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31 October 2020 04:32

David Gauke Paul Casey PGA TOUR

Dossier alleges Cummings may have perverted course of justice in account of lockdown trip

Mr Afzal, whose older brother Umar died in April, wants the CPS to prosecute the Prime Minister's adviser for his 260-mile trip to Durham with wife Mary Wakefield and their son at the height of lockdown. A Mirror and Guardian probe earlier this year revealed the couple's rule-breaking journey to his parents' home, which included a trip to Barnard Castle which Mr Cummings said was to test his eyesight for the drive back to their London home. In the submission, Mr Afzal's lawyers claim eye-witness accounts and the explanations given by Mr Cummings show he was responsible for six breaches of lockdown regulations. Mr Afzal, ex-CPS Chief Prosecutor for the North West, said: "The police investigation thus far has been cursory and incomplete. A former crown prosecutor has sent authorities a dossier accusing the prime minister's chief adviser of breaking coronavirus laws and perverting the course of justice.

Police later found that he may have breached the law during a trip to Barnard Castle, but said they would not fine or prosecute him. Lawyers acting for Nazir Afzal OBE, the former chief crown prosecutor for northwest England, have now sent investigators legal submissions calling for action to be taken. "It also concludes that the test [for bringing charges] appears to be satisfied in relation to one offence of perverting the course of justice, that arises from Mr Cummings' statement in the Rose Garden in Downing Street on 25 May," it added. Durham Constabulary said there "might have been a minor breach of the Regulations that would have warranted police intervention" with Mr Cummings' trip to Barnard Castle on Easter Sunday. A CPS spokesperson said investigations into alleged criminal conduct were a matter for the police and that it has no power to direct them.

Police and the Crown Prosecution Service have been handed a 225-page dossier urging them to investigate Dominic Cummings for allegedly perverting the course of justice over a statement about his journeys to the north-east at the height of the pandemic. The former regional chief prosecutor, Nazir Afzal, said Cummings' claims during a press conference in Downing Street's rose garden on 25 May, affected the course of justice as they were made as Durham police's investigation into his behaviour was already under way. Afzal's lawyers gave extensive details of the allegation in the dossier sent on Friday to Durham police, the Met, and to Max Hill, the director of public prosecutions, and his staff at the CPS. The most serious allegation in the documents is the claim that Cummings perverted the course of justice in his account of his journey to Barnard Castle on 12 April and his denial of a claim that he made a second lockdown trip to Durham. In a statement Afzal's lawyers said: "The alleged offence of perverting the course of justice arises from Mr Cummings' statement in the rose garden … Mr Cummings made public assertions about his conduct at Barnard Castle on 12 April and his actions on the weekend of 17-19 April, that appear to be wholly inconsistent with accounts of his conduct at that time obtained from eye-witnesses." Two of the people, Dave and Clare Edwards, gave statements to Durham police officers on 25 May as the prime minister's chief aide was giving his press conference, claiming that they saw a man whom they believed to be Cummings on 19 April in Durham's Houghall woods.

The submissions from Afzal's lawyers said Cummings' account appeared to have influenced a three-day investigation by Durham police into his lockdown journeys. Afzal's dossier includes eight annexes of new statements from witnesses in Barnard Castle and Durham. Afzal, whose brother Umar died of coronavirus when he was self-isolating at home on 8 April when Cummings was in Durham, said he wanted to get to the truth. Nazir Afzal, a former chief prosecutor for North West England whose older brother Umar died with coronavirus in April, has submitted new evidence to suggest the Prime Minister's chief aide may have lied over his trip in April to Durham. Mr Afzal's dossier is based on new eyewitness claims said to be 'wholly inconsistent' with the account that Mr Cummings gave when he admitted travelling to the North East during the lockdown.

Now the former prosecutor, whose brother Umar died from coronavirus in April, has called for him to face a new police investigation after claiming to have unearthed new evidence that he broke Covid 19 regulations. Lawyers for Mr Afzal have sent detailed submissions to the Director of Public Prosecutions Max Hill, Scotland Yard and Durham Police, who originally investigated Mr Cummings and his wife, Mary Wakefield for alleged lockdown breaches. A detective-led inquiry in Durham found Mr Cummings had probably breached health protection rules by travelling to Barnard Castle on 12 April, but it made no finding on his decision to leave London because the three-day investigation was confined to County Durham. Mr Afzal also believes he should face charges for perverting the course of justice, following Mr Cummings' statement in the Rose Garden of Downing Street in May about his movements. A CPS spokesperson said: 'Earlier this year Durham Police issued a statement about their investigation which explained their decision not to take any further action.

Police and the Crown Prosecution Service have been handed a dossier urging them to investigate Dominic Cummings for allegedly perverting the course of justice, it has emerged. The Northern Echo can confirm a 225-page report has been handed to police and CPS about Mr Cummings' journeys to the north-east, including his notorious trip to Barnard Castle at the height of lockdown. The former chief prosecutor for the North West Nazir Afzal wants the CPS to prosecute the Prime Minister's adviser for his 260-mile trip to Durham. However, Afzal's lawyers gave details of the allegations in the documents, which were sent on Friday to Durham police, the Metropolitan police and Max Hill, the director of public prosecutions, and his staff at the CPS.