Former police chief denies intimidating witness by telling him ‘you don’t know what I can do’

Former Chairman of Cleveland Police Dave McLuckie
Former Chairman of Cleveland Police Dave McLuckie

A former police chief has denied intimidating a friend and potential witness and told a jury he did not say “You don’t know what I can do”.

Dave McLuckie, the ex-chairman of Cleveland Police Authority, is accused of visiting Peter Blyth’s house and telling the alleged unlicensed taxi driver: “I hope you haven’t dropped me in the shit.”

The jury at Newcastle Crown Court has been told McLuckie remains under investigation in relation to Operation Sacristy which concerns alleged corruption within Cleveland Police.

They have also heard he was convicted of perverting the course of justice in June after persuading a friend to take three penalty points for him so he avoided a driving ban.

The 52-year-old ex-local councillor gave evidence from the witness box in his defence and disputed the evidence from Mr Blyth, who regularly drove him to functions.

He said he twice went round to Mr Blyth’s home in Skelton, Cleveland, in March.

On the second occasion, he took with him a document from unused material the police had provided his solicitor in relation to the perverting the course of justice case.

That paper showed that Nancy Ward, the widow of the friend who took the penalty points for McLuckie, had spoken to police about Mr Blyth driving the defendant around.

McLuckie told the jury he visited Mr Blyth and showed him the document as a warning that the police knew about him operating as an unofficial taxi driver.

He said he also hoped Mr Blyth may pass on useful information about Mrs Ward, which could help his defence in the perverting the course of justice case.

He first took legal advice, he said.

McLuckie said: “I rang my solicitor and outlined my thoughts.

“I felt I should take it to Peter, show him it and (I was) hopeful he would be annoyed about it and I would then ask him if she (Mrs Ward) had said anything of value to me, and he would tell me.

“I was told that would be perfectly fine.”

Mr Blyth told the jury yesterday that McLuckie said he should have told police to “p*ss off” when he found out they had spoken to him about driving for the ex-police authority chairman.

The witness also told the court yesterday that McLuckie said: “I hope you haven’t dropped me in the sh*t.

“There’s you and one or two others - you don’t know what I can do.”

Julian Smith, defending, asked: “Did you say to him ‘You should have told them to p*ss off’?”

“No,” his client replied.

Mr Smith asked: “Did you say ‘I hope you haven’t dropped me in the sh*t’?”

“No,” McLuckie replied.

Mr Smith said: “Did you say ‘You and one or two others, you don’t know what I can do’?”

“No, not at all,” McLuckie said.

McLuckie, a ex-potash miner and manager from Great Ayton, North Yorkshire, denies a single count of witness intimidation.

The trial continues.