|A&S Plod: Go sit in the corner.|
The point of the law pertaining to Contempt by Publication is to avoid a situation whereby publication of material might prejudice a fair trial. Given the fact the first trial was conducted unimpeded (without even a mention of this blog) tells us that the likelihood of it impeding a fair trial was somewhere around zero. The whole thing is risible.
As I understand it, it is primarily governed by the Contempt of Court Act 1981 ("CCA 1981"), which makes it an offence to publish material which creates a substantial risk of serious prejudice to pending court proceedings. I would like to see them argue that the (now edited) blog post (on a low circulation blog) poses a "substantial risk". I'm sure we could all use a good laugh. Even with my own creative mental gymnastics, I would struggle to make a credible case out of that. The law Commission has its own view on this:
The law on contempt by publication must balance the right of a defendant to a fair trial, with the right of the publisher to freedom of expression. There are also concerns that the procedures for dealing with this form of contempt may not be as fair and efficient as possible.Given that I am both the publisher and the defendant it's difficult to see how or why I would prejudice the outcome of my own trial, especially when that which was published was only of marginal significance. If the Plod REALLY want to make this into a landmark Freedom of Expression case, then I'm happy to entertain them (at their expense). Then there is the matter of context. Irrespective of whether or not a trial was in progress, I would still have publicly exposed Nicola Spring as a fraud. The fact she was a witness (and not EVEN an eye-witness) never came into my head. This blog is about serving the public interest and that's exactly what I did.
The fact that A&S Plod are even considering this tells me just how desperate they are. They called me about it some months ago, AFTER the initial verdict (apparently unaware that I was appealing the it). It is then that the plodette in question said that unless I edited the "forum" that I "could", bizarrely, face a contempt of court charge. I told her, that I was unsure exactly what she was talking about so she would have to call back with specific URL's She appeared not to know what a URL was and never called me back. But I did comply. So again I ask, why bring this up now if not to sabotage the ongoing proceedings? What are Avon and Somerset afraid of?
I cannot say for certain how the Plod will play this. If they are daft enough to turn a minor transgression into a major case, they will need to bring me in for questioning. They can do this one of two ways. They can either do it by appointment with my solicitor, or they can pull their usual dirty trick of hammering on the door at 6am on a weekday, while I'm still in my pyjamas, then bang me in a cell all day - and then fob me off with some recently qualified duty solicitor who is unaware of the broader case.
It should be noted that my medical records show that I do suffer from severe panic attacks and am on a higher dose of medication to treat it - and I'm suspected as having Aspergers Syndrome. Anything the plod attempts to extract, after banging me up in a cell all day, can easily be argued in court as taken under duress. If they want to turn this into a human rights circus, I'll hapilly oblige them and take it all the way to the European courts. In short... try it bitches. I'll be waiting with bells on.
As to witness intimidation, the law describes it as "an act which intimidates, and is intended to intimidate, another person (“the victim”)". My intention was merely to expose Nicola Spring as a shill on a public advice forum, while posing as an ordinary member of the public. As to whether I "intimidated" her, it is difficult to see how this large and hatchet-faced woman (a certified bailiff), who intimidates people for a living, could possibly be intimidated by this exposure - from this humble blog no less!
Witness intimidation is also described as "an act which harms, and is intended to harm, another person or, intending to cause another person to fear harm, (or) he threatens to do an act which would harm that other person". I would like to see them prove intent given that I issued no threats whatsoever and they will have to work hard to define "harm" in this context, when contrasted with the public good.
If this is what little old me can dig up with only the most cursory inspection of the law, imagine what an experienced solicitor is going to do with it? It should be noted that if Avon And Somerset Police pursue this line, we are then likely looking at a jury trial, in which case, all of the details of this case come out of the woodwork, including the professional incompetence of PC Bird, who logged my car as stolen, entirely on hearsay, resulting in further harrassment by the police on a public highway. The conduct of the bailiffs themselves will also be described in detail.
If these dumb-asses think a jury will give a verdict in their favour, then good luck to them. They will need it. I suspect the plod are playing double or quits here. Any charge that sticks on me will absolve them of their obligation to investigate bailiff fraud. That is their strategy - and you can see why the council have a vested interest in pressing the police to shut my activities down. I think they're hoping I will throw in the towel. Not gonna happen! And if I lose, the great thing is, there's always this years council tax to play with. I can keep going with this. Can you? I'm game if you are.