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Stan fought the law &.. STAN WON!!!

Posted: Mon Oct 05, 2009 6:30 pm
by Planet Hubris
I thought I'd post the outcome of my recent battle with the bastards for anyone interested in such things. I'd actually rather not air my dirty linen in public, but with this I feel compelled to do so. My experience underlines the backwards, ridiculous and corrupt nature of the 'justice' system that most settle for in the UK. It'll hopefully also serve as a good lesson in how to stick up for yourself in the face of institutionalised oppression, however minor or major it may be.

In August I was convicted after a fraudulent mis-trial in a kangaroo court (aka: magistrates) for a public order offence that was itself trumped up by the British Transport Police in response to me standing up to their quasi-nazi behaviour last July and threatening to hold them to account for it. I got a £170 fine and a criminal record.

At the Crown Court appeal hearing against my conviction on 2nd October, I won in less than two minutes... on a TECHNICALITY. Because only one out of five prosecution witnesses showed up so the CPS didn't contest the appeal.

14 months of bullshit hanging over me, having to endure going to court and being wrongfully convicted... all wiped out in two minutes. No fine, no criminal record, you're free to go Mr. Stanley... cheers!

Except that I sacked my useless legal aid barrister and constructed a full on self defence which would have turned the tables and put the real criminals in the dock (in a Crown Court) complete with devastating supposedly lost CCTV evidence and everything... I guess they saw that coming, eh.

The slippery fucking cunts think they've got away with it... but they haven't, I'm just getting started ;)

Below, if you're interested, is the written statement and closing remarks I was intending to inflict upon the court if I'd got the chance. Enjoy!:

Written Statement

This statement is made in addition to and in support of the evidence I gave at Bexley Magistrates Court on the 13th August this year at my initial trial.

Part 1: Incident Statement

Firstly, as far as I am concerned the incident in question began with me encountering an undercover ticket inspector in the underpass at Lewisham station and ended with me being released from my involuntary detention in the British Transport Police office at the station around thirty minutes later. It is not limited to the events in the underpass alone as District Judge Lynch decreed. The reasons for this will become clear. There is also important background information that I consider relevant in light of the defamatory nature of the prosecutions case against me.

On 24th July 2008, I had been to Rose Bruford College in Sidcup during the day to collect my hard drive from my locker having recently completed a three-year degree in Music Technology. On my way home, I visited The Metro bar by Sidcup station to lend my support to their charity fund raising day for Queen Mary’s Hospital. I was keen to do this as The Metro and its staff had recently been through hell. The Metro had been the scene of the much-publicised stabbing of Robert Knox a few weeks before, something I in fact witnessed along with 100 others, and naturally, trade there had suffered. The fund raising day was as much as anything an opportunity to do something positive to allow the bar and its staff to move on and put all that behind them. I went there specifically to support my friends who worked there at the time. Whilst there, between the hours of 4 and 7 pm, I consumed two pints of cider, a cheeseburger and a cupcake. I then left and went to Sidcup station to make my way home. I was not remotely inebriated.

As I had stayed at a friends in Sidcup the night before I had no return ticket as I normally would have done so I had to purchase a single ticket to Lewisham. I did so from the ticket machine at Sidcup, it cost £2.40. Upon arrival at Lewisham, I felt my phone ring as I was getting off the train. It was an unfamiliar number but I was intrigued so I answered it as I began walking down the stairs from Platform 1 towards the underpass. I was most surprised to find the voice on the other end of the phone belonged to an established music producer whom I had never met or spoken to before. I had however spoken to his management twice regarding possible work experience at his studio. It turned out that having seen a music video and heard an EP that I’d made at university, he was keen to meet me and wanted to offer me a job. But I didn’t find out any of that until a few hours later when I rang him back on account of what happened next.

So shocked and stunned was I to be receiving this phone call from this music industry heavyweight that I absent-mindedly walked past the main stairs out of the station. If I hadn’t, none of the rest of the incident would have happened. Having done so I then became aware of a man dressed all in black when he intruded on my phone conversation by aggressively barring my way and talking at me. He offered no identification or explanation for what he was doing. I hadn’t caught what he had said as I was focused on my phone call so I walked on taking him to be a peculiar member of the public. I now know him to be Mr. Michael Taylor, an undercover ticket inspector. When I was a couple of steps past him he then shouted angrily after me: “Excuse me, can I see your ticket?!” so loudly and forcefully that I spun round and completely lost track of what the caller had been saying on the other end of the phone. I was extremely annoyed by this and didn’t want to make a bad impression so I apologised to the caller saying it was a bad time and that I’d call him back when I got home. I then hung up the call and walked the two steps back to where I had first encountered Mr. Taylor and demanded an explanation. Rather than apologising, offering identification and adapting a more polite demeanour towards me as one might reasonably expect in such circumstances, he simply continued angrily demanding to see my ticket as though he were the law personified. If he had identified himself at this point and acted in a reasonable and professional manner, I would have said something like: “fair enough mate, but you could see I was on the phone” and shown him my ticket. But he did nothing of the sort. If I had been clean-shaven with shorter hair and been wearing a suit and tie, I feel certain that Mr. Taylor would’ve paid me no attention whatsoever. I strongly feel that he really only stopped me because he saw me as an easy target.

Not long into our exchange, I did indeed realise that he must be an undercover ticket inspector, despite his failure to identify himself, but this is very much beside the point. No officer or undercover agent should have the right to rudely confront and harass a law-abiding member of the public going about his or her day-to-day business in the manner that he did me, especially if they are talking on the phone. Such behaviour is authoritarian in the extreme and I reserve the right to challenge it wherever it rears its ugly head.

I calmly but assertively told Mr. Taylor that I did indeed have a ticket for my journey and also told him why I had no intention of bowing to his unreasonable demands to see it. For me it was purely a matter of principle and I whole-heartedly stand by my actions. He wasn’t interested in anything I had to say however, he just carried on angrily asking me for my ticket. I then said: “You realise this isn’t Nazi Germany don’t you? You are behaving as though it is” and told him I was going to leave. The whole time I was stood no less than two feet away from him and never moved any closer than that. I then attempted to walk past him at which point he barred my way and grabbed my upper arms. I was horrified and said firmly: “Who do you think you are? Get your hands off me!” At which point he shouted “Help!”and numerous officers came running down the stairs. As they surrounded me, I instinctively backed up against the wall with my arms at my sides slightly away from my body, my carrier bag with my hard drive in one hand, my other palm facing outwards in a gesture of non-violence. This was a deeply upsetting and frightening thing to have to endure I can assure you, particularly when you have done nothing wrong.

However, I stuck to my guns, refused to be intimidated and attempted to explain why I refuse to be bullied and harassed into showing my ticket when I have done nothing wrong and nothing to arouse suspicion and why I was unhappy at Mr. Taylor’s behaviour towards me. None of the officers were interested. At this time, Rail Enforcement Officer Dave Nelson was particularly aggressive and intimidating towards me, so much so that I was genuinely fearful of the possibility that he might actually assault me, such was his level of hostility. When I told him Mr. Taylor had been barking orders at me, Mr. Nelson squared right up to me and shouted inches from my face: “Barking? Dogs bark, he’s not a dog is he?” To my knowledge, there were no members of the public in the underpass at this time; if they had been, they would certainly have been in earshot of Mr. Nelson’s outburst. Consequently, he was immediately urged to go back upstairs by British Transport Police officer PC Jeffery which I believe he did. BTP officer PC Broadrick then started to harangue me about the whereabouts of my ticket. Again, I tried to explain my position and that I was unhappy with Mr. Taylor’s treatment of me but it fell on deaf ears. At this point, in light of the increasingly hostile nature of the encounter, I had in fact reluctantly decided to abandon my appeal to reason and reach for my ticket. But I never got the chance as I was then inexplicably manhandled into handcuffs with no warning given, searched with no warning or consent given and taken up the main stairs into the British Transport Police office. Apparently, my ticket was not found during the search, despite it being in the back left pocket of my jeans.

Inside the BTP office, I was first physically manhandled into a chair without being asked to sit down by PC Jeffery while PC Broadrick laid out the contents of my pockets and carrier bag on a shelf. I was then subjected varying degrees of verbal abuse. Alone in the room with PC Broadrick and PC Jeffery, I was first asked by the former when the last time I had been arrested was as if I was some kind of obviously criminal individual. I have never been in trouble with the police in my life. I was then accused of being drunk by PC Jeffery. I was not remotely drunk I was merely understandably angry and more than a little scared. PC Jeffery then stated that I was a ‘tree hugger’ and a ‘hippie’ in an attempt to rile me further. Soon after this Mr. Nelson entered the room and heard me suggesting that the British Transport Police ought to have better things to do than harass innocent people. As he passed through the office, he leant in towards me and sneered: “Our job is to deal with twats like you”. He then left the room. At this point, PC Broadrick began haranguing me again about the whereabouts of my ticket, to which I replied: “Well, you should know, you emptied my pockets didn’t you?” although in fact I had no idea who had reached into my trouser pockets in the underpass. PC Broadrick was going through my possessions so at that time I just presumed it must have been him. He neither confirmed nor denied this, just stated that no ticket was found. Upon realising that my ticket appeared to have been conveniently ‘lost’ during my search, I informed the officers that I am not the person to be doing this to and declared my intention to hold all concerned to account for their behaviour. PC Broadrick’s response was to suggest to PC Jeffery that they charge me with a Section 5 Public Order Offence, to which she replied: “Can do, he’ll only appeal it.” There had been no mention or suggestion prior to this of me committing any offence whatsoever. The charge was trumped up right in front of me in response to me letting the officers know in no uncertain terms that they had picked on the wrong person and that they were not going to get away with it. Undeterred I reiterated my intentions. At this point they did in fact for a second both look slightly worried.

From then on, I started to see the ridiculousness of it all and relaxed a bit. I was still handcuffed at this time and the officers showed no signs of letting me go. So to pass the time I attempted to engage the officers in an intellectual conversation about my final year dissertation titled Aesthetic Politics and the Slide Into Fascism. They were not very interested. In the course of this, I explained that the notion of police officers acting solely on behalf of Connex South Eastern to safeguard it’s profits is technically Corporatism. I then eluded to the famous Mussolini quote: “Fascism is more appropriately called Corporatism, as it is a merger of big business and the state”. At this point, PC Broadrick replied sarcastically: “Yeah, that’s right, we’re all fascists mate…”. To which I replied “That’s not what I said, I’m merely sharing with you Mussolini’s view on what is and isn’t fascism. He should know, after all.” I then continued to explore related themes from my dissertation for the rest of the time. The officers took no interest, other than to occasionally accuse me again of being drunk.

Eventually I was un-handcuffed, approximately thirty minutes after the initial incident in the underpass. I was given two bits of paper: one PND for alleged disorderly behaviour and one stop and search record citing suspicion of possession of drugs as the reason, even though this had never been suggested or mentioned prior to this. I was then subjected to a separate interview by another Connex South Eastern Revenue Enforcement Officer regarding the whereabouts of my ticket, in the presence of PC Broadrick.

Throughout the entirety of this incident, before, during and after the officers surrounded me, and while I was being detained against my will, I did nothing more than voice my disapproval, alarm and upset at the behaviour I was encountering which was nothing short of harassment. My words and behaviour were at all times in response to this treatment and a result of the upset, alarm and distress that the officers and agent in question had caused me. Far from being the aggressor, I was very much the victim and I’m very proud of the fact that, contrary to the prosecutions case against me, I did in fact manage to hold myself together very well and not lose my head under truly unbearable circumstances.

Part 2: Grounds For Appeal

To begin with, I would like to outline my reasons for appealing the initial trial verdict. It is my view that I have been utterly prevented from experiencing anything even approaching a fair trial in this case as District Judge Lynch’s entire handling of the initial trial and his resulting judgement were demonstrably deficient on a number of levels.

Firstly, my defence was significantly undermined from the start by Mr. Lynch’s decision to refuse my request for an adjournment on the basis that key prosecution witness Rail Enforcement Officer Dave Nelson was not present. I had been keen to cross-examine Mr. Nelson as I felt strongly that a thorough examination of his evidence would prove devastating to the prosecution’s case. The decision to proceed without Mr. Nelson rendered any such examination impossible.

Secondly, halfway through the proceedings Mr. Lynch ruled that no evidence should be heard relating to my involuntary detention in the British Transport Police office at Lewisham station following the incident in the underpass as he did not deem it relevant to the charge. In the witness box, when I tried to voice my concerns regarding Mr. Lynch’s decision, he said: “You may well think it’s unreasonable. It may well be unreasonable. But I have made a decision that I will not hear evidence in relation to what happened in the police room and you will abide by it." Not only is this evidence relevant, it is in fact central to my defence as during my involuntary detention in the BTP office I became a victim of serious police misconduct and abuse. It is also, crucially, where the decision to charge me with an offence was made. This decision was taken in direct response to me declaring my intention to hold the officers in question to account for their actions. No suggestion of charging me for an offence had occurred prior to this. Therefore, Mr. Lynch’s decision to disallow in advance any evidence relating to:

a) the abuse I endured during my detention
b) the manner in which the decision to charge me was reached

was therefore devastating to my defence. It was also made after he had already heard evidence from PC Broadrick relating to my involuntary detention. This alone ought to constitute a mis-trial in my view.

In addition to this it is my assertion that even without Mr. Lynch imposing these restrictions on my defence, my trial would still have been unfairly weighted against me for thee following reasons:

Firstly, at no time have I been asked to provide my own statement in relation to the incident. My IPCC complaint against the BTP officers includes a voluntarily issued statement by me but Mr. Lynch prohibited all reference to the IPCC complaint rendering this statement inadmissible. In contrast, all of the prosecution witnesses had been invited to supply statements, all of which were admissible and used as part of the prosecutions case.

Secondly, my legal aid barrister had been assigned to the case the day before the trial and was woefully under prepared. I met with him for the first time ten minutes before the case was called. This is hardly long enough to cover the vast complexities of the case and address all the relevant areas of my defence. Consequently, my barrister’s cross-examination of the prosecution witness’ was weak and his final submission did not come close to addressing the crux of my defence. In addition to this, his questioning of me in the witness box failed to reveal two vital bits of evidence, namely that:

a) just prior to being handcuffed I had decided, under the increasingly hostile pressure, to abandon my efforts to argue my point with the officers and was considering showing them my ticket when the inexplicable decision to handcuff and detain me was made and

b) contrary to the prosecution’s assertions that I was searched in the BTP office, my trouser pockets were in fact emptied in the underpass whilst handcuffed and immediately prior to my being bundled up the stairs and into the office.

These unheard bits of evidence are crucial. In his summing up Mr. Lynch suggested that his main reason for reaching a guilty verdict was that he couldn’t understand why, if I’d had a ticket all along, I didn’t just show it for the sake of a quiet life once things got heated. The fact of the matter is that I had indeed decided to do just that but I never got the chance due to the officers desire to make an example of me by detaining me. In relation to the search, I know it took place in the underpass because I felt hands reaching in to my trouser pockets and emptying them seconds after I was handcuffed. I could not see whose hands as I was being held incapacitated in the reverse stack position. Consequently, I cannot verify whether my ticket was found or not and if so by whom. But I know that it should have been in my back left trouser pocket. When the contents of my pockets were later laid out in front of me in the BTP office, no ticket was among them. Neither of these bits of evidence were heard due to my barristers lack of understanding of the case.

In light of all this, it is absurd to suggest that my trial was a fair one. In his summing up, Mr. Lynch concluded that all the evidence I had given must be lies and that the officers and agents in question must all be above reproach, having effectively rendered all evidence to the contrary inadmissible in advance. The trial and verdict are therefore wholly invalid in my view and the only right and proper course of action to rectify the situation is for Mr. Lynch’s decision to be overturned on appeal and for him to be appropriately admonished for his disgraceful handling of my case.

Closing Remarks

As mentioned at my trial in August, I am a freelance music industry professional by trade. I’m no Brian Eno but I have worked with some of the best unsung heroes in the business and have many artistic successes to my name. I am currently on a very low income due to the ongoing collapse of the music industry, aided in part by the global recession, and having been made redundant from what was supposed to be a secure job in a professional recording studio at the beginning of the year. Consequently, it has been a very difficult time for me, not helped in the least by having this court case hanging over my head for the past 14 months. Despite my current financial status however, I am indisputably an upstanding law abiding citizen of this country who has never once been in trouble with the police until now. I have a reputation as an intelligent, caring and compassionate artist and thinker. As such, I have always prided myself on my honesty and integrity in this increasingly superficial world.

With that in mind, I would first like to draw the courts attention to some crucial points in relation to the incident.

#1. Unlawful Detention: As a point of fact, at no time during the incident was I ever actually cautioned or read my rights and was therefore never formally arrested for anything. I was, however, handcuffed, searched with no prior explanation as to why given, taken up some stairs into a private room at Lewisham station, physically forced to sit in a chair having not even been asked to do so and detained against my will for approximately half an hour. During this time I was treated like a common criminal, accused of being drunk when I was not, called a ‘hippie’ and a ‘tree-hugger’ by PC Jeffery and also called a ‘twat’ by REO Nelson.

#2: Trumped Up Charges: Whilst handcuffed in the BTP office I declared my intention to hold my abusers accountable for their actions at which point PC Broadrick suggested to his colleague PC Jeffery that they charge me with a public order offence, to which she replied: “Can do, he’ll only appeal it”. Prior to that, there had been no mention of any intention on the part of the detaining officers to charge me with any offence whatsoever. This decision was made only after I made it clear that I was not about to allow myself to be bullied and abused in this manner.

#3. Defamation of Character & Outright Lies: Prior to my release I was given a printout by PC Jeffery detailing the reasons for the police’s search of my person. It stated that I had been acting as though I were on drugs, that I was suspected of being in possession of drugs and that that was the reason for the search. As a point of fact, there was never any mention of me being suspected of being on drugs or in possession of drugs prior to my search, during my search or during my involuntary detention. This tenuous justification was clearly concocted on the spot and is nothing more than a convenient lie. It is also defamatory on account of the fact that I was not under the influence of any drugs, or in possession of any drugs. Nor was I drunk or behaving erratically as the officers have claimed. Nor did I swear in any of the contexts put forward by the prosecution. And I most certainly didn’t shout anything about fascists or fascism in the manner put forward by the prosecution.

#4. The Allegation Itself: The Section 5 Public Order offence I was charged with refers specifically to the encounter I had in the underpass at Lewisham station with Mr. Michael Taylor, prior to my involuntary detention. As a point of fact, the only reason I encountered Mr. Taylor at all is that I absent-mindedly walked past the main stairs that lead out of Lewisham station whilst immersed in a very important and unexpected telephone call. If Mr. Taylor had respected my privacy and personal space and allowed me to pass, I would have reached the second set of steps to the other platforms, realised my mistake and headed back towards the main stairs and up to the exit. This is also where I would have naturally found myself had I not mistakenly walked past the main stairs and towards Mr. Taylor in the first place. Either way, I would then have encountered numerous uniformed ticket inspectors and police officers on my way out of the station to whom I would naturally have shown my ticket without even having to hang up my phone or break my step.

In my view, the initial stand off occurred entirely because of the indefensible actions of an overzealous undercover ticket inspector, probably on commission, who chose to single me out as an easy target. My unnecessary and involuntary detention occurred simply because of the desire of an overzealous minority of the officers present that day to abuse the power that they have and indulge their obvious prejudices towards a suitable candidate, namely me. The subsequent decision to charge me with a public order offence was taken simply to cover up this fact and add credence to their position, and was taken only after it became clear that I was not going to allow myself to become a victim of police bullying. The resulting court case was therefore, to my mind, an unjustifiable waste of public money and indeed the time of everybody present, not least of all myself, particularly in light of the questionable verdict.

I went to court that day knowing that the case should never have gone to court in the first place, that I was guilty of nothing and that the only reason I was there was because of a concerted effort by a corrupt minority of British Transport Police officers to undermine my attempts to hold them accountable for their actions. For this reason, I was happy and confident that I would finally have my day in court, clear my name and be free to pursue my formal complaints against all concerned. Scandalously, this was not to be. Now naïve of me.

My defence was essentially rail-roaded on the day by a combination of my legal aid barrister’s lack of experience and lack of understanding of the case and District Judge Lynch’s unbelievable decision to exclude all evidence relating to my involuntary detention. This latter obstacle was devastating as during my involuntary detention I was routinely harassed, intimidated and abused and it was during my detention that the decision to charge me was taken in direct response to my declared intention to hold my abusers to account. Until that point, there is no doubt in my mind that the officers had no plans to charge me whatsoever and that they would eventually have had to just let me go.

From that point, the prosecution’s case against me becomes frankly ridiculous. The witness statements read like a particularly bad episode of The Bill and have me cast as the stereotypical anarchist thug who shouts things like “You’re all fascists!” and “You ain’t fucking searching me, copper!”, a walking caricature of a man who must surely get drunk and abusive on a regular basis and take hard drugs on a Thursday afternoon, who’s every sentence is either punctuated or pre-fixed with an expletive…

It’s funny how none of the statements mention how I spoke calmly and at length in the office about my knowledge of politics having studied it and particularly of my knowledge of what is and isn’t fascism. Strange that no-one other than me can recall my attempts to explain how the notion of police officers acting in the name of protecting corporate revenue rather than in the name of serving and protecting the public is essentially corporatism, and how Mussolini himself is quoted as saying that “fascism is more appropriately called corporatism as it is a merger of big business and the state”. But then, if they had thought to mention these conversations in their statements, the picture of me they wish to paint wouldn’t quite come off would it. And it would certainly blow the lid on one thing that is abundantly clear to me: that the in depth conversations I tried to instigate during my detention, along with my calmly delivered Nazi Germany reference to Mr. Taylor in the underpass, have been distorted out of all recognition and reduced to the low grade fictional abusive sound bites that we see in the various witness statements. And they can’t even agree on which one I’m actually meant to have said!

This is just one example of the numerous inconsistencies to be found in the prosecutions case.

Mr. Taylor’s recollection of the incident is so poor he has me at 40 years old and wearing completely the opposite of what I was actually wearing, despite his own admission that visibility was good in the underpass. Now, I personally don’t believe that Mr. Taylor is a particularly dishonourable man. I wouldn’t be surprised if through a combination of selective memory and pressure to support the charge against me he actually believes much if not all of what he says. He has admitted under oath that his memory of the incident is poor. Essentially, as with all the witnesses, the only things he claims to clearly recall are the key elements of the prosecutions case. That in itself doesn’t hold any water as far as I’m concerned.

PC Broadrick and PC Jeffery are a different kettle of fish altogether however. My time with them along with my observation of their performances in the witness box has left me in no doubt that they are both thoroughly dishonourable people who would happily lie through their teeth to protect their interests and cover their own backs. In other words, the last people you want to be wearing a police uniform.

And then there’s Mr. Nelson who claims to have had to help a member of the public get past me as I was supposedly in her way. This, at a time when I was backed up against the wall surrounded by police officers. Nothing implausible about that then. Add to this the obvious dramatic embellishments to my demeanour of red cheeks, glazed eyes, spitting as I talk, clenched fists, flailing arms and the like and it becomes clear that the dreadful ruffian depicted in this prosecutions case must still be at large because he certainly isn’t in this courtroom.

The notion that I, a self confessed 8 ½ stone weakling, would even consider being aggressive or abusive when surrounded by pumped up burly police officers is palpably absurd. I’ve never had a physical fight in my life. I’ve been attacked, that’s a different matter. But I’ve never once raised a fist to another human being. And yet, apparently I was clenching my fists and aggressively flailing my arms around all over the place. Whilst surrounded by police. And whilst holding a carrier bag with a £500 hard drive in it. A hard drive that contained around three years of university work and all the files for an album that I was producing for an independent recording artist. Unlikely isn’t the word for that really. Fictitious is quite a lot better.

Is it so extraordinary that these BTP officers would go to such lengths to cover up their own misdemeanours when faced with someone as passionate and adamant about actual justice and the actual rule of law as I am? Not really. PC’s Broadrick and Jeffery knew only too well from the time we spent together that I am not a person you can abuse in the way that they did me and expect to get away with it. I made sure they understood that as soon as I was free to go I planned to doggedly pursue justice for myself and that I would never, ever give up that fight. My IPCC complaint was held in limbo due to the sub-judice rule for over a year while I waited for these criminal proceedings to commence. The prosecution have stalled, dithered and left everything to the last minute consistently throughout. Presumably in the vague hope that I’d crumble, change my plea and drop the complaint like most people probably do and that they’d never have to back up all their fictional claims in court. Well I haven’t crumbled, I certainly won’t be dropping my complaints against the officers in question and I have now finally, after 14 months of waiting, had my day in court.

The trauma that I suffered at the hands of all concerned on 24th July last year was horrendous and certainly needs to be atoned for. But to be completely honest, I’ve been through much worse things in my life than that. However, the trauma of having my defence pre-emptively obliterated and then actually being convicted of this trumped up nonsense was something else entirely and is right up there with the very worst experiences of my life. I left that courtroom about as deflated, jaded and downright depressed as it is possible to feel, convinced that the role of the courts is merely to generate income from supposed criminal activity first and administer justice second, if at all. This is a view now shared by my nearest and dearest and just about everybody I speak to about my experience. How persistent this view is will depend entirely on today’s verdict. Happily, that dark day in Bexley magistrates court was a fleeting blip in my otherwise unquenchable lust for life.

Regardless of the outcome of this appeal hearing, I wish to let it be known that I fully intend to bring my abusers to justice with a view to instigating systemic changes to the police complaints procedure in order that uniformed and un-uniformed bullies like the ones I encountered last July may be more easily and more properly held accountable for their actions in the future. As well as seeking justice for myself, I consider it very much in the public interest for me to prevail and I will not rest until I do.

In my view, upholding my appeal and overturning Mr. Lynch’s verdict is the only morally correct course of action and might just restore mine and my nearest and dearest’s faith in this system. An endorsement of Mr. Lynch’s verdict and escalation of the sentence will merely confirm our currently held view. Either way, I feel much more philosophical about today’s verdict than I did last time and whatever happens I will walk out of here with my head held high knowing that the moral victory is mine and that I’ve let the truth be heard, whether it is listened to or not.