Sabine McNeill appeared at Southwark Crown Court yesterday morning to face a further charge of violation of her restraining order.
Sabine was charged with another violation—of which she has currently accrued 19—of the lifetime restraining order imposed following the collapse of her 2016 trial, along with Neelu Berry, for conspiracy to commit witness intimidation. This most recent violation was related to Sabine and Jake’s attendance at the Church of England General Synod on 10 February, where she was accused of handing out leaflets containing details of the Hampstead Satanic ritual abuse hoax.
Sabine initially pleaded not guilty to this charge, claiming that she had been “set up” by someone to attend the event.
However, in the face of video evidence of her presence with Jake at the event, the judge asked Sabine’s barrister whether her presence at Church House constituted a restraining order violation. The barrister conceded that it did, and after consultation, Sabine changed her plea to guilty, albeit with some reluctance.
The public gallery was cleared shortly after this, and the afternoon proceedings were conducted in camera.
While it is normal for pre-trial hearings to be conducted in public, we understand that since witnesses will need to be heard in order for the court to make a decision regarding Sabine’s bail conditions, at least one more in camera hearing will be required.
We’re left with more questions than answers about yesterday’s proceedings, which we hope will be clarified following Sabine’s next court appearance, scheduled for 19 March.
Sabine was cheered on at yesterday’s session by Jake Clarke and five of his friends (including Swampy the Sandwich Stealer, last seen making off with a canteen sandwich at Blackfriars Court during Sabine and Neelu’s 2016 trial).
Jake distinguished himself first by calling out to the judge from the public gallery during the proceedings, and then stumbling over the straps of his rucksack and falling down a set of stairs. Unimpressed with his Norman Wisdom imitation, the judge ordered him to leave the courtroom.
Belinda McKenzie was notable by her absence at yesterday’s hearing; doubtless she had other business to attend to.
However, late last night Angela Power-Disney posted the following message, which sounds as though it could have come from Belinda:
…unfortunately, Angela clipped off the bottom of the screen shot before posting. Honestly, you can’t get good help these days.
As far as we’re aware, Sabine’s next court date will not be a “trial”, but as we say, given the way things went in court yesterday it’s difficult to say for certain.
Interesting news about the “house arrest”—we wonder what that means, precisely? Does Sabine now have a tag? Is she under curfew? Again, difficult to say.
All we can do is stay tuned, and hope that these and other issues will be clarified at Sabine’s next court date.