Police Interview Webb
DCI John Clews and PC Jack Ashton met at the office in the centre of Birmingham on Monday morning at 7.30am. John switched on his computer and while he waited for it to load, he walked over to the coffee machine. When he realised it was still the old one he pulled a face and walked back to his desk. He checked his e-mails and then he had a quick look at James’s phone records as his team appeared one by one.
“Morning, Gov!” Sandra shouted across the room.
John looked up, “Hi love, you OK?”
“Sandra, I’m just looking through James’s phone records, can you call the numbers on here from the last 14 days and see what you come up with?”
“Yes Gov! I called a couple on Friday!” she said flicking through some paperwork she had in a folder. Sandra walked over to John sitting at his desk and placed the sheets of paper in front of him.
“There are a number of calls to his home, Samantha’s phone and the shop in Meriden obviously, I marked them in pink. But he got a call from a new number about an hour after he picked up the girl then the same number appeared again shortly after marked in yellow. I will ask for those records to be sent over today. Then later that night he had a call from another phone, different number. I’ll get them too. Everything else before the girl was picked up is pretty straightforward Gov; most of the numbers are other network or withheld numbers after she had the lift to the garage on Friday. I called some of the numbers I found on there but got no answers.”
“I’ll bet most of them are pay-as-you-go and unregistered numbers! It looks like there's a couple of Liverpool numbers there too.” John said holding the sheet up for her to take.
“OK, I'll check those out as well. One person did answer but he wouldn’t tell me who he was.”
“Ok thanks love, did you call from the office phone?”
“It would have come up on their phone as a withheld number; most people won’t answer them. You need to call the numbers again from a mobile phone they might answer that. If you get a reply, see what you can get off them!”
“Oh, and can you get someone to go over and get James’s personal computer or laptop from the house or his shop!”
John and Jack left about 9 am and drove back up to the police station in Liverpool.
John decided to drive past the courthouse in Liverpool to have a look at the setup. He parked the car and said, “Keep a lookout for parking attendants while you have a fag will you Jack!”
John had a walk around the courthouse looking up at the cameras and went back to the car. “There are eight cameras altogether; two of them point at the entrance. How come the other six didn’t work?” John said as he got back into the car. “Have we got anymore CCTV from around the court that day yet Jack?
“Yes, apparently one of the cameras picked up some activity at the back of the courthouse by the car-park. But it was blurred. They are still looking at it now, Gov!”
“So the only one we got was about half a mile away?”
“So James and his BMW could have just been driving through Liverpool going to Scotland!?”
They arrived at the police station in Liverpool at around midday and had a cup of tea and a sandwich in the canteen before they met up with some other officers and went through a few details with them. Then John and Jack made their way to the interview room and waited for Roger Webb to appear.
As John was carefully placing his jacket on the back of his chair and sat down his phone rang. “Clews…!” “Hi, Jane…!” “We are just about to interview him now…!” “Ok love, keep looking at it and let me know!” As he placed it down on the desk next to the folders he brought with him, Jack’s phone rang out. “Ashton…!” “Ok thanks!”
“Forensic confirms the paint is the same BMW paint Gov!”
John pulled some paperwork from a folder and Jack sat next to him at the desk as the door opened and Roger Webb came in handcuffed. He was escorted by a police Constable and a young Solicitor.
As they sat down next to each other on the opposite side, Webb put his cuffed hands on the desk in front of him and looked at John who was reading some paperwork.
John picked up two sealed tapes unwrapped them, wrote on each one in turn and placed them in the two machines. He waited a while then switched them on together and started the interview. He started with the date, time, and location then introduced everyone in the room. Then he looked at Webb and said, “Are you Roger Webb the owner of a red Ford Transit Registration number VW 15 DKP?”
“Can you say Yes or no, for the tapes please?” John said aloud.
“Yes!” Webb replied.
“On Wednesday at 04.15 pm, you drove your van on the M42 and collided with a black BMW, Registration number JSB 833 causing it to lose control and hit the central reservation, killing the two people inside the car.”
Webb looked at his solicitor and as he nodded he said, “yes but I did not do it on perpose, I fell asleep at the wheel!”
John looked at him for a few seconds. “Can you tell me why you were so far away from home on the M42?”
“I was delivering a parcel to someone in Birmingham, that’s my job; I deliver parcels around the country!”
“What was the address you were delivering the parcel too?”
“I don’t know, I can’t remember!”
“So where did you get the delivery job from?”
“A man in the Red Lion down by the dock asked me to deliver it when I was avin a bevvy, he paid me in pound notes.”
“Who was this man?”
“I don’t know, never seen him before!”
“What did you deliver?”
“I don’t know, it was in a brown paper parcel about this big.” Webb tried to hold his hands apart but couldn’t because of his handcuffs. “It was about 2 foot wide and about 1 foot tall!” he said.
John looked down at his notes. “Can you tell me why didn’t you stop after the incident?”
“I didn’t think I had hit the car hard enough to do much damage and my mirror was smashed on the driver’s side so I didn’t see what went on behind me. I honestly thought I had just touched it and pulled back into the middle lane. It was then I realised I must have dozed off for a second or two.”
“You reported your van stolen at…” John looked at his notepad “Wednesday 5.20pm, your words, (when you got in from work.)
“Yes, or no, please!” John said again.
“Didn’t you just say you are a delivery van driver, that’s your job?
“So why weren’t you in the van that day?
“I was helping a mate out and delivering parcels with him!”
John looked at him shaking his head knowing it was all lies.
“So how come your neighbour saw you drive off in the same van on Thursday, the day after the accident and with all the damage on the driver’s side. Your van was recovered from Marine Drive, Llandudno, on Friday with the key still in the ignition, no fingerprints apart from yours and there was a piece of broken fence in the front of the van, taken from your front garden and used to wedge the throttle open when you tried to hide it by driving it into sea!”
Webb looked at his solicitor again as Johns phone rang. John reached for the tape players and pause them both, opened his phone and said “Excuse me I need to get this! Clews…!” “How many people…?” “Ok love that’s great news, thanks!”
John put the phone down on the desk by his folder again.
“Sorry about that!” he said as he switched the tapes back on.
“Now then, we said you drove your van into the sea to try and hide it!”
“Look, mate, I will admit to driving without due care and attention or somthen like that, but not merder. Like I said, I fell asleep at the wheel!”
John put the sheets of paper back into his folder and lifted it off the one underneath and took some paperwork out of that one placing it back on the top and read through it while the room was quiet.
“OK, let’s just leave that for a moment… It appears a woman was kidnapped and held against her will by a gang. She was blindfolded most of the time and was held in a small caravan. Her name was Jennifer Slone… does that name mean anything to you?”
“She told us she was looked after by a man with a very strong Liverpool Accent.”
“Have you not been to Liverpool before soft lad? Everyone has a very strong Liverpool Accent!” Webb smiled at his solicitor. “What’s he on aye?” Then he shook his head and smiled.
John looked up at him and said, “This man had lots of tattoos on his arms!”
“Again, lots of scourers have tattoos on their arms around here mate!” he said sarcastically and smiled again.
“How many have webs on their elbows?”
“Most people that have Webb as a surname do!”
“I don’t think so,” John said looking at his notes.
“Do you know anyone called Johnson Wilson?”
Webb hesitated, shook his head and then said, “No!”
“Did you know the man driving the car, James Becket?”
John pulled a photo from the folder and showed Webb.
“Never seen him before, don’t know him!”
“OK, let’s move on a bit more.” John lifted one of his files leaving the paperwork inside this time and pretended to read it holding it up but the paper was blank.
“What were you doing outside the courthouse on Tuesday at approximately 2.25 pm?”
“I wasn’t there!” Webb said shaking his head.
“According to this report you were and we have CCTV footage!”
Webb was quiet and looked at his solicitor then Webb whispered something.
Jack s eyebrows and jaw dropped as he looked at John twice reading from a blank piece of paper.
“I was just walking by!” Webb said.
“It’s not what we saw on the CCTV!”
“I was just walking past the place!”
“I’m not surprised you thought you had broken ribs!”
Rodger whispered to his solicitor again.
“I told you, I was in a fight in the alehouse the other night!”
“The Red Lion and it was out the back, no one saw anything!”
“This is the same pub and the same night you got the job of delivering the parcel by someone you have never seen before?” John asked.
“Err, yes, I don’t know if it was the same night though!”
“So it wasn’t you on the floor being kicked hard in the ribs?
Webb’s head dropped as he lifted his hands and rested them on the back of his head.
“OK… I was just walking by and a bloke I owe money too seen me and set about me!”
“So, for the benefit of the tape, you’re now saying you did drive your van into the BMW on Wednesday afternoon and on Friday morning you drove the same van into the sea to try and hide it?”
Webb Nodded, “Yes!”
You also said you did not kidnap a woman and hold her in a caravan?”
“No, I did not!”
“According to this report, you walked passed the same courthouse at exactly the same time as the gang members were there using Mrs Sloan as bate to stop Mr Sloan from giving evidence that would have sent the Gang members to prison!”
Webb looked at his solicitor again and dropped his head once more.
“Now, going back in time, before the incident with the BMW and your red van. We have got you breaking the speed limit on a number of speed cameras.” John looked at the blank paper again. “Three times on the… M69, four times on the M6 and twice on the M42. Clearly, you were chasing the BMW and were determined to get it at any cost. So, who told you to force the BMW off the road?”
Webb’s solicitor looked at John and said, “We need a break! I need to talk to my client again!” Then he closed his file and slid it into his briefcase as he lifted it onto his lap. John leant over and said “Interview terminated at 13.19. Roger Webb and his solicitor Mr Davidson are leaving the room. Then he switched the tapes off.
John collected his paperwork together and placed it back in his files as Jack stood up. John picked up his phone as the police constable escorted Webb out the room with his solicitor following behind him. John stood up tucking his tie into his trousers and put his jacket on. Then they both followed them out into the corridor.
“I need a fag, John!” Jack said fumbling about in his jacket pocket.
“I’ll come out with you!” John followed him out the open fire exit door.
“What do you think Gov?”
“I need to know who kicked him and why!”
“He hesitated when we mentioned Johnson Wilson!
“Yes I know, you did you say we got him once on record working with a gang but couldn’t get anything on him?”
“I need this Johnson bloke Jack!”
John went back inside and found a coffee machine in the corridor and searched his pockets for some change as Jack walked back in. “I’ll get that John.”
About ten minutes past and a police officer came out of one of the rooms. ”He is ready to talk now; we are putting him back in the room when you are ready!”
John placed the half-empty cup on top of the coffee machine and tucked the end of his tie back in his trousers again.
John and Jack went back into the interview room and John took off his jacket again and neatly placed it on the back of his chair as he did before, then took his phone out of his pocket and placed it on the desk next to his folders. He then reached for the two tape players and switched them on together and said: “The second Interview with Roger Webb, his solicitor Mr Davidson, PC Ashton and myself DCI Clews the time is 13.48.”
As John sat down and pulled his chair into the desk he looked at Webb slouched in his seat looking straight back at John’s face. John could see he was worried by the expression on his face, the small beads of sweat on his forehead and the slight twitch in his left eye. It was quiet for a few seconds and then Webb leaned forward resting his handcuffs on the desk in front of him again.
“My client has decided to give you his full co-operation. He will do this providing you take into account his help in this matter and in return he want's a more lenient sentence!”
Webb turned to look at his solicitor; as he spoke, then he nodded to Webb.
“Firstly, it’s not Johnson Wilson, its Wilson Johnson and yes, he is the one that kicked me in the ribs!
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