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Latest Letter to Justice Minister

(October 27, 2008)
Open Letter to Kenny MacAskill, MSP, Justice Secretary
 
Mr MacAskill
 
Cronyism, Collusion, Corruption, Cover-up
 
I refer to previous correspondence and recent news reports relating to an interim ASBO that raises serious human rights issues.
 
How is it possible for an ordinary person to be ASBO'd for laughing, staring and clapping in Scotland in 2008 ? The answer is very simple - firstly you should find yourself in a minor dispute with two ex-police officers and a Northern Constabulary employee who have a right of access over your land. The chain of events that then follows can only be described as verging on unbelieveable but is in fact fully supported by hard documentary evidence.
 
Firstly, one of the ex-police officers and his wife start a civil action based on a pack of lies which they soon realise they will lose. The court action drags on and in the intervening period they repeatedly attempt to provoke trouble in order to involve two local police officers who are sympathetic to their position - the purpose is to criminalise me and provide evidence for the civil case and ultimately drive me out of my home. Dozens of completely malicious letters also appear in the local community with the specific purpose of driving me out of the local area - one of the local officers, who is actively promoting the ASBO, conveniently sabotages the investigation to find the culprits. About the same time Highland Council are investigating the ASBO application from our neighbours, I appear at Inverness District Court, which is run by Highland Council, on completely trumped up charges of assaulting one of the neighbours. I am found guilty and the Highland Council "abandon" the appeal in a grossly improper manner to ensure they can base the ASBO on the assault conviction. The Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commision then refer the dubious assault conviction back to the High Court as a miscarriage of justice on the grounds the Justice of the Peace ignored key defence evidence and then made evidence up in private.
 
After repeated delays the civil action eventually comes to court. It takes a remarkable 10 days to try and establish if the neighbours can drive over speed humps, which are 3 inches high and significantly less severe in profile than proprietary humps for the same speed limit. Highland Council are taking a very keen interest in the case and have a solicitor or investigator in the public gallery throughout the 10 days. The documented evidence is overwhelmingly in favour of the defence and the neighbours even admit to having lied about various aspects of the case. The sheriff bizarrely finds them to be credible and reliable witnesses and finds in their favour on that basis - he also shifts the burden of proof from the pursuers to the defender without telling anyone to faciltate his dubious judgement. Independent legal authority on the matter described the judgement as containing a number of "oddities and surprises". Subsequent events relating to the appeal would have put Robert Mugabe to shame.
 
By this time the number of serious irregularities in the various court cases and incidents is so great that a criminal complaint is made to Northern Constabulary alleging various legal figures, solicitors and police officers have not acted impartially. The middle ranking investigating officer, having considered documentary over a number of months, concludes that there is sufficient evidence to warrant interviewing various legal figures including a Sheriff Principal, a Sheriff, a Justice of the Peace, various solicitors, police officers and ex police officers etc. The investigation concludes in July 2008 with all of the suspects cleared of being involved in any criminality but the only problem is that a senior Crown Office official  claims that no such criminal investigation ever took place - indeed he claims that the same investigating officer has confirmed this very point to him in writing.
 
The interim ASBO itself was unbelievably granted on the word of a Highland Council solicitor, who had previously misled the court on another related matter, claiming she had received a phone call from the Northern Constabulary employee, who by this time had clearly perjured herself in another case, claiming her husband, the other ex-police officer, had told her there had been another incident involving myself. Another similar allegation resulted in my 10 year old daughter being put through a court ordeal when one and only witness for Highland Council could not remember what the allegation was, 5 weeks after the alleged incident.
 
Meanwhile the dubious assault conviction referred to the High Court by the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commision is heard on 28 August 2008 and the bench of three senior judges conclude in written judgement the appeal is a load of nonsense and the commission are completely wrong. But in another bizarre twist the High Court judges appear to be party to information they could not possibily have known as part of the appeal process. It also appears that they have not understood the obvious implications of the information and the fact it completely undermines the judgement they have just issued. The same information also clearly demonstrates that Justice of the Peace for the original assault trial is lying to the High Court about how the original appeal against conviction came to be abandoned.
 
Whilst the above is a brief summary of events it should be said that the highest levels of Northern Constabulary and the Crown Office are perfectly aware that the evidence they already have fully supports above. Indeed a senior Northern Constabulary officer has recently requested that I simply hold onto further documented evidence relating to events at the High Court.
 
It would be very easy to believe that some routine police cronyism culminated in the dubious assault trial at the District Court, when that started to unravel the Sheriff Court stepped in with their contrived judgement in support of the District Court. When Northern Constabulary's cack-handed investigation / cover-up of events at the District Court and Sheriff Court was exposed by some off message comments by the Crown Office, the High Court have then been forced to make sure that I am not provided with a further platform to highlight the disgraceful way in which the Scottish Justice System operates in practice. In short, the interests of  justice have come a miserable second to the interests of the justice system.
 
And that, Mr MacAskill, is how an ordinary person ends up being ASBO'd  for laughing, staring and clapping in Scotland in 2008. The sad reality is, parts of the Scottish Justice System still operate on the basis of who you know, not what you know. This particular case has to be one of the starkest examples ever to come to light and is fully supported by evidence.
 
The time is long overdue for a completely independent investigation of the evidence that supports the above. This is clearly not a matter for the Citizens Advice Bureau etc as you have previously suggested. Public confidence and the entire rule of law is being undermined by the systemic and repeated failure of the justice system to address clear evidence of wrong doing within its ranks. Even now I find it hard to believe that this type of behaviour is so readily tolerated by a Scottish Justice System which is supposed to be the envy of the world, according to the First Minister. Mr Salmond has clearly not witnessed what we have over the last 5 years.
 
I look forward to your comments.
 
 
Stuart Hunt
 
 
 

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