- Mr. John Mortimer
QC in the 'Nevere mind the Bollocks - It's the sex pistols' case
Bollocks is a lovely word, flexible and not offensive at all to the majority of the British public, yet the Norfolk police think it causes “harassment, alarm and distress” if you use it as “Bollocks to Blair”. It seems to me that’s pretty clear that the Norfolk police don’t understand the law, the harassment, alarm and distress law that is punishable by an 80 pound fixed penalty notice, is the Section 5 public order act of 1986. The person is guilty of this offence if:
• (b) displays any writing, sign or other visible representation which is threatening, abusive or insulting,
Now, I suppose that you could at a push say it was insulting, but I think it would be a struggle, it’s certainly not threatening or abusive, so I’m not sure it’s an offence at all however, if it is htere are two obvious defences applicable to the words “bollocks to blair” on a t-shirt,
• (a) that he had no reason to believe that there was any person within hearing or sight who was likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress, or
• (c) that his conduct was reasonable.
• (4) A person is guilty of an offence under section 5 only if he intends his words or behaviour, or the writing, sign or other visible representation, to be threatening, abusive or insulting, or is aware that it may be threatening, abusive or insulting or (as the case may be) he intends his behaviour to be or is aware that it may be disorderly.
Unfortunately this will never make it to court, when Tony Wright requests a court hearing, as is his right under the scheme then “the case will be reviewed by a Crown Prosecutor, applying the evidential and public interest test under the Code for Crown Prosecutors.” [PND Op guidence], and unfortunately I’m sure they’ll decide it’s not in the public interest.
We need a court case, the police are wasting too much time on ludicrous things, making simple mistakes, it’s possible to understand if not quite excuse the police making mistake when under real pressure and shooting innocent men, at least there was pressure, but what pressure is there on a policeman sitting in a Norfolk field faced with t-shirts saying “Bollocks to Blair”?
Bollocks has an interesting history in UK courts, in 1977 there was a case against against a record store and Richard Branson the Sex Pistols album http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Never_Mind_The_Bollocks_Here’s_The_Sex_Pistols, that case failed, probably thanks to the defence having a famous QC and Rumpole creator John Mortimer QC to help in the defence of a minor crime at a magistrates court.
Mr. Mortimer managed to sum up in that case saying the excellent
“What sort of country are we living in if a politician comes to Nottingham and speaks here to a group of people in the city centre and during his speech a heckler replies ‘bollocks’. Are we to expect this person to be incarcerated, or do we live in a country where we are proud of our Anglo Saxon language?”
Unfortunately it’s looking increasingly like the Police do what such people to be incarcerated, and this time what famous QC’s are there that Mr Wright could call on, unfortunately I could only think of one, Cherie Booth QC, and I’m not sure she’d be up for it.
City of Westminster Magistrates Courts
PTI Ref No: 01CXXXXXXXX
Southwark Crown Court
1 English Grounds
DX 39913 London Bridge South
Statement of Facts
1. My solicitor is not present today and I will be requiring to view all advanced disclosure from the CPS before making an educated, informed decision on my plea – I am requesting all CCTV footage from May 5, 2007 including CCTV from the custody suite and the upstairs public waiting room from Charing Cross (CX) police station and Downing Street Gates. I will also need to seek legal advice before making a plea. Regardless, I am prepared to carry on today in the interests of not wasting the tax-payers money.
2. The bail conditions, as challenged on Friday, May 11, 2007 are disproportionate and unnecessary. I have been banned from entering the city of Westminster postal areas of SW1 and WC2 for an alleged offence of section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986 for the quoted statement and artwork displayed on a whiteboard - “Bollocks 2 Blair. Genocide is a war crime.”
a). An alleged offence under section 5 under the Public order act is not an imprisonable offence and yet my breaking said bail conditions is imprisonable.
b). One is assumed to be innocent in a rights based democracy until proven guilty and no man or woman should be punished without law.
c). The imposed bail conditions are interfering with my human rights and indeed violate my European Convention Rights as per Schedule 1 of the Human Rights Act 1998, (Article 5,6,7,9,10, esp. 11, 14) – domestic English law. I believe these conditions also to be malicious.
d) Said conditions are also interfering with my private family life. I should not have to ask the police if it is O.K. to travel to Victoria to collect my son. Not by English law , nor by Canadian law, do I need an appointment to attend the Canadian High Commission in Trafalgar Square, London, and yet I can presently be arrested for attending said High Commission without an appointment.
e) I am part of the authorised campaign of Mr. Brian W. Haw and as such, I regularly sleep at Parliament Square - I am making a claim of residency at Parliament Square Peace Camp, London, England, SW1 1AA.
f) I am asserting my Convention Rights to freely assemble (Art.11) with Mr. Haw at his sole place of residency, as noted, and to campaign for peace, with him.
g) I am specifically asserting my Convention Rights to ‘Freedom of expression’ (Art. 10) by way of exhibiting my artwork – I am an artist.
In considering bail restrictions placed, I consider that they are disproportionate in that the alleged offence is not an imprisonable offence and are also unnecessary as I am a mother of three children and of good character; the impact on my wider liberty should not be underestimated.
g) I am asserting my right to assemble freely in places where public access is granted and not restricted, with my children.
h) I am also part of a legal team, with others who reside solely at Parliament Square Peace Camp, and I must be physically present to discuss matters relating to upcoming trials.
i) I have no court proceedings for any related offences.
3. Due to the complexity of these proceedings and the broader scale of public interest involved regarding integrating English Human Rights into an English rights-based democracy, I am requesting that this case be removed from Westminster Magistrates’ Court and be determined within the Crown Court of Southwark.
4. I am requesting that all alleged offences relating to the events of May 1, 2007 be brought forward and charges be laid immediately.
5. I am requesting that the alleged offences of May 1, 2007 and May 5, 2007 be tried together as they have already been inextricably linked through disproportionate bail conditions and I am requesting that a combined trial date be set.
I reasonably believe that there has been serious political interference in the judicial processes at the City of Westminster Magistrates’ Courts. I reasonably believe that the Metropolitan Police and the judiciary have breeched their duties and over-stepped the line where my human rights and those of other law-abiding citizens are concerned, specifically regarding the incidents and the consequences of May 11, 2007.
The City Of Westminster Magistrates’ Courts has proven time and again, that there is no remedy for the gross abuse of processes contained within her walls when dealing with those members of society who choose to support the Peace campaign of Mr. Brian W. Haw.
Cases listed previously with regards to SOCPA legislation and clearly linked to SOCPA related ‘issues’ - the clear lack of definition for the verb ‘demonstrate’ or the noun ‘demonstration’, give clear indication that the judiciary has grossly abused the processes of law and clearly attempted to pervert the course of justice in collusion with the Met, the IPCC, the CPS and various others behind the scenes as there are no proscribed processes for dealing with SOCPA.
Mrs. Charity Sweet