A couple of days ago, we reported that during Belinda McKenzie’s trial for contempt of court in relation to Sabine McNeill’s recent trial, it had come to light that Belinda has been working on a volunteer basis in the offices of the barrister who represented her.
The chambers advertise that one of their areas of practice is family law, including “child contact and child arrangements”, “cohabitation disputes”, and “disputes regarding children”. Given Belinda’s long-term involvement in various extremely dubious “disputes involving children”, we wonder whether employing her in a setting where she has access to information on such cases is not a bit like appointing the fox to guard the hen-house.
Even the most cursory glance at Belinda’s online activities ought to be a tip-off to any potential employer:
- She was a central figure in the Hollie Greig hoax, in which she and Robert Green led a campaign of defamation and harassment against 22 innocent people in and around Aberdeen, who they alleged had sexually abused a girl with Down syndrome.
- She and her colleague Sabine McNeill “racked up wasted costs” while acting as McKenzie friends in the case of Melissa Laird, who was fighting against deportation to the United States following a failed child custody case in which it was demonstrated that her child had suffered from abuse and neglect. Although they were, in the end, not held liable for their share of the excess costs, Mrs Justice Simler stated, ‘It seems to be me they did significantly step outside the limits of their role as McKenzie friends. They also appear to have been pursing the case for their own campaigning purposes. They had their own personal interests as members of the Association of McKenzie Friends in the litigation, which was not in the claimant’s own interest.’
- She and Sabine also involved themselves in the 2012 child abuse trial of Gloria and Joseph Musa—not, as one might think, to save the children from parents who beat and starved them, but to insist that the children be returned to their abusive parents.
- And of course, she and Sabine McNeill played a pivotal role in the Hampstead SRA case, during which Belinda’s company, the “Knight Foundation” was investigated by the Charity Commission for masquerading as a charity, and sending the proceeds of their fund-raising to Sabine McNeill, who at the time was on the run from the law in Germany.
- Also in her capacity as a key promoter of the Hampstead SRA hoax, Belinda was served with a court order demanding that she cease and desist in her claims that two children had been victims of Satanic ritual abuse by various named individuals.
Yesterday, family barrister Sarah Phillimore commented about Belinda’s employment at 160 Fleet Street Chambers,
It doesn’t have to be illegal to be a breach of Core Duty 5 of the Code of Conduct. It is likely to bring the profession into disrepute if someone of this character and previous history is working in a Chambers as its ‘manager’ and appears – according to the website – to be the first point of contact for any would be litigant seeking a direct access family law barrister.
We would most emphatically agree.