The straw that broke the camel’s back?

Several well placed sources have confirmed that Dr Carolyn Wilkins, highly paid chief executive of Oldham Metropolitan District Council, is presently on gardening leave. The Council’s website records that her present salary is £185,169, compared to the median salary of £24,491. No wrongdoing on the part of Dr Wilkins is expressed, or implied, beyond whatContinue reading “The straw that broke the camel’s back?”

Will lack of funding block road to justice?

A long-running battle against alleged miscarriages of justice is grinding along slowly, but surely. But, as so many have found before Ralph Christie, a Leeds-born carpet trader turned property developer, a lack of funds severely hampers the process, writes Neil Wilby. The proceedings in question began with his arrest by West Yorkshire Police in July,Continue reading “Will lack of funding block road to justice?”

What the Doctor ordered

Oldham is a town with a shocking reputation, both regionally and nationally. That is inarguable: It is the 17th worst town to live in England. Four of its twenty electoral wards feature in the top 1% of the most deprived in the country. It has a history of racial tension, most recently at a widelyContinue reading “What the Doctor ordered”

Watt a carry on

This is the second of two linked articles featuring the innocence claim of Ralph Christie, a Crete-based property developer who was convicted of five fraud offences at Bradford Crown Court in 2015. It focuses on the role of former business associate turned prosecution witness, Susan Watt. The first of the two articles, which sets outContinue reading “Watt a carry on”

New information aids upcoming innocence claim bid

A case that began with a criminal investigation in July, 2009 is still beset, very nearly twelve years later, by impediments in two legal jurisdictions, thousands of miles apart, writes Neil Wilby. In September, 2020, it was reported elsewhere on this website that an appeal hearing on the Greek island of Crete had been delayedContinue reading “New information aids upcoming innocence claim bid”

Another step on long road to justice?

This weekend, the latest legal submissions will be made to the Criminal Case Review Commission (“CCRC”) in an effort to clear the name of a man convicted of murder in 1994 (writes Neil Wilby). The ‘Further Reply’ is in response to a Provisional Statement of Reasons issued by the criminal justice watchdog in October, 2019.Continue reading “Another step on long road to justice?”

Disinformation discolours local elections

This article is an adaption from a post on the Valent Newsletter blog, a site dedicated to ‘dealing with Disinformation/Misinformation/Fake News…..and online manipulation’. Full credit is given to both Valent and the author, Hamish Falconer. His article is linked here. It’s sub-heading is ‘A QAnon-style campaign helps topple a council leader’. There are a significantContinue reading “Disinformation discolours local elections”

End of the Line?

Over the past seven weeks, or so, I have written elsewhere on this website a review of each of the preceding six episodes of the blockbusting TV Drama, Line of Duty, writes Neil Wilby. Those reviews, each of which also included a look ahead to the next instalment, and addressed the burning questions that grewContinue reading “End of the Line?”

Legal letter stuns Party Leaders into silence

On 27th April, 2021, an article published elsewhere on this website (read in full here), and headlined ‘A Dirty Business‘, revealed, exclusively, an acrimonious dispute between the Leader of Oldham Metropolitan District Council and a fledgling political party in his local ward, writes Neil Wilby. Just a couple of days earlier, the sniping on theContinue reading “Legal letter stuns Party Leaders into silence”

Line of Duty – review of episode 6

Last week’s review of episode 5 proved a big hit and sets the bar high (read here). There were some good calls, spectacular misses and a couple of shots hit the woodwork. I’m grateful to every one of the tens of thousands who read and shared the piece. This is all a welcome, if challenging,Continue reading “Line of Duty – review of episode 6”