In 1968 the corruption scandals that were about to envelop the Metropolitan Police were still a year away.
Between 1969 and 1972, initially following an exposé in The Sunday Times, scores of detectives would go to jail; hundreds more policemen would be forced to resign.
The Drug Squad detective “Nobby”‘ Pilcher, featured in A Song from Dead Lips, was one of those who would be prosecuted.
In September 1973 Detective Sergeant Norman Clement “Nobby” Pilcher was convicted on a charge of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice after it became clear that he was extorting money from victims he had framed for drug offences. In a five year career on the Drug Squad, Pilcher was responsible for arresting Donovan, Mick Jagger, Brian Jones, Keith Richards, George Harrison and John Lennon for drug offences.
Sentencing him, Justice Melford Stevenson said, “You poisoned the wells of criminal justice and you set about it deliberately.”
The “coathanger” operations, featured in A Song From Dead Lips were also commonplace, as well as the widespread practice of “fitting up” suspected criminals in order to either extort protection money for them, or simply convict them of crimes that the police had not otherwise solved.
The Sunday Times investigation as followed by Sir Robert Mark’s deep reforms of the Metropolitan Police and were bitterly resented by many serving officers at that time.