Long-time readers might recall that following Rupert Quaintance’s 2017 conviction for harassment, he appealed both the sentence and the conviction (and lost, but that’s another story). We’ve had a number of queries about whether Sabine McNeill plans to do the same, and we’ve had to say that we don’t know.
While the deadline has passed for appealing the 14 December conviction, we’ve heard nothing about any plans to appeal the 12-year sentence, which was reduced to nine years on account of Sabine’s age.
However, in her latest email newsletter, posted yesterday, Belinda offers a few clues.
What sort of “new facts” could come to light which might somehow exonerate Sabine? The only possibility we can think of would be some sort of evidence that a child-raping, baby-murdering, blood-drinking cult actually did exist in Hampstead. Likelihood: 0.
As for the “beleaguered supporters” of child abusers Abraham Christie and Ella Draper…well, there’s always the option of accepting the truth, we suppose, however difficult some might find it.
It was quite clear in court that Sabine’s barristers did not accept Ella and Abraham’s nonsensical story. It is much less clear that Tana Adkin QC was “swayed by the prosecution QC and the judge”.
In fact, anybody who was present for the duration of the trial will recall that Adkin was diligent and clever in her defence strategy. Rather than trying to force the jury to accept the ludicrous child-raping/baby-murdering/blood-drinking palaver, which would also have meant challenging Mrs Justice Pauffley’s 2015 High Court judgment, Adkin focused on her client’s “different way of thinking”, maintained that she had been duped by Ella and Abraham, and said she had engaged in her relentless campaign out of a misguided but sincere sense of duty.
It didn’t work, but it was a good try.
As for Sabine’s Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO), yes, it is very stringent. However, prior to being placed on remand in prison, Sabine demonstrated over and over again that she had no intention of abandoning her campaign. Any CBO worth its salt must therefore place sufficiently clear restrictions that Sabine will be aware that she must not breach it, or she will wind up straight back in prison, do not pass Go, do not collect £200.
Hmm. Neither Sabine nor Belinda could just stand by in the face of “the most horrible cruelty and injustice imaginable”?
Isn’t it strange, then, that Sabine seemed perfectly willing to sacrifice all of those hundreds or even thousands of poor suffering infants and children, if only the court would accede to her demands that they return the two children in question to their mother, Sabine’s client?
As Miranda Moore QC pointed out during the trial, Sabine’s actions were not those of a woman driven to save children from torture, rape, and murder. They were the actions of a person who hadn’t got her own way, and was therefore attempting to blackmail a High Court judge by threatening “high level embarrassment” and the release of illegally obtained videos.
First: we think this is the first time we’ve ever seen Belinda openly refer to the Hollie Greig hoax for what it was—did we really just read her saying “Hollie Hoax days”?
(Full disclosure here: EC is so used to thinking of it as the Hollie Hoax that she had to have this Freudian slip pointed out to her by Agent J….)
Second: Belinda is an intelligent, educated woman. We find it difficult to reconcile this reality with her seemingly flustered and incompetent state regarding the undertaking she signed in court on 11 January as a condition of her suspended sentence.
It’s probably to Belinda’s advantage to paint herself as the poor, put-upon victim of an unreasonable request, but she ought to know perfectly well that her undertaking is perfectly do-able. While a few of her more credulous friends might believe otherwise, we do not.
For heaven’s sake, Belinda—while you are responsible for the material you posted online, no court in the land would expect you to somehow remove all the shared copies which other people made of your online posts. To claim otherwise seems either uncharacteristically dim, or disingenuous.
As for alleged claims on our part that Belinda has been “peddling confidential client files to 3rd parties for cash”, we have no recollection of having said any such thing. Those are Belinda’s words, not ours..
We did point out last week that it seems inappropriate that she work in a barrister’s chambers which handles family law cases. We said this because of Belinda’s long history of peddling hoaxes, not to mention her habit of preying on the desperation of certain litigants in person in order to use their unwinnable cases as “evidence” of her own loopy views about the child welfare system.
If she handed in her resignation and turned over the office keys before Christmas, we’re glad to hear it. She showed unusual prescience, given that we only discovered and raised the alarm about her “volunteer employment” as Chambers Manager last week, but we won’t complain.