Last Friday April 7th, I was found guilty at Westminster Magistrates Court by Judge Nina Tempia of one offence under notorious Section 127, for causing gross offence with a satirical song. In an exact repetition of last year, it looks likely that I will again be spending Easter, not with friends and family, but at HMP Bronzefield.
There is one semi-official rendition of proceedings to be found on Campaign Against Antisemitism’s website (CAA). Remarkably perhaps, CAA takes much of the credit, despite only one witness statement submitted almost two years ago by professional complainant Bedlam Jones.
The article fails to mention the name of the prosecution key witness, although the Crown’s expert, Dr BM from Canada, is mentioned, and the expert did pass reference to ‘CAA’s Enforcement Officer’ during cross-examination, – also without explicitly mentioning his real name.
At the last minute, Dr BM was called to replace the previous expert, Dr Matthew Feldman, who is off sick. Although this appears to be an excuse on Feldman’s part to avoid being cross-examined in court. This would be due to a recent fall from grace, after quoting none other than Al Capone whilst threatening a female colleague.
Judge Tempia placed the cards on the table from the beginning, ordering that cross-examination of the history behind the case should be strictly limited… The key witness appeared by video link, having been granted Special Measures because of her delicate condition. She admitted to being responsible for me losing my job as Music Manager with AIDA Cruises in 2014 and that our feud began in 2012.
I argued strongly (perhaps too strongly) that the Crown still refuses to disclose a two-hour long police interview from November 2016 – one month before my first ever court appearance (a private prosecution for my satirical song (((Survivors))) brought by head of CAA, Gideon Falter; subsequently taken over by the Crown, this original prosecution for singing satirical songs eventually led to two short terms behind bars last year.)
I won’t say any more on the details of this case here, except that there were differences of opinion concerning the identities of the characters in my parody of Fagin’s famous song. A probation report will be arranged and I will be sentenced next Thursday, 2 pm, also at Westminster Magistrates Court. Depending on the severity of my sentence, I will most definitely be appealing (automatically funded, in the case of a full re-trial, by Legal Aid i.e. the public purse.)
Prior to this last two-day trial – which has now dragged on for nearly two years – I made the decision not to ask for direct support. The ordeal of awaiting trial, then the actual proceedings, cross-examinations and (as always) mutliple delays are daunting enough. During past trials, fisticuffs broke out between some of my supporters and those sent to taunt and goad. Who pays their bus fares, I wonder?
Readers will perhaps remember that my 2018 trial coincided exactly with Tommy Robinson’s arrest in Leeds for breaching a court order: Tel Aviv demands freedom for Tommy Robinson. Last weekend, Tommy aka Stephen Yaxley-Lennon was back in the news when he was refused entry to Mexico for a family holiday and deported back to the UK.
Tommy’s new book is entitled Silenced. Oh, really? (He also now, apparently, rejects the idea that people should be jailed for questioning the Holocaust. Hmmm.)
Some readers, I realise, will support both Tommy’s and my right to free expression on any topic, including on religion and/or ethnic group. If anyone has the right to complain about my song then that person surely must be Tommy? Or perhaps not.
There is much to ponder over the coming hours. Will I be sent back to jail for another parody song? For now, I will just leave this one here:
Ensure your address is available. Also, opt for being Sikh (better food rations). Consider the tactical use of the hunger strike (don’t do a Tommy and come off after 12 hours cos you are peckish).
In the event of not being granted bail pending appeal…
As I said – last chapter of “Bonfire of the vanities”, you are a Professional Defendant.
Oh, Alison darling, this hits a level of absurdiy that cannot but make everyone with a minimal sense of decency want to throttle a judge or a hundred of them. For goodness sakes! You have been tried for the SAME ‘CRIME’ a ridiculous number of times! Surely it does not take a genius judge to realise that it is not a proper use of the courts to accommodate every git who approaches them with the charge that he/she/it has been ‘grossly offended’ by you. For goodness sakes! There are four cloely related principles of law that even I know of that are in place precisely to prevent this inane behaviour by the courts: 1. autrefois acquit, autrefois convict; 2. double jeopardy; 3.Res judicata;
4. Nemo debet bis vexari (pro una et eadem causa).
I am going to post a good layman-level outline by ICLR of what these priciples are. Perhaps there is someone among your supporters who is a lawyer, or has a lawyer friend or a relative who is, who might be willing to make out a case for you that entrains these principles. I shall call you tomorrow.
Autrefois acquit, autrefois convict
“Autrefois acquit” roughly translates as “previously acquitted”, and “autrefois convict” as “previously convicted”.
These expressions, in medieval law French, are used to describe pleas by a defendant in criminal proceedings asking the court to halt the proceedings on the ground that they have already been tried and acquitted (or convicted) in respect of the same facts or conduct.
A plea in criminal proceedings, based on the principle that a person should not be tried twice for the same offence arising out of the same circumstances. It is a procedural defence to a criminal charge, that the defendant has already been tried and acquitted or convicted on the same charge. If so, the court must halt the new proceedings.
See also: autrefois acquit, autrefois convict; Nemo debet bis vexari
Roughly translates as “a matter already judged” or previously decided.
This is a Latin saying that expresses the principle that where a matter of fact or point of law has already been decided, there is no justification for re-litigating or deciding it afresh. The principle is intended to promote certainty and the efficient use of judicial resources, as well as protecting litigants from abuse of process.
The fact that a matter is res judicata does not preclude an appeal.
Nemo debet bis vexari (pro una et eadem causa)
Roughly translates as “No one should be tried twice in respect to the same matter.”
This is a Latin saying that expresses what in criminal law is known as the rule against double jeopardy, ie the notion that a person should not be “vexed” or have to answer for themselves by being tried or punished more than once for any particular accusation brought against them. In civil law it means a person should not be sued more than once over the same dispute.