Trial of the Detectives

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The Trial of the Detectives (also known as the Turf Fraud Scandal) was a police corruption scandal involving three senior officers at Scotland Yard in 1877.

Scotland Yard had been called in to investigate a confidence trick in which two Englishmen, Harry Benson and William Kurr, had taken £30,000 from a Parisian woman named Madame de Goncourt using a scam involving horse racing bets. The arrest of Benson and Kurr proved particularly difficult, as they always seemed one step ahead of the pursuing officers. It was later revealed that Inspector John Meiklejohn had been accepting bribes from Kurr to warn him when his arrest was imminent. Two other individuals involved in the investigation, Chief Inspector Nathaniel Druscovich and Chief Inspector Palmer, were also implicated in this corruption.

The three stood trial at the Old Bailey and were sentenced to two years in prison. The incident had implications for the organisation of Scotland Yard, as the Superintendent's ability to supervise his subordinates was called into question. Following the Committee of Inquiry, the Detective Branch was reorganised into the CID.



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