KILLED: Danny ‘Dannyman’ McCalla
THE FAMILY of Danny ‘Dannyman’ McCalla who was shot dead in a Wolverhampton nightclub nearly four years ago have spoken for the first time about the ‘appalling’ way they feel they have been treated by police officers dealing with the case.
McCalla’s killer Vincent Ashman was given a life sentence last week at Birmingham Crown Court for shooting the father-of-three six times at Tropical Harmony Nightclub, Bilston, in November 2009.
“The completion of the court case is covering the police in glory – I just wish the public knew the truth about how we have been treated,” said a family spokesperson.
“This case should have taken six months, not three years to come to justice because the police failed to act on evidence we gave them immediately after Dannyman was shot.
“The police did not pursue any forensic evidence on the night or DNA from the spent bullets – the jury asked why this was not done. CCTV footage showed Dannyman being shot and the killer with the gun in his hands – it did not take Sherlock Holmes or Poirot to solve it.”
Danny’s son Chuky, a professional musician said he told West Midlands Police the name, address and personal details of his father’s killer within hours of the fatal shooting.
He said by the time officers followed this up, Ashman had fled to Jamaica four days later where he remained for two and a half years until he was extradited.
He added: “The extradition was flawed as I feel West Midlands Police had no intention of ever submitting paper work to secure the extradition. This was only pursued because one of our family members wrote more than 30 letters to various agencies including Jamaica’s Justice Minister Dorothy Lightbourne, Prime Minister Bruce Golding and the Jamaican police.
“West Midlands Police informed us at one point that the extradition was delayed because of the Dudas Coke case with the USA. We tried to confirm this with Jamaica only to find out that this was yet another smoke screen used by the police.
“The public should also be made aware that Ashman had shot another individual in 2008 and despite the victim reporting this to the police, nothing was done. We can’t help but think that had the police done their job my Dad would still be with us today.
“Officers have treated this case very casually – as if it was nothing more than kids stealing sweets from a shop,” said Chuky, whose family has submitted ‘at least three’ formal complaints to West Midlands Police, including one about their appointed family liaison officer.
“I have had bad experiences with the police but I was prepared to co-operate for my Dad’s sake because he was a law abiding Rastafarian who did a lot for the community.
“I could have taken matters into my own hands and I still can, but I chose to work with the police even though I am constantly being stopped in my car. In January alone I have been stopped some 21 times. This energy should be put into solving real crime and restoring faith in the police.
“After Dad was killed one of the officers said to me ‘I think you should sort it out yourself because I would if it was my Dad,’ but I knew they were just trying to set me up.”
McCalla’s son claims that during the court case the family were treated with disdain by officers who, they say, never bothered to introduce themselves in court.
He said once another complaint had been made by the family, officers attending the court never spoke with them, but chose to speak with random black members of the public at the court.
The family spokesperson added: “We would like to know how it’s possible to have a complaint going through the process about a serving officer, and then that same officer is allowed to give a statement to the Criminal Injuries Board on the same case?”
A West Midlands Police spokesperson said the McCalla family was regularly updated regarding the investigation’s progress, which ultimately led to the conviction of Vincent Ashman on January 29.
The spokesperson added: “A complaint was received from one individual relating to the nature of her communication with the appointed family liaison officer. The complaint was fully investigated by the forces Professional Standards Department. However the complaint was not upheld.
“Ashman was declared a prime suspect at the very early stages of the murder investigation. Once information was received that the suspect might try to leave the country, an official warning was put in place with the UK Border Agency.
Unfortunately, Ashman was still able to exit Britain for Jamaica and so the force began proceedings to allow his extradition back to the UK to ensure he would stand trial for murder.”
However, one positive outcome since Dannyman’s murder is that Chuky, while grieving for his father, who was also his business manager, has completed a collaboration track with international reggae superstar Gyptian, entitled Burning from the Heart that he had been working on with his dad prior to the murder.