Yesterday we reported that Rupert Quaintance had brought an appeal against his conviction on two counts of Harassment 4, as well as against the nine-month sentence which he is currently serving.
We can now report that his appeal was overturned yesterday in the Court of Appeal, where one judge informed him that given the seriousness of his offences, he ought to count himself lucky to have received a relatively light sentence.
As we noted in yesterday’s post, the crux of Rupert’s argument was that because Rupert’s threats had been directed toward a group of people, individuals within that group had no reason to feel personally threatened. Yesterday his barrister made the additional argument that since Rupert did not personally know the people he’d threatened, it was not possible for him to make credible threats against them, and therefore his conviction ought not to stand.
Victim personal statements were read out in court, describing the impact of Rupert’s threats and behaviour. Despite the fact that his barrister claimed his client had repented and now understood and accepted responsibility for the fear and distress he had inflicted, Rupert, who attended via video link, was observed shaking his head as if in disagreement with what he was hearing in the victim statements.
This is reminiscent of Rupert’s reaction to the witnesses’ testimony during his trial: as they spoke, he sat in the dock shaking his head, rolling his eyes, and otherwise appearing to indicate that he did not accept what the witnesses were saying.
During his cross-examination at trial, the following exchange took place:
(Prosecution barrister) Mr Bowyer asked whether Rupert accepted that he had played some part in the distress suffered by the witnesses in this trial.
“No”, Rupert said.
“None at all?”
“I guess, if you look at it in a certain way, I just feel picked on and and pinned down”, Rupert said. “I do feel guilt and remorse for what has befallen me”.
“So no remorse?”
“I’ve been paid back ten-fold”, Rupert said. “I don’t want to accept responsibility, that’s just adding more to my emotional pile”.
It would appear that Rupert’s feelings remain unchanged.
He will continue to serve out his sentence.
Belinda McKenzie attended the appeal hearing, but made no comment as to the outcome.