|Rundles: Crying "intimidation"|
We were well prepared to go in there and knock their socks off. But Avon and Scummerset Plod had different ideas. They sabotaged the trial by suggesting to the prosecution that they are "considering" filing a complaint of contempt of court and, get this... Witness Intimidation!
The very suggestion of this moves the case out of the criminal realm and into matters of procedural law, outside the remit of criminal law - and thus the case has been adjourned. The basis of the complaint, as I understand it, stems from a phone call I received back in September from a thick-as-pigshit plod. The plodette told me that I had published the email address of a witness on my "forum" (thick-as-pigshit plod does not know the difference between a blog and a forum) and I had posted a scanned image of a witness statement that could be considered contempt of court (if I did not remove it).
I told her that, as a blogger with a strong commitment to transparency and freedom of speech, I would seek legal advice, and if that advice found that I was in error, I would remove the offending statements. As it happens, I was perfectly within my rights to publish the email address of Nicola Spring, though the scan of the witness statement was sketchy territory. By my own good will, I decided to self-censor and edit both of the "offending" posts. I considered this to be the end of the matter.
However... Rundles made a complaint of witness intimidation (oh the irony) on the basis of me publishing a witnesses email address. I did so on the basis of this post, whereby I uncovered the fact she was acting as a paid shill on a public advice forum, attempting to discredit and libel me, ironically using the forum username "truthful and honest". As a programmer, and a php forum administrator, I posess the skill to backtrack posts without violating forum security, and was able to deduce the origin of these posts.
I take the view that that exposing such underhanded tactics is not "witness intimidation". A better description would be "journalism". It is in the public interest to reveal that a bailiff firm is trolling bailiff advice forums, pretending to be a member of the public, lying about the case in question, and calling ME a liar. It should be exposed.
If Rundles are engaged in such activity then any email it traces back to is a de-facto a business address - and if I publish that address, I am perfectly within my rights to do so. If members of the public then registered their disgust by emailing that address then I cannot be held accountable. If you live by the sword, then you will die by the sword.
Howsoever, Rundles is playing the victim, presumably because they know as well as I do exactly how shaky their case really is, hence their attempt to derail proceedings. I should have expected nothing less. This tells me they are worried. The plod have already admitted in a letter to me that they turn a blind eye to bailiff crime if a Liability Order has been issued, and have said to me that if I win this case, only then will they entertain the possibility of fraud.
Given that I have employed a highly successful, charismatic, competent and lovely barrister, I think Avon and Scummerset are worried. Had the case proceeded as planned today, Rundles would now be facing a fraud investigation, and the plod would be answering for their wilful negligence. You can see why they both have a vested interest in stalling these proceedings.
And that is the crux of this. Avon and Somerset Police appear to be engaged in an abuse of process to pervert the course of justice. They could have brought these complaints to me at any time since September. Don't you find it interesting that they waited for the day of the trial to spring the suggestion that they are "considering" charges?
Rundles and the Plod are up to their necks and they know it. My message to them is that you cannot win. My agenda has always been to make it cost you more than it costs me, and to take corrupt bailiffs off the street. I had already achieved this aim long before today - and every day after is just icing on the cake. Rundles lost a days trading today. And if it is the last thing I ever do, I will make sure the guilty pay for what they have done. And there is NOTHING you can do to me that will deter me from doing what is right.
I am told Contempt of Court may carry a modest custodial sentence as a worst case scenario. Do what you will to me, but there are many waiting in he wings who will take up my sword if I fail. But I will not fail. Because I will not rest until justice is served, whatever form that may take. You have turned a simple criminal case into something much more significant. Now you are fighting on my battlefield. And you will pay for your mistake.