APPROVED JUDGMENT (contd… Pages 61 to 65 of 75)
273. The real concern expressed by both claimants in the witness box was that they had been accused of perjury which they said they found to be upsetting and offensive. Mr Malcolm Statman accepted that his upset, apparently, was because he understood the allegations of perjury were without foundation and were ‘ludicrous’. He accepted that if the defendant had used the incorrect legal term (perjury) but in fact had reasonable grounds to complain, as a victim, of a different wrong (procuring his wrongful arrest) his reaction and attitude would have been different.
274. The circumstances giving rise to the defendant’s arrest are identified in a report by Detective Sergeant Simon Mason dated 8th May 2013 produced in evidence by the affidavit of Miss Slater dated 23rd November 2012, in which she seeks to explain the matters of concern which were identified by HHJ Thornton QC in his ruling of 19th November 2011. The circumstances which led to the defendant’s arrest are identified within the exhibits to Miss Slater’s affidavit which reveals as follows (taken from the exhibits adduced in evidence):
275. On the day of the ex parte injunction, Miss Slater gave notice to her local police of the existence of the civil injunction obtained under the Act against the defendant and enclosed a copy of the order. In her email of 2nd November at 16.32 she wrote:
“We confirm that a breach of the attached order carries with it a power of arrest.”
276. On 5th November 2012, the file note recorded the gist of a telephone conversation between Miss Slater and Lincolnshire Police in the course of which she emphasised:
“We need to point out that this order had a power of arrest and that the police needed to go round and carry out the arrest.”
277. An email of 5th November 2012 at 15.39 addressed by Miss Slater, on the claimants’ behalf, to the Lincolnshire Police confirmed that her clients had obtained the civil injunction under the Act. The supporting witnesses of the Statmans was attached. It was stated that the order had been served on the defendant that day via email and invited the police to note that under paragraph 5(a) the defendant was required immediately to take down internet postings about their client and their company and, notwithstanding that order, they still remained posted on the internet. That is, reference was made to the defendant’s comments on the Mirror article (to which reference has been made earlier in this judgment) the defendant’s blog, Stuartsblog.org.wordpress, and the comments on the Daily Express’ website (to which reference has also been made earlier). The letter concluded:
“We therefore believe that the above order has been breached. We confirm that a breach of the attached order carries with it powers of arrest. We would therefore be grateful if the police could attend upon Mr Brown and arrest him for breaching this order. As the breaches relate to internet postings made from Mr Brown’s home, we are advised by West Yorkshire Police that jurisdiction lies with Lincolnshire Police to carry out that arrest. We would be grateful if the police could contact the writer to confirm receipt of this email and that Mr Brown will now be taken into custody.”
278. Miss Slater produced her file note of 6th November 2012 recording a conversation with Lincolnshire Police station, particularly Sergeant Harrow, to which the papers had been referred. It is recorded that the injunction had been breached. Miss Slater was enquiring as to whether it was something that she could draft – that is a further section 9 statement from the victim – or whether Sergeant Harrow was happy with the Leeds Police to take a victim statement from the client.
279. In the email dated 6th November from Nick Statman to Miss Slater in respect of which the claimants waived privilege, Mr Statman complained that he was ‘getting nowhere’. He had been speaking to a policewoman at Holbeck who advised him of the process, and was suggesting that the police were playing ‘pass the parcel’.
280. In her file note of 6th November 2012 in relation to her telephone conversation with that policewoman, Miss Slater recorded that she was very concerned that the order had been breached and that she had notified the police on the Monday morning (following the injunction on the previous Friday). She was not prepared to wait ‘until tomorrow’ to hear back from the police officer as, she complained, Mr Brown ought to have been approached by the police by now in relation to the breaches. Details were taken by the officer.
281. There was a later file note from Miss Slater, this time involving a telephone call with Sue Ireland at the MPT support at Holbeck Police station. This records a lengthy discussion as to whether or not a section 9 statement should be taken. There was concern as to the correct procedure to follow.
282. A further file note of a further conversation later that evening on 6th November 2011, again with Miss Slater speaking with Lincolnshire Police control room records that the purpose of the call was to identify the correct procedure to take matters forward.
283. On 7th November 2012, Miss Slater recorded in her file note her call to Lincolnshire Police enquiring whether the section 9 ‘victim statement’, which was a lengthy handwritten statement produced by Mr Nick Statman for the purpose of having the defendant arrested, had been received.
284. On 7th November 2012 another file note recorded that Miss Slater had chased the police; another call later that day recorded the fact that a chasing message was left with the police.
285. On 8th November 2012 another telephone conversation was recorded in the file note of Miss Slater with PC Walton at Spalding who had been discussing the matter with Detective Sergeant Cherkowski. He explained that he had considered this matter with the sergeant and he was not able to arrest Mr Brown at this time as the sergeant’s view was that the custody sergeant would not accept Mr Brown as there was no proof he had actually been served with the order. The file note concluded:
“In any event, as soon as the order was served and he did not take reasonable (steps) to take the (comments) down, they could go and lock him up anyway for further breaches.”
286. On 8th November 2012, there was a further telephone call between Miss Slater and Detective Sergeant Cherkowski. The file note recorded:
“Although it was very likely that Mr Brown had received the order, he was required to be personally served. Until this was done or we could have proof that he had actually received the order, the police could not attend to arrest him. The detective sergeant went on to explain to ES that he had actually met Mr Brown and Mr Brown had attended the police station approximately three to four weeks ago and made allegations against the Statmans for common law assault. Apparently, this assault was during a meeting and Mr Brown was prevented from leaving the room. He also made allegations about Gateway Homes and asked the police to investigate them for international fraud and various other things. The police have told Mr Brown that the common assault ought to have been reported at the time and there was a limitation upon this. He therefore told him to go away and they were quite unsympathetic to his situation.”
287. Miss Slater and the sergeant discussed what could next be done:
“Basically, since we had proof that Mr Brown had been served i.e. a tracking number confirming that he had signed for delivery of these papers, they could go round and lock him up.”
288. On 13th November 2012, Miss Slater had a further telephone call, this time to the Boston police station, enquiring about the progress and informing them that the blogs about which complaint had been made previously remained in position. Mr Willis (at the station) asked Miss Slater what Mr Brown was like. Miss Slater explained that Mr Brown was a particularly difficult individual who, at this stage, was simply refusing to back down on the matter. An email was sent that day confirming the offending blogs constituted a breach of the order.
289. There was a further call that day from Miss Slater to the Lincolnshire Police:
“Mr Willis apologised but he had not had chance to go and arrest Mr Brown today. They had been particularly busy with other urgent matters. He confirmed that in the circumstances they would be going to detain Mr Brown tomorrow.”
290. On 15th November 2012 at 9.37hrs Miss Slater at made a telephone call to Lincolnshire Police again enquiring about progress; the file note recorded that: Miss Slater indicated at this point that she wanted to make a complaint. She explained that the matter had been reported on the Monday morning. She complained that as of yet nobody had been to see Mr Brown and he was not being detained. Miss Slater explained that there was a breach of the harassment injunction which had occurred last week and all the documents had been prepared. A section 9 victim statement had been taken. Miss Slater thought it was unacceptable. A breach had occurred and Mr Brown was still ‘not locked up’. Sarah took down details from Miss Slater, including a personal mobile, and would get back by way of a sergeant or inspector as soon as possible. Miss Slater stressed that she did want somebody to speak to her as soon as possible.
291. Later that day, at 11.30 am there was another phone call between Miss Slater and Sergeant Harrow who said ‘they had been busy and not had chance to go round and detain Mr Brown’. He informed Miss Slater he was planning to leave this until five o’clock for the officer dealing to return on duty. Miss Slater expressed dissatisfaction at this course of events and highlighted that she had first logged this on Monday of this week and she felt that sufficient time had now passed for Mr Brown to be detained. Sergeant Harrow seemed unconcerned by Miss Slater’s complaint. Miss Slater eventually concluded the conversation by saying (the note records) that she wanted to escalate this matter and wanted somebody else to look into it, that it was not acceptable to be left in abeyance any longer. Sergeant Harrow confirmed he would ask the inspector to call back. Inspector MacAllister duly called back and appreciated, according to this note, that Mr Brown ought to have been arrested yesterday. Miss Slater clarified that this was not ‘yesterday’, that she had first logged this on Monday and was told that Mr Brown would be arrested on Tuesday. Miss Slater acknowledged that there were other urgent matters. However, it had now been three days and Mr Brown was still not in custody. Sergeant Harrow confirmed to Miss Slater he would not leave this until five o’clock and would ask this to be dealt with as a matter of urgency. He confirmed that Mr Brown would be detained as soon as possible. He would call Miss Slater with an update in due course.
292. At 12.15 on 15th November 2012, Miss Slater received a call from Sergeant Harrow confirming that the police had been round to arrest Mr Brown but he was not there and neighbours confirmed that he usually leaves the house early and returns late at night. The police will return later. The note concluded “Asked Sergeant Harrow to let me know.”
293. There then followed an email from Ingmar Collinson at Lincolnshire Police to Miss Slater, concerning the breach of harassment and arrest request of Mr Brown, stating that further attempts had been made that afternoon and late tonight with a negative result. It was noted in passing that the case appeared to be somewhat complex “in comparison with the usual incidents that we deal with”.
294. PC Collinson noted:
“In order that you have a single point of contact over the next few days rather than dealing with different shifts and their supervisors, I will retain ownership of this investigation for the next few days until Brown has been successfully located and arrested. I am on a further shift late tomorrow followed by two full night shifts before going on to days off. I will make a further arrest attempt when on shift tomorrow evening and will update you when he is arrested.”
Miss Slater responded immediately:
“Thank you for updating me. I will have access to my emails over the weekend but would be grateful if in the first instance you could contact me on my mobile when Mr Brown is detained.”
“It does occur to me,” said Miss Slater “that Mr Brown may now be aware that the police are trying to arrest him and be avoiding the police or his home (as he has done when we have tried to have him personally served with court documents). What is the procedure in relation to this?”
295. 17th November 2012, the police send an email to Miss Slater saying that a further arrest attempt had been made at his home address but with negative result. The file note of the morning on 19th November 2012 recorded:
“Voicemail from Lincs Police at 2.55am. PC Collinson from Spalding station called to confirm that at 1.30am Mr Brown was arrested at his home address. He is now being held in custody at Boston.”
296. The file note shows that Miss Slater spoke again to Lincolnshire Police at 9.15am on 19 November 2012; John Winter was calling from the custody unit and confirmed to Miss Slater that Mr Brown was detained in custody.
“However, they are currently trying to sort out where to send Mr Brown. There is some confusion at this stage as to whether Mr Brown needs to go to the RCJ or whether it is the local Magistrates Court. He will contact the court and come back to ES.”
297. There is another file note produced by Miss Slater of the same date referring to another call from Lincolnshire Police:
“ES engaged at 10am speaking with Lincolnshire Police. Sergeant Alford calling. He confirmed to ES that he is confused at this stage as to what they are actually meant to be doing with Mr Brown. He believes a warrant ought to have been issued for Mr Brown’s arrest. He was therefore somewhat concerned that they may be holding Mr Brown unlawfully and he may need to be released.”
Miss Slater recorded that she would ‘look into this and will revert’.
298. A little later that day another file note refers to another call from Lincs Police, at 11am:
“Miss Slater is engaged in receiving telephone call at 11am from PC Harvey. He reiterated the previous conversation with Miss Slater he had had with Sergeant Alford. He said at this stage they did not actually know what to do with Mr Brown. They were concerned that they were holding him unlawfully and he was unlawfully detained. They were trying to send him over to Boston Court but Boston Court did not want him. They were therefore considering approaching the Royal Courts of Justice to ask them what to do. Miss Slater said that she did not believe that Mr Brown was being unlawfully detained. However, she is looking at the position and will revert.”
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Mr Nicholas Charles Statman aka Nick teflon-coat Statman
Mr Malcolm Robert Statman aka Malcolm bully-boy Statman
Gateway Homes Nationwide Franchise Ltd / Whitehall Franchise Ltd (in liquidation from August 2014)
Gateway Homes UK Ltd
(Other trading companies / names in operation –
CXI 92 LIMITED
KINGSBRIDGE AND CARTER LTD
SPEEDY PROPERTIES LTD
TOM CRAVEN LIMITED
ROBERT CHARLES PROPERTY LIMITED
GATEWAY HOMES RENTALS UK LIMITED
GATEWAY HOLDINGS (UK) LIMITED
GATEWAY HOMES RENTALS UK LIMITED
PROP BUY LTD
ROOST UK LIMITED)
Claimants Legal Team (upto end July 2014) –
Miss Kaye Longhorn – Cohen Cramer Solicitors(apparently now departed employment)
Miss Emily Slater – Cohen Cramer Solicitors(apparently now been fired) aka Miss Emily I-am-the-law Slater
Miss Gemma Bowkett – Cohen Cramer Solicitors(apparently now departed employment)
Mr Michael McDonnell – Cohen Cramer Solicitors
Mr Matthew Richardson – Barrister @ Henderson Chambers aka Mr Matthew tweedledum Richardson (Ex-UKIP General Secretary … that didn’t last long!)
Mr Adam Richardson – Barrister @ Warwick House Chambers aka Mr Adam tweedledee Richardson
Claimants Legal Team (post July 2014) –
Miss Clare Painter – Group Manager, Gateway Homes UK Ltd aka Jane Wood (trying to act as a McKenzie Friend)
Mr Nick Statman – acting as a Litigant In Person
Mr Stuart Brown – acting as Litigant In Person, represented at Trial by Miss Omar