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Old 11-06-2011, 04:49 PM   #1
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Default Right to Decide - The odd case of Albert Dryden


Albert Dryden became the first man to murder someone on national TV in England. This is a first that I believe places Dryden in the 'great' category, even if he was a dickhead for doing such an impossible to get away with crime.

It all started for Dryden when he wanted to build a bungalow for his mother on a piece of land he owned in the countryside. Unfortunately the land that he owned could not be built upon because it was considered 'unspoiled agricultural land', and therefore it had to remain so.

The problem that Dryden had was that Derwentside planning officer Harry Collinson joked that the building would need to be shorter than three feet for it to be legal. It seems that Harry didn't get the joke (neither do I) and began planning a way to build a three foot high bungalow.

Albert found a way that it could be done eventually. He would build it below the ground. He took the joke to be permission to build, and started digging.

After a few weeks he had finished his job. He had a bungalow below the ground, although a newspaper described the building as a 'monstrosity'.

Harry Collinson demanded that the 'monstrosity' be pulled down, claiming it was a joke to all buildings, but all this did was make Dryden more determined to keep his underground shack.

The case for both the weirdo Dryden, and the smug prick Collinson, was heard at the local court where it was decided that the 'building' was to be destroyed.

When Harry Collinson arrived with the demolition crew to remove the beastly building they were met by a very angry countryside loony that was not going to give up his bungalow without a fight. Also at the site were reporters from local papers, pressmen, police and a local TV crew. They had all been following this mad woodsman's plight against the establishment and knew that something bizarre was bound to happen on this day. But it's fair to assume that none of them expected what was about to happen.

Albert Dryden pulled out an antique pistol, aimed it at his planning official nemesis, and blew part of his head off, killing him. He then turned to face the press, who decided that the story wasn't worth dying around for. They fled for their lives, not realizing that Albert was actually trying to surrender to the crowd. Eventually police figured out that he had done what he had set out to do, and he was arrested without further incident.

The last part above isn't entirely true...There is also a discrepancy over whether or not Albert did have the correct planning bureaucracy.

Notorious killer is moved to Cumbria First published 28 1 2005

Dryden, 64, was jailed for shooting Harry Collinson, chief planning officer for Derwentside District Council, when council officers moved in to demolish Dryden’s illegally-built bungalow in Butsfield, near Consett, in June 1991.

He shot the father-of-two twice in the chest, and once in the head as he lay on the ground. A policeman and reporter were also wounded.

The incident was seen by millions of people after the tragedy was captured by a photographer from The Northern Echo and a BBC camera crew.
Any chance of a fair hearing or remedy for Albert in the legal system prior to the shooting?

CK0635 Albert Dryden, H M Prison Rye Hill, Willoughby, Warwickshire CV23 8SZ

Nobody suggests that the killing of anyone is justified. Albert Dryden has shown regret for having discharged a pistol which killed Chief Planning Officer Collinson and injured a police constable. The policeman who was shot has stated that Mr Dryden should have been released years ago.

We were asked not to publicise details of the victimisation of Mr Dryden because Collinson was a golfing partner of Chief Constable of Durham who had to be a brother Mason. Also we were asked not to mention that a judge occupied land neighbouring Mr Dryden's land and either objected to Mr Dryden's development or coveted his land.

A brother of the judge was also a magistrate or some other low from of life. He was officially involved in Mr Dryden's affairs. A senior police officer left instructions that the police were not to become involved. Again we would repeat something that people are not prepared to believe. All corruption depends upon the blind eyes of politicians.

It seems to me that this man was driven to the brink by the system itself,
which once the tragic outcome had happened, offers its legal services.

Last edited by theabominablephenomenon; 11-06-2011 at 04:52 PM.
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Old 11-06-2011, 06:01 PM   #2
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Fatal errors of the Butsfield shooting


From the Northern Echo, first published Wednesday 27th Mar 2002.

A SENIOR firearms officer has broken his ten-year silence to launch a stinging criticism of the police handling of the North-East's most infamous murders.

Almost a decade since Albert Dryden was convicted of gunning down council official Harry Collinson, former Sgt David Blackie has revealed the inside story of the police response to the shooting.

His accusations include serious concerns among fellow tactical firearms advisors that they were not consulted before the shooting at Butsfield, near Consett, County Durham.

His criticism is contained in a book raising questions as to why the armed response vehicle was based at Consett Police Station on June 20, 1991, and not nearer the scene of the shooting. Dryden, now 61, is serving a life sentence for the murder of Harry Collinson, who was chief planning officer at Derwentside District Council.

The peaceful family man was shot at point-blank range in front of horrified reporters, council workers, and police officers as he arrived to tell the former steelworker the bungalow he had built without planning permission in remote countryside was to be bulldozed.

Extraordinary footage of the shootings, captured by a BBC television crew and Northern Echo photographer Michael Peckett, were beamed to millions across the world. PC Stephen Campbell was also shot in the lower back and BBC television reporter Tony Belmont was hit in the arm as they fled for their lives.

Mr Blackie, 48, of Barnard Castle, County Durham, was one of four firearms instructors and tactical advisors at Durham Constabulary. He was on an exercise when he was called to Butsfield within minutes of the shooting.

During the research for the book, which Mr Blackie is trying to have published, he has managed to speak to Dryden's sister Elsie, Harry's brother Roy Collinson, a number of police officers and, remarkably, Dryden himself, who granted him a jail interview.

Mr Blackie claims there had been a number of complaints to police about Dryden's violent behaviour and threats in the days leading up to June 20.

He says that disgruntled officers had to press for a police de-brief in the aftermath of the murder, which was eventually held, but police planning for the operation was not discussed.

Mr Blackie wrote: "Many felt that an opportunity had been missed for the constabulary to come to terms with the consequences of an error of judgement which might, or might not, have saved Harry Collinson's life."

Mr Blackie also claims that on-the-ground intelligence was not sought from local police beforehand or from tactical firearms advisors.

He said yesterday: "The theory is, if they had any suspicion of firearms about Dryden, they should have spoken to the people who were experts in the field.

"They were my colleagues and that wasn't done. All I wanted was for someone to stand up and say, 'We got it wrong, let's learn from it and put something in place.'"

Last night, Roy Collinson, Harry's brother, who lives in Stocksfield, Northumberland, said: "The police have said they had no reason to suspect Dryden had a gun because he didn't have a licence for them, but what about all the threats that were made?

"A lot of people just seemed to think the threats would never happen and yet he had a history of firearms. "I'm just concerned now that Dryden stays in jail."

A spokesman for Durham Constabulary refuted the criticisms and said if they felt it was necessary to have a firearms team at the scene, they would not have allowed the council to go ahead with the planned demolition.

He said officers at the scene of the shooting were local police officers and had knowledge of Dryden, but there was never any evidence the killer kept guns.

Police had viewed Dryden as an "amiable eccentric", and had the armed response vehicle stationed at Consett police station as a back-up for the "unpredictable".

Researched via the Northern Echo 2002

Last edited by theabominablephenomenon; 11-06-2011 at 06:05 PM.
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Old 28-02-2013, 08:08 AM   #3
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footage of him shooting the jobsworth.

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Old 02-04-2013, 10:16 PM   #4
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Why is Dryden still locked up after nearly 23 years? He's had 4 parole hearings rejected.

The Bulger killers, the road rage killer who stabbed her boyfriend & the thug who murdered the headmaster in 1995 have all been released.

All their crimes happened after Drydens.

Is it because the life of a council official is worth more than an ordinary person, whether that be a child or an adult?

or a lesson to us not to fight back?

Drydens plea for release is the grounds that he was provoked & he was by a ruthless official on a power trip, Collinson arranged for the BBC to be there with the JCBs to demolish his bungalow.

The plan was to drive straight through this mans home & they thought they would zoom in on his face & humiliate a defenceless old man on live television.

They were wrong, this wasn't a defenceless man who they could bully & make a fool of in front of the nation.

The gun is mightier than the clipboard & that's what they don't like & why he is still in jail almost a quarter of a century later.
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Old 02-04-2013, 10:21 PM   #5
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I remember seeing that on the TV news the day it happened.
The guy who was murdered went to work that day and didn't get to go home, ever.
Surprised the shooter is still alive, he looked to be a fair age at the time, but beards can do that, maybe he wasn't as old as I thought.
My call, the shooter should have been shot.
Others will think differently.
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