In March 1972, four young black men were arrested by a specialist pickpocket squad at Oval Station and charged with theft and assault of police officers. Sentenced to two years in prison, the case seemed straightforward and credible to the judge and jury who convicted them. But these young men were completely innocent, victims of endemic police corruption. The real criminal in this case was the notorious DS Derek Ridgewell, later proven to be heavily involved in organised crime. Graham Satchwell, at one time Britain’s most senior railway detective, has worked with Oval Four victim Winston Trew to reveal the rotten culture that not only enabled Ridgewell to operate as he did, but also to subsequently organise major thefts of property worth in excess of a £1 million pounds. Winston Trew’s case was finally overturned in December 2019, but the far-reaching ramifications of Ridgewell’s shocking activities has irreparably damaged many lives and must never be forgotten.
About the Author
Graham Satchwell is a failed footballer, former builders labourer, detective superintendent, international executive, serial failure at business start-ups, law graduate, and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Winston Trew was born in Jamaica, the son of a policeman in the colonial police force. In 1954 his father left for England followed by his mother in 1955. In 1956, he and his two younger brothers left Jamaica with an older sister to join their parents in England. He regards his early life in London as mirroring the pattern of black migration and settlement he speaks of in his writing.
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