Arresting News of (Dis)organised Crime and Corruption


Met police to examine corruption in 1959 racist murder


Cartoonist Ken Sprague
Cartoonist Ken Sprague

The Metropolitan police will examine corruption concerns surrounding the unsolved murder of a black man in Notting Hill after his family petitioned for an apology on the 62nd anniversary of his violent death at the hands of racists.

It follows an exclusive article published by The Upsetter with journalist Mark Olden, whose investigation into the murder of Kelso Cochrane in 1959 has raised questions about the police handling of the case.

Kelso Cochrane (courtesy of Millicent Christian)

Asked if the Met would apologise and support the Cochrane family’s call for release of National Archives files, that are closed to public inspection until 2054, the force issued the following statement:

“The murder of Kelso Cochrane in North Kensington in 1959 remains unsolved. As with all unsolved murders, this case is not closed and any evidence that comes to light will be assessed and investigated accordingly.

In light of recent coverage of the case and concerns raised by Mr Cochrane’s family via petition we are assessing the historical material held by police in relation to the murder. We will be contacting Mr Cochrane’s family so that we can better understand their concerns with the original investigation.”

Josephine Cochrane, Kelso’s daughter, has long believed there was an establishment “cover up” of her father’s murder.

Josephine Cochrane

In response to the Met’s statement, she said:

“For years, we were without our father and were always wondering where he was and what happened to him. It left us with a lot of unanswered questions, as well as the pain of abandonment and going through life hard. I didn’t have a dad and made bad choices because I didn’t have someone who can guide me.”

Josephine, 68, who lives in New York and is a social worker, says the Met “have never fully contacted us to let us know what happened to our father.” She wants an apology and the National Archives files released.

“I want the files opened because there are things in there we need to know.”

The Met intervention comes on the eve of the first anniversary of the George Floyd murder by a US police officer.

A Black Lives Matters demonstration will march through London this weekend.