Will landmark birthday bring change of heart for troubled ex-cop?

Screenshot 2022-10-17 at 12.07.05

Today, 17th October, 2022, marks the 60th birthday of Cedric Mark Christie, writes Neil Wilby.

The youngest of four brothers, he grew up in Headingley, Leeds before joining the police service as a cadet. He graduated in 1981, becoming a warranted officer and giving ‘exemplary’ service for 30 years before retiring at the rank of inspector in 2011.

After spending most of those 27 years as a hard-working, shrewd, well-respected officer, including a spell as a detective with the elite Regional Crime Squad (now superseded by the National Crime Agency) he spent the last three years of his police service under a cloud.

An investment in 2008 in a property development on the Greek island of Crete, being managed by his older brother, Ralph Christie, and its quick profit, cast suspicion amongst his police colleagues. By then, he was a detective inspector in charge of one of the specialist sections the Economic Crime Unit (ECU), tackling money laundering by serious and organised criminals. One of his biggest successes, for which he received a judge’s commendation, which led to the conviction of a major drug-dealing gang in Halifax.

An internal police investigation against Cedric followed the Cretan investment and he was removed from his ECU and given what he described as a non-job in the Safer Leeds Partnership, a community venture involving Leeds City Council amongst others.

In the event, he spent most of the last three years of his police service on sick leave and it is fair to say the career of Inspector Cedric Christie had ended without fanfare, even though he was ultimately cleared of wrongdoing by his own Professional Standards Department (PSD) over the ‘get rich quick’ investment in Crete and, shortly afterwards, the certification of his exemplary service by the chief constable.

Part of the cloud that hung over Cedric was a police investigation into Ralph Christie that had commenced in 2009 following a complaint brought by a Bradford businessman, Stephen Thomas. The allegations concerned the property developing business in Crete in which the two men were, very largely, partners. There was also a civil claim filed in the Greek courts that was to later prove significant (read more here).

After retirement, Cedric became a dedicated and vociferous campaigner over what he said was an ill-founded WYP conspiracy against the two Christie brothers, himself and Ralph. That spilled over into a campaign to become Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire in November, 2012 (the author of this article, Neil Wilby, was retained as Cedric’s campaign manager).

On a single platform of driving out corruption in WYP, and with a late decision to stand meaning only four weeks to elicit support, he still finished a close second to the hot favourite, the Labour Party’s sitting and long-standing Chair of the West Yorkshire Police Authority. Established candidates from both the Conservatives and LibDems were both well beaten.

But, within a year, and with the four year WYP  investigation into his brother making only slow progress, not least because Stephen Thomas was no longer either a complainant or witness, Cedric had turned turtle and began to work against Ralph and resumed contact with his former WYP colleagues. Notably, Detective Chief Inspector (as he was then) Simon Bottomley and Chief Superintendent Andy Brennan whom, at that time, before his abrupt and unexpected ‘retirement’, was Head of West Yorkshire Police PSD. A role Officer Bottomley was later to fulfil, having been promoted to the same rank.

Cedric has consistently refused to make clear what the essence of that contact actually was, although it is known that he was also in communication with other miscarriage of justice proponents in West Yorkshire, notably John Elam (read more here), appearing to assist but never actually achieving anything, except making covert recordings of complainants and/or witnesses or undertaking other forms of surveillance.

But what is apparent is that the change of sides, and at least two deeply flawed satellite ‘investigations’ he carried out in Crete, led to a dramatic change in tempo for both the Crown Prosecution Service and WYP. It also led to a seven year prison sentence for his brother, the full details of which can be read here.

Despite all that, this is a heartfelt birthday message to Cedric from brother Ralph:

“This is a landmark day for you dear brother, whom I still care about and love very much, even after all that has happened between us since 2008.

“Knowing you as I do, as an elder brother and lifelong devotee, and in the light of our meetings in Athens and Crete, I know that you are definitely not at peace with yourself.

“You, once again, recognised at our last meeting, here in Crete in March 2022, and apologised for the wrong turns that you had taken in respect of my dealings with the police force of which you were an integral part for 30 years.

“In the light of the latest developments, and with grateful thanks to a generous sponsor who has come forward after reading about my case, my case papers are about to be reviewed by a leading criminal appeals specialist in the UK.

“This would be a good moment for us both to find peace by way of you handing over all your own documents and papers to my legal team and answer any questions about your flawed investigations in Crete that led to no less than thirteen extra counts being added to my indictment at Bradford Crown Court.

“So, please brother, as we are reaching our senior years, do the right thing and let’s work together wisely and with integrity, as we always had done before 2014, and put right these wrongs and add sincerity to the apology you have already given to me.

“This would also bring comfort to our wider family and go a long way to restoring harmony.

“You are also, of course, very welcome to come here to Crete at any time and we can, belatedly, raise a glass or two to the next phase in your life”.

UPDATE: Cedric, so far, has not responded at all to the generous birthday wishes sent to him by his brother. He has also not objected to the contents of the wider article, as he did with one published in May, 2022 and headlined ‘He Ain’t Heavy He’s My Brother‘ (read here). After taking up his right to reply – and requesting that the article be taken down because, he said, parts were not true – he failed to provide any details at all of the alleged errors or untruths, when asked, as to why such draconian action should be taken. It remains unchallenged on Neil Wilby Media to this day and its author is very confident it would withstand any legal scrutiny.

Page last updated Tuesday 18th October, 2022 at 1235hrs

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Published by Neil Wilby

Former Johnston Press area managing director. Justice campaigner. Freelance investigative journalist.

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