Barton Moss protector, Colin Gong, couldn't wait for his day in court this week where he was being charged by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for `wilfully obstructing the highway' (which subsequently wasn't deemed a `highway' by a judge and the charge was subsequently changed to `obstructing a police officer in his duty') on Barton Moss Road leading up to the IGas exploratory drilling site in Salford.
Video footage, taken at the time of his arrest by Greater Manchester Police (GMP), shows Colin constantly trying to reason with police officers as to why walking down the side of a public footpath was `wilfully obstructing the highway'.
`What am I obstructing?' he asks `What offence am I committing?...I've been walking down the side of this road for three weeks, what's changed?'
While Colin is still trying to ask such questions he is arrested and taken away. He wanted the footage to be shown in court. He was still looking for an explanation. He wanted a judge to view the footage. But before the case got to court he was informed by his legal representative at Robert Lizar Solicitors that the case against him had been dropped.
Colin immediately wrote an open letter to Greater Manchester Police and the Crown Prosecution Service which he posted on Facebook…
`Oh dear GMP…you really are crooked aren't you?
This morning I received a letter from Lizar's as formal notification that for my first case (which was due for trial today), the charges had been 'dropped'…To quote exactly from the letter: 'The decision to discontinue these charges has been taken because there is not enough evidence to provide a realistic prospect of a conviction'
'NOT ENOUGH evidence'... are you guys for real???
So there is a strong inference there that some kind of offence was committed, and they have 'some' evidence - but 'NOT ENOUGH' to provide a realistic prospect of conviction'.
So let's get this straight shall we GMP/CPS...
The whole of the four minute episode in question was filmed, at very close proximity, by one of your so called 'evidence gatherers', as well as being watched by the trained eyes of at least six of your officers, who were also only yards away and were watching the whole incident like hawks, so keen were they to spot any offence...and now you say you have 'NOT ENOUGH EVIDENCE' of the supposed crime???....REALLY???
GMP/CPS are you for real?
As far as I can see, there are only two ways your statement can be interpreted…
The first is that your 'evidence gatherers' are hopelessly incompetent, and the observational skills of your officers are a joke?
The second, and more plausible of the two, is that you are giving a covert admission that you are fully aware that NO offence was actually committed by the one you kidnapped and then falsely imprisoned for the day...before releasing him with a note to tell him if he went back to the scene of the 'non-crime', you would methodically carry out the act of kidnapping and falsely imprisoning him all over again.
I suggest that if you were honest, you would actually be saying something more like this:
'The decision to discontinue these charges has been taken because in spite of having high quality video footage of the whole incidence in question, and it being closely scrutinised as it happened by several of our officers who were present, we have absolutely NO evidence of any offence being committed by the accused…
`…And further to that, we know that you also have high quality video footage of the episode, and that proves conclusively that the ones who committed the alleged offence of 'obstructing the highway' were actually uniformed officers of the GMP. So we can't actually go to court with this case as it would expose how crooked our conduct on Barton Moss Road has been during the the months of the fracking protests…
Sorry for all the inconvenience...and please do let us know if there is anything we can now do to move the matter towards where it can be concluded in such a way as meets with your approval…'.
Nice idea eh! But, alas, all gathered here will know we currently have a police force who value their sham of an appearance of credibility more than they value the real credibility that they would eventually earn by being honest, first with themselves, and then as an extension of that with us.
And let's face it, shall we GMP, if you WERE honest, the whole incidence would not have occurred in the first place.
Over the last two weeks, a total of 21 cases* have now been either dropped, withdrawn during trial, or acquitted as NOT guilty, and during that time not a single conviction has been achieved by the GMP/CPS...
So that is now 21 people, arrested and charged with various offences, without a single crime having taken place…
What an outrageous and shocking waste of public funds. GMP, shame on you! It is a very sorry state of affairs…'
The Barton Moss trials - with a total of 330 charges - continue all this month and throughout the summer…
See also previous Salford Star article on the Barton Moss Trials - click here and click here and click here
* the discrepancy between Salford Star figure of 17 cases dropped or lost and Colin's figure of 21 arises because of four more cases which have apparently been dropped but not yet been made public.