Sunday, 5 May 2013

The Rhino Whip Scandal

Sheffield has long had a tough reputation, not only for being the Steel production city but also for it`s criminal history.  It`s most notorious time was during the 1920`s when it was plagued by gang warfare and the excessive response of force by the Police, breaking up the gambling and protection mobs of Sam Garvin & George Mooney.  But an incident in 1963 brought the force into disrepute.  A special crime squad had been formed under the command of DCS Carnill, and their job was to investigate serious crime, from burglaries upwards.  At a briefing, they were told by DCI Wells that the people they were dealing with were seasoned villains who would not admit to anything.

    Two young constables in the squad. Derek Streets & Derek Millicheap went to a public house on information received.  At the White Horse, they arrested two brothers and another man, on committing a number of burglaries and taken in for questioning.  The "interrogation" involved beatings from a truncheon and a small leather object known as a Rhino Tail.  The other man was released but the brothers were charged, and when appearing in court, showed the marks on their bodies, to the magistrates.  The Chief Constable ordered an immediate inquiry, to be headed by DCS Carnill.  The inquiry dragged as no statements were taken from officers more than a week and the officers notebooks were written up a week after the incident.  The offending whip and truncheon vanished.  The brothers were released without charge.

    The two officers received summonses alleging assault, and it was attempted to explain away the injuries as the results of the brothers being involved in S&M.  Then the story changed to them being involved in a street fight, which the officers attempted to quell but the brothers were drunk and aggressive so the officers unintentionally used too much force. The constables were fined but were dismissed by the Chief Constable.  They appealed against their dismissal   An internal report stated that the squad spent five days attempting to come up with an explanation for the injuries.  It emerged that DI Rowley was the man behind the new versions of events.  The two officers told the inquiry that they were told to come clean and they would not lose their jobs.  These suggestions came from Rowley & Carnill.  Rowley resigned from the force.  Then the Chief Constable & Carnill were suspended, then Carnill and DCI Wells took retirement.  The Chief Constable resigned his post.  It was said that the CC did not live in the real world and had difficulty in accepting that men under his command could commit such acts.  Street & Millicheap lost their appeals.