Former police authority boss on trial for witness intimidation

Newcastle Crown Court
Newcastle Crown Court

A FORMER Cleveland Police Authority boss under investigation for corruption intimidated a witness and told him “You don’t know what I can do” after hearing he had spoken to detectives, a court has heard.

Dave McLuckie, the ex-chairman of Cleveland Police Authority, visited Peter Blyth’s home and said he hoped he hadn’t dropped him in it, Newcastle Crown Court was told.

The jury was told McLuckie, a 52-year-old local councillor, was on police bail in March in relation to the Operation Sacristy investigation.

Nick Dry, prosecuting, said: “It is a major investigation into corruption centred around the Cleveland Police Authority at a time Mr McLuckie was chairman of it.

“That investigation is still ongoing.

“The defendant and others, including the former chief constable, remain on bail pending a charging decision.”

Mr Blyth, a former taxi driver who occasionally drove for McLuckie despite no longer being licensed, was twice visited at his home in Skelton, by the defendant, the court heard.

On the second occasion, when Mr Blyth said he had spoken to detectives, McLuckie told him he should have told the police where to go, the court heard.

Mr Blyth said McLuckie seemed “agitated” and asked what had been said to the police.

The witness told the court McLuckie said “I hope you haven’t dropped me in the shit.

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

Mr Blyth said he took the comments as a threat or warning.

“I was uneasy,” he said. “The same as I am now.

“He always had the air of authority about him. He was in charge.”

He said he told McLuckie: “I don’t know anything about your business.”

The witness said McLuckie’s visit made him feel apprehensive.

The court heard McLuckie was convicted in June of perverting the course of justice, after he persuaded a friend called Maurice Ward, now deceased, to take penalty points for him to avoid a driving ban.

Police had spoken to Mr Ward’s widow Nancy, who told them Mr Blyth may have information about McLuckie, the court heard.

The defendant got to know what she said from a police report, the jury heard.

Mr Dry told the jury McLuckie was “forceful and aggressive” and in relation to his allegedly working as an unofficial taxi driver, warned Mr Blyth could lose his home if the tax man found out.

McLuckie denies a single charge of witness intimidation.

The case continues.