After noticing that Detective Sergeant Norman Pilcher is listed on the Wikipedia as a living person, I figured it was worth blogging this scumbag and his boss Detective Chief Inspector Victor Kelaher. I don’t want people to forget that Plicher and Kelaher were worse than slime; and it is still worth pointing out they got away with most of the shit they pulled, so much for so called ‘justice’. According to Wikipedia, Pilcher was born in 1936 and so if he isn’t dead yet, he ought to be very soon. And as far as I’m concerned Pilcher deserves to rot in hell.
After a transfer from the Flying Squad to the Drug Squad in 1967, Norman ‘Nobby’ Pilcher became notorious for the vigour with which he pinned possession of drugs charges on pop stars and hippies, and for the dubious methods employed in his undercover operations, which included paying off informers with drugs. As is evident from reports in the alternative press and various histories of that time, it was widely believed that Pilcher was planting the drugs his victims were convicted of possessing. He was the detective who busted John Lennon and thereby got himself immortalised as ‘semolina pilchards’ in the song I Am The Walrus by The Beatles. Pilcher also took particular delight in hounding Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones, and there are those who believe that this was a significant factor leading to the musician’s death.
Pilcher and his boss finally found themselves in hot water in the early-seventies, when they claimed during the drug smuggling trial of Basil Sands that this man – who’d been caught red-handed – was innocent, and had been working with the police. After the judge directed the jury to discount any private belief they might have that Kelaher was at the centre of a drug smuggling ring, since this was something that should be addressed at a subsequent trial, Sands got seven years. Thanks to a convenient nervous complaint ‘requiring’ hospital treatment, Kelaher avoided subsequent problems with the Home Office but three junior officers – Pilcher, Detective Constable Nick Prichard and Detective Constable Nigel Lilley – were belatedly brought to trial in September 1973, convicted of perjury and jailed. Sentencing Nobby Pilcher to a four year stretch, Justice Melford Stevenson told the disgraced detective: “You poisoned the wells of criminal justice and set about it deliberately.”
These cases were of considerable interest to the underground press, and publications such as Oz and Friendz ran stories claiming much of the illegal drug trade in London was controlled by bent cops, that there was an extensive network of police spies to enforce this control, and a subsequent huge cover-up by the authorities to prevent the full extent of the corruption around Kelaher being exposed. Friendz in particular alleged there was a close connection between Kelaher and the US Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (BNDD). It was claimed a Mr Collins of the BNDD was granted diplomatic immunity and bustled back to the United States because he’d been involved in using US government money to set up drug deals with Kelaher. These allegations shed an interesting light on tales of the US authorities hoping to fit-up the Kray twins by involving them in drug running. Incidentally, Customs & Excise had previously caught Kelaher in the Holland Park flat of a prostitute called Mrs Roberts, the former wife of a drug smuggler he’d nicked (Ghanaian diplomat Kofi Roberts), and at the time Kelaher was bestowing expensive jewelry – including a gold watch – on the woman.
All of this can be found in considerably more detail in The Fall of Scotland Yard by Barry Cox, John Shirley and Martin Short (Penguin 1977) and many other print sources.
And while you’re at it don’t forget to check – www.stewarthomesociety.org – you know it makes (no) sense!