Sabine McNeill on trial: Day 16

The “talking part” of Sabine McNeill’s trial on four counts of stalking and 17 counts of breaching a restraining order drew to a close today, with HHJ Sally Cahill QC delivering summaries of the prosecution and defence closing speeches for the jury’s benefit. 

Judge’s summation of prosecution closing speech

Judge Cahill noted that in her closing speech, Miranda Moore QC expressed anger and disbelief that anybody of Sabine’s intellect could do what she has done. Moore said that Sabine still believes the whole story is true, Judge Cahill said; worse, Moore said that Sabine still carried on with her actions even after being informed of the impacts they were having. 

Judge Cahill noted Moore’s point that Sabine continued to refer to witnesses from her 2016 trial as “abusers”. Moore had also pointed out Sabine’s deliberate use of the Whistleblower Kids site to re-publish material in breach of her restraining order.

Judge Cahill reminded the jury that Sabine said she “saw herself as a publisher, with an obligation to her followers”. She said that in her closing speech, Moore asked the jury to consider the effects which Sabine’s actions would have had on any normal person. 

The prosecution said that Sabine had used photos of P and Q online, and had praised researchers who invaded the privacy of the witnesses.

In addition, the defendant had “every opportunity to grasp that what she had been told by Ella Draper was all untrue”, Judge Cahill said, adding that Moore had asked, “Isn’t it obvious that the information [copied from the class list] had not come from Ella Draper’s children?”

The judge also noted Moore’s point that “the only thing that stopped Sabine was bail and prison”.

Judge Cahill said Moore had asked why Sabine had gone to Synod in February 2018, and had concluded that she was trying to use the event to advance her own campaign. 

Similarly, when Sabine had called the helpline, she did not know the identity of the person she was talking to, but during that conversation she still named a person she was prohibited from discussing in relation to Satanic abuse or cannibalism.

Judge Cahill said that Moore had pointed out that it was nonsense to claim that the helpline conversation was for “pastoral care” when no mention of pastoral care was made during it. 

Moore also noted that the only reason the Whistleblower Kids site was down was that its fees had not been paid, since Sabine was in prison, Judge Cahill said. 

She said that Moore had urged the jury to look at the evidence as a whole, and had said that they ought not to take each event out and look at it on its own. Rather, the evidence cannot be divorced from its context. 

Judge’s summation of defence closing speech

Summing up Tana Adkin QC’s closing speech for the defence, Judge Cahill said that by contrast, Adkin had asked the jury to examine each piece of evidence individually.

Adkin, she said, had made the point that if the parents already knew that distressing material was online, “how could it cause them alarm?” 

Judge Cahill said that Adkin had emphasised that Sabine’s motivation was to get Ella Draper’s children returned to her, not to harass the parents. 

Judge Cahill said that in Adkin’s view, the jury must consider that not all the material cited had originated from Sabine, and that “all roads led back to the Whistleblower Kids blog”. 

Adkin’s contention is that there is nothing to say that links to old material would put Sabine in breach of the restraining order, Judge Cahill said. She noted that Adkin had said “you cannot make public something which is already public”. 

Adkin had also pointed out that if harassment was Sabine’s goal, there were easier ways to achieve it, Judge Cahill said. 

Adkin told the jury that Sabine’s activities at Synod, as well as her call to the helpline, did not constitute “making public” information which would have breached the restraining order. 

Judge Cahill said that Adkin had asked the jury to look closely at how Sabine’s mind works, and to consider that she had nothing to gain by stalking the parents. 

Adkin said that Sabine was behaving rationally in believing Ella Draper, and that she now realises and accepts that she caused alarm and distress to the parents. 

Final directions before retiring the jury

Judge Cahill said that the jury must now examine all the evidence before them. 

Their first task, she said, would be to elect a foreperson, who would chair their discussions, and who would come back and speak on their behalf. 

Judge Cahill then directed the jury that they must reach a verdict on which they were all unanimous, on all 21 counts on the indictment. 

She reiterated that the only time they could discuss the case was when all 12 of them were in the same room together. 

The jury retired to consider its verdict. 

Reporting restrictions are permanent

While the jury are deliberating, we’d like to raise an important element of this case which will have lasting repercussions for Hoaxtead Research.

Readers will now be aware that in December 2017, Judge Beddoe imposed reporting restrictions on the trial of Regina v Sabine McNeill, under Section 46 of the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999.

This restriction means that in order to protect the privacy of witnesses and their children, none of the “parent witnesses” in this trial must be named. This restriction extends beyond the duration of the trial, until such time as the court may decide to dis-apply it.

This means that from now on, we will be unable to mention any witnesses from this trial, whether in our blog posts or our comments section, even if initials are used instead of full names.

The kicker: we cannot tell you the names of the people whose names we must not mention, because to mention them would put us in contempt of court. Yes, we are serious. 

However, we think you’ll agree that this is an important part of ensuring that those who stood up in court, potentially exposing themselves and their families to further alarm and distress, remain as well-protected as possible. 

And now…we wait. 

82 thoughts on “Sabine McNeill on trial: Day 16

  1. Many thanks EC, once again. No-one would have any idea what was going on if it wasn’t for you.
    Regarding the reporting restrictions, whilst I understand the point/purpose, surely this is impossible for virtually anyone to abide by. Not knowing who the restrictions apply to, how can they be held in contempt of court?
    Unless I’m just being thick here.

    anon

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I wouldn’t dream of identifying witnesses in the trial, now or after. Thank you again. It is now down to the jury.

    I echo anon’s point, the issue seems to be saying x was a witness, now or later.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know you wouldn’t, but we have been accustomed in the past to disguising or abbreviating some people’s names when referring to them. I’ve been informed by an officer of the court that that won’t be sufficient any longer.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. The restrictions probably disbar you from printing transcripts .Because you would need audio recordings to produce those , wouldn’t you ?

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    • There is no restriction on producing reports about the trial so long as names of witnesses aren’t mentioned, as I said above.

      I suppose if one were producing transcripts one would need recordings; what we’ve produced are from handwritten notes and make no pretence of being verbatim transcripts. Thanks for dropping by, Heather. Nice try.

      Liked by 3 people

      • And it goes further, there are no restrictions on “selectively” reporting court proceedings. It is to your credit that you have kept an even hand throughout.

        Liked by 3 people

  4. Tonight I ate chicken curry, steamed basmati rice, salad, pickle, and paratha.

    For lunch I had chicken, vegetable and pearl barley broth (from a tin), griddled flatbread folded in half with cheese inside (nice tangy cheddar) cut the flatbread into triangles and drizzled a little olive oil on the soup, a few turns of the pepper mill set to chunky, tasty.

    Breakfast was a double espresso and a grumpy morning face.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Catriona Sylvester of Inverness should be arrested for that post. And for about a hundred other things too but who’s counting?

      In between stating categorically that Sylvia and others are abusers (not; not even “alleged abusers”), check out how many times the rancid bint openly admits that she hasn’t researched the facts and hasn’t got a fucking clue what she’s talking about. Go figure

      Liked by 2 people

      • Great to see she’s turned on her own guru and “handler” David Scott of the disgraced Fresh Start Foundation, though. Her fancy man and Scott-worshiper Ogilvy will love her for that, hehe 😂

        Liked by 2 people

    • “I have been attacked by Jokestead for over a year mainly due to my part in FSF… They have a HUGE file of crappy screenshots on me that they use to attack me with (freaks).”

      No hypocrisy there, then 🙄

      Liked by 2 people

    • “They have even used a pic of my kids (they did blur faces but that’s hardly the point)”

      Er… no hypocrisy there, then…

      Liked by 2 people

    • “They have also made HEAPS of vids about me (same as they do to many others, including Ange Power Disney although she gets it far worse than I ever did)”

      Erm… no hypoc…

      Oh you get the idea.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Still, credit where it’s due – at least she managed to put the bottle down for five minutes to cobble that together. I wonder if she’ll feel the same when she sobers up.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I would assume that the reporting restrictions re victim / witnesses names include one who has been mention umpteen times on here and elsewhere.
    To be safe I’ll be wiping that name from my keyboard fingers.
    As for not knowing who witnesses were: everyone had the opportunity to go to the court as despite the hoaxers ridiculous and endless claims that these courts are not secret.
    Of course will the Hoaxers take note?. Doubtful. I would hope that the Judge whatever the result will re-enforce that ban.
    Remember, any children involved (or adults) who were said to be “abuse victims” of this imaginary cult are automatically granted life-long anonymity. Instead 1000s of people have indulged in an orgy of re-producing their images and videos while outfits like FB and YT continue to ignore that ban.

    Liked by 2 people

    • “Ghost of Sam”: Courts are considered secret when there are reporting restrictions. “To be able to go there” is not possible for most people, thus these people depend on journalists who can openly report about everything that went on in this courtroom. Better yet, all court hearings should be filmed and transmitted via TV into every citizens living-room. This here is a criminal trial. However, in “Family” courts up and down the UK, everything is secret. A mother or a father, or sometimes both parents must appear by themselves and face an armada of the opposite side. Then such a parent is told “do not even mention what was said here in this room to your own mother and father and rest of the family, leave alone to others, or tell the press or what have you”. This constitutes a SECRET court.
      First thing people do (to name just one other country) in Germany, if the state attacks their family, is:
      They go to a newspaper outlet with the papers they hold in hand and have them published in the paper, if the parent so wants. All they do is sign a paper that says that they give permission that the press researches and publishes the attack on the family. With this authority from the parent/family the press will demand complete disclosure of why they want to take a child from its family. Better yet, the governmental office (which ever it is) HAS to hand over all documents to the inquiring press organ.
      People are in charge of their OWN lives, NOT the government.
      Otherwise there would be secret courts like in the UK.

      It is an extreme shock to all people from the EU continent and beyond when they encounter these secret family courts for the first time in the UK. Secrecy breads cover-up. Nothing cleanses better than the sunlight.

      So, as far as secrecy in family courts is concerned, the person here on trial is 100 % right, but 100 % wrong with the false accusations against certain people.

      Hope to see the two that have holed up in Morocco be brought to justice very, very soon!

      Thank you for the great reporting EC which is necessary due to even the criminal courts not being accessible to all of us. Hope, this situation changes very soon to the better. OPEN COURTS NOW ! On all levels that is – criminal, civil and family courts (latter to be restricted only if the family so wishes, NOT the court or the prosecution, or the judge or whoever, ONLY the family concerned in a case should have the say in this), so that everybody who wants to see and hear, can see and hear that justice is done.

      Like

      • As EC has shown, cases involving children (and Family courts obviously do) have certain restrictions- however they are hardly ‘secret courts’ there are simply certain things that can’t be done- such as identifying some people, however most the cases are rarely reported simply because they are of little interest to the general public
        When they are of interest to the public, those restrictions still apply but that doesn’t stop them reporting the details of the case- just some things will be either left out or left deliberately vague
        As an example here is a newspaper story covering a particularly nasty crime
        https://www.breakingnews.ie/ireland/the-shame-nearly-destroyed-me-says-niece-after-man-jailed-for-raping-her-when-she-was-8-834013.html
        Note however that the unnamed perpetrator is , well, unnamed- as by identifying him, the victim could also be identified… Nothing ‘secret’ about it- it’s in the papers, but see how it works?
        This is what tripped up eddieisnotok and belinda…
        You can report certain facts of the case (as EC has done so well) but despite our knowledge of the people involved, we have all been VERY aware of what the line is and what should not be done- by naming people etc that the court SPECIFICALLY said not to (and from EC’s description, its hard not to know those reporting restrictions for anyone who attended) they went out and did exactly that, and thats what dropped them in the deep brown smelly stuff….
        As has been said here on the blog, some posts have been ‘held back’ because they were either in breach of the restrictions, or skirting very close to it
        Does that make this a ‘secret blog’ EC???
        LOL

        Liked by 3 people

      • Ren Ostertag, so, you have quite a few things wrong about the U.K. courts.

        No, the parents don’t have to go on their own. They don’t face an armada, they are entitled to lawyers, they don’t even have to go to court though probably best that they do. There could be lawyers for social services and for the child.

        The courts in the U.K. can’t even get essential stuff fixed, they would not be able to afford to film every single court and broadcast it. I am not aware of a single place in the world that does. In Germany criminal defendants aren’t even referred to by their name in the press, so are they secret?

        People do go to the press. Reporters do go in and watch. There could be scope for more openness.

        I notice one thing, you speak about the family as if it is only about the parents, not about children.

        I would be interested seeing a couple of German stories about social services if you have any to hand.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Damn right YyC Tracey. “Secret” to some people appears to mean “open to the press” “reportable in the media” and even “open to the public”. I think some people use the fiction that courts are secret to justify making stuff up, such as the idea that only the local authority is legally represented, or that the Family Court is just about oppressing parents, not protecting children.
          HM Courts Service and the judiciary are pondering ways of transmitting public court hearings more widely, but, as someone who’s spent most of their life in crimnal courts, I can say that the main problem is that most of it is very boring and no-one would watch. Every transmission, dramatisation or report (even El Coyote’s) misses out the longeurs.
          There is also the question of protecting the jury and the judiciary (given that certain persons think it entirely acceptable to threaten to put them through a woodchipper), though (as in the Scottish trial a generation ago) that could be dealt with by pointing no camera at the jury and altering the foreman’s voice. But particuarly it’s hard to see how you could protect lay justices who live and work in their communities.

          Like

        • If these people that are not named in court in Germany (which is true), then that is what they want. The court, or whoever cannot say to the press – name them! If the person or persons don’t mind, the press will name them. As in France, police have no role in investigation. Any case has to go within hours (let’s say the police catches somebody red-handed somewhere) to the investigative judge/prosecution. The police involvement ends right there and then. So different in England as well as in Canada. The prosecution (Staatsanwalt) in the Germany system are quite unbiased. They will investigate against and FOR the accused. Often people don’t even need a lawyer because the prosecution/investigative judge are 99% very reliable. In the UK and a few other countries that once were “dominions” of the UK it is the exact opposite. There is no interest in guilt or innocence. The only thing that matters is “can we convict” regardless of guilt or innocence. That is why the UK and countries that took their system from the UK, have such a high rate of innocent people doing down.
          The UK system claims to treat defendants as “innocent until proven guilty”, but then confuses “proof” (i.e. something that establishes a fact or the truth of a statement) and “testimony” (i.e. a formal written or spoken statement which may or may not be true). It then convicts innocent people based solely on a complainant’s false testimony about them.
          It is supposed to allow “equality of arms” (which requires that there be a fair balance between the opportunities afforded to both the prosecution and the defence), but it does not. The police in the UK have access to a wide range of tools (such as CCTV, DNA testing, expert witnesses, etc.), but the defendant has very little access to such tools.
          Again, remember that (sadly) the police and the crown’s mission is to achieve a conviction, not to find the truth. Innocent or guilty, if there is sufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of convicton (remembering of course than an accusation is considered to be “proof”), a decision to charge is made.
          Then they issue conditions (when a person is on bail) what you must and must not do and with whom you may communicate (mostly with nobody outside a lawyer). They say it is to stop you to interfere with their investigation, but, as a side effect, this means it’s far more difficult for you to put together a defence case. More so, it is practically impossible. Needless to say that no such conditions exist in the German system, nor the French (I assume), or other continental countries. You can contact anybody that you think is helpful in your defence like people who can act as witnesses and can testify that you are innocent, tell the press and what have you. Latter can do their own researches into a case.
          No, I have no trust into the UK system where the only “evidence” is the say-so of a person. I only trust cold, hard evidence like we have in the case that is on trial right now. Here, we have cold, hard evidence due to the trail on the myriads of websites talking about it and scheming about it, whereas the hoaxters had no evidence
          whatsoever. Coached and tortured children/teens stories are NO evidence that what they said while being tortured is the truth. Yet the video shows piles of evidence that they were tortured into repeating heinous lies against an innocent man that was also extremely close to them. Luckily for this man the kids were also forced to include others (200 or more) and the sacrifice of thousand of babies that were allegedly butchered in houses and buildings that did not even exist. This is what saved this man from a lengthy prison sentence. No doubt the police and crown would have believed the lies, had they been aimed at the man only without other
          “rapists and killers” involved. The “evidence” would have been the extorted lies that children were forced to say against this man. No extra proof needed. The venues would not have been important either, the court just would have said “it happened, the kids just cannot remember in which house”. Last not least, such heinous lies are usually forced on kids against their parents by so-called youth workers that hold a crutch against the parents because the parents object against a certain agenda.
          Hopefully, we can see the right decision being made (for once) in the next few days in this very tragic case here on hand at present.

          Like

          • I suspect you may have ‘heard’ a lot of things about the UK justice system, but I will just say that quite a lot of things in your post are completely unfounded in reality. Like any other human system there are failings, but there are also a lot of checks and balances in the system
            One of the biggest misapprehensions you have seems to be that the courts are there ‘just to lock people up’- the courts themselves do not investigate the matters- and with good reason, that is when you do get people put away regardless of the evidence…

            The UK court system stands aside from any actual involvement in any evidence gathering- that is the polices job, and any attempt to have court officials involved would be (quite rightly imho) seen as possibly tainting the justice system’s impartiality!

            The courts job is to view the evidence presented to them and impartially judge it on its own weight… Nothing more, and nothing less…

            To have the same people collecting the evidence and then judging it, wow, the possibility of outright corruption seems high to me, and the chance of an investigator ‘locking into a one track view’ (a known issue where police have ‘determined’ beforehand who was at fault and either wilfully or unaware of their own biases then proceed to only take notice of evidence leading to their predetermined views

            And then to be sitting in judgment based on that same evidence????

            No thanks

            Regards your “only “evidence” is the say-so of a person”, thats the exact opposite of what happened, in fact if that had happened then innocent people would be in jail- however witness statements are only a piece of the entire puzzle, and rather than convicting ‘just on the say-so’ they did the exact opposite and went looking for confirmation, which quickly showed that the original claim was totally without substance
            In fact a conviction just on hearsay and witness statements alone is very unlikely to result in a conviction, there has to be actual evidence as well, which is why ‘historical’ abuse is such a difficult task to prove enough to make a conviction

            People like the infamous Fiona Barnett are a prime example of why you have to have something other than claims (unfortunately people like her make getting actual abusers convicted so much harder) simply because of her wild claims against all and sundry famous historical figures (including a certain gentleman who died before she was born…) unfairly taint all abuse claims

            Liked by 2 people

      • Family courts by necessity protect children. Children are innocent parties in any family battle and they deserve to have their anonymity protected. To label that as “secret ” is a misnomer.
        Can’t agree with courts being filmed. Quite apart from the fact most Magistrate or lower courts have a variety of people in them for all sorts of reasons who deserve anonymity.
        Claiming the public has a right to know is just a cloak for saying the public demands it’s titillation. The vast majority really couldn’t give a stuff what goes on it’s courts.

        After decades of living under British law in the UK , USA & now Australia I now believe the French system is far superior (not their jails though !). With a magistrate investigating ( same same Italy) it removes the police from trying to or attempting to manipulate evidence. It removes vile politicians endless exhortations to police to “clean up crime”. The coppers do their job and then trained investigate magistrates take over.

        Like

  6. I have to say very well done on your reporting skills. They were accurate and very truthful throughout the whole trial and never once bias but fair and again truthful. Personally I think the media could do with someone like you. I do not know you personally but I am actually proud of the dignified way you relentlessly carried out your reporting on this long and complicated case. Keep up the good work.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Indeed Morticia.
      I addressed the Awards Committee at the Koala Awards of Excellence only just last night at their Xmas bash in the Public Bar of the Three Legged Mare (we’re now banned from the Saloon Bar -reference: see Clementine Fotheringale-Smythe & the Missing Amontillado Sherry bottle incident) and there is serious talk of a very special Medal being struck for El Coyote !.
      They hope to have this rare & precious distinction up and ready before the Hedgehog Awards mob get into gear. (Apparently they rejected Ms Fotheringale-Smythe’s application to join their Committee- wise move).

      Liked by 2 people

      • No-one’s prose conjures up a better picture of someone masturbating with one one hand while typing with the other than Pike’s.

        Like

      • So if Adolf had opted for a massive boob job in 1939 and subsequently sunk more allied naval vessels and won the war I would be typing this in German.Whats worse England would have never gone on to win the world cup 1966 in extra time either.

        It makes you think.

        Like

  7. Some secret court. There are 5 camera crews and a reporter with an iPhone. The powers that be have done a poor job hiding it.

    Like

    • Correction. They are here for Craig McKinley MP and his election expenses case. Should have guessed when Michael Crick showed up.

      Like

  8. Another round of bullshit from the Oldcastle Hag, including a claim that Aaron Dover committed suicide as a result of us trolling him. Yup.

    Liked by 1 person

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