Show cover of Fear or Favour

Fear or Favour

Nazir Afzal OBE and Mark Williams-Thomas MA, PG Dip. know a thing or two about Crime & Justice. Having spent a combined 50+ years at the top of their prosecutorial & policing careers, they finally share their unflinching, unfiltered thoughts on the issues of the day. Neither allowed ‘Fear’ or ‘Favour’ to interfere with their pursuit of the truth. Nobody & nothing is off limits. You wish, you can show your appreciation and support Fear or Favour with a small monthly subscription via our Patreon page


37: Recent Events and the Death of Mahsa Amini in Iran
A mixed bag of subjects this week as so much has happened since our last episode. Mark and Nazir start by discussing the passing of Queen Elizabeth II and her impact on the monarchy as well as what lies ahead for King Charles III. They also look at the High Court action being taken by the DPP against judges refusal to detain defendants for longer. They then look at the role The Teacher’s Pet podcast has played in getting a successful conviction for Lynette Dawson’s 1982 murder and at the way police perceive the media's role in investigations. Nazir and Mark close by talking about the death of Mahsa Amini in Iran. Mahsa was detained, tortured and killed by Iran's Morality Police for failing to properly wear her hijab. Her death has sparked protests and outrage worldwide.
40:10 29/09/22
36: Racism in Justice and Policing
Mark and Nazir start this week's episode with an update on the investigation in to the shooting of nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel in Merseyside and then continue with the scheduled topic of racism in the criminal justice system. They discuss implicit race bias and institutionalised racism in policing and in the justice system, giving examples of where they and others have witnessed this first-hand. Nazir's new book, "The Race to the Top: Structural Racism and How to Fight It", is out now. He knows what it’s like to break the glass ceiling, challenge prejudice and shake up predominantly white institutions. Born in Birmingham to first generation Pakistani immigrants, he was the first Muslim to be appointed as a Chief Crown Prosecutor and the most senior Muslim lawyer in the Crown Prosecution Service.
43:25 15/09/22
35: Gun Crime in Liverpool and a Look at Life Within The Fire Service
In this episode Mark and Nazir begin by discussing the increase in gun-crime in Merseyside and in particular the recent tragic shooting of 9-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel. And they take a light-hearted look at life within the fire service; Nazir and Mark are joined this week by special guest, Leigh Hosy-Pickett, whose new book "Up In Smoke: Stories From a Life on Fire" tells all about what he has seen in his twenty-five years as a firefighter.
46:12 01/09/22
34: Crime Statistics, Blackpool Children's Homes and Other Failings
A bit of a mixed bag in this episode. Nazir and Mark tackle subjects including the latest crime statistics which show that the police are failing to tackle, or even respond to, certain crimes such as burglaries and theft. They look at the awful situation surrounding local authorities sending children in care  to stay in homes hundreds of miles away in Blackpool, and the risks that those children are then exposed to.  Plus a lot more - even the cost of living crisis comes under close scrutiny with a warning from Mark and Nazir that it could lead to civil unrest if something isn't done about it very soon.
40:54 18/08/22
33: Unknown Serial Killer or Murder Suicide?
WARNING: This episode contains detailed descriptions of injuries and crime scenes relating to multiple murder cases. Mark and Nazir are joined this week by guest, David Collins, the Northern Editor at the Sunday Times to discuss his book "The Hunt For The Silver Killer". In June 2021 Stephanie Davies, a senior coroner's officer who works for the Cheshire Police, was suspended over her suggestion that elderly couples were being murdered by a serial killer. In David's book, he investigates Stephanie's findings and examines the evidence to see if an unknown serial killer could be at large in the North West of England.
50:34 04/08/22
32: The Impact of Online Pornography on Children
In this episode, Mark and Nazir are joined by special guest Carolyn Bunting MBE to discuss the impact online pornography and sexting have on children. Asking is the industry doing enough to protect children and could the Government do more. They also give some important advice on how parents can address these issues with their children. Carolyn is the CEO of Internet Matters, an independent, not-for-profit organisation which helps families keep their children safe online. Their website contains lots of useful and educational material for parents, children and educators:
42:07 21/07/22
31: R. Kelly's Sentencing & Police In Special Measures
In this episode, Mark and Nazir discuss the sentencing of disgraced R&B singer R. Kelly; sentenced to 30 years in prison after being found guilty of eight counts of sex trafficking and one of racketeering. He used his fame to sexually abuse young fans, including some who were just children. With 6 police forces being put on Special Measures, including the Met Police, Nazir and Mark explain why this has happened, what it means and look at what could be done to bring an end to all of the problems.
41:18 07/07/22
30: Grenfell Tower, The Fifth Anniversary
Five years on from the tragedy of the Grenfell Tower fire, Mark and Nazir discuss what went wrong and ask why has nobody been bought to justice. On 14 June 2017, a fire broke out in the 24-storey Grenfell Tower block in North Kensington, London. The fire spread rapidly up and around the exterior of the building due to sub-standard cladding having been installed. 72 people died in the fire and more than 70 others were injured. The families of the victims are still waiting for answers.
30:34 23/06/22
29: Robb Elementary School Shooting, Partygate and Scammers
On 24th May 2022, 18-year-old Salvador Rolando Ramos fatally shot nineteen students and two teachers, he also wounded seventeen other people at Robb Elementary School in Texas. Nazir and Mark take a detailed look at this tragedy and question why the US Government has failed to implement necessary changes to the gun laws in order to reduce the number of mass shootings. They also discuss the outcome of Partygate, and take a look at the impending crisis in the NHS ambulance system, as well as the dangers of swimming at this time of year and the upturn in activity from online scammers.
33:20 02/06/22
28: MP Arrested, The Lady in the Lake Killer and Baby P
There is a lot happening in the news this week. Mark and Nazir discuss the Conservative MP who was arrested on suspicion of rape and sexual assault. They take a scathing look at the failings of both the police and the pathologist in the 1987 murder of Shani Warren, known as 'The Lady in the Lake', and compare those failings to similar failings in the case of Jessie Earl. Baby P's mother, Tracey Connelly, will be released from prison after the Parole Board rejected the Government challenge. Nazir and Mark look at the Parole Board's actions, how it operates and challenge some of Parole Board's decisions. They also take a look at the risks of social media, in particular the case of 52-year old driving instructor, Graham Mansie from Bromley, who “became besotted” with a 17-year-old student while teaching her how to drive. He went on to set up various social media accounts in order to stalk her and to befriend people who knew her.
42:06 26/05/22
27: Restorative Justice, Does it Work?
This week Nazir and Mark take a detailed look at restorative justice and are joined by Jacob Dunne to discuss his own experiences.  Jacob served fourteen months in prison following his conviction for manslaughter, caused by a single punch on a night out in 2011, and has since developed a relationship with his victim’s parents through a Restorative Justice programme. With their encouragement he has earned a first-class degree in criminology and he now spends his time mentoring and advising young people and prisoners on the perils of violence and how to turn their lives around.
48:44 19/05/22
26: Wayne Couzens, Ukrainian Refugees, Trolls and US Abortion Rights
There has been a lot happening in the news this week for Nazir and Mark to cover. They look at Wayne Couzens attempt to have his whole-life prison sentence reduced, then revisit the abuse and trafficking issues affecting some of the Ukrainian refugees coming to the UK. Touching on his own recent experience, Mark discusses online Trolls with Nazir and they look at the issues surrounding online abuse and the impact it has on people. They also take a look at the  impact of the US Supreme Court possibly planning to overturn the historic Roe v Wade ruling and the effect it will have on women's rights. And, the week wouldn't be complete without looking at some of the developments in the Johnny Depp Amber Heard defamation trial.
32:03 12/05/22
25: Porn in Parliament, Rikki Neave, Boris Becker & Madeleine McCann
Another mixed bag of news this week falling under the scrutiny of Mark and Nazir. First to be looked at is Neil Parish MP who has now resigned after being caught watching pornography in Parliament. Mark and Nazir also have a detailed talk about the tragic murder of 6-year-old Rikki Neave, murdered in 1994 by James Watson who was just 13 at the time. They look at Boris Becker's fall from grace and his imprisonment for hiding assets in order to avoid paying debts. And look at the 15-year statute of limitations in relation to the Madeleine McCann abduction, and discuss Mark's upcoming 3-part documentary investigating the prime suspect, Christian B.
45:21 05/05/22
24: Stop and Search, Child Q, War Oligarchs & Sports
This week Mark and Nazir cover a broad range of topic in the news, including police powers in relation to Stop and Search and its disproportionate use on black people and in deprived areas. They revisit what has happened in the appalling strip search case of 15-year-old Child Q and have an in depth look at how the Russia / Ukraine war is affecting some Russian Oligarchs and whether politics should be allowed to influence the world of sports. They also take a look at the ongoing court case between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard.
44:02 28/04/22
23: Partygate, Sexting, Sir David Amess and Imran Khan MP
A mixed bag of subjects in this weeks episode. Nazir and Mark discuss the ramifications of the Partygate fines, in particular, for Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak. And following on from last week, they explain what constitutes Sexting, the impact it can have on people and they look at the legal issues surrounding it. They take a look at the whole-life sentence given to the murderer of Sir David Amess MP and the personal safety issues that politicians and police officers face on a daily basis. And they also discuss the conviction of Wakefield MP, Imran Khan, who has been expelled from the Conservative Party after being found guilty of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy in 2008.
36:55 21/04/22
22: Harassment, Stalking & Contempt of Court
In this episode Nazir and Mark examine harassment, stalking and contempt of court. They explain what constitutes harassment and stalking and have an in-depth discussion about the impact it has on the people it is targeted at, as well as discussing their own experiences being in the public eye. Contempt of Court happens when someone risks unfairly influencing a court case. Mark and Nazir look at what constitutes Contempt of Court and what can happen to those who find themselves being held in contempt.
40:47 14/04/22
21: The Crown Prosecution Service
In this episode Mark and Nazir have an in-depth discussion about the Crown Prosecution Service's role in policing and prosecutions. They explain how the CPS operates and take a detailed look at its history, people and the challenges it has faced, and still faces going forward. Nazir spent most of his career in the CPS and rose to be the Chief Crown Prosecutor for the North West. Nazir has a unique insight that you won't want to miss.
43:39 07/04/22
20: The Murder of Daniel Morgan
This week Nazir and Mark are joined by special guest, Alastair Morgan. Alastair's brother, Daniel Morgan, was a British private investigator who was murdered in London in 1987, he was found dead in a pub car park with an axe embedded in his head. Daniel's murder remains unsolved despite there having been several police investigations, arrests, and a trial. In 2021, an independent review into the handling of the investigation found that the Met Police had "a form of institutional corruption" which had concealed or denied failings in the case. Nazir and Mark discuss with Alastair the details of the case and the the suspects as well as taking look at the failures and corruption that have prevented Daniel's murderers from being brought to justice.
45:37 31/03/22
19: It's All About The Met
This episode looks at the truly shocking strip-search of 'Child Q' by officers from London's Metropolitan police force. As well the Met's hugely disproportionate response to squatters occupying a Belgravia mansion owned by the sanctioned oligarch, Oleg Deripaska. Nazir and Mark take a detailed look at these topics and address some of the main issues within the Met. Asking, should the Met be broken up in to smaller, regional police forces?
39:56 25/03/22
18: War Crime and No-Fly Zones
Nazir and Mark take a look at Russia's invasion of Ukraine; in particular, what constitutes a war crime and what would have to happen in order for the International Criminal Court to be able bring Putin to justice. They also discuss the calls to implement a no-fly zone over Ukraine and explain why there are risks for the International community in doing so.
44:34 18/03/22
17: The British Post Office Scandal
Award-winning broadcast journalist, Nick Wallis joins Nazir and Mark this week to discuss the largest miscarriage of justice in British legal history; the British Post Office scandal. Between 2000 and 2014, the Post Office prosecuted 736 sub-postmasters and sub-postmistresses for false accounting and theft. Some went to prison following their conviction and many were financially ruined. The prosecutions were based on information from a recently installed computer system called Horizon. Except, the Horizon system was flawed...
49:11 11/03/22
16: Met Police Officers Named and Levi Bellfield's Confession
This week Mark and Nazir discuss why the CPS finally backed-down and named the three Met Police officers charged over sharing 'racist and sexist messages' with Sarah Everard's killer, ex-police constable Wayne Couzens. They also take a close look at Levi Bellfield's recent confession that he murdered Lin and Megan Russell in 1996. Bellfield is known to be a liar, so could there be any truth to his confession?
39:45 04/03/22
15: Caroline Flack, Harry Dunn and the Post Office Scandal
Another mixed-bag of topics this week. Nazir and Mark examine the actions of the police and the CPS in relation to how they handled Caroline Flack's case and its tragic outcome. They also take a look at the complexities of diplomatic immunity which allowed Anne Sacoolas to flee the country after the death of Harry Dunn. And Mark and Nazir have a frank discussion about the Post Office scandal which saw no fewer than 736 sub-postmasters prosecuted for crimes they didn't commit.
39:47 25/02/22
14: The Latest on Andrew, Giuffre, Maxwell & the Met Police
Mark and Nazir have a lot of developments in the news to discuss this week. They take a detailed look at the impact of Prince Andrew agreeing to settle the sexual assault case filed against him by Virginia Giuffre. They also analyse the positioning of Maxwell's defence team in relation to a retrial and they look at the potential for change within the Met Police following Cressida Dick's resignation.
41:53 18/02/22
13: Prosecutions, Police, Boris and Starmer
A bit of a mixed bag this week, Nazir and Mark discuss Boris Johnson's claim that Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer failed to prosecute Jimmy Savile when he was the Director of Public Prosecutions as well as the aftermath of the claim. They also take a detailed look at changes within the police force that have led to public confidence in the police being at an all-time low, and they also explain why decisions are sometimes made to not prosecute an individual.
44:45 11/02/22
12: David Fuller the Bedsit Killer
In 1987 David Fuller killed Wendy Knell and Caroline Pierce in two separate attacks in Tunbridge Wells. Then between 2008 and 2020, he filmed himself abusing corpses, including children as young as 9, in two Kent morgues while working as a hospital electrician. Nazir and Mark discuss the details of the case and take a very critical look at the failings of a system that allowed Fuller to keep his job and continue abusing more victims.
50:47 04/02/22
11: News Flash 28/Jan/22 The Sue Gray Report & Prince Andrew Update
In this, the first of our News Flash bonus episodes, Mark and Nazir  discuss the latest developments in the UK Government's 'partygate' scandal, in particular Sue Gray's report, as well as giving their views on the actions taken this week by Prince Andrew and his legal team.
19:37 28/01/22
10: Stephen Port, Serial Killer
This week Nazir and Mark are joined by their first ever guest on Fear or Favour; BBC television producer, Charlotte Rowles. Charlotte has an extensive knowledge of the Stephen Port case, his victims and their families as well as the police failings that may have contributed to the deaths of three men. It is widely accepted that the police failed to properly investigate the murders because the victims were members of the LGBTQ+ community. Stephen Port is a British convicted serial killer who is responsible for the murder of four men and for committing multiple rapes. In 2016, Port received a life prison sentence with a whole life order, meaning he will never be released.
52:54 28/01/22
9: Prince Andrew, Government Parties & Djokovic
This week Nazir and Mark discuss a wide range of subjects, including an update on Prince Andrew and his legal options, the Government parties during lockdown and Novak Djokovic's deportation from Australia. They also take a look at serial killer couple Fred and Rose West and have a frank discussion about how race and class affects the way suspects and their victims are treated by the authorities.
44:34 21/01/22
8: Technology, Crime and Policing
In this episode Nazir and Mark take a broad look at technology and discuss how it has changed the way that criminals operate and the challenges that both the police and the courts face in trying to keep up. Just how different are the forensic methods shown in television drama's from what is possible in real-life investigations? 
55:37 14/01/22