Excerpts – Lord Stevens

Lord Stevens

Stevens claimed the comment to be made by Sergeant Easton to Claude Garrec (Henri Paul’s best friend), who he said was not present at the meeting with Madame Paul. But as the lawyer said, with reference to Madame Paul: ‘It is rather odd for her to invent something which apparently you now say did occur on a different occasion, involving different people.’

At this point, Stevens became flustered and began talking of the Pauls in disparaging terms, calling them ‘frail people’ in an attempt to circumvent Madame Paul’s revelation. The lawyer continued: ‘How would she [Madame Paul] know what had passed between Sergeant Easton and Claude Garrec on a different occasion and then record it in a near-contemporaneous note of her meeting with you, Lord Stevens?’ Stevens had no answer and told the lawyer that he would have to ask Sergeant Easton, whom he claimed made this comment.

Stevens was then asked when he last saw Sergeant Easton. He replied that it was four weeks ago and then said: ‘I discussed it with him about five days ago to reinforce that we get this right, because obviously it is something that is not quite right and it conflicts with Madame Paul’s evidence.’

The lawyer was not happy:

‘Do you not think that, as a senior police officer, that in order to try and get things right, it would be better that the jury should hear your unvarnished evidence on oath, rather than what is the product of a discussion between you and other police officers in advance of giving your evidence on oath, Lord Stevens?’

Stevens nervously answered:

‘I can only give the evidence and tell the jury what has taken place.’

The lawyer still wasn’t happy:

‘Why were you having discussions four days ago with Sergeant Easton with regard to your evidence?’

Now clearly in trouble, Stevens proffered this banal response:

‘Because I said that I would expect him to come to court, if that is what you want to happen. That is a matter for the coroner.’

Like a dog with a bone, the lawyer continued:

‘Is it usual, in your experience, Lord Stevens, for police officers to discuss in advance what evidence they are going to give on oath in court? What you actually said was that you had these discussions “to reinforce that we get this right. To get what right, Lord Stevens?’

By now an extremely flustered Stevens blurted out: ‘There is no conspiracy here!’

‘You mentioned conspiracy,’ retorted the lawyer, but then comes Stevens’ magical interjection: ‘There is no record of my saying those things about great repercussions in England, if this were an assassination.’

So, we now know that Stevens had obviously checked whether there was any evidence that he made this remark. But if he knew he hadn’t made it, why did he need to check?