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Barnardo Furriers court case fails again. Part 2.

Posted in General news by ALib on the April 2nd, 2010

A Camera that Saw
too much.

Read Part 1: 3 Court Cases, 3 Vindications.

So what did Robert catch on his walkabout on the 15th of November? After the demonstration had ended and Barnardo Furriers was closed, Robert pointed his camera at a man who was plainly dressed and standing in front of the shutters of the closed shop. This man was facing to where the activists were now tidying up their posters. This man was facing the activists with a video camera of his own and recording each of them in turn. This man was Inspector McMenamin of Pearse St Garda station and he was collecting intelligence undercover on the activists. By his own admission he was the senior Garda there that day over Sgt Lynch and at least 2 other Gardai.

When Robert was approached by Sgt Lynch, the Sergeant told Robert he didn’t ask for permission to photograph. In court however, Sgt Lynch ignores this and sticks to the line that he hopes will convict Robert. This is that he had allegedly received a complaint from Marie Corbett that Robert had screamed into her face. The Sgt claims he went over to Robert and allegedly


explained this complaint to Robert. The Sergeant also claimed that he quoted section 6 (the law he alleges the complaint fell under) of the Public Orders Act to Robert, and also the immigration act (Identification), along with the penalties attached.

The Sgt. also said that Marie Corbett had identified Robert and the Sgt. then walked over to Robert before arresting him. Robert however had filmed these two together and also filmed the Sgt. leave and walk away from Robert. Marie Corbett swore she saw the Sgt. go over and talk to Robert. Robert’s camera says differently. Robert had recorded this interaction between Marie Corbett and Sgt Lynch and this showed the Sgt. walk away from Robert not towards him.

Robert stated that the Sgt. did not say anything about a complaint, the Immigration Act or the penalties attached to him but instead spoke about not having permission to photograph. Taking video footage or photographs is perfectly legal in a public place. Robert took video footage which later proved his innocence against Marie Corbett’s allegations; a point that can not be overstated.

The last witness for the prosecution was the undercover Inspector. Inspector McMenamin should never have given testimony. The prosecution did not notify Robert that the Inspector was a witness nor did they give Robert a summary of what the Inspector’s evidence might be; both things that Robert had a right to and which the court had ordered. This crippled Robert’s ability to cross examine all of the contradictions of the Inspector. And there were many as the Inspector painted a different picture to the one offered by the other two witnesses of the DPP.

Inspector McMenamin was a vital witness and Robert needed to cross examine him but was left maimed by having no idea of what the Inspector would say.

It was immediately after Robert video taped the Inspector looking straight at Roberts’s camera that the Sergeant talked to the Inspector and then made his move to arrest Robert. This was a short time after Robert happened to capture on film the interaction between Sgt Lynch and Marie Corbett, after which the Sergeant had walked away from Robert and Marie Corbett had left. Robert then walked to the shop beside the fur shop and this is where he filmed the Inspector. Robert then saw the Inspector talk to the Sergeant who was now finished his walkabout of the area opposite to where Robert had been and was since Sgt Lynch left Marie Corbett. When Robert saw this conversation between the Inspector and the Sergeant he walked away from the shop toward the activists as he suspected something was about to happen. And happen it did.

The Inspector recalled for the court this moment he had a conversation with the Sergeant prior to Robert’s arrest, where the Inspector had a general chat to the Sgt. about the protest and then ordered the Sergeant to take everyone’s names and addresses (activists) under the Public Order Act. To take names and addresses of people just because they are protesting is an abuse of the Public Orders Act. Protesting is not a crime.

The Sergeant then arrested Robert. The Audio evidence records the Sergeant saying Robert doesn’t have permission to photograph.

Because of the poor quality Audio of the conversation between Robert and Sgt Lynch it wasn’t provable what was said in entirety at that key moment before Robert’s arrest. The judge leaned with the story told by Sgt Lynch before using the probation act to dismiss the charges against Robert.
This is now the third time Robert walked out of court with all charges dropped. Each time was as a result from an arrest outside of Barnardo Furriers. Inspector Mcmenamin was involved in Robert’s previous arrest also. This undercover inspector was joined this time by a Sergeant and at least 2 other Gardai. The question is why Robert has been dragged through the courts three times. But for now we’ll leave this to the reader to draw their own conclusions.

Robert’s arrest has resulted in more time spent by Robert, Robert’s McKenzie friend, and Robert’s witnesses to appear in court. More time and energy spent labouring over a defense to this case. More time spent worrying about a court case that was propped up by a fictional complaint from Marie Corbett. More time wasted in court, in Garda vans, in handcuffs, in custody. And more time with a bail condition refusing Robert access to the Grafton St area under threat of arrest if he did.

Next Saturday like most Saturdays, activists along with Robert will be campaigning for the same things at the same place as on the 15th of November 2008. There are millions of animals being murdered as you read this and countless billions more will be killed and exploited for human desires by the end of the year. Animals who are not human are largely ignored. They are viewed as things to be used and exploited for human ends. With freedom of expression and the freedom of assembly and association recognized under the Irish Constitution humans can come together and speak on their behalf and help educate for a better world.

Robert and ALiberation would like to once again thank Robert’s McKenzie friend Seán Ryan who worked tirelessly and selflessly for the umpteenth time to combat injustice. Robert and ALiberation would also like to thank Robert’s witnesses and supporters for their help, their encouragement and their time.

For more information on this case please also read Seán Ryan’s article.

More info:

Rob’s First Court Case:
vegaplanet: Animal Rights protest cases are dismissed “Article”.
Indymedia: Case against animal rights demonstrators dismissed “Article”.

Robert’s Second Court Case:
vegaplanet: Unlawful Arrest, Part 1| Witnesses who swear to tell the truth should do so! Part 2.
Indymedia: Attempt To Shut Down Dissent Shut Down “Article”.

Robert’s Third Court Case:
Indymedia: Lynch Mob “Article”.

Reference:

Limerick Leader, Limerick woman is fined for making a false statement to gardai: “Article”.

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