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CPS advises prosecution of customs officer for public justice offences


The Crown Prosecution Service has advised the Independent Police Complaints Commission that customs officer Paul Cook should be prosecuted for misconduct in public office and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

Reviewing lawyer from the Special Crime Division of the CPS, Sally Walsh, said: "I have advised the IPCC that Mr Cook should be summonsed to appear at City of Westminster Magistrates' Court on 11 January 2011.

"The charges relate to a period from 1993 to 2001, when Mr Cook was an officer of Her Majesty's Customs and Excise, and worked in the National Investigation Service.

"I have reviewed a file of evidence from  the IPCC and have decided there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction so that a jury could reasonably conclude that his conduct fell significantly below the standards the public are entitled to expect from someone in his position.

"I considered the public interest very carefully in deciding whether Mr Cook should be prosecuted given the length of time which has elapsed for some of these allegations. However, the seriousness of the offences and the allegations mean I have decided the public interest requires a prosecution.

"Mr Cook now faces prosecution for criminal offences and has the right to a fair trial. It is extremely important that nothing should be reported which could prejudice his trial."


Notes to Editors

  1. For media enquiries call the CPS Press Office on 020 3357 0906; Out of Hours Pager 07699 781 926
  2. The DPP has set out what the public can expect from the CPS in the Core Quality Standards document published in March 2010.
  3. The CPS consists of 42 Areas in total, each headed by a Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP). These are organised into 12 Groups, plus CPS London, each overseen by Group Chair, a senior CCP. In addition there are four specialised national divisions: Central Fraud Group, Counter-Terrorism, Organised Crime and Special Crime. A telephone service, CPS Direct, provides out-of-hours advice and decisions to police officers across England and Wales.
  4. The CPS employs around 8,316 people and prosecuted 982,731 cases with a conviction rate of 86.8% in the magistrates' courts and 80.7% in the Crown Court in 2009-20010. Further information can be found on the CPS website
  5. The CPS, together with ACPO and media representatives, has developed a Protocol for the release of prosecution material to the media. This sets out the type of prosecution material that will normally be released, or considered for release, together with the factors we will take into account when considering requests. Read the Protocol for the release of prosecution material to the media