Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Megaphone Court Case Report

I arrived at court and after a late appearance by Michael Snow, who clearly believes he is a District Judge (rather than a human being). He immediately ordered me to stand to the side where ‘defendants’ stand. I felt like a two year old. He was definitely exerting his authority or as I would describe it, engaging in his power fetish.  He said if anyone recorded the proceedings on their phone he would send them to the cells. He clearly had something to hide although I am not sure he knew that.

I felt completely intimidated and started chanting my favourite affirmation/prayer. ‘Grant me the serenity, to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can , and the wisdom to know the difference.’ I definitely wouldn’t be able to change this man. The cold and calculated way he did ‘business’ sent shivers down my spine.

At the first hearing that was meant to be the trial, the District Judge had decided that the bylaw itself could be challenged but she clearly didn’t want to have to make the decision so she adjourned until 9th September. The plan was for the legal challenge to take place first, and if our challenge was successful, there would be no trial.

Michael Snow had other plans. Perhaps he had a golf match in the afternoon or a fetish club visit planned, or maybe he just thought it made sense, but he decided that we would need to hear the evidence first because he thought the legal challenge was dependent upon it. I cannot see how that is the case because it is the principals that count, not the particulars of the case. My friend Jeremy the barrister and I agreed that it should be in that order. I wonder whether and when he planned this, because when I think about it, it is a lose-lose situation for any District Judge of the lower court to rule on this smatter. Either they rule against the bylaw in which case their beloved provider of bread and butter – Westminster Council –will be upset and will appeal, or they will rule in favour of the law in which case we would appeal at the High Court. So he was rather clever. If he heard the evidence and it didn’t stand up, he could dismiss the cases and then he wouldn’t have to rule on the law itself.

My experiences in court have taught me much. Once again, the expect the unexpected especially when dealing with devious lawyers. Once again, the true colours of the legal system and how it is used and abused by these big Corporations were revealed. They had sent me a letter back in July with a long paragraph explaining how they were going to return my megaphone (because they stole it unlawfully) and then at the end inserted a one liner saying that the council intend to apply to the Court to amend the charges against me to add the words ‘by a person annoyed or disturbed or’  after the word desist.
The original charge said ‘after being requested to desist by a person acting on behalf of a person annoyed or disturbed by the operating of a megaphone’

I didn’t take much notice of this so it was rather a shock when they pulled this out of the hat. They had obviously realized that they had no witnesses. The people he claimed were annoyed were not to be in court so we wouldn’t know exactly what they were annoyed about. If it was the content of what I was saying, the case would fall. So they changed it to the council officer himself, James Joyce, to being annoyed!

The judge allowed it to stand because they had sent me a letter. Another trick which was to backfire (unless it was all planned.)

So James Joyce was called to the stand. They asked if he was religious and he said yes, so he swore on the bible to tell the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I think it would have been more accurate if he would have said ‘nothing like the truth.’

The prosecution barrister then started asking him leading questions. Were you annoyed when Mr Shine was using his megaphone? He paused for a moment and then said ‘yes!’ Were you able to have a conversation whilst he used his megaphone? (pause) ‘No!’ What was Mr Shine saying? He was saying anti capitalist things! (I very rarely mention the word capitalism) He told a fat woman that she shouldn’t eat in McDonalds!’ At that stage I was shaking my head. I would never ever do that to anyone. It was a complete joke. It was so obvious that he had been primed and prepared and told what he would be asked and how to answer.

Then I started with the 3 pages of questions I had prepared. I asked him what he had said to me exactly on the occasion of the first alleged offence. I was on a bollard on my megaphone. He said he had asked me to stop as people were annoyed. He then said that I did stop and that he read me the byelaw and that then I carried on. ‘So I did stop when you asked?’ Err – yes but you carried on. As I questioned him more he became very confused. He had prepared his original statements 2 months after the first occasion and then he had completely changed his tack to himself being the one that is annoyed. (The police have to have a higher threshold for feeling alarm harassment and distress when they deal with public order but here the prosecution were using a trick by changing it to him. Surely his job is to serve the public and not worry about his own annoyance.) Nowhere in the original statements did it mention he himself being annoyed. So he got lost in the lies and deception. He also had to claim that it was not what I was saying that was the problem but the noise level and yet he complained that I was making fun of Westminster council (as if that’s against the law). There was a funny moment. The first incident took place on  November 15th when he claimed he told me to stop. Then there was an incident on January 17th. That was where he got the police to come along and I forgot to meditate and I let them force me to give details. But on that occasion I was not asked to stop. In fact I wanted to get away and kept trying to. They admitted that I hadn’t contravened their byelaw on that occasion. I had asked him why then, on that occasion, did he confiscate my megaphone. He was fumbling around for an answer, digging himself into a whole. The judge then made a funny suggestion. ‘Did you believe, Mr Joyce, that once you had asked Mr Shine to stop in November , that this order continued to hold forever more and perhaps THAT is the reason you confiscated the megaphone without asking him to desist?’ he thought for a second and then said ‘Errm Yes!’

When I finally finished with my questions, the judge said that he had to dismiss both cases because the witness was unreliable. He had been keeping a careful tab on things and pointed out all the contradictions in the witnesses evidence. He was annoyed but he wasn’t. He claimed McDonalds had complained yet he claims he personally was annoyed. Michael Snow then started to gather up his pencils and said that he couldn’t possibly hear the challenge to the law because there was no evidence. Jeremy challenged this but Michael was already half way out of the room.

The corruption in the system seems rife to me. The idea that a big Corporation like Westminster Council can spend tens of thousands of pounds taking an individual like me to court with no downside to themselves is obviously completely corrupt.
The idea that this organisation can then get a barrister privately to take on a case against freedom of expression is corrupt and as the barrister claimed 'he had to take the job by the rules of his trade!'
The idea that the judge and the system have one rule for themselves and another for us seems corrupt to me. At the end of the case, I asked for compensation. I had spent dozens of hours on it - should I not be compensated ?
Thats the tip of the iceberg.

But the people are too busy watching x-factor to care it seems.

Jeremy was very disappointed that he had done so much work for nothing. But it turns out that this is the best possible outcome. Watch this space.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Latest Fun with Westminster

Here's my latest correspondence to the head of legal services at Westminster Council...

Dear Nicola
I hope you had a wonderful summer holiday. We went to Spain – near Barcelona. Did you go anywhere nice ?
Please pass on this email to Peter Large. He is welcome to show it to whomever he wishes. Its on public forums already.
You are welcome to read it, but unless you consider yourself as someone who has a GSOH, I wouldn’t bother.
Please pass my best wishes to the council employees – it can’t be easy.


Dear Mr Large
Thank you for the skeleton arguments that you send to my friend Jeremy Rosenberg. I am cc'ing him in with this and have not consulted him first. 
May I begin by stating that I aim to live my life under the guidance of one simple law with which anyone of sound mind and all major religious thinkers would agree. ‘Treat others as you would like to be treated.’
I like to receive intelligent, humorous and challenging emails and letters. So I felt I should treat you as I wish to be treated.
WARNING: You may already be getting annoyed. In fact, reading this email may trigger the same level of annoyance as reading legal communications can trigger in normal people.
Knowing that there are Westminster Council City employees (not all) that have a rather low annoyance threshold, from here on, you are on your own. You do NOT have to read a word more of this. My advice would be to stop reading before you actually get annoyed.
If you are still with us Mr Large, there now follows my skeleton argument from a moral, ethical and logical perspective in the form of questions - all of them sincere and genuine. I would appreciate it if you could answer all of them to the best of your ability. The more you answer the more money you can save for the beloved citizens of Westminster you claim you are ‘protecting’ from me, by reducing my need to ask these questions to the judge during the case.
To anyone else reading this, please genuinely ask yourself the questions posed below and send me your answers. This invitation includes anyone employed by  Westminster City Council.
1. Would you agree that its just basic common decency to answer my genuine questions especially given how much aggravation I have had as a result of your actions for this so called ‘annoyance.’?
2. Given that you are a public servant, are you not required to respond to genuine communications from members of the public of which I am one?
3. Am I entitled to a just and fair hearing ? (Skip to question 5 if your answer to this is Negative!)
4. Assuming that the answer to 3 is affirmative, please answer the following. I have been advised by EVERY member of the law society that I have asked, including judges, barristers, lawyers, and even Jeremy Rosenberg my dear friend working pro bono,  to employ a top QC if I want to substantially increase my chances of winning here. Bearing in mind that Westminster Council have clearly got an endless budget to deal with such frivolous matters (*see below)  and I do not, would you deny or confirm that this is fair or just?
4a. I was summonsed by yourselves twice. Every lawyer I asked recommended that I plead guilty and understandably so. This is because if I plead guilty, I would have been given a small fine (perhaps £100) and a few more pounds in costs. If however I do not plead guilty, I am up against the system, may be liable for the full £500 fine, plus costs of thousands (you deliberately informed me that by the time of just the plea hearing, you had amassed costs of £1300) plus my own time out (which is worth approximately £200 per hour) plus court costs plus my own legal costs. Again, assuming that the answer to 3 is affirmative, can you deny or confirm that you sincerely believe that this could be called fair or just?
5. Do you expect me to understand the skeleton arguments full of twenty pages of legalese?
5a. Do I need to understand the law in order for it to be used against me?
6. Am I permitted to question the ethics of the so called law?
6a. Do you care about the ethics of the so called law that you enforce?
7. Please list the ethical questions that you think are brought up by this case?
8. Just to remind you, my plea indication was ‘You Prove it.’ Do you deny or confirm that this includes proving jurisdiction especially in a private prosecution? (Skip to question 9 if you confirm this)
8a If you claim that you do NOT need to prove jurisdiction, if I were to make a claim against you in a Beth Din (Jewish Court of law) would you accept their jurisdiction or would you demand that they prove it?
9. I maintain, that just like with most rules and regulations in most cultures and religions, consent is required and I do not consent to the rules and regulations of YOUR society. I certainly do not consent to a rule that gives authority to ANYONE to force anyone else to stop singing in public just because someone is annoyed. As I said, I go by the simple guideline of treating others as I like to be treated. Given that I do not consent, can you prove that I do not need to consent to be governed by this rule even though Theresa May and many others (**see below) have said many times that we are policed and governed by consent. Can you prove to the court that this does not mean my individual consent?
9a. If it does not mean my individual consent, what exactly can it mean?
10. If being a nuisance is being left in the hands of any member of the public to decide, am I able to complain about Corporations that far surpass the category of nuisance. Some of them are health hazards to body and mind like McDonalds (body and mind) or Hollister (mind) and to force them to stop being a nuisance?
11. Given that it is impossible NOT to be ignorant of the law because the words are ambiguous and not even lawyers are sure what they mean, please explain the maxim ‘ignorance of the law is no defence’ in reference to this case?
12. You claim that its not the content of what I say but the volume at which I say it. Leicester Square regularly hosts film premiers which can go on for hours with noise and music and big PA systems. Can you confirm or deny that these corporations are permitted to be a nuisance as long as they pay for it?
13. Is this a criminal or civil matter?
13a. If it is criminal, can you show me the injured party?
14. Are you claiming that James Joyce being annoyed counts as part of this rule? If yes, this gives him more power than the police because even the police are expected to tolerate a higher level of being alarmed or harassed than the general public. Do you see that as a problem ?
I have kept this communication a lot shorter than your so called skeleton arguments. I look forward to your response. Please do not hesitate to respond should you need further clarification. 
Yours sincerely 

Danny Shine

I believe the frivolity of this case is obvious, but it is being concealed from both the public and those in court. As you will find out if this case gets that far, James Joyce at first believed that that ‘making a noise so loud and continued as to be an annoyance’ is against the law. This is NOT the case. The breaking of the law is only when someone DISOBEYS a member of the public. I have expressed my art hundreds of times in London and on most occasions if I am asked politely to move somewhere else and there is some reasonable explanation as to why, I will move on even if I do not agree with the principle. So this case is just about two occasions when I allegedly refused to obey James Joyce’s orders. Is it justifiable to spend thousands of pounds of taxpayers money on that?
I have written to the Commissioner of the Met Police stating publicly that I do not consent to statutes that require our consent and require us to be members of society.
Below are the quotations….
Consent is required, as stated by Teresa May MP, Home Secretary & Minister for women and equalities, on the Mainstream BBC news when she stated, “the way we police in the UK is by consent”.  YouTube “England riots - Theresa May on whether to use army”, 9 August 2011.  
She also said “The way we police in Britain is through consent of communities.'”  The Daily Mail, 9 August 2011.
“A strong connection between police and public is the foundation of policing by consent”. 
Metropolitan Police Website - under the section entitled "a voice for the public”.  
(recently that website has not been available.  The information is also displyed at the Home Ofice website:
Simon Reed, vice-chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said:  "Before we have any inquiry we have a kneejerk reaction from the prime minister. We have real concerns about direct entry to the police service as we believe that in order to understand and appreciate the importance of policing by consent and the style of operational policing in this country, everyone should start at the rank of constable.  We also have an entirely different legal system in this country to that used overseas and it is imperative that senior officers and leaders in policing have a real working knowledge of it." 
The Guardian newspaper, Wednesday 20 July 2011.
Rechard Auladin (JP - Enfield), Deputy Chair (2004-2008) & current Member of the Metropolitan Police Authority said: "… it is back to this business of policing by consent. You cannot enforce any policy on members of the public" at the Conformation Hearing Committee on 15 February 2010 in which London Mayor Boris Johnson proposed Rechaud Auladin as Vice chair of the Metropolitan Police Authority.  (p8).