8. Appendix 5

Appendix 5

(a report by Hackney Community Defence Association)

Police officers acquitted

On Friday 8 December 1995 PC Ronald Palumbo was acquitted of perjury at the Old Bailey when the trail judge directed the jury to acquit the defendant after the Crown Prosecution Service offered no further evidence. The Crown's case fell apart after their first witness, Police Sergeant McHattie, failed to remembers events some four years previously in the trial of R v Noel, when it was alleged PC Palumbo committed perjury.

The previous Friday, 1 December, PC Palumbo and DC Barry John Lyons were acquitted by jury of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and perjury in the case of R v Tulloch, heard in September 1991.

These two trials brought to an end the criminal proceedings arising from the Metropolitan Police Service's Complaints' Investigation Bureau's 'Operation Jackpot' investigation of drug dealing, theft and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice by officers at Stoke Newington police station.
Police complaints procedure inadequate

The overwhelming conclusion as regards the completion of the Stoke Newington Drug Scandal is that the current police complaints procedure proved woefully inadequate to deal with an investigation of this scale.

In terms of the number of people touched by the scandal, the length of time the investigation took and the financial costs both to the police and the courts, require close examination to demonstrate the failings of the police complaints procedure, and why the victims of police crime are turning to the civil courts for justice

Hackney Community Defence Association, which conducted its own investigation into the activities of Stoke Newington detectives and campaigned for a judicial inquiry into policing in Hackney and Stoke Newington, became aware of 90 cases in which allegations of wrongdoing were made.

In 77 of the cases taken up by HCDA, people were charged with criminal offences which led to the following results:

CPS offered no evidence 20
Acquitted 22
Convicted 35
Successful appeals against conviction 13
Civil Actions 25


45 police officers were investigated by 'Operation Jackpot'. All based at Stoke Newington police station at some time during the period December 1988 to November 1992, many were transferred to other duties at other police stations. On two days, 28 and 29 January 1992, eight officers were transferred after the Met publicly acknowledged Jackpot's existence, other officers were transferred before and after that date and Stoke Newington Drug Squad was effectively disbanded.

One police officer, Seargeant Gerrard Carroll, under investigation by the Jackpot team, committed suicide on 28 January 1991.

Four police officers were suspended from duty:

DC Roy Lewandowski 17 November 1991
PC Ronald Palumbo 17 June 1992
PC James Bruce Galbraith 17 June 1992
Dc Barry John Lyons 11 September 1992

DC Lewandowski was convicted of theft and misfeasance in a public office and sentenced to 18 months imprisonment at Harrow Crown Court on 20 November 1992. After serving his sentence he emigrated to Australia.

PC Galbraith was not charged with any offences, and DC Lyons and PC Palumbo have been acquitted of all charges (although later convicted for other offences, see footnote below). Six police officers have been disowned by the Crown Prosecution Service as unreliable witnesses not worthy of belief - DCs Lyons and Peter McCulloch and PCs Palumbo, Mark Carroll, Terence Chitty and Caroline Mummery (nee Andrews). Neither the Police Complaints Authority or the Metropolitan Police Service have made public announcements on the results of any disciplinary proceedings against any of the police officers investigated to date.

Although a Drugs Scandal, not one police officer was charged with a drugs offence and no officer has been convicted in connection with drugs offences. This is despite the fact that it was accepted at Snaresbrook Crown Court in the trial of R v Cameron (10 July 1992) that Lewandowski had earned up to £2,000 a week supplying drugs, and despite official recognition by senior Met officers that Stoke Newington police officers had been engaged in supplying drugs.

Schedule of events



Lewandowski stole items from home of murder victim, David Berman



Rennie Kingsley and others planted with drugs in 'first wave' of miscarriages of justice



Arrest of major drugs dealer, Pearl Cameron


Operation Jackpot formally commenced


DC Lewandowski arrested; scope of Jackpot broadened.


Judge sends papers to DPP following collapse of Noel trial.



Eight officers transferred from Stoke Newington.
Metropolitan Police publicly announces 'Jackpot' existence
Sergeant Carroll commits suicide.


PCs Paulmbo and Galbraith suspended as a result of Noel case.


Pearl Cameron sentenced; acknowledged by court Lewandowski her supplier.


DC Lyons suspended as result of Dennis Tulloch case, arrested in September 1990 and convicted in September 1991.
Tulloch and Ida Oderinde released from prison on bail.


Lewandowski convicted of theft and misfeasance dating back to 1988.



Frank Hart and James Blake have manslaughter convictions for Berman death quashed by Court of Appeal.


Kingsley, Tulloch, Oderinde and Everard Brown have convictions quashed by Court of Appeal.



Final Jackpot report goes to DPP.


DPP announces Lyons and Palumbo to be charged with conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and perjury


Anson King awarded £70,000 damages for plant and assault by Stoke Newington officers in January 1991. Brings to total of £240,000 damages paid to eight plaintiffs.


Hugh Prince becomes the 13th person to have conviction quashed in connection with Jackpot enquiry.



Lyons and Paulmbo acquitted by Old Bailey jury of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and perjury in the Tulloch case
Palumbo acquitted of perjury in Noel case.
Rennie Kingsley makes statement in open court to accept £76,000 damages

Operation Jackpot

'Operation Jackpot' began life as an undercover operation. Following the arrest of Pearl Cameron in January 1991, Jackpot was formally established in April 1991 after she made a formal complaint about the activities of DC Lewandowski. The investigation was broadened to include other officers in November 1991 following the receipt of a complaint by Ida Oderinde.

The final Jackpot report went to the Director of Public Prosecutions on 3 February 1994, nearly three years after it commenced.

There are six areas where there were extreme and unnecessary time delays:

- Several victims made complaints at the time of their arrests; but these were not investigated for nearly two years, after the Met realised there was a serious problem at Stoke Newington.
- The length of time Operation Jackpot took to complete; three years.
- The time it took for police officers to be brought to trial; for Lewandowski it was over four years between the Berman murder enquiry and his prosecution; for Lyons and Palumbo it was five years between the arrests of Tulloch and Noel and their acquittals.
- The length of time it took for victims to have their convictions quashed; in many cases it took three years' in Hugh Prince's case it took over four years.
- The length of time it has taken for victims to gain compensation; for Rennie Kingsley it has taken more than five years and several others are still waiting.
- The length of time Lyons and Palumbo were suspended on full pay before their acquittals; over three years.

For all the persons involved in the Stoke Newington Drug Scandal, victims and police officers, injustice has been exacerbated by these time delays.


The financial costs of the Stoke Newington Drugs Scandal have been enormous. It is not possible to give a precise figure on the costs, although it will run into millions of pounds. The following is a breakdown of the expenses incurred:

- The running costs of the Stoke Newington Drug Squad, consisting of a Detective Inspector, a Detective Seargeant, two Detective Constables and eight Constables.
- The legal costs of the many unnecessary prosecutions which resulted in the CPS offering no evidence or court acquittals
- The legal costs of the 13 successful appeals and the other appeals which failed or are still continuing
- The costs of the three year Operation Jackpot investigation consisting of six senior officers including a Detective Superintendent, a Detective Inspector and two Detective Sergeants. We estimate that this alone will have cost approximately £1/2 million.
- The legal costs of three trials of four police officers
- The amount of money awarded by the Commissioner as compensation, it is known that over £400,000 has been paid to ten plaintiffs, and the additional legal costs paid by the Metropolitan Police.


There have been no winners in the Stoke Newington Drug Scandal. But the police complaints procedure, as established by the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, has been clearly shown to be unable to cope with crime. The Stoke Newington scandal has further undermined the credibility of the Police Complaints Authority.

In these circumstances, in which the police officers escape personal responsibility for their actions, it is not surprising that the victims of police crime are looking to the civil courts to gain redress.

Footnote - PC PALUMBO sent to prison for importing drugs

In February 1997 D.C Ronald Palumbo from Stoke Newington Police Station, along with his father-in-law Kenneth Harris, David Ng and Reginald Illingworth were all found guilty of conspiring to smuggle cannabis worth millions of pounds into Britain. Palumbo received a ten year sentence, Harris twelve, Ng ten and Illingworth nine.

Harris was described as the ringleader. This is difficult to believe. For such an operation it would be necessary to have the following: a driver [Illingworth], a mechanic [Ng], someone who owns a lorry firm [Harris] and someone responsible for getting rid of the gear. We suggest that Palumbo played this role.

Palumbo had been arrested only days after being acquitted of perjury at the Old Bailey in December 1995 [see above] and had clearly been planning the operation during the trial.

A spokesperson from the Colin Roach Centre, at the time said "We are obviously delighted. The verdict goes a long way to vindicating our statements on Stoke Newington Police. Many local people suffered at the hands of PC Palumbo and therefore the streets of Hackney will be a lot safer tonight. We are extremely pleased at the verdict".