Yesterday we described the extraordinary events that took place in Court 2 at Blackfriars Crown Court, when Aseem Taj, Neelu Berry’s solicitor, took it upon himself to approach the jury to inform them that his client was “being silenced” and that she was a victim of a cover up by the paedophile satanists (including HH Judge Worsley).
The very mild-mannered and measured Judge Worsley finally lost patience at that point, and was ‘minded’ to shout at Mr Taj’s unprofessional outburst. At that point a barrage of abuse erupted from the supporters in the public gallery.
The barristers present, both defence and prosecution, and all Court staff were shocked and incredulous that Mr Taj, an officer of the court, could behave in such a manner. Comment was heard to the effect that this particular judge had never before been known to raise his voice, let alone been reduced to having to shout in order to restore order in his court!
After lunch, court resumed with supporters reduced from 9 to 5, the rest having been barred from court along with Mr Taj, due to the morning’s outrageous outburst.
Neelu leaves the court
Neelu Berry refused to return to the courtroom and said she understood that the judge had barred her as well as Mr Taj. Her barrister, Ms Zentler-Munro, sought to reassure her that the judge had invited her to return and she demanded that this be put in writing. Despite assurances being given, she stated she would not return without her solicitor, who by now had fled the scene of the crime.
Ms Zentler-Munro tried to coax her back to court, but each reassurance was met with a fresh demand, and ultimately Neelu elected to remain in the corridor and refused the request to return to court whilst the judgement against her in respect of a restraining order was read out. Her barrister’s growing frustration was palpable.
Judge Worsley returned and stated that albeit that he would be well within his rights to arrest both Mr Taj and Neelu, who were blatantly in contempt of court, he saw little use in following through and committing them to prison. However, in respect of Mr Taj he ordered that the transcript / recording of his outburst in court be referred immediately to The Law Society in order that they deal with the solicitor’s unprofessional conduct.
Neelu was also deemed to be in ‘breach of bail’ for her refusal to return to Court, as she was technically under the jurisdiction of the Court and had not yet been discharged.
Restraining orders issued
Judge Worsley ruled that despite the acquittal of the defendants, he was still given powers by Parliament in respect of restraining orders. He said he could not think of a better case or circumstance in which to exercise these powers.
He said he felt he had reached the bar of necessity in this matter, as in his view the defendants were likely to pursue a course of further intimidation. He noted that the test of ‘reasonable’ and proportionate’ rulings had also been met. Any further breach would be subject to a maximum of 5 years imprisonment.
Neelu and Sabine were each given restraining orders prohibiting them from contacting, directly or indirectly by themselves or by any person acting as their agent, or by any means whatsoever, any of the witnesses who’d testified at the trial last week, or any person who to their knowledge is or has been clergy at Christ Church Hampstead, or staff or a pupil at Christ Church Primary School.
The orders also bar both Neelu and Sabine from entering an area surrounding the church and school. As well, they bar them from making public in any way, including on the internet by any blog or otherwise including by re-publication of material already made public before the making of the orders:
- Anything relating to any persons named in the order.
- Any allegations of cannibalism, sexual child abuse or satanism, at any time at or in relation to Christ Church or Christ Church Primary School.
The orders will remain in force indefinitely.
Objections to the restraining orders overruled
Many arguments set forward by the defence in objection to the restraining orders were overturned by the Judge. These included freedom of speech and the right to legitimate protest; it was also suggested that the limitation of the order duration ought to be confined to a maximum of two years.
The judge stated that whilst he was mindful of the first two issues, he also had to balance the issue of harassment and distress caused. He noted that as Neelu had documented her intent to turn the church service of 22nd March 2015 into a ‘court of common law’, this served to prove the intent to harass. As he was of the opinion that this harassment would continue, he therefore didn’t believe that the orders were unreasonable or disproportionate.
With respect to the limitations of the orders, he decreed that these should remain indefinitely.
Judge Worsley stated that he was far from convinced that the harassment would last only for the short term, saying he felt rather ‘that it would go on and on and on’! He went so far as to state that even in a period of 5 to 10 years, he was not convinced that things would have changed or subsided.
The background to the case had been “well rehearsed and the obsessive campaign in the face of Justice Pauffley’s ruling had been an appalling and frightening experience for the witnesses”, he said. The protestors as a whole continued to make allegations regarding drinking babies’ blood and sexual ritual abuse.
It had also been argued by the defence that the physical restriction on Sabine in respect of approaching the church and school should be waived, as she had never attended the protest on 22nd March or visited the area.
However, the judge saw fit to extend the restriction to her. He said the discovery and submission to the Court on the second day of the trial of a private blog from Sabine to Belinda McKenzie and other supporters, stating that seats in the court room ‘were taken up by satanists from Scotland’ and that the ‘Judge should be arrested,’ had once again only served to prove that she was obsessed and was “absolutely at the heart of this continuing campaign, despite the judgement”.
Although the orders seek to protect the clergy, staff of Christ Church School and its present and former pupils, it stopped short of protecting the named parents. The defence argued that although this group of people did indeed require the protection of the law, which had so far failed in its duty to protect them, this was a case for a different court, on a different day.
We are confident however that these people will be afforded justice in the not too distant future.
A request has been made to us by those present in Court throughout this 6-day process, to highlight the courtesy that all barristers, both defence and prosecution, have shown towards the individuals affected by this harassment. Their empathy and consideration of those whose lives have been devastated by the people promoting this obsessive campaign has been very much appreciated.
In a previous version of this story we incorrectly named Neelu’s Barrister as Mr Byrne. Of course her barrister is actually Ms Zentler-Munro. We regret the error and apologise to both Mr Byrne and Ms Zentler-Munro for it.