inspired by truth
NOTE: Reading this page before finishing Chequered Justice may spoil your enjoyment of the book! Read Chequered Justice first, then ask as many questions as you like. Please eMail questions to: john@ChequeredJustice.Com or add a comment below and I'll do my best to provide answers and if available, the supporting documentation!
- Q: Where did the idea for Chequered Justice come from?
- A: Truth, life, my trial and the British Justice System.
- Q: Is Chequered Justice a true story, masquerading as a fiction for legal reasons?
- A: Chequered Justice is a novel that was ‘inspired by true events’… I have to be very clear on that as its legal definition. What I will say is that everything that happens to “Will Middleton” in Chequered Justice, happened to me… but I can’t say anymore than that [See update Oct 2016]. I had originally produced an account of my true story called Broken Dream, that was to be published as “factual”, but I was warned of ‘very serious consequences’ if I were to publish anything I referred to as ” factual”! However, I was told I could write a novel, so I wrote a novel based purely on personal experience.
As hard as it may be for some to accept this, we live at a time when it’s very dangerous to expose the wrong doing of those in power. Just consider the plight of those leaking the blatantly illegal activities of the British and US
Government to WikiLeaks. An example of what can happen when publishing as non-fiction: An ex-commando published a non-fiction book, No Easy Day, about the killing of Bin Laden, and was forced to hand over $7 million to the US government. If he’d publish a fiction, ‘inspired by true events’, he’d have kept his $7 million and most readers would have understood his rationale. For anyone that still doesn’t get it, I’ll quote Elvis Presley – “Truth is like the sun. You can shut it out for a time, but it ain’t going away.” I hope that answers your question.
- Q: What are the main differences between the factual book, Broken Dream, and Chequered Justice?
- I changed some names and addresses, and merged a couple of companies into one.
- Q: Is the book Chequered Justice by John Bartlett a true story? Posted on Question.Com
- A: https://www.question.com/is-the-book-chequered-justice-by-john-bartlett-a-750589.html
- Q: Who threatened you about publishing the full factual account of your story?
- A: The first warning came from a Metropolitan Police Officer. Then, when I was in HMP Ford, I was initially told I could start writing my story as an English project, but later, when the powers-that-be realised I was intending publishing, a BIG effort was made to find and confiscate the manuscript. I was doing day-release work from the prison at a nursing home at the time and typing it up on a borrowed laptop during my lunch breaks. The prison got wind of this and carried out a search. I was quizzed, threatened with return to HMP Wandsworth and told it would be treated as contempt by the Court. I was stopped from further day release work but the manuscript was saved thanks to a friendly prison officer who warned me what was about to happen!
- Q: Why did you name the main character “Will Middleton”? Is there any significance in that name?
- A: William was my fathers name and Middleton was his mothers maiden name… It’s also my middle name.
- Q: What inspired you to tell your story?
- A: I felt it was a story that had to be told. I also believe our justice system has many
problems that society should be aware of and needs to urgently address. Senior police have admitted for years that they often plant and fake evidence to obtain convictions. See: Motivating Force!
- Q: Without spoiling the book for anyone that hasn’t yet read Chequered Justice, what happens to “Matthew the mason”, if true, is frightening to say the least. Was that an over the top portrayal or did it actually happen as depicted in the book?
- A: Chequered Justice is a novel and “Matthew’s” real name has been changed, as have the exact details of what happened to him, but I can confirm that in my case “Matthew” did attempt and did succeed in obtaining some very restricted information from a Masonic lodge for me and within a matter of weeks what happens in the book happened! The official verdict was that it was all an accident!
- Q: The book contains many wise quotations. Which is your favourite? Why?
- A: Isaiah 41:10 (NIV). Significantly, those words found me, whereas I found the other quotations! Isaiah 41:10 gave me a lot of comfort (and still does).
- Q: Is the bit in the book about the proceeds of “Will Middleton’s” fathers will being confiscated by the Crown actually true?
- A: I can confirm that following my trial, the Crown did confiscate the proceeds of my fathers will. Everything that happens to “Will Middleton” in Chequered Justice, happened to me… everything!
- Q: Perhaps now is the time for you to sue them……..?
- A: To do that I’d have to trust our British courts! We live at a time when our national crime agency operates in secret and we have a justice system that conducts covert trials. The Metropolitan Police Force (the force behind my case) have been accused of “Institutionalised Corruption” and being “rotten to the core”, with the faking of statements (as in my case) and “Institutionalised Racism” with “Mass Shredding of Evidence”… You may recall that every document relating to “Will Middleton’s” former race team in Chequered Justice was “accidentally destroyed”… Yes, that also happened… I’m convinced that this type of corruption and manipulation is endemic… We now know that the West Midlands force suppressed evidence and manipulated statements for over 20 years, and in November last year police forces across England and Wales were accused of “routinely manipulating crime statistics to meet targets and secure bonuses””… In Kent a detective inspector, a detective sergeant and three detective constables were arrested for convincing SUSPECTS to admit to offences they had NOT carried out in order to meet targets! We reside in a country where our MPs spent 18 months fighting to prevent THEIR scandals being revealed to the electorate. Would I trust our legal system to correct its mistakes? NO!
- Q: Why would the Met Police/CPS do something like this just to you?
- A: I can only speculate (see my Blog)… However, I don’t for one moment consider that the manipulation in my case was unique. We think that in my case it was due to seriously upsetting my PPI insurers with TV coverage (Watch on YouTube) and that the trial itself was manipulated from the start, by a trial judge, who we understood had a connection with one of the insurance companies, and thought I was some sort of drug baron (see my Blog). NOTE: There was another completely unconnected case taking place just months prior to my case. That case involved a British racing team run by a Vic Lee. Vic Lee had pleaded guilty to importing £6M of cocaine in his Teams racing transporter. The Vic lee case had taken place in South London, where my trial was to be scheduled.
Note the words: ‘Investigators will now try to find out if the motor racing connection has been used before.’ Did the Crown think, with me they’d hooked another “Mr Big”? We were subsequently advised that the Vic Lee sentencing Judge specifically asked to hear my case, and then at every opportunity, made obvious references to ‘drug money and money laundering’. Often, when evidence against an accused is weak or non-existent, the Crown reverts to what is known as ‘Character Assassination’… that ‘s what happened in my trial. Have a look at this article. The truth was unimportant… the accusations, defended by a woefully inexperienced defense counsel, were enough to convict!
I had a great solicitor but my barristers primary experience had only been in traffic law and he’d never led a case like mine in front of a jury before. He was up against a crack, highly experienced CPS barrister, shortly to be promoted to QC (who is now a judge, recently sitting on a high profile case, trying a famous Radio 1 DJ)! Another of my team was just a law student, still at law college … I didn’t have a chance.
- Q: I thoroughly enjoyed reading Chequered Justice but find it hard to believe that everything depicted in your book actually happened to you. Police officers are simply not permitted to “brief witnesses” in a waiting room, prior to them going into the witness box! They would be prejudicing any potential evidence by referring to you as “a nasty piece of work” and no judge would ever restrict the time of a medical expert giving his expert testimony. Also, if the Prison Ombudsman had come down on your side (re Ford Prison causing delays in your appeal), the Court of Appeal would have been forced to accept it’s findings and grant you a full appeal! Do you have any hard evidence to back up these claims?
- A: Yes I do! I have said many times before, that whilst Chequered Justice was published as a fiction (for legal reasons), everything that happened to “Will Middleton” happened to me… EVERYTHING!
When we left the UK, following the events portrayed in Chequered Justice, to live in the rain forests of Madagascar (yes, that bit also happened), it was impossible to keep all the old court files, but I did keep a few documents to support my work of so called “fiction”… just for the skeptics. Remember, in the 90s nobody believed that police officers “tweaked evidence” and few had heard of PPI Insurance and the corruption it stood for. Nobody believed that people had their phones bugged by the state or that Metropolitan Police were shredding evidence they didn’t want seen. We now know differently. You may find the documents below of interest!
NOTE: In Chequered Justice the documents below and the events being questioned were recreated in Chapters 35, 54 and 61
- Prison Ombudsman finally finding in my favour re the prison causing delays to my appeal:
Below is my original “Complaint Form”… the one that went over the wall 18 months earlier!
- HM Prison Service write to Sir Peter Woodhead KCB saying the Ombudsman’s report into my complaint has been accepted by The Home Office & HM Prison Service and that they will apologise to me.
The South Coast Prison Manager writes to me confirming my complaint to the Ombudsman has been upheld and apologises!
- The surgeon complaining that he wasn’t given time by the trial judge to present his expert evidence:
- A witness confirming that the Metropolitan Police (names blanked out to protect the guilty) were attempting to “condition” him in the witness waiting room prior to him giving his evidence (I have a lot more like this from both Crown & Defence witnesses):
🙂 There has been no further contact since posting the above reply… Silence speaks volumes!
- Q: Is it actually legal then for the police to put words in witnesses mouths? I always believed witnesses statements were written by them.
- A: I’m sure it’s not “officially” supposed to happen but it does, and VERY regularly. The Metropolitan Police (the force responsible for the “faked statements” in my case) are well known for setting up the accused in this way (link). It’s considered justifiable as it helps secure convictions and keeps costs down. But it’s not just the Met Police… it appears to happen throughout the UK’s police forces and is clearly unofficially endorsed by our justice system. Certainly in my case, the judge was fully aware of what the police had been up to but he refused to allow the jury to know, saying: “I will not have one bad word spoken against these fine officers in my court!” A quick Google will find hundreds of wrongly convicted people, often due to evidence having been fabricated by police.
- Q: Seeing the actual documents behind this story is fascinating. Do you still have the claims forms? The one where the insurance company changes the wording on the forms (Chapter 39)? Also, in the same chapter, “Will” says he was advised about claiming, before the police raid by the Citizens Advice Bureau. Do you have those documents? I think you should name the companies concerned and expose the police officers and trial judge!
- A: Yes I do have the claims forms/documents from my trial (see below), but remember the book is a fiction. The trouble was that in my trial, the judge simply confused the jury with constant misdirections… telling the jury that witnesses hadn’t said what they had in fact said. The Home Office then hid the truth under a mountain of bullshit and “lost documents”, in the hope that the facts would never come to light! There was never any attempt by the Crown to show members of the jury the truth. And yes, I do also still have internal documents from the Citizens Advice Bureau, proving they had originally advised me. I don’t dare risk naming names. The judge and Met officers (even the officer that faked the witness statements below) have all been allowed to retire graciously on very healthy pensions having never been investigated. If I started naming actual names from my real trial, I suspect something very, very nasty would happen to me!
- Q: Can you give an example of something specific in your trial and how you related that in Chequered Justice.
- A: I’ll give a brief example below of what was said at one point during the real summing-up in my trial. You can then compare it to the summing-up portrayed in Chapter 43 of the fictional trial in Chequered Justice. NOTE: What follows is taken from the official court stenographers records of the real judges summing-up in my trial. Any resemblance between this official transcript and the fictional account in Chequered Justice is purely coincidental.
Official Court Transcripts. [*Names changed as appropriate]. JURY LEAVE - DEFENCE BARRISTER STANDS UP. DEFENCE BARRISTER (*Rabbit in Chequered Justice): Just one little point I did have, if you Honour will forgive me. Your Honour did refer in summing-up the evidence of *Mr Thompson to two problems Mr Bartlett received at Brands Hatch. The first was *Mr Bartlett’s neck and the second was that after the first heat *Rob Allan could not drive because he would have to start at the back of the grid. Your Honour, the note that I have is that he said there were two problems. He had a neck collar because of the G forces and he was in some pain with his back. Your Honour will recall that I referred to that in my closing. JUDGE: Yes. DEFENCE BARRISTER (*Rabbit in Chequered Justice): And clearly it is support, in my submission, for what Mr Bartlett says about him telling other people at Brands that he had a problem with his back. JUDGE:Let me just check. Is that in cross-examination? DEFENCE BARRISTER (*Rabbit in Chequered Justice): Yes, your Honour I think I did ask MR * to look at it but I know that he had another commitment and therefore has not had the opportunity to do so yet. Clearly, if you Honour wishes to reserve it until the morning, there is a little more time. JUDGE: Yes, my note is slightly different. I have got a reference in my note to a problem with my back, but that has got a query against it. DEFENCE BARRISTER (*Rabbit in Chequered Justice): The note that I have, and I rely, obviously, on my learned friend Mr * (Smythe in Chequered Justice), is two problems, colon. He had a neck collar because of the G forces and he was in some pain with his back. He did not want to do the second leg. *Rob Allan had not done the first heat and John Bartlett (*Will Middleton in Chequered Justice) had to do the second leg. *Rob Allan had to start at the back of the grid. It was no big thing. He mentioned to me about his back.Certainly on two occasions, then, reference to the back. I have it - the two problems, neck collar, pain with back. JUDGE: Yes. Can I read you my full note. “At Brands there was discussion as to whether he should drive the second heat and there were two problems. One was the neck collar and query some problem with his back. Secondly, he had qualified the car .” - I remember, I now remember that phrase, - “he’d qualified the car”........ PROSECUTING BARRISTER (*Smythe in Chequered Justice): “We were discussing at Brands Hatch whether Bartlett (*Will Middleton in Chequered Justice) could drive the second heat. Yes. I think he was using a neck collar and something. He hadn’t driven for a long time competitively. He didn’t want to do the second leg but as he qualified the car he had to do it. They were the rules for Interserie. Mabe he didn’t know the rules all that well. The back problem mentioned? No. JUDGE: Aah. Is it - “no by then” - or - “no big thing” - ? PROSECUTING BARRISTER (Smythe in Chequered Justice): No big thing was made of it specifically to me..... JUDGE: To give the jury a reminder of what *Mr Thompson has said about it would, I suspect, serve only to confuse at this stage because there are three different versions. It is really shading. PROSECUTING BARRISTER (Smythe in Chequered Justice): Yes, I have now found my note if it helps. It is absolutely on-line with the others. - “No big thing was made about the back to me. John Bartlett (*Will Middleton in Chequered Justice) was very much involved in the pits. Your Honour, I found a note of mine before that. - “He was wearing a neck collar because of the G forces and he had not driven for a long time and I believe he was in some pain in his back” - is my note. JUDGE: Aah. - “I believe he was in some pain”? PROSECUTING BARRISTER (*Smythe in Chequered Justice): Yes and believe in - well to read it word for word rather than adding my gloss - “and believe in some pain in his back.....” - Well, actually the further one goes back into the note, the more it may help. - “John Bartlett (*Will Middleton in Chequered Justice) span off in one race and as a result came ninth. At Brands Hatch there was discussion as to whether he could drive a second heat. That was partly related to the back He was wearing a neck collar because of the G forces” - and then we go back into the point where I got my note. Yes, I think my note is slightly fuller than my learned junior’s on that particular point, which is unusual JUDGE: I am minded to leave the matter where it is.
I answer all questions as honestly as I can, but remember, I am obliged to reiterate that Chequered Justice is a novel based on a true story. Thank you to all who have given great reviews and nice comments, they are very much appreciated. I hope all that have read Chequered Justice and Dark Horse have enjoyed them. Please eMail questions to: john@ChequeredJustice.Com or add a comment below.