Man found dead was due a police payout

Simon Basketter

Gary Ford was one of two men who had pending claims for damages against West Yorkshire Police after being jailed on the basis of tainted evidence. He was expected to receive a six-figure payout within weeks.

Gary Ford died on Monday of last week. He was found dead along with his friend and carer Denis Cheatham in Bebington, Merseyside.

Gary was sentenced to 25 years in prison in 1996 for a string of bogus police-organised burglaries and robberies. He was convicted on the tainted evidence of supergrass Mark Chapman.

West Yorkshire Police corrupted prosecutions by allowing Chapman free access to drink, drugs and sex to induce him to give evidence.  The force concealed this from the courts.


Gary had the majority of his convictions for robbery and burglary quashed.

Danny Mansell, who served 12 years in prison on Chapman’s evidence, had his conviction for murder overturned.

He is also awaiting settlement from West Yorkshire police.

Gary had suffered child abuse in a Catholic children’s home in Leeds.

He was writing a book about his experience of the home and his later imprisonment.

A Supreme Court judgement commented on the behaviour of West Yorkshire Police in the case.

It said that to describe the behaviour as “shocking and disgraceful is to understate the gravity of its impact on the prosecution process”.

The rape of Chapman’s cellmate and the stabbing of a fellow prisoner with broken glass bound with twine went ignored.

On the deaths of Gary Ford and Denis Cheatham, police said, “Their deaths are being treated as unexplained”.

Reprinted with permission.