At Monday’s Southwark Crown Court hearing for mention and fix for my Appeal, the listing clerk apologetically explained that she had requested the presence of two magistrates for the scheduled December dates as early as September 30th. She was notified only late afternoon Friday that none were available.
The Court eventually did however manage to find enough jurors for the Legal Argument part of my Appeal to go ahead by having surplus jurors sent over from the Old Bailey. Mid-morning, I was contacted by my barrister who said that the Legal Arguments might proceed if I was still able to attend.
Did the Court want a hearing without media attention and without supporters or counter-protesters? I certainly wasn’t going to be able to organise security at such short notice, not to mention the worry of being arrested outside court as happened in October 2017, when I was handcuffed, thrown into the back of a freezing police van and held in custody for 48 hours – for singing songs!
A couple of supporters who for some reason had not received my update did turn up in Southwark. Yesterday’s events as described to me by one of them confirm the impression of yet another scene from a satire by Molière: papers endlessly shuffled around or lost; yet another new judge who admitted not having read either of the briefs submitted; vanishing jurors… In short, a total fiasco.
The Appeal has now been rescheduled for three days starting February 11th.