Hackney anti-gangs worker Gwenton Sloley bailed after police raid his home again
PUBLISHED: 14:29 25 February 2019 | UPDATED: 17:06 25 February 2019
A leading anti-gangs worker from Hackney was arrested and bailed after his home was raided by police for the second time in three months.
Gwenton Sloley was questioned on January 22 on suspicion of concern in the supply of class A drugs. No drugs were found when he was arrested in Croydon, or at his Lewisham flat where the raid took place, and he was initially bailed until February.
That has now been extended until April while his laptop is examined in a lab and “other evidence” is collated. In the meantime he is still getting calls from murder detectives asking him to help out their investigations across London and move witnesses to safe houses.
The arrest came less than three weeks after the Gazette revealed details of the first raid on the same flat, which took place in October. Officers had wrongly stormed the property looking for a crack cocaine dealer who had moved out five years earlier.
A furious Gwenton said the officers – who he had trained in his role as a consultant on gang crime – had it in for him, and launched legal action because their team had effectively “blacklisted” him by spreading news of the raid to his employers across the UK, including NHS teams, councils and police forces. Dozens of contracts were cancelled and an investigation into the incident was launched by the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards.
Gwenton, who has been lauded by the Home Office for his work tackling youth crime and saving lives, also moved out of the property after being told that – as a high-profile anti-gangs worker – his life was in danger because details his address got out during the prosecution of the real suspect.
But that didn’t stop officers raiding it for a second time.
Gwenton told the Gazette: “They told me there was new evidence and when I got to the station there was no new evidence. I’d just delivered training and they took the laptop out of my car.
“They have now extended the bail from February until April. How long does it take to return someone’s property containing nothing illegal?
“Five minutes before they arrested me I was on the phone to the murder team regarding the 14-year-old in Leyton [Jaden Moodie, who was stabbed to death in January]. If I was really under suspicion they’d be worried about me tampering with evidence or intimidating witnesses.”
When asked by Gwenton why his bail had been extended, Det Con Chris Bryant told him in an email: “Your case is still being investigated and more time is required to ensure that the matter is fully explored. I appreciate that, due to your work, you would ideally like a swift resolution to this matter. However, there are still viable lines of enquiry that require exploration. The laptop that was seized could not be downloaded locally and therefore I had no choice but to seek authorisation to have it sent to one of our labs for examination. I am still also collating other evidence at this time.”
Sadiq Khan’s deputy mayor for policing Sophie Linden also told Gwenton in an email she had asked her team to make sure his case was being progressed “appropriately”.
Gwenton wants £3million for defamation of character and £140,000 for loss of earnings.
A spokesperson for the Met said: “A 35-year-old man was arrested on Tuesday 22 January at a residential address in Croydon on suspicion of concern in the supply of Class A drugs. He was subsequently bailed until a date in February pending further enquiries.”