Judge blasts ‘absurd waste of public money’ on appeals by Leeds Pc’s killer

THE killer of Leeds policeman Ian Broadhurst has heard his publicly-funded bid for a security downgrade slammed by a top judge as an “absurd” waste of public money.

Thursday, 17th July 2014, 1:36 pm
Pc Ian Broadhurst died after being shot during a routine check of a stolen vehicle in Leeds by David Bieber (right).

Mr Justice Mostyn questioned why the legal campaigns of David Bieber - one of Britain’s “most dangerous” prisoners - were funded by taxpayers whilst “desperate” parents fighting to see their children were being denied Government help.

Bieber, 48, committed the “bestial” 2003 murder of PC Broadhurst in Leeds, blasting the injured traffic policeman to death at point-blank range as he pleaded for his life.

He was handed a “whole life” sentence at Newcastle Crown Court in December, 2004, after he was convicted of murder. However, his minimum term was later reduced to 37 years.

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A memorial in Leeds dedicated to PC Ian Broadhurst

The merciless killer has since been held in maximum security conditions but has launched a string of legal challenges to improve his lot behind bars - all at public expense.

The judge today rejected Bieber’s latest “completely untenable” challenge to his categorisation as a high escape risk.

He said: “Since his incarceration, Bieber has occupied himself by making numerous applications to the High Court about the conditions in which he is being held. The court officer has established that he has made four such applications.”

Each of Bieber’s challenges - which the judge said were all designed to make “his life is a little more comfortable” in prison - had been either refused, withdrawn or settled.

“All of the claims he has made have been funded by legal aid. I repeat - all of the claims he has made have been funded by legal aid,” blasted the judge, who normally sits in the family courts.

“It is perhaps noteworthy that I have sat in this court, where I usually sit, with litigants in person before me - people who are desperate to see their children - from whom the Government has withdrawn all legal aid.”

The judge said Bieber’s crimes were “at the upper-end of bestial” and that it was “perfectly reasonable to suppose” that he would stage a break-out if he could.

Bieber entered the UK in 1996 using the stolen identity documents of a dead child while on the run from the authorities in his native US.

He was accosted by two police officers on Boxing Day, 2003, after they spotted that the car he had parked outside a Leeds betting shop was fitted with false number plates.

A third officer arrived after a call for back-up and, as the police went to handcuff Bieber, he pulled a pistol and opened fire. One of the officers was hit in his shoulder and abdomen, while the second escaped injury, a bullet hitting his radio.

PC Broadhurst was shot in the back and fell to the ground badly wounded. The officer “pleaded for his life” as Bieber approached, but the cold-blooded killer shot him in the head.

“This truly was a bestial crime,” Mr Justice Mostyn said, describing the remarks of the judge who caged Bieber as “sobering reading”.

Bieber’s earliest possible release date was set for 2041 and he would almost certainly be extradited to the US if ever freed from prison.

And the judge said he had rightly been ranked as “one of the most dangerous people currently in the prison system”.

Bieber’s security categorisation means he has to move cell every 28 days and change wing every three months, alongside other tight restrictions.

He was earlier this year found to be unfit for a security downgrade due to the “nature of his offending”, fears that he had “access to finances, resources and/or associates that could assist with an escape attempt” and due to his very long sentence.

Philip Rule, for Bieber, argued that the director of high security, who took the decision, had failed to disclose all the information he took into account. He insisted that the killer’s human right to a fair hearing had been violated.

But, dismissing his challenge, the judge said: “The offence here was at the upper end of bestial. For someone to have committed such a grievous crime he must have no control when he has normal human contact.

“It is therefore perfectly reasonable to suppose that somebody who has committed a crime as grave as this, and who has accepted in no respect at all the reason for his incarceration, would make every effort to escape from prison at the first opportunity.

“The murder offence here must loom large in any judgment as to whether David Bieber is a high escape risk.

“Similarly, the fact that he will be held at least until 2041 is a highly relevant consideration.”

Mr Justice Mostyn said Bieber had only been entitled to “the very broadest gist” of the information available to the director of high security.

He concluded: “The arguments that have been put forward in this case are completely untenable.

“Indeed, I would characterise them as absurd.”

The Government says it has changed the rules so legal aid cannot be used to pay for cases like that of David Bieber.

Pc Broadhurst’s family have previously spoken of their outrage after Bieber was granted thousands of pounds to aid his legal battle.

A Ministry of Justice spokesman said: “This Government has changed the rules so that legal aid solicitors will not be paid for completely unarguable cases like this.

“We are committed to spending taxpayers’ money wisely, and legal aid resources should only be available where really necessary. This is yet another example of why we are right to be making big changes to the system.”

The detective who led the hunt for Bieber described him as “the most manipulative and dangerous criminal I have ever experienced”.