Wednesday 29th May 2024,
North Yorks Enquirer

The Emma Caldwell Scandal and NYP

The Emma Caldwell Scandal and NYP



Introduction: The Murder of Emma Caldwell

Emma Caldwell (pictured above, left) was a Glasgow sex worker who disappeared on 5th April 2005. Her naked body was found in woods outside Glasgow on May 8th May 2005. Emma sold her body because she had become addicted to heroin after using it to overcome her grief on the death of her sister. She was only 27.

Serial rapist Iain Packer (pictured above, right), 51, has now been convicted of her murder and 33 other charges, including 11 rapes, against 22 women between 1990 and 2016. He was sentenced to full life term with a minimum tariff of 36 years.

Strathclyde Police interviewed Packer a month after Emma’s body was found, he was questioned another five times, but never interviewed under caution as a suspect. Packer lied to the police and indicated four Turkish men who frequented a Turkish café in Glasgow’s red light district that was frequented by sex workers as the killers.

The police fell for this and put the four men under surveillance, then arrested them in 2007. It alleged they had murdered Emma in the café and then dumped her body in the woods. A complete fabrication and concocted police fantasy, which had no factual basis of any sort. Fortunately the case against them collapsed when it was found that conversations on surveillance tapes had been taken out of context or translated incorrectly

The case was re-opened in 2015 as a result of media comment and nine years later this led to his conviction. Whilst it is to the credit of Police Scotland that Packer has now been convicted, this should have occurred in 2005. Had the original investigation been properly led and managed, Packer would have been imprisoned that year, instead of being free to commit multiple rapes. The true scale of his offending and the number of women he raped will never be known.

This exceptionally good Daily Mail article gives the full details of the case and of the bungled investigation. It quotes Emma’s mother as saying:

“I did once ask them [the police] if they were biased because of what Emma did and they said it was like any other case. But they just wanted to get it over, put it in a drawer and forget about it.”

The article quotes two former sex workers as confirming that they had reported Packer to police after he had sexually assaulted them in 2003:

“I met two police officers that I knew. I told them about the attack and I got jailed for a section 46, which is prostitution. They never took a statement.

From 2003 the police were being warned about him. So back then if police had just listened to the girls who came forward and told them a lot of other sexual crimes would never have happened.

Emma could still be alive. They have blood on their hands for this.”

In a statement read out on the court steps, the family solicitor Mr Aamer Anwar said:

“A toxic culture of misogyny and corruption meant the police failed so many women and girls who came forward to speak up against Packer – instead of receiving justice and compassion, they were humiliated, dismissed and in some instances arrested, whilst the police gifted freedom to an evil predator to rape and rape again.

We now know Packer carried out rapes, sexual offences and assaults some 19 times after Emma’s murder in 2005.

Margaret believes that officers sabotaged an investigation into Packer for a decade and have blood on their hands, for far too long they have remained in the shadows, but must now answer for their betrayal.

Today Police Scotland will finally apologise to Emma Caldwell, to her family and many other victims let down by the police in 2005 and in the decade that followed.

Police officers stand accused of a shameful betrayal of these women to protect their own careers and of alleged criminality that allowed one of the UK’s worst sex offenders to evade justice for 18 years.”

Sadly, the NYE can confirm that all of the main elements of the bungled 2005 investigation into Emma’s murder are present in the way North Yorkshire is policed today.

The Claudia Lawrence Investigation: Premature focus on one line of enquiry and a refusal to admit any fault

The NYE has extensively covered the murder of Claudia Lawrence, who disappeared in York in March 2009.

NYP determined almost immediately that the murdrer was associated with Claudia’s “complex and mysterious” private life and has obsessively focussed on this line of enquiry since that time. So far, nine men have been arrested for murdering Claudia. None have been charged or convicted of anything.

The NYE has suggested serial killer Christopher Halliwell is a very strong suspect. In this Daily Mirror article, Claudia’s indomitable mother Joan castigates NYP for ignoring Halliwell as a suspect.

NYP has ignored Halliwell as a suspect and focussed on its belief that the murderer was from her circle of friends, in the same way that Strathclyde Police focussed on the four innocent Turkish men, allowing serial offender Packer to escape scrutiny for his crimes.

Misogyny and Corruption in the investigation into the murder of “Hope

Regular readers will be aware that the NYE has been covering the cold case of an unidentified woman whose body was found at Sutton Bank, North Yorkshire in 1981. To increase public interest in her case and generate more information, they have named this victim as “Hope”.

At the time, NYP concluded that she was a sex worker.

NYE contributor Alderman Norman Murphy has identified this woman to NYP as an alcoholic who did sex work on Victoria Road, Scarborough. But for three years ignored his evidence and did not bother investigating this lead or interview Norman.

I believe this is because “Hope” was a sex worker. Exactly the same misogynistic attitude that Strathclyde Police took with the murder of Emma Caldwell, which allowed Parker to carry on raping women with impunity.

Even now, “Hope” remains unidentified. Her facial reconstruction is shown below on the left, next to Chief Constable Lisa Winward.

Chris Clark and I have published a book “Inside the Mind of the Yorkshire Ripper: The Final Investigation”” on the notorious serial killer Peter Sutcliffe. It covers all the crimes Sutcliffe is suspected of, not just the attacks he was convicted for. Sutcliffe routinely drove through North Yorkshire and delivered to Scarborough. The book asserts that Sutcliffe murdered “Hope”.

However, we could be wrong. It is possible that “Hope” was murdered by a local man and that NYP misogynism is preventing the proper investigation of her murder and his apprehension. Leaving him free to continue attacking women with impunity. Exactly the same attitude that allowed Packer to continue his reign of terror.

Where now for the Claudia Lawrence and “Hope” investigations?

NYP is a small county force with no major urban areas. Its detective branch is small and not used to dealing with large scale, sophisticated crime. The simple fact is that the Claudia Lawrence investigation was too big and too complex for it to take on successfully.

One of the findings of the Daniel Morgan Independent Panel was that the police will prioritise protecting its own reputation and the reputations of its senior officers over its duty to obtain justice for victims, their families and friends.

In this excellent article from the Scottish Daily Record, retired Detective Sergeant Gerry Gallacher reveals that Chief Officers relentlessly pursued the four Turkish men, even though he had identified Packer as the killer. His revelation in the Mail on Sunday forced the re-opening of the case, but even then, Police Scotland did not pursue the investigation, because a successful investigation would confirm that Strathclyde Police had bungled the investigation and arrested four innocent men.

Likewise, NYP will not impartially investigate Halliwell as a suspect, because this would provide further evidence that NYP had bungled the Claudia Lawrence investigation and arrested nine innocent men.

NYP will not investigate Peter Sutcliffe as a suspect in the murder of “Hope”, because this will associate it with the notoriously incompetent Yorkshire Ripper investigation and confirm that the original 1981 investigation and all the other subsequent cold case investigations were inadequate.

The investigation into these two murders will only be progressed if they are independently investigated by detectives from one of the larger forces, preferably the Metropolitan Police.

The Police and the Media

Emma’s murder was only solved because of media pressure arising from Detective Sergeant Gallacher’s revelations in the Mail on Sunday in 2015. In raising the case and pursuing it to a successful conclusion, the media has acted in the public interest and for the common good. If it had been down to Police Scotland, the case would have been ignored so the truth about its incompetence would remain hidden.

This confirms why it is so important that the media scrutinises the police. Hence the reason that the NYE has been so relentless in criticising NYP over its flawed investigations into the murders of “Hope” and Claudia.

Detective Sergeant Gallacher was rewarded for his dedication, by being put under surveillance by the Police Scotland Professional Standards Department and having his phone illegally hacked. Police Scotland also put the journalist he was working with under surveillance. It was more interested in investigating DS Gallacher to protect the force and senior officer’s reputations, than in arresting Packer.

Like DS Gallacher, the NYE has also suffered retaliation from NYP and all three of the Police, Fire & Crime Commissioners for North Yorkshire, for exposing police failings and daring to criticise the police. Although the NYE coverage has been in the public interest, NYP Chief Officers (and Commissioners) have demonstrated exactly the same dysfunctional, self-serving conduct as those in Police Scotland.

NYE Appeal for Assistance

If you recognise “Hope”, or have any information on these cases you wish to pass on, please contact the NYE on

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