Wednesday 15 August 2018

Justice Delayed Is Justice Denied

If there is one group of people against whom I have no complaint, then it is the Police. If you say that I have my outfits and my accent to thank for that, then remember that my outfits and my accent are at the service of the voters, should they so choose. I have just had another highly fruitful meeting with the Police, who are clearly as fed up as I am with how I have been treated. How have I been treated? Read on.

On 13th March 2017, I was arrested for sending a death threat to a large number of members of Durham County Council. On 13th April, to the shocked disbelief of the Police and after six or seven hours on the part of the Crown Prosecution Service, I was charged. I was supposed to stand trial on 6th December. It was “postponed”. I was supposed to stand trial on 11th April 2018, a year after I had been charged. That, too, was “postponed”. Since then, I have had no trial date, despite my having been on bail since 13th March 2017.

They held my First Hearing somewhere that they assumed that I could not reach on time by the public transport on which I was dependent. But I was there. They sent me for an unrequested psychiatric assessment with a view to having me committed. But I was pronounced to have no mental health issues whatever, something that presumably a psychiatrist rarely sees, as an oncologist would rarely see anyone with no symptom that could possibly indicate cancer.

On what grounds was I arrested and charged? None whatever. Literally none. The supposed similarities between the letter and my published work were comprehensively refuted when the Police first interviewed me, on 13th March 2017. Those similarities either did not exist, or they were attributed quotations from the work of other people, including William Shakespeare. The hypothetical possibility of a fingerprint was also dealt with and dismissed in full on that occasion, as being entirely explicable in terms of my having at some time loaded a ream on paper into the printer at either of the public libraries that I frequented, and indeed continue to frequent. 

I was charged on the basis of the existence of two fingerprints that were supposed to have been mine beyond reasonable doubt. Yet six months later to the day, the Crown produced only one fingerprint that may or may not have come (as, in point of fact, it had not) from one of my hands but not from the other, on one side but not the other of a folded piece of paper that any of hundreds of other people might also have touched, but not on the envelope in which it was posted. That envelope bore no trace of my DNA where it had been sealed, and it has in any case since been destroyed as common office waste.

The contortions required would defeat even someone a very great deal less arthritic than I, if they would be possible at all. Am I to be expected to stand in a dock or a witness box and wave my two hands in order to demonstrate, both that I had such, and that it caused me intense pain to exert them? Is it imagined that that would add to the majesty of the law, in which some of us simple souls still believe profoundly? The prosecution has added physical impossibility to the moral impossibility of my having committed this offence, which latter is the publicly recorded view of every member of Durham County Council who has ever met me. It is also a matter of public record that the Police would not have charged me.

There is no other fingerprint evidence, which is to say that there is no fingerprint evidence whatever. There is no computer evidence. There is no electronic evidence of any kind. There is no handwriting evidence. There is no DNA evidence. There is no proof of postage. I shall say that again: there is no evidence that the letter was ever posted, not only by me, but by anyone. If there is no public interest in prosecuting the father of Poppi Worthington, then there is certainly none in prosecuting me. 

Although I have had no contact with any alleged victim in this case while these matters have been ongoing, none of them has removed me as a friend on Facebook, nor has any of them stopped following me on Twitter. That includes the complainant in this case, who, entirely by his own choice, both remains my friend on Facebook, and continues to follow me on Twitter. 

The Crown Prosecution Service caused all of my 32 character witnesses to be disallowed, because it knew that the testimony of any one of them would have guaranteed my acquittal: past and present members of both Houses of Parliament, local councillors including several alleged victims in this case, senior members of the Catholic and Anglican clergy, distinguished academics, leading journalists, Justices of the Peace, a Presiding Justice in Court, and so on. But at least one of those has simply sent in his character reference anyway, and this whole move has given me the opportunity to say that the testimony of any one of those people, never mind those of 32 of them, would have been enough to preclude any realistic possibility that 10 out of 12 randomly chosen jurors might have found me guilty of anything.

Nevertheless, my good character is evidenced by the fact that while these proceedings have been ongoing, I have been elected unopposed as a Public Governor of County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, the only unopposed election of which I have ever heard there, and possibly the only one that there has ever been. And I have taken a creditable 203 votes for the Lanchester Ward of Durham County Council, as well as a more than creditable 302 votes for Lanchester Parish Council. Those figures are universally regarded as having been artificially reduced by the persecution of me. Even so, though, my neighbours voted for me in their hundreds. The verdict of my peers, indeed.

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