Sabine McNeill’s appeal judgment published in full

Many thanks to commenter Exiled Scouser for pointing us in the direction of BAILII, where the full written judgment from Sabine McNeill’s appeal has now been posted.

The judgment itself contains few surprises, and deviates little from our report on 30 July. It does make some minor factual errors—rather than identifying the two children in the original Hampstead videos as a girl and a boy, it identifies them as two girls, and it seems to imply that the children were taken into protective custody as a result of the allegations they made, not as a result of the physical abuse they suffered at the hands of their mother’s then-boyfriend.

However, the judgment is valuable in that it does offer some insight into the thinking of the appellate judges, and further clarification of Sabine’s sentence itself.

The appeal was heard by Lord Justice Leggatt, Mr Justice William Davis, and HHJ Michael Chambers QC, sitting as a judge of the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division). Mr Tom Stevens, who represented Rupert Quaintance at his 2017 trial, appeared on Sabine’s behalf, while the Crown was represented by Mr Philip Stott.

The judgment lays out the background to the charges against Sabine:

The offences involved a relentless campaign of intimidation and harassment committed by the appellant over a period of more than three years which has caused incalculable harm. It began after she offered her services as a McKenzie Friend, that is somebody who assists a person involved in litigation, to a woman whom we will refer to as Ms D in family proceedings in the High Court. Ms D was separated from her partner Mr D and, together with her new boyfriend, Abraham Christie, set about ensuring that Mr D would not see his two daughters*. To that end, she and Christie concocted lies of a revolting kind which they forced the children to repeat in video interviews recorded by Christie. Those lies included the false and malicious allegations that Mr D was the head of a satanic cult operating in Hampstead. The cult allegedly imported babies for ritual slaughter, and cooked and ate babies, and sexually abused not just the D children but many other children at their school in Hampstead. Other parents, teachers, police and social workers were named as being members of the cult. The allegations were of murder, cannibalism, satanism and sexual abuse. As the judge observed in sentencing the appellant, they could not have been more serious or vile.

*Erratum: It was a daughter and a son.

We should point out that contrary to the recent assertions of several hoax-supporting individuals, the judgment adheres to the order, put in place in December 2017, which prohibits the naming of protected witnesses in relation to this case. We don’t like to say we told you so, but…oh, hell, yes we do.

We told you so.

The judgment notes that Sabine, acting in the privileged capacity of McKenzie friend to the mother, uploaded (or caused to be uploaded) material from the Family Court case, including the videos of the two children.

In her judgment, Pauffley J found that the only person who had in fact abused the children was the mother’s boyfriend Christie in collaboration with their mother. The children had been subjected to ill-treatment that amounted, as Pauffley J found, to torture. The stories they had been made to tell were completely false and all the material which had been published on the internet was, in the judge’s words, “nothing other than utter nonsense”. In a long judgment, Pauffley J set out in detail the history of the matter and the reasons for her findings. The appellant, of course, read that judgment.

Unfortunately, that was not the end of her involvement in peddling those false and pernicious allegations. In fact it was scarcely the beginning. Over the following months and years she continued to propagate online the allegations which Pauffley J had found to be false and baseless. She did so exploiting her considerable skills as a systems analyst and web publisher.

A particularly insidious feature of McNeill’s conduct was the publication online of the personal details of the parents of other children at the school attended by Ms D’s [children] who were falsely and maliciously accused of having taken part in sexual and satanic abuse, said also to involve their own children. Their names, addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses, pictures of their children – all that and more was disseminated.

As we know, each of the four stalking charges against Sabine pertained to a family she had targeted, persecuted herself, and caused to be persecuted by others. These families were victimised by paedophiles who were attracted by the stories that their children “loved sex” and were available to be abused. They were also targeted by malicious and intimidating phone calls and emails at all hours of the day and night.

And of course there was Rupert Quaintance, whose harassment merited a trial which culminated in a prison sentence and deportation.

Sabine’s appeal judgment emphasises that she was given ample warning on multiple occasions that her actions would lead to imprisonment:

The warnings which the appellant chose to ignore included these. In January 2016 she was interviewed by the police and told them that she had taken down a website called “whistleblowerkids” on which material had been published a few days earlier. The fact that she said that to the police demonstrated that she was well aware of the consequences of her actions. During the interview the police spelt out their concerns. It subsequently emerged that the appellant either never took down the website or almost immediately put it back up again.

In July 2016 the appellant appeared in the Crown Court on a charge of intimidating witnesses. She was acquitted on legal grounds but the judge was nevertheless so concerned that he made a restraining order to prevent, as he put it, “further appalling harassment”. The appellant almost immediately breached that order. She was prosecuted for that breach, to which she pleaded guilty on 17 October 2016. The judge on that occasion gave her a conditional discharge but warned her that if she committed any further breach of the restraining order she could expect a custodial sentence.

That warning made not a blind bit of difference to the appellant. On 25 October 2016, only eight days later, she breached the restraining order again. That was the subject of count 5 on the indictment on which she was convicted. The appellant was interviewed by the police for that breach on 4 November 2016. They explained to her then the effect that she was having on the families she was hounding. They read to her a statement made by one of those victims, describing the devastation that she had inflicted on that family. The appellant was evidently entirely unmoved. She carried on with her campaign. Counts 6, 8 and 10 of which she was convicted involved further breaches of the restraining order around New Year of 2017 and then in April and October of that year.

The last two offences of which she was convicted (counts 20 and 21) were committed in February 2018. By this time the appellant had been remanded on bail and, as a condition of her bail, had had to surrender all internet enabled devices. But so determined was she to carry on her criminal campaign that she adopted a new form of harassment. She handed out leaflets at the General Synod of the Church of England, making scurrilous and, as always, baseless allegations against members of the clergy and in particular the Vicar of Christchurch in Hampstead. He is someone who as a result of the appellant’s campaign has had to have police protection. That was count 20. Count 21 involved making a telephone call to a Christian charity in order to publicise her false and malicious allegations of sexual and satanic abuse.

We are bound to observe at this point that the facts of this case, of which we have given only the barest summary, amply justified the judge’s comment that “this case has to be one of the most serious cases of stalking in breach of a restraining order that there can be.”

Having established the gravity of Sabine’s offences, the appellate judges note that in her sentencing, HHJ Cahill followed the Sentencing Council’s guidelines for intimidatory offences. She assessed Sabine’s culpability as “very high”, since she had intended to cause as much fear and distress as possible, she had continued her campaign over a prolonged period, and she had shown a high degree of planning and sophistication in her use of the internet to carry on when efforts were made to stop her.

In terms of harm, the judgment states,

…all three features of Category 1, the highest level of harm, were present in this case: that is, very serious distress was caused to the victims, there was significant psychological harm caused and the victims had to make considerable changes to their lifestyles as a result of the conduct.

How the sentence was determined

According to the appeal judgment, within the sentencing guideline, Sabine’s crimes fell into category 1A, for which the starting point is five years’ custody, with a range from three and a half to eight years. This was not challenged by Sabine’s barrister.

Aggravating factors included the facts that Sabine had used her position of trust as a McKenzie friend to obtain and publish confidential court material, the material was grossly offensive, the impact on the children involved was great, and she had committed the offences while in breach of a restraining order and a conditional discharge. Mitigating factors included her previous “good character” until her 2016 conviction on breach of restraining order, her age, and her ill health. HHJ Cahill did not accept that Sabine had shown remorse, since she had never accepted that the allegations she made were untrue.

The appellate judges noted that had Sabine’s sentence only been for one stalking charge, she might have received a sentence of six years in view of the aggravating factors mentioned.

However, there were four stalking offences each committed against a different family and each family had suffered to an equally appalling degree. To arrive at a sentence which was proportionate to the totality of this offending, the judge increased the sentence for the stalking offences by two years to one of eight years’ imprisonment, and ordered the four sentences to run concurrently with each other.

As for the six breaches of the 2016 restraining order, each of them fell into the 1A category, with a starting point of two years and a range from one to four years. If these had been committed on their own, HHJ Cahill said she would have imposed two years’ imprisonment, to run concurrently, on counts 5, 6, 8, and 10. As well, she would have imposed two years on each of counts 20 and 21, which were quite different from the others in the way in which they were committed, and were committed while Sabine was on bail and in breach of further court orders. The sentences for 20 and 21 would have run concurrently, but separately from the sentences for the stalking charges.

However, taking into account Sabine’s age as well as the overall sentence, the judge decided to reduce each of the sentences to one year, and to have them served concurrently, but in addition to the eight years for stalking—for a total of nine years.

Grounds for appeal

According to the written judgment, Tom Stevens did not attempt to dispute HHJ Cahill’s assessment that all his client’s offences belonged in Category 1A, but he did seek to submit that the sentences imposed for the four stalking offences were “manifestly excessive”.

He made this argument on three grounds: Sabine’s age and ill health; her lack of prior criminal convictions at the time when the stalking began; and her alleged remorse for her crimes.

The appellate judges made swift work of the age argument, citing then-Lord Chief Justice Lord Woolf in the guideline case R v Millberry:

“… the court is always entitled to show a limited degree of mercy to an offender who is of advanced years, because of the impact that a sentence of imprisonment can have on an offender of that age.”

They pointed out that a discount on sentence is not a defendant’s right, but is a matter of the judge’s discretion. They noted that the word “limited” implies that age is a matter of limited weight in sentencing, unless the defendant is very aged indeed—such as 100 years old or older.

In addition, they said,

…it seems to us…that the judge gave a generous allowance for age, because it was a factor which she identified as a substantial consideration in leading her to reduce the total sentence for the breaches of the restraining order from four years to one year.

The matter of ill health, they said, relates to a defendant suffering from a terminal illness. As it is, Sabine’s various ailments fall well within the capacity of the prison where she is incarcerated, so her health is not a valid grounds for appeal.

Referring to Sabine’s lack of previous criminal record, the appellate judges pointed out that not only had HHJ Cahill already taken this into consideration, but

…its significance in this case seems to us to be very substantially diminished by the fact that, after the appellant was convicted of a breach of the restraining order in 2016, she ploughed on with her offending and committed all the offences for which she fell to be sentenced. In those circumstances, it is difficult to see that her lack of previous convictions was a substantial mitigating factor.

As regards Sabine’s alleged remorse, the written judgment is rather terse:

That, in our view, is a hopeless submission in circumstances where the judge, who had the benefit of observing the appellant throughout a long trial and throughout a long period of giving evidence, came to the conclusion that she entirely lacked remorse. That is not a judgment which we as an appellate court are in a position to second guess. Nor are the two factors on which Mr Stevens sought to place reliance in our view the objective indicators of remorse that he suggested. They are, first, the fact that when a Criminal Behaviour Order was imposed at the time of sentence the appellant instructed her counsel not to oppose the making of that order; and secondly, that at that stage she gave instructions to take down material that had been put up on the internet.

As to the first of those matters, the fact that the appellant did not oppose the making of a Criminal Behaviour Order simply showed at that stage at last some sense of realism on her part; but since such an order was bound to be imposed, it is hardly indicative of remorse. Furthermore, the fact that she gave instructions then to take material down may be said to have come far too late in the day. Had she heeded any of the endless warnings that she received throughout the sorry course of these events and taken down material rather than continuing to put it up, that might have been a factor to be taken into account in mitigation. Coming as it did only after she was convicted at her trial, it seems to us to be of very little significance.

Those of us who attended Sabine’s trial may also remember that during her cross-examination, she defiantly stated, “I will always believe what the children said”. To our knowledge, she has never retracted those words.

Noting that “by no stretch of the imagination can [Sabine’s sentence] be described as manifestly excessive”, the written judgment concludes that Sabine’s appeal was “entirely without merit” and that “the sentence passed on the appellant was, if anything, a lenient sentence”.

Cue the screaming from the other side. Starting in three…two…one….

76 thoughts on “Sabine McNeill’s appeal judgment published in full

  1. I don’t have time to study this newly-published judgment. But a court getting it wrong by saying that P and Q were two girls, rather than a girl and a boy as we all know, raises doubts as to whether their lordships were paying proper attention.

    I challenged Barrister Blogger to blog about the following three, comparing their guilt and their sentences:
    (1) Carl Beech; (2) Jemma Beale; (3) Sabine McNeill.

    All three were jailed, for crimes of the same broad type, in which the authorities failed and succeeded to different degrees to avoid complicity with the culprits.

    Matthew rose to the challenge, and I thanked him for his scholarly comparison of the three sentences, of the three liars who set out to exploit credulity.

    Pointing the finger at the mainly feminist “always believe those who claim to be victims of sex crimes” school of thought has attracted wrath, so I won’t elaborate, except to urge thinking people to join the dots.

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      • As I said, join the dots. The doctrine that “victims should always be believed is what corrupted and influenced (and still corrupts and influences) the foolish enablers and encouragers of all three of the false accusers whose prison sentences I invited Barrister Blogger to compare, which he did. Where the dickens is the “misogyny” in that? In your mind, not in my words, that’s for sure!

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        • I agree that the “always believe the victim” mantra has been problematic, and I’ve said so on this blog on multiple occasions. I think justice is better served when complainants are treated with respect, and their claims investigated fully.

          I don’t know that the errors in the judgment point to a lack of care on the part of the court; their job was to examine points of law, which I believe they did.

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          • You’re right to point out that the error of fact (thinking that P and Q were two girls) doesn’t affect the legalities of the sentencing, which is all the CA needed to concern itself with, but I did think it strange all the same that this error was made. But, as you say, not important.

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          • …but apparently it’s all the fault of those evil feminists. They are his own words repeated on multiple occasions and doubled down on every time ruling out the possibility of misinterpretation. I have joined the dots and I know what kind of person John is. 😞

            (It is also not the job of the appeal court to retry a case 😉).

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          • “… it’s all the fault of those evil feminists. They are his own words repeated on multiple occasions and doubled down on every time …”

            Those are NOT my words. It seems to me that you are trying to pick a fight with me. I don’t want a fight with anybody here, about anything. I wish I hadn’t commented now.

            What kind of person I am (apart from my not being uncritical of feminism) is up to you to find out. You haven’t found out so far. If you have an issue against me personally, you are welcome to email me. I don’t bite.

            When Sabine McNeill gave me access to certain videos, I concluded that she had lost her equilibrium, and had set her course, full steam ahead, to believing Abe “Papa Hemp” Christie, Ella Draper and what Draper’s children P and Q said under torture, and confirmed at first to the police, later retracting – that is, retracting either entirely or largely in the cases of P and Q respectively.

            I was disappointed but not too surprised that Sabine fell into this trap, and proceeded to make a nuisance of herself for several years, to the great distress of families in Hampstead.

            After this had happened, I was disappointed to observe that police who investigated the crazy and far-fetched false allegations of Jemma Beale and Carl Beech seemed to have made the same mistake as McNeill.

            The doctrine that victims, of one type or another, ought to be believed uncritically, underlay the propsed prohibition on the cross-examination of those who alleged domestic violence. One beneficial side-effect of the prorogation of Parliament has been the loss of the evil bill that contained this outrageously unfair provision.

            I regret referring to what I called the “always believe those who claim to be victims of sex crimes” school of thought as “mainly feminist”, because it has annoyed you, though not because that isn’t the impression I have got over the years of watching disasters unfold like those inflicted by McNeill and those who believe her, and police like those who were insufficiently sceptical of the similar allegations of Beale and Beech. Is that partial apology sufficient for you to stop accusing me of being a certain type of person, without saying what type, and why you think that?

            I will accept an apology for the made-up misquote, if you are feeling remorseful.

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          • I know you have been very clear about your dissaproval of the way Sabine McNeill behaved and her gullibility, if that is the right term, John.

            Biggest red flag for me is why on earth she even shared things with you!

            Let us not forget that this wasn’t her first notorious case that she meddled in, and published where she should have not.

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          • You wondered, “why on earth she even shared things with you!” Sabine wrote to me on Fri 02/01/2015 at 22:48, because I had posted a comment on her “McKenzie” blog expressing my scepticism of the hoax. She hoped I’d find the ABE interviews convinced ne of the truth of the hoax. They had the opposite effect, and I told her so.

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          • Do you really not bother to read your own trash posts before denying you said things? 🙄

            “Pointing the finger at the mainly feminist “always believe those who claim to be victims of sex crimes” school of thought has attracted wrath.”

            Try going through your previous posts for more examples.

            You main reason to post now seems to be is to express howls of incredulity at the sentence given to a women who has destroyed the lives of children, I know what you are. I have joined the dots.

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          • I have already expressed regret, because my words had annoyed you, for the “mainly feminist” description I gave to the ” ‘always believe those who claim to be victims of sex crimes’ school of thought”. You are free to say that you disagree with my opinion that that school of thought isn’t “mainly feminist”. Please don’t attack me personally any more because we have different opinions about that school of thought, or about feminism. We are equally entitled to our different opinions.

            I have commented on this blog since before the sentence, at which I have never howled in incredulity.

            I am more worried about the threat posed to the innocent by police officers who believe too readily and persistently false accusers like Beale and Beech than the threat posed by the likes of Sabine McNeill and her followers when they are deceived by the likes of Ella Draper and Abe Christie. Both both threats are serious. There are lessons to be learnt from all such cases.

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        • It shouldn’t be beyond the wit of humankind, surely, to find a sensible method for reports of abuse to be examined where the accused can be “guilty until proven innocent” without the accuser being fobbed off until the veracity of the case can be established. I’m female and I don’t condone women lying about serious matters like making false rape charges but then I don’t want women who genuinely have been subject to sexual violence to remain unbelieved. Some people who have been found innocent of rape may have escaped on a technical issue or the evidence may have left room for reasonable doubt. It’s difficult in “he said, she said” cases and I don’t know about you but I’ve met plausible liars of both genders (though fortunately their lies have not been about sexual matters). I know some people maintaining the anonymity of an alleged perpetrator (as happens with an alleged victim) until a verdict has been decided in a trial – and hopefully the person could remain anonymous if he were to be found innocent. I don’t want something as serious as sexual (or alleged sexual) crimes to become a battle of the sexes ground.

          For the avoidance of doubt, since I came across the Hampstead case it always seemed fantastical to me but if Mrs McNeill was acting as a MacKenzie friend shouldn’t she have kept the tapes which were after all potential evidence (even if false evidence) confidential instead of putting them in the public domain.

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    • As the P&Q children weren’t named in argument before the CACD, it’s not an issue of the judges not hearing, it’s an issue of the court not being told. And when it comes down to it, it’s not a very relevant consideration, it’s clear that the court focused on what Mrs McNeill did, and whether the children in the original allegations were male or female has nothing to do with that.

      The “believe the victims” idea arises in reaction to the the traditional police approach of bullying people alleging rape to drop the charges. The primary tipping point was a fly on the wall documentary in the mid-80s where police officers were filmed hostiley interviewing an alleged victim until they had worn her down sufficiently that she agreed to withdraw her allegation. “It’s no wonder people don’t go to the police about this” she said to the cameraman while the officers were out.

      So, the idea of starting the investigation on the basis that the allegation is true and then test it, was well in place by the 90s, it’s not a recent innovation, and it certainly doesn’t just apply when the alleged victim is a woman – shock of breaking news, Carl Beech is a man.

      But 30 years later, we see them doing it totally according to the book in the Hampstead case – investigating the charges without bullying the children, and dropping them when it’s clear that they aren’t true. And actually, like it or not, we saw that happening with the Beech case too, that’s why he was convicted.

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      • Oh, so glad police practice has moved on since this film was made, a fly on the wall documentary.

        I am old enough to remember the bishops in the House of Lords, maybe not all of them, arguing that rape cannot actually even occur between a husband and wife. There are countries even now where prosecuting cases of domestic violence is discouraged or prevented to supposedly protect the family, whatever that means.

        http://www.screenonline.org.uk/tv/id/464502/index.html

        Police showed the force as all too human but sometimes far from humane. In episode three, ‘A Complaint of Rape’, a woman with a history of psychiatric treatment claims she has been raped by three strangers and is, in turn, bullied and cajoled by three male officers who dismiss her story out of hand. “This is the biggest bollocks I’ve ever heard,” erupts one officer. The woman remains unseen as the camera assumes her point-of-view, trapped in the claustrophobic confines of the interrogation room. As she is subjected to the most hostile questioning, the accusing officers fill the frame in penetrating close-ups and the viewer gains some sense of her double violation.

        Transmitted soon after an infamous court decision (in which a judge had accused a hitchhiker of “contributory negligence” in her own rape), ‘A Complaint of Rape’ caused a public outcry and led to a change in the way police forces handled rape cases. Within months, a new rape squad of five female officers was formed in Reading. “The most we can hope is that people will rethink their assumptions – including policemen,” said Graef. Police showed that the fly-on-the-wall doesn’t just watch the world. It can change it too.

        https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Police_(TV_series)

        Personally, I don’t think it should be about believing, people can be mistaken for all sorts of reasons that don’t mean they are dishonest, but about taking an allegation seriously, treating complainants with respect, and investigating.

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    • Getting the gender wrong would be of greater concern if their real names were being used, but P n Q are gender neutral, and unimportant in terms of the crime itself. Two girls, two boys, girl and boy makes no difference, they were children the had been manipulated and tortured by adults, and that it the important part, not their gender.

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      • “Getting the gender wrong would be of greater concern if their real names were being used, but P n Q are gender neutral”

        Off topic, but with an obvious continuity link to what you said, I cannot help wondering whether one of Boris Johnson’s present tribulations, which he calls the “Surrender Act” (one can see why), might have been avoided if only the late Mr Anthony Wedgewood Benn MP, a stauch Eurosceptic and jolly sensible chap (about that at least), hadn’t listened, when he was a new father, to Johnny Cash’s song A Boy Named Sue, and decided to name his baby boy “Hilary”, in the misguided hope that this would influence Benn Jnr to grow up to become an even wiser, greater politician than his sadly missed father, whom I was privileged to meet at the Brighton conference in 2004.

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        • St Hilary was a man and in a lot of countries Hilary is a unisex name (as it was originally in the UK).

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        • Sorry, I’ve been concentrating on some typing and other tasks today and only looking at this page intermittently so I wasn’t really on the ball to see any joke.

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  2. Treat yourself to Full Colons latest gab fest with the Pavement Taster. The Flagstone Chewer must surely be arrested after this. I don’t want to spoil it for you. Watch it yourself.

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  3. I have just watched parts of this shite again and have decided to send the link to both Sussex Police and Auckland NZ Police. If you feel the same as me after watching this maybe you will do the same. By the way EC, the Pavement Taster makes a threat again to you.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Be careful now..John Prattleon has a secret plan to get 50 Million Brits onside with social media and he and Andrew Devine will tell them where it’s at and no doubt, reignite The Glorious Revolution of June 29th- a date that will go down in history.
      Not only that, apart from Bill & Ben from the Sarf London Mob he’s got an SAS operative as a bodyguard so I reckon your name is marked down and there is a lamp post somewhere in Sussex with your name on it.
      # Call me old fashioned, call me naive or even call me Cynthia (I lurve being called Cynthia) but wouldn’t SAS officers first loyalty be to HM Queen Elizabeth?

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  4. APD is asking for donations to attend a “Satanic” conference in the USA. Aussie Arthur seems to be giving her regular payments but I notice that Jake is as well. I though he was legally restrained from promoting the Hampstead hoax but if he’s giving money to APD to breach court orders surely he is breach of any restraining orders.
    I’ll be ensuring US Immigration is informed of her previous breaching of immigration laws, something she has boasted about.

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  5. My recollection of what McNeill said in respect of remorse, or lack of it, was ‘I will believe those children until the day I die’, The written quote does not do justice to her defiant tone and venom when uttering these words. For me it was the defining moment of the trial, an own goal she didn’t need to score, and this was the point where she lost the jury, her defence counsel, and pretty much everyone else present except for Mary Rooney and her ugly cohorts who, having listened to the evidence, seemed incapable of changing their minds. They were as evil and unrepentant as Sabine McNeill herself.

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    • It’s funny–I remember her saying that too, but was unable to lay hands on the direct quote in my reports from the trial. I do recall the startled look on the jurors’ faces, as all doubt as to Sabine’s guilt was erased.

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      • She didn’t just go ‘foot in mouth’ she went full ‘both size 12’s in mouth’ with that statement…
        I wonder if that was a major part of the length of her sentence, no remorse whatsoever…
        (As usual, EC scores a home run with this report!)

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      • For me it was a ‘show stopping’ line, I didn’t make a note of it, I didn’t need to as I had no option but to remembered it vividly, like a standout line from a play or a song. I’d say not only the judge, defence and prosecution teams, but even the court ushers, security guards and dormice were taken aback by it, and no doubt the judge remembered it when delivering her sentence.

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          • She had so many opportunities to avoid jail – rather as her friend Neelu had numerous ways of avoiding loosing her house. Both of them are so caught up in their own delusional worlds. It is rather sad.

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        • “and no doubt the judge remembered it when delivering her sentence.”

          I wasn’t there the day the actual sentence was delivered because the sentencing hearing overran into a second day held a week or so later, but absolutely, on day one of the sentencing hearing when the defence tried the “she has shown remorse” angle, the judge knocked it down immediately as well as pointing out that her defence’s mitigation of “helpfulness” in taking down her sites only came about after her guilty verdict and not before.

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  6. This is only me surmising about a possible explanation for the transcript mentioning two girls. My understanding is that the courts no longer use stenotypers/palantypists (court reporters)* to record trials in England and Wales but record the trial with an audio recording medium and then have it transcribed into written (well typed) format by means of a form using audio transcribers. Such audio transcribers would be very competent typists of course. I’ve never typed court material but I have a few times audio-typed from (recordings of) meetings were there were multiple speakers (not that many times admittedly). It could be difficult sometimes if there was a lot of background noise (cups and saucers banging about – though I know that wouldn’t happen in a court – or a speaker a long way from the microphone laughing at their own not very funny jokes), I preferred typing one person dictating letters or a document. There only needs to be one sub-optimal tape and it the transcription becomes more difficult.

    A bit off topic but I listened to the video by the retired Liverpool policeman referenced in the twitter feed and appreciated it. The YouTuber was able to make a serious point with some humour.

    * Not a journalist reporter of course – thinking of the stenographers who used to take verbatim recordings of court proceedings with shorthand machines.

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    • Yes, that’s true: it can be much more difficult to work from audio recordings than to sit in person and take shorthand (or in my case, very fast longhand with lots of idiosyncratic abbreviations) notes. I’ve found that the latter method is usually more accurate, though of course not verbatim.

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    • Judges’ decisions are based on what is said in the hearing. No-one in the hearing named the children (for fairly obvious reasons) so it’s a simple question of Leggatt LJ assuming they both of them were girls. It’s the ultimate in irrelevant errors and yet I’m sure it’s going to be seized on (as it is already has been to some extent) as proof that the whole judgement is invalid, even though the case wasn’t about the original hoax at all, it was about stalking the four victims’ families and breaching the restraining order, and on that the court was clearly fully informed.

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  7. Sorry the word “form” here doesn’t mean a form that you fill in (or a midland/northern word for a school bench either) but a method. In retrospect it would have been preferable and clearer if I had said something like “…and then have it transcribed into written (well typed) format using audio transcribers”. (By a transcriber here I don’t mean a machine but a human audio-typist).

    Liked by 1 person

  8. “the sentence passed on the appellant was, if anything, a lenient sentence”.

    That just about lets us know where the Courts stand on crimes like this doesn’t it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I believe we are seeing the beginning of a trend toward the courts having little patience for false allegations and online harassment. Alan Colley’s sentence, and the judge’s sentencing statement, is another example.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. The Greek Oracle, hand maiden to Lord Wanoa has let slip that Matt Taylor has indeed been visited by police. It’s bound to be about his breach of court orders in not naming certain witnesses in the Hampstead case and seeing he put a video online doing just this, he’s gotten off lightly seeing he already has a conviction for harassment.
    Needless to say poor Matt has taken it badly and claimed “the Satanists won”. Still, gives him time now to concentrate on his $multi-million King Arfur Hollywood film extravaganzas which will be filmed on an artificial Moonscape island just off Brighton Pier..

    Liked by 2 people

    • Not only was he visited, but it happened while he was live-streaming, and was captured for posterity. Here’s Surrogate King Charles’ version, sans unwanted fluff. I challenge you not to laugh:

      Liked by 1 person

      • Challenge accepted – and failed…. (only 15 min in and failed multiple times even)

        (I’d dread to think of the length of the original if that’s the ‘sans fluff version!!!)
        :-O

        Liked by 2 people

          • Matt Taylors live stream that was interrupted by the police turning up is an absolute classic. The timing could not have been better and Matt certainly didn’t do himself any favours with the cops.

            Liked by 1 person

      • Also protected witness should be making a formal complaint. These cops are letting this Neanderthal walk all over them. He breaches the law numerous times in this video.
        When will judges crack down on these creeps with real jail time? They take no notice of suspended sentences.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Indeed GOS. I cannot believe that John Paterson, he of the woodchipper fame is still a free man and still posting threats online regularly. Now we are being threatened with ex SAS soldiers who have orders to kill us. Yet again Paterson has warned us all not to use our bank cards, bus passes etc or somehow something will happen to us. I haven’t worked out how this plan of his to get to us through our bank cards etc is supposed to work but I. am sure that John has all of that covered

          Liked by 1 person

    • Oh no- they welcome you with open arms.
      Not Matt of course, 69 votes last time was not quite enough to get him over the line. He should have predicted he would lose when even The Monster Raving Loony Party rejected his application as a loon too far.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ghost, maybe I’m thinking of MPs resigning when they become embroiled in something controversial. I won’t go into the whys and wherefores he was fined but Harvey Proctor resigned after he was fined for committing an offence in the 1980s and Jonathan Aitken was sent to prison admittedly for something totally different.

        Surrogate KC has re-edited the video and uploaded.

        Like

        • Can’t say I know the law on this. I think he was precluded from standing last time in local elections because of his conviction. I know numerous have resigned like Harvey Proctor but I don;t think they have to, just that they would be hounded by their colleagues and probably not get endorsed at the next election.
          I’m old enough to remember when John Stonehouse faked his death on a beach but alas was rumbled in Australia when local cops though he might have been Lord Lucan. I think he was still regarded as an MP and refused to resign even when going through his trial.
          # Plenty of police with criminal records. Personally I think people should be entitled to pursue any career if they have paid the price and done the time.
          ## I can see positives in having an MP who has done serious time.
          ### Not Matt of course though. Total fruit loop.

          Like

          • Disqualifying conditions:

            Councils: You have been sentenced to a term of imprisonment of three months or more, without the option of a fine, during the five years before polling day.

            Parliament: You are disqualified under the Representation of the People Act 1981 if you have been convicted of an offence and have been sentenced to be imprisoned or detained for more than a year and are detained anywhere in the UK, the Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man, or are unlawfully at large.

            If should be noted that suspended sentences count as actual real sentences, i.e. as though you had gone to prison.

            The question with certain individuals is whether contempt, which has a weird status, counts as a criminal conviction in these matters.

            Like

        • I had considered going Monster Raving Loony at one point. Was going to campaign for space on the streets for homeless people outside M.P.’s houses and mobile food banks outside M.P.’s houses too – then I realised that’s not that loony. 🙂

          Liked by 4 people

          • I have stood for parliament five times, each time nominated by a different legally registered political party, the first three times described on the ballot paper as the Alliance For Change candidate, which isn’t an official party. (To learn the method in my youthful madness, please visit http://AllianceForChange.org.uk.) The Prince Arthur, a Wetherspoons in Fleet, was my local, and also that of Alan Hope, leader of the Official Monster Raving Loony party after Lord Sutch: the Alan hope who so cruelly rejected your offer of help, you say. So, at the time, I pointed out that the leaders of four political parties drank in that pub, three of them me, the fourth Alan. You couldn’t make this up, though I promise you that it is true.

            Like

          • I suppose you are different from the “Hugh Jass” who did a “Hansvestigation” of the Hans who has had several channels (says most or all famous people are secret transgender people and zebras are painted horses). He’s either full-blown wackadoodle or a joke channel (by now more than one channel – one gets taken down and another pops up like a bad penny).

            Liked by 1 person

          • I have no connection with the Hugh Jass you mentioned CAW. I’ve never heard of that person before. I am merely a long-time commenter on this fine blog.

            Liked by 1 person

          • You’ve missed nothing by not coming across that person, HJ. Sci Man Dan has done a couple of videos about him.

            Like

    • A “police record”, isn’t a concept I’m familiar with in the context of UK law. It sounds like an AMerican expression.

      At https://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/sites/default/files/2019-07/UKPGE-Part-1-Can-you-stand-for-election.pdf, the Electroal Commission says as follows

      66

      Imprisonment and court decisions

      1.10 You are disqualified under the Representation of the
      People Act 1981 if you have been convicted of an offence and
      have been sentenced to be imprisoned or detained for more
      than a year and are detained anywhere in the UK, the Republic
      of Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man, or are
      unlawfully at large.

      1.11 The nomination of a person disqualified on this basis is
      void, and the (Acting) Returning Officer will reject their
      nomination paper.

      1.12 You are also disqualified under the Representation of the
      People Act 1983 (as amended), if you have been convicted or
      have been reported guilty of a corrupt or illegal electoral
      practice or of an offence relating to donations. The
      disqualification for an illegal practice begins from the date a
      person has been reported guilty by an election court or
      convicted and lasts for three years. The disqualification for a
      corrupt practice begins from the date a person has been
      reported guilty by an election court or convicted and lasts for
      five years.

      99

      The Representation of the People Act 1981 was enacted in the aftermath of the death, in prison, whilst on hunger strike, of Bobby Sands MP, who was elected whilst in prison for (if I remember correctly) armed robbery.

      Like

  10. Looks like the trolls have got Surrogate King Charles’s channel – hopefully it will re-emerge with maybe a different persona.

    Like

  11. I watched just the beginning of the Shaun Attwood interviewing Blower His Own Whistle and I only made it as far as him saying we (I suppose in the UK) are under maritime law because “to bale/bail out” a ship and to make “bail” have the same root. They may share an etymology but it doesn’t mean we are under maritime law for that reason. It’s worrying if someone who upheld the law for a living doesn’t know how it works. https://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/bale-out-bail-out.html I’m beginning to wonder if he’s divorced from reality but with a streak of cunning if you know what I mean. I was depressed by some of the comments about the ‘brave man’. Apparently he is giving out that he is on the run because he is in danger from the police force.

    Don’t get me wrong, if anyone in high places has done wrong they should be held accountable the same as a dustman would be held accountable.

    Like

    • It’s general Freeman of the Land/Sovereign Citizen garbage. Just be careful about your “berth” certificate. They are only one step removed from flat earthers.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I find all this stuff so weird.
      It’s like they have picked a point in history where some laws might have applied and then announced that that’s how it is for all time. Like how Lord Wanoa has decided that of all the British Monarch’s the mostly German King William somehow stopped all progression and history ends at that point and anything that comes after is not legitimate.

      Yet they participate in the new legislation all the time. As a tiny example: HRH Wanoa is in hot water over his NZ pension (ironically first introduced by his hated German Kaiser). NZ has very generous social security benefits all introduced by various governments, left & right over the decades with nary a word about Maritime Law and Wanoa accepts every penny he gets – as he should- and then moans that none of those governments were ever legitimate because of something King William did or didn’t say.

      Neelu is another who cherry picks current laws. mangles them all up with her own version of “Talmudic Law” ( a creation of that Late Great Irish Comedian whose death was faked by GCHQ) and tosses in an “Equity” lawyer’s incomprehensible ramblings and makes amazing pronouncements that a mystery planet is soon to arrive which will herald the beginning of Swissinoodo Cheese Billion $$$ monthly wages for all while “Christian” Angela Power-Disney proclaims the Rapture is about to happen any day now (although she previously said it was happening in 2016) in Lanzarote (very cheap flights to there at the moment) while Andy Devine’s audience shout “hear hear”.

      Anyway think I’ll go back to chatting to the nice brick wall just outside my front door. Never argues back.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Pingback: No remorse: Sabine writes from prison | HOAXTEAD RESEARCH

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