No case brings up accusations of cover-ups and frame-ups more than the case of Deputy Chief Constable of Manchester, John Stalker, and prominent local businessman Kevin Taylor. Stalker had been given the unenviable task of investigating an alleged "Shoot to kill" policy in Northern Ireland. It was assumed that Stalker would give a whitewash, considering the political situation there. But it seems he ruffled many feathers by being completely professional. Suddenly he was suspended without reason, and his continued complaints was that he was never told why. How did it start? Over a game of golf. There was a change of play at a club, and a top cop was partnered with somebody he did not know. After the game, in the clubhouse, they talked about their jobs and in particular about Policework. This guy casually mentioned he heard about a top cop being on the payroll of a prominent Manchester gang. The cop reported what he had been told and it was clear he meant Stalker and the Quality Street Gang.
Where did Kevin Taylor come into this? He was a friend of Stalkers` and was alleged to be the leader of the QSG. This was complete and utter rubbish but the Police had to come up with something. Taylor was alleged to have been a major drug importer, and though the Police denied this, it was shown that their enquiries WERE about drugs. This failed, and so it was his businesses that came under scrutiny. He was charged with defrauding the Co-op bank, but strangely enough, the bank did not make a complaint. The Police decided that a deal he was conducting was fraud. I remember Taylor giving an interview with Granada Reports, the local news programme saying "I do not know what I have supposed to have done. They will not even tell my Solicitor. I ask but they say nothing". Court orders giving Police the authorisation to seize all Taylors` business papers was granted, after an unopened letter with "evidence" in it showing Taylors` criminality, was handed to a judge.
Taylor effectively lost everything. His businesses collapsed, he lost his plush home. He was ruined. Put on trial, his barrister had been involved in a car accident and was facing charges, but strangely enough, these charges were held off for eighteen months and then served on him on the day of the trial, effectively taking him away. Not an opportunity to sabotage the defence was it? Taylors` other barrister took over the case. He had been investigated by the newish Drug Intelligence Unit, which had amassed files on hundreds of people. Famous names included football manager Malcolm Allison and leading barrister George Carmen! Gave an indication of their abilities! But the lynchpin was when it was revealed that the envelope handed to the judge contained nothing of value. The cop formally in charge, was forced to admit, lie after lie after lie. The case collapsed. Taylor later received substantial compensation and died in 2001.
Stalker was reinstated but left under a cloud, and turned to journalism. Jimmy Donnelly, a leading member of the QSG said Stalker had absolutely nothing to do with them, and was totally innocent. A former ranking cop told me of the time he was on a course. Most of the people were Manchester cops and it was at the height of the "Stalker Affair". He said that all of them had nothing but the highest respect for Stalker and they believed he was the victim of a conspiracy centred on his Ulster enquiry. "I have never heard of such a high ranking officer spoken about so respectfully than John Stalker" he said. Enough said.