James Delingpole has written quite a lengthy piece for Breitbart explaining why, in his view, Tommy Robinson deserved to lose his court case against Cambridgeshire Police. I do not agree with his conclusion. Let me explain why.
Firstly, some context, I was not present for the majority of day 1, the day that convinced James of his point of view. I did not see Tommy’s testimony. However, I was present for the majority of the rest of proceedings and in what I believe is my balanced objective opinion I do not believe Tommy deserved to lose the entire case.
Where I am prepared to give some ground is on the harassment claim. James is right that the Defence Counsel representing Cambridgeshire Constabulary, Adam Clemens, was a skillful representative. The point he made about harassment having to constitute more than one occasion and a pattern of behaviour stuck in my mind and it is something that means I cannot say that it was settled in my mind beyond reasonable doubt that the harassment claim was valid vis a vie the law. You have to remember this is a claim against one specific force, I do believe a harassment suit would stick against the police as a collegiate body but this case has to be seen in the context of one specific incident.
Having said that, moving onto the discrimination claim there was no doubt in my mind that this was proven beyond reasonable doubt. The police who wanted to move Tommy on clearly proceeded from a set of assumptions based on them making a pre-judgement on the character of Tommy Robinson based on a set of previously held assumptions about who Tommy is and his character. I find it incongruous and fanciful to argue that those that admitted they knew Tommy Robinson know nothing about his politics and his views on Islam.
I find it equally implausible that PC Street thought Tommy Robinson, the online persona of Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, was in-fact an ex-football hooligan of the same name. Even if those assumptions were made then they had PC Mason, the Luton police spotter, on-hand who could have filled them in. The fact that they chose not to make use of PC Mason’s knowledge and ignored his better informed advice to my mind says it all, they were only willing to accept information which reinforced their already negative perception of Tommy, a clear indication of subconscious bias.
PC Mason revealed that 75% of police forces ask him about Tommy when Luton are playing away, again, we can clearly see awareness of Tommy is high. Ignorance is therefore not a credible defence. Judge HHJ Walden-Smith made several cutting remarks about the penetration of Tommy’s politics which indicate her own personal disdain for them so she cannot credibly be seen as being capable of issuing a blind judgement.
So, there is plenty of evidence to support the claim of discrimination and the infringement of Tommy’s right to a family life should be pretty much self-evident. The balance of the evidence supports 2 out of 3 parts of Tommy’s claim beyond reasonable doubt which to my mind is the standard we are judging this by and James has to remember he was not there for the bulk of the rest of the evidence. How can you judge a trial on the basis of one morning?
The rest of James’s comments necessarily fall. Tommy has not “let down” his supporters at all. Rather Tommy has yet again been let down by a justice system which is far from blind and far from impartial when it comes to matters involving him.