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Cops accused of framing musician in cannabis rap

PUBLISHED: 11:55 10 September 2009 | UPDATED: 17:08 25 August 2010

Pic shows Police Officer Marcus Garvey, at Southwark Crown Court today.

PS Marcus Garvey, PC Wayne Campbell and PCSO Stefanie Loftus for assault and perverting the course of justice. 
Cannabis trial thrown out after a tape called into question their evidence.

TRIAL IS STARTING TODAY. 7.9.09
SEE STORY CENTRAL NEWS

Pic shows Police Officer Marcus Garvey, at Southwark Crown Court today. PS Marcus Garvey, PC Wayne Campbell and PCSO Stefanie Loftus for assault and perverting the course of justice. Cannabis trial thrown out after a tape called into question their evidence. TRIAL IS STARTING TODAY. 7.9.09 SEE STORY CENTRAL NEWS

TWO police officers were caught out trying to frame a musician for possession of cannabis when he secretly taped his arrest, a court heard.

TWO police officers were caught out trying to frame a musician for possession of cannabis when he secretly taped his arrest, a court heard.

Police Sergeant Marcus Garvey, 44, from Abbey Wood and PC Wayne Campbell, 41, from Cliffe, near Rochester, both based at Eltham police station, allegedly lied about finding the drug in Benjamin Thacker's pocket during a raid in a squat in Tudway Road at the Ferrier Estate, Kidbrooke on January 26 last year.

On Monday Southwark Crown Court heard that Mr Thacker, a squatter, was cleared of possessing the class C drug after the dictaphone recording was played at his trial at Greenwich Magistrates Court in March of last year.

A police community Support Officer, Stefanie Loftus, 23, from Ilford, Essex is said to have colluded with the cops over the incident.

Prosecuting Claire Howell, said the trio, sledge hammered the door down, dragged Mr Thacker outside, discovered cannabis inside the property, then pretended they had pulled it out of his pocket.

The barrister said Garvey had met Mr Thacker twice before.

She said: "Mr Thacker is not in the police. He is someone who smokes cannabis and squats in empty properties.

"He is someone who these three officers thought did not matter, who these three officers thought no-one would believe."

Holding up an exhibit inside a bag, the prosecutor added: "This is a small voice recording device.

"He is a musician and often records music on this device.

"On this occasion he recorded what was happening to him."

It records him being taken out to the garden while Garvey went back inside and found the cannabis, it is claimed.

The officer returns with it in his hand and says to Campbell: "Well, you might as well arrest him for possession of cannabis."

Mr Thacker can be heard to protest: "What's that? That's not on me, that's not even mine."

All three deny one count of 'doing acts tending or intended to pervert the course of public justice' between January 25 and March 6 last year.

The trial continues.

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