John Bowden | 04.12.2008 13:07 | Repression
It also emerged during the trial that following an official investigation last December that found Stillman to have deliberately lied about the nature of ABC and the prison authorities being forced to return me to an open jail (following Stillman's initial report the prison authorities had buried me in Maximum-Security conditions for almost a year) on at least two separate occasions drug test results had been falsified against me in an obvious attempt to further sabotage my chances of parole. In court I argued that as a means of defending myself from repeated attempts by the prison system to prolong my imprisonment into perpetuity I decided to abscond, which under the Scottish Law of Necessity is a perfectly legitimate defense. Considering that Matthew Stillman's lies against Brighton ABC and myself were an absolutely central part of that defense, his absence at the trial was very conspicuous. In fact, his former employers at Perth and Kinross Council claimed they had absolutely no information concerning his current whereabouts and were unable to trace him. Finally tracked down by Tayside Police Stillman adamantly refused to co-operate with either my solicitors or the Procurator Fiscal (the Scottish equivalent of England's Director of Public Prosecutions) and claimed he would only agree to provide a statement through his lawyer. Considering that I was on trial for allegedly trying to defeat the ends of justice, Stillman's attempt to do the same was treated amazingly sympathetically by the Police who by way of a response said that as an American he probably didn't fully understand the Scottish legal system!
Denied Stillman's presence and evidence the State Prosecutor did not challenge or even question my assertion that Stillman, in collusion with senior prison officials, had deliberately attempted to prolong my imprisonment indefinitely by lying about my association with a so-called “terrorist organization”, and yet in his final summing up the judge made the ridiculous statement that instead of “committing an offense” I should have merely raised my grievance with the very people who had conspired to keep me buried in prison with lies and inventions. In fact, true to his role as an enforcer of an intrinsically biased and viciously anti-working class legal system the judge, Kevin Veal, showed not the slightest interest in my claims of victimization and simply responded with the declaration that nothing I'd offered by way of a defense justified my action in absconding - “Far too much of this sort of thing going on” he blithely muttered. He then imposed a six month prison sentence.
In fact, the true cost of my having the temerity to abscond as a life sentence prisoner will be measured in additional years behind bars; when this was pointed out by my lawyer, the judge simply replied “Well Mr Bowden has only himself to blame for that”. Meanwhile, Matthew Stillman, who was allowed to hide from the trial remains employed by Fife Social Services despite an official investigation finding him guilty of telling lies and behaving in a thoroughly unprofessional manner. So much for bourgeois justice.
HM Prison Glenochil
King O'Muir Road