As readers will know (well, all except Neelu, who we hear turned up looking for the trial Friday), court was adjourned on Thursday afternoon until Monday morning, as the judge had professional duties elsewhere.
So rather than our daily court report, we thought we would update you on the various goings-on in the corridors, where those on both sides of the Hampstead case must pass time waiting to be let into the proceedings.
Readers who have been with us a while might remember the circus-like atmosphere which was the hallmark of Neelu and Sabine’s trial in 2016 at Blackfriars Crown Court:
A group turned out to support Neelu and Sabine, and another came to lend support to the witnesses.
When time came to enter the court, the witness support group got to the seats more quickly, taking up the majority of the 11 available seats in the public gallery. Neelu and Sabine’s supporters entered shortly afterward, and were noticeably unhappy that the court would not allow anyone to remain in the room who was not seated.
All members of the public gallery had to leave the court to enable the jury to be sworn in, and during that time we understand some harassment took place in the hallway, with one person approaching a group of women and accusing them of being cult members—despite the large posted sign warning people not to discuss the case.
When he offered to help the group leave the cult, several people made their displeasure clear, but he persisted, and began describing the sexual abuse he fantasises cult members inflict on children. At that point, court officials were called over, and the person was spoken to.
That is not even touching on the various “filming in the hallway” escapades, in which individuals were spotted trying to film those they considered “Satanists”, and had to be reprimanded from the bench. And don’t even get us started on the sandwich-stealing episode….
By comparison, the atmosphere surrounding the current trial has been positively sedate. There has been no fighting over seats, people have held doors for one another and thanked one another politely, and no covert filming or allegations of “Satanic abuse” have occurred.
To be sure, a small group of Sabine’s supporters—usually Belinda and a couple of friends, with appearances by Mary Rooney, Penny Pullen, and one or two people whose identities we don’t know—generally assembles each day at one end of the hall, while EC and one or two others keep a polite distance several chairs away.
On Thursday, though, EC and Postnein were surprised when Belinda approached in quite a friendly manner and congratulated EC on the quality of reporting on the blog.
It seems she’s now advising her followers to rely on Hoaxtead Research‘s reporting of the trial rather than the Daily Mail‘s, and we can’t say we disagree with her.
Interesting that Belinda is now characterising the Hampstead hoax as a “fiasco”—certainly that’s been our take on the situation for the past nearly four years.
As for Sabine’s difficulties in getting to court in the mornings, we have to agree that the current situation seems unsustainable. Each morning the bus leaves from Bronzefield at about 7:00 a.m., but its arrival times have fluctuated from 10:00 to 10:30 a.m., with the result that Sabine’s legal team has had very little time to consult with their client prior to beginning the day’s proceedings.
We don’t know what the solution might be, but it doesn’t seem right that any defendant should be deprived of the right to properly consult with their counsel, and we hope something can be done about it.
An appearance by Neelu
On Wednesday afternoon, Neelu and her friend Lee Cant showed up for an hour or two, during the testimony of one of the witnesses whose identity we are prevented from revealing. This case, as readers know, is under a reporting restriction intended to protect the identities of any children involved.
However, that did not stop Neelu from publishing a Facebook post, which was repeated on Twitter, clearly identifying Wednesday’s witness.
By the time we learned about this from several people on Thursday evening, we were told that the police had already been informed, as this not only represents a breach of the reporting restriction, but also a breach of Neelu’s own restraining order, which is identical to Sabine’s.
Should we hear anything more about this, we’ll let our readers know. And now, unless something truly startling happens in the interim, we would propose to take the weekend off, and resume reporting Monday. See you then!