When I practised criminal law in my youth, I was sceptical of clients who said the police had made up false statements or 'verballed' them - giving false evidence of oral confessions or remarks suggesting guilt. As a nice young man brought up to respect the boys in blue, I did not believe they would descend to such dishonesty. I didn't want to believe it.
I presented the cases as best I could of course. I hope the magistrates didn't detect my scepticism.
The Metropolitan Police have finally convinced me that those long-ago clients were telling the truth. Its officers verballed Andrew Mitchell and made up false statements about the 'plebgate' incident so casually that it's obviously routine. They expected to get away with doing it to Mitchell because they had so many times before.
My clients also told me that the police routinely planted evidence. I didn't believe that either. Now we learn that evidence has been found on the smartphones of the very officers who embarrassed the Met.
It's easy to put damning materials on someone's computer or mobile phone. You can do it at your leisure and don't even need the sleight of hand required to put drugs in someone's pocket. There now almost always seems to be illegal content on hard drives seized by the Bill.
My scepticism is rather heightened when I read that the disciplinary proceedings against these officers have been suspended while the CPS decides what to do about their alleged 'extreme porn' habit. Suspended until the public loses interest perhaps?