Yesterday we explained in some detail how bail security works, and why it’s not the best idea in the world to crowd-fund for it.
Unsurprisingly, Belinda didn’t heed our advice, possibly because she was busy in court all day yesterday attending the two-week-long trial of convicted paedophile Brian Pead, who stands accused of having breached restraining orders brought by members of his own family. Completely understandable that Belinda might not have had time to catch up on this blog, then.
However, late last evening we noted that she’d updated her Facebook page:
(The “important whistle-blower” in question is the aforementioned Mr Pead. No one has satisfactorily explained to us how he qualifies as a whistleblower. From where we sit, he looks like just another paedophile friend of Belinda’s, but then what do we know?)
On the topic of Sabine’s bail security, Belinda announced,
In the meantime I’m delighted to announce we have nearly collected the whole £20,000, thanks to a very kind contribution of £5,000 pledged today!! Leaving still £3,000 to collect but I am now confident we are going to make it through and get her out, hopefully by Thursday or latest Friday.
We assume that the generous donor of £5,000 is unaware of the risks involved—in particular, of Belinda’s habit of helping spirit people out of the country to evade justice.
As we noted yesterday, Sabine was somehow able to leave the UK just ahead of the law in February 2015, and she stayed abroad until early August, when she was apprehended at the Royal Courts of Justice (while Belinda studied the amazing parquetry on the floors of that estimable neo-Gothic building, and tried not to look guilty).
But Sabine isn’t the only person Belinda has assisted in getting out of the country when the going got rough.
The Zimbabwean escape
The youth, whose grandfather was allegedly a high-profile person in his home country, had fled his own hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice and holed up in the Zimbabwean Embassy for three weeks, whilst the adults around him jockeyed for control of his case. He and his mother remained trapped in the Embassy, unable to leave due to a protection order placed on him by the court. The court believed that there were valid reasons not to send him back to Zimbabwe, but the case was under an injunction which prevents further discussion of those reasons.
To everyone’s apparent surprise, the mother and son were suddenly spirited out of the UK, from under the noses of the police who were watching the Embassy. Mother and son fled and made their way back to Zimbabwe.
On 3 May, the mother wrote to Yolande, stating that Belinda and her colleague David Efthyvolou had paid for their escape:
….I am trying to get both us us settled here and that is not easy. We literally have run out of funds now and I am trying to see how we can make ends meet and how I can settle the bills related to his return. That is a challenge I am trying to deal with now that is why I have not even had the chance to write to Belinda or anyone else about what has happened since we arrived. They are all not complaining and when I get the time to do so, I will update them from the time we arrived. So please do not try to push me to move at your pace because I have pressing issues to deal with now. We got almost nothing from the fund raising initiatives apart from the money we got from Belinda and David for the tickets.
What is even more remarkable is that the mother and son managed to leave the UK despite Port Alerts having been put in place to prevent them from doing so. Although we know that Port Alerts are not 100% reliable in keeping people from leaving the country, this would seem to suggest that the pair were using travel documents which did not show their real names.
What’s this got to do with Sabine’s bail security?
As we stated in yesterday’s post, the point of a bail security is to ensure that the defendant in a case does not abscond. The security is meant to prevent that via moral suasion: the defendant knows that if they fail to turn up for their trial, their dear old mum (or whoever provided the money) will suffer. If Sabine’s security is composed of dribs and drabs from a large group of mostly anonymous people, what motive will she really have to remain in the UK up to her trial date?
And if she should decide that it’s not worth sticking around, even if a bunch of people she doesn’t know are out a few quid, she will have access to a dear friend who seems to have some experience in ensuring that people are able to slip past inconvenient blockages like Port Alerts.
If that happens, all those who’ve donated to Sabine’s security fund can kiss their hard-earned cash good-bye. And Belinda will merely look confused and say oh dear, so sorry, she had no idea she’d been leading everyone down the garden path…again.