Aaron Parkins was at college, his father said the trial was a big set back for him and he hopes he can now pick up the threads of his life and continue with his college career.

Driver told jury of Winson Green trial 'it was absolutely an accident"

The driver of the Mazda, Ian Beckford told the trial the tragedy was "absolutely an accident" which happened as he tried to drive along Dudley Road during the riots.

When asked by his barrister Paul Lewis QC if he had intended to kill the two brothers and their friend he replied "I haven't got it in me to do something like that."

Ian Beckford also said that only a monster would be capable of driving into three men.

Giving evidence from the witness box he said:

"I was just frightened, I just wanted to get past the group, that's all I wanted to do.

"I could not just drive my car into people and kill them. I haven't got it in me to do something like that.

"I wouldn't do something like that, not in a million years I wouldn't."

"To me it was an accident, to me it was absolutely an accident.

"There is no way I could have prevented that from happening. It could have been prevented but not by me."

– Ian Beckford

Beckford also said that he had been friends with Abdul Musavir and Shazad Ali for about 13 or 14 years:

"I am very sorry for what happened. Two of my friends have passed away because of it, and another person. I've got a lot of regrets."

– Ian Beckford


Riots deaths - how communities in Birmingham were affected

The deaths of the three friends shocked the whole country - but what happened immediately afterwards was totally unexpected and brought a divided community back from the brink.

Andy Bevan has been examining the events leading up to that night, what happened in the minutes before the men were hit, and whether or not that collective coming-together has remained intact.

Judge appealed for calm on streets of Birmingham following verdict

A judge appealed for calm today after eight men were cleared of murdering three friends who were hit by a car during last summer's riots.

After the verdicts, trial judge Mr Justice Flaux appealed for calm on the streets of Birmingham and urged people to respect the jury's findings.

"On any view, this has been a terrible case - a tragic and pointless loss of three young lives.

"However, by their verdicts the jury have decided that this was not a deliberate killing, that there was no plan to kill these three young men.

"The jury have decided that this was a terrible accident."

– Mr Justice Flaux

The judge who said the deaths occurred at a time of unprecedented civil disorder, added:

"It is important that however strong feelings are within the community in Winson Green and adjacent areas, that calm is maintained and that these verdicts are respected.

"Any other action would not be honouring those who died. In fact, quite the reverse. What happened on the streets of Birmingham and other cities last August should never be repeated."

– Mr Justice Flaux
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