Belinda McKenzie is to attend Southwark Crown Court at 10:00 a.m. today to face a charge of contempt of court related to the recently concluded trial of Sabine McNeill.
Belinda was charged in court on 10 December, when it was alleged that she made a Facebook post which was in breach of the publication restriction placed upon Sabine’s case in December 2017 by Judge Beddoe. Following this charge, Belinda voluntarily absented herself for the duration of Sabine’s trial.
A few days earlier, HHJ Sally Cahill QC had made a pointed warning to those in the public gallery, noting that any form of communication which identified certain witnesses in Sabine’s trial would constitute contempt of court and would be taken very seriously.
Judge Cahill will hear Belinda’s case this morning, and we will report details as soon as we receive them.
UPDATE: Belinda’s hearing this morning has been adjourned to tomorrow, as the defendant failed to turn up at court, claiming that she is suffering from dangerously high blood pressure which requires medication, and that she had an appointment to visit the doctor at 11:00 a.m. to determine whether the medicine was working or not. Judge Cahill stated that she required a medical note by 11:30 a.m. if that was the case.
UPDATE 2: Belinda’s hearing on Friday, 11 January, will be held at 10:15 a.m. in Court 3.
Court 3 – HER HONOUR JUDGE CAHILL QC (09) SITTING AT 10.15 AM
For Contempt S20180335 MCKENZIE Belinda
We remind readers that this case is sub judice, and caution against any comments which could be considered prejudicial.