Sunday, 7 January 2007

The Murder of Michael Swindells

On 21 May 2004, Detective Constable Michael Swindells was murdered on a canal towpath beneath the Spaghetti Junction in Birmingham.

Jamaican immigrant Glaister Earl Butler was being chased by Michael and several other policemen after threatening to cut off the head of a carpenter sent to fix his gate. When Michael caught up with him and tried attempted to effect an arrest, he was stabbed in the heart with a machete and died later that day in hospital.

Butler was being 'cared for' in the community when he stabbed Michael. Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Trust had been responsible for him since 1995.

Michael Howlett, of Midland-based mental health charity The Zito Trust, said:

"In our experience Birmingham's mental health trusts have been reticent in the past in acknowledging breakdowns in care on their patch. In the past they have also been careful not to publish any failures publicly. If it transpires that Butler was under the Trust's care, it will be interesting to see how they handle it."
A police officer said that, during a routine to Butler's home two weeks before Michael was killed, a doctor and psychiatric nurse saw a machete with an 18-inch blade tucked behind a cushion on the sofa. When asked about it, Butler is said to have told them his brother used it for martial arts classes. The health workers wrote their observations in their case notes but made no attempt to remove the weapon.

In November 2004, Butler pleaded not guilty to Michael's murder. Towards the end of his trial, the jury sent a note to the judge. This asked:

"By what process does a three-person (mental health) tribunal decide if he's safe to be released into the community?"
Prosecutor Timothy Raggatt QC said:

"The question the jury asked yesterday has been asked many times by those behind me and the police service. There is an enormous amount of concern that someone who, on the face of it, was as dangerous as this man was at large in the community. We are at a loss to understand how that situation came about."
In 1979, political correctness had ensured that Butler became Rolls-Royce's first black graduate trainee.

However, he was made redundant three years later and, thereafter, found it difficult to get work. His mental state began to worsen at this time.

Butler first came to the attention of social services in 1992. Two years later, in March 1994, he kicked a neighbour in the head in an unprovoked attack and was held under the Mental Health Act for a year. He was again confined during the second half of 1999 and in April 2001, after he burned down his flat, he was taken into custody once again.

During the time he spent in hospital he consistently demonstrated verbal and physical violence towards staff and other patients. He refused to accept that he had a mental illness and took his medication infrequently. However, despite the obvious danger he posed to the public and himself, every time he was hospitalised he was allowed to leave within a short time of his confinement.

In May 2005, Birmingham Crown Court cleared Glaister Earl Butler of murder, convicting him of manslaughter only on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

Sue Turner, chief executive of Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Trust, said an internal inquiry would be carried out to determine 'what lessons could be learnt for the future.'

"Lessons learned."

Do you think that, once enough lessons have been learned, we might just come full circle and arrive back at common sense? Common sense being the polar opposite of a politically correct system that does very little to dissuade the Butlers from killing police constables?

If you really want to be rid of such a system, there are several things you MUST do. First of all, you MUST wake up! You must wake up, look around and see what they've done to the world whilst you were asleep. Then you must truthfully acknowledge what you see and admit the part your inactivity played in creating it.

Then you must ask your ancestors to forgive you for allowing everything they worked so hard for, sacrificed so much for and died the deaths in all the wars for, to be taken away whilst you were counting sheep.

Then you must 'screw your courage to the sticking place' and fight!

As they did.

You will forgive me if I don't hold my breath.

This is Michael:

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