Ex-Merseyside Police chief 'lied and falsified evidence'

Preston Crown Court
Image caption The jury were instructed not to consider if Mr Beecham was guilty or not but what Mr Cloherty did afterwards regarding his police notebook

A former Merseyside police chief falsified evidence and lied on oath after arresting a man over a minor road accident, a jury was told.

Supt Michael Cloherty, 51, made such a "proper mess" of his first arrest in nine years that he falsified records, Preston Crown Court heard on Tuesday.

The prosecution claim errors were made following the arrest of a man in 2010.

Mr Cloherty, of Formby, denies perjury, misconduct in public office and perverting the course of justice.

'A liar'

The jury were instructed not to consider if the arrested man, Jack Beecham, was guilty or not but what Mr Cloherty did afterwards regarding his police notebook.

The court heard Mr Cloherty was on his way to Wallasey police station on 27 May 2010 when the accident occurred, leading to the arrest.

Mr Beecham disputed his arrest but was convicted of assaulting a police officer and driving with no insurance in 2011.

He appealed and the conviction was overturned in 2012, when Cloherty - who had been promoted to chief superintendent - gave evidence for the prosecution.

But Mr Beecham was "not prepared to simply leave it", the court was told, and instigated further inquiries to be made, leading the defendant's charges.

Guy Mathieson, prosecuting, said investigations revealed discrepancies in the statement and entries in his pocket notebook, with Mr Cloherty's statement failing to mention he cautioned the suspect on arrest or explain the reason for it.

Notes made in pocket notebook sought to correct the "failings" in the statement, the court heard.

The jury was told the notebook contained entries dated 19 May 2010 - but records showed it was only issued to him eight days later - the day Mr Beecham's arrest.

Mr Mathieson told the court the now retired police boss was "a liar about where and when he made those entries".

The trial continues.

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