A Birmingham lie detector test could easily have prevented 5 fatalities in 1978 and horrific harassment in 2013. The polygraph is used for several purposes in the UK today and helps with so many cases, including neighbour disputes.
There is no doubt that noisy neighbours are a problem Britain. According to a recent study conducted by Cirrus Research, and based on Freedom of Information complaint records, more than 84 million sleeping hours are lost because of them weekly. If you have been falsely accused of being a noisy neighbour you will be interested in this article.
The astonishing case of Barry Williams
In 1978 what appeared to be a noisy neighbour dispute resulted in the tragic deaths of George and Iris Burkitt and their son Phillip who was just 20 years old. They were shot by their neighbour, Barry Williams. He also pumped 5 bullets into their 17 year old daughter who miraculously survived. He then went on a shooting spree, killing another couple. In just over one hour he had killed 5 people and seriously injured 3 more.
He lived next door to the Birketts in Andrew Road, West Bromwich. Before killing them he had made several complaints over a period of around 3 years that they were making too much noise. He said their television was too loud and when visitors arrived, they were having loud parties. None of it was true.
When police searched his home after the incident they found a veritable armoury with a cache of bullets, guns and home-made bombs.
He was arrested and charged the next day and convicted in 1979. Initially there were 5 charges of murder and 3 of attempted murder. However, Williams defence submitted a plea of guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility, and not guilty of murder. The prosecution were willing to accept this having heard the evidence of psychiatrists who diagnosed Williams with ‘paranoid psychosis’. He was sent to high security, psychiatric hospital Broadmoor in Berkshire and later to Merseyside Ashworth Hospital. The judge (Justice Stephen Brown) ordered Williams to be detained indefinitely. And that should have been the end of the matter but it wasn’t.
Warren and Cherie Smith lived in a quiet suburban area in Birmingham with their young son, Lucas. In 2008 Cherie was home alone and had a visitor who introduced himself as Harry Street. Harry was interested in acquiring the house next door to them and asked if he could look at their garden. In chatting she learned that this elderly man was moving house because he had very noisy neighbours. Harry told her that he suspected his neighbours were dealing in drugs. Cherie felt sorry for him. A few weeks later, Harry Street moved into the house next door.
2 months later the Smiths doorbell rang and they were surprised to see the police on their doorstep. A neighbour had apparently complained that they were making too much noise. They were surprised because they only had their radio on low volume and had been chatting to each other in the kitchen. The police went away, satisfied that no law had been broken.
In the next few months, Harry Street bombarded the police with complaints about the Smiths. He alleged that they were continually having parties, banging on walls and generally indulging in anti-social behaviours. Whenever the Smiths had visitors for birthday parties, social or family gatherings their neighbour would call the police. It became embarrassing for the Smiths as they wondered what their other neighbours might think of them.
You can watch the 5 years of nightmare the Smiths went on to experience in the documentary below:
Birmingham lie detector test
The Harry Street case is interesting because the police should have known that he was in fact Barry Williams. He had been released on licence in 1994 and had changed his name.
Police are always in a difficult position with neighbour disputes because blame is difficult to prove. Complaints of noise and harassment invariably involve the parties concerned having to record everything with security or CCTV cameras and sound recording equipment. Without hard evidence successful prosecutions are unlikely.
If the Smiths had made use of our Birmingham lie detector test service and taken the results to the police, it may have inspired them to investigate Harry Smith a lot sooner than they did. It was only when the Smiths’ lives were seriously affected by Street’s behaviour that finally the police managed to put the jigsaw puzzle together. Had they left it any later the Smiths may not have survived to tell the tale.
Many of the clients we meet use our Birmingham lie detector service when they have been falsely accused to prove they are telling the truth. The frustration, coupled with a lack of police resources and not being believed, causes serious stress. Sleep deprivation, through stress or noise, is dangerous to your health.
Our polygraph examiners are highly trained and experienced in dealing with neighbour disputes and many other problems. As a nationwide polygraph service provider our examiners are never far away. Resolving false accusations sooner rather than later allows you to avoid the scenarios that the Birketts and Smiths went through. If you prove you are telling the truth and only two parties are involved, the other party has to be lying.
Police forces in Britain already use lie detector tests for monitoring some offenders who have been released subject to strict conditions. Your results could easily speed up their investigations and lead them to look more carefully at the person who is making false accusations against you.