THE LATEST: PRESS RELEASE
From the Campaign for the Accountability of American Bases – CAAB
District Judge highly critical of Ministry of Defence Police witnesses and dismisses all charges against Lindis Percy (Joint Coordinator of the Campaign for the Accountability of American Bases – CAAB)
At Harrogate Magistrates’ Court and at the end of a three day trial yesterday (19 April 2012) Jane Goodwin (District Judge) ruled there was no case to answer.
Lindis Percy was charged with allegedly ‘wilfully obstructing three Ministry of Defence Police officers in the execution of their duty’ on 16 August 2011. Some of the Ministry of Defence Police witnesses came from NSA Menwith Hill and some from the Divisional Support Group in York. The prosecution was brought by Simon Ostler (CPS).
The reasons for this decision given by Jane Goodwin included: officers having selective memory, inconsistency within and between their testimonies. The arresting officer and Investigating officer in the case was PC Proud and it was ‘puzzling’ to her that the CCTV footage which was ‘most helpful’ was not used by the CPS.
In her ruling Jane Goodwin said there was a reluctance to answer by some of the Prosecution witnesses - particularly to identify features, movement and officers seen on the CCTV footage. PC Briggs ‘didn’t bother’ to make any entries in his pocket book and there was no mention of the incident or the defendant. PC Shields
made some entries but also there was no mention of the incident, the defendant or any ‘obstruction’. Jane Goodwin said it was a ‘mystery’ concerning some of PC Shield’s statements. There was a failure to interview or take statements from the occupants of a parked car who were ‘central’ to the case and the ‘only independent’ witnesses.
Overall Jane Goodwin concluded that the case was too weak, vague and contained significant inconsistencies. All charges against Lindis Percy were dismissed and the case stopped. Costs were awarded to her.
Comment from Lindis Percy:
“This protracted case should never have been brought. It was flawed from the start and was a shocking waste of public resources and money”.
Notes to the Editor:
a.. The three officers in the charge against Lindis Percy were: PC Proud, PC Shields and PC Mattiya (Ministry of Defence Police)
b.. The prosecutor was Simon Ostler (CPS)
c.. Lindis Percy defended herself
d.. There were nine Prosecution witnesses.
e.. The alleged incident took place during the weekly Tuesday evening demonstration (6-8 pm) - held outside the main entrance to NSA Menwith Hill near Harrogate North Yorkshire.
f.. This demonstration has happened every week for over 12 years (bar three) all year round.
g.. CAAB has campaigned for many years concerning the issues around the presence of the US Visiting Forces – NSA Menwith Hill in particular, in the UK and world wide.
h.. For the work of CAAB please refer to: www.caab.org.uk
Contact for more information:
Lindis Percy: 01423 884076 mobile: 07949 897 904