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BRUTALISED BARTON MOSS ANTI-FRACKING MUM DETERMINED TO GET GREATER MANCHESTER POLICE CASE TO COURT
 

Star date: 16th March 2015

VANDA DETERMINED TO CLEAR NAME AND GET GMP TO EXPLAIN BRUTAL ACTIONS

Today at Manchester Magistrates' Court, Vanda Gillett, the mother brutally arrested by Greater Manchester Police at Barton Moss a year ago, dramatically attempted to change her plea to `not guilty' on one of the charges.

The Crown Prosecution Service had indicated that it would drop two charges of obstructing and assaulting police officers, and would accept a guilty plea to assaulting a detention officer. But Vanda is determined to clear her name and get the GMP into court to explain its actions. The case was adjourned until 6th May.

Full details here...


Vanda Gillett with supporters outside the Court Vanda Gillett brutally arrested at Barton Moss Vanda Gillett brutally arrested at Barton Moss
Vanda Gillett brutally arrested at Barton Moss Vanda Gillett brutally arrested at Barton Moss Vanda Gillett brutally arrested at Barton Moss
Vanda Gillett with supporters outside the Court
click image to enlarge

The Salford Star photograph of mum, Vanda Gillett, pinned to the ground by a smiling officer from Greater Manchester Police Tactical Aid Unit (TAU) officer, came to symbolise the community's experience with the local police at the Barton Moss anti-fracking camp in Salford.

During the days following the brutal arrest last March, almost 60,000 people around the world read the Salford Star report and saw the photos of a burly TAU officer with his arms around Vanda's neck, her mouth pouring with blood, her face in agony (see here).

Incredibly, Vanda was subsequently charged with resisting a constable in the execution of his duty, assaulting a constable in the execution of his duty and assaulting a detention officer. At the time, she pleaded guilty to the latter charge and not guilty to the other two charges.

Today, at Manchester Magistrates' Court, Vanda was due to be sentenced on the detention officer assault charge, with the Crown Prosecution Service indicating that it would drop the other two charges against her. However Vanda, via her barrister, Laura Barbour, decided to `vacate', or change, her guilty plea. And, instead of sentencing, the case against her was adjourned until May 6th so that she can submit a written application stating why she wants to change her plea.

If the application is successful then all three charges will be heard in court and the GMP will have to publicly explain its actions during the brutal arrest.

"The application is a real uphill battle but she feels very strongly about it and there is a sense of high feeling" Laura Barbour told the Salford Star after today's hearing

"The advice I gave Vanda is that she has to live with it forever, and if you plead guilty to something you didn't do you've got to lay your head on the pillow every night and sleep" she added "From what I've seen I think she'd find that very difficult."

Outside the Court, Vanda, accompanied by her children, explained why she is attempting to change her plea to not guilty...

"Obviously after what had happened at Barton Moss I was really, really scared" she said "They wouldn't bring the evidence of what had happened at Barton Moss, they only wanted to try me on what had happened in the police station, just so they can get a guilty charge."

Steve Spy, who was at Barton Moss during the arrest last March, added: "The GMP just wanted to get an easy guilty plea for the ridiculous incident in the cells where Vanda has accidentally caught a detention officer with no intent to injure him. They wanted to concentrate on that case and drop the other charges which are clearly bogus, as we've got video footage from multiple angles showing that she didn't assault the PC and there was no way she was obstructing anyone.

"These are clearly ridiculous charges and they now want to brush them under the carpet" he added "As they were pushing us away from the area of arrest they were punching and kicking Vanda. It was a ludicrous assault, there was blood coming from her teeth. It was brutal treatment by the Tactical Aid Unit of the GMP."

Vanda has still not recovered from the injuries she sustained almost exactly a year ago. She has a frozen shoulder, is under the care of a chiropractor and has been told it will be at least a couple of years until she fully recovers.


 Today's hearing at Manchester Magistrates' Court was marred in controversy as the microphones in court weren't working, meaning no-one in the glassed off public gallery could hear what was happening in what was supposed to be an open court.

 When the Salford Star reporter tried to move into the press box within the court he was barred, with the court administrator saying it was full despite there being at least four empty seats. The Salford Star and other attendees will be making an official complaint.

Main photo by Steven Speed


G. Rumpie wrote
at 13:58:48 on 17 March 2015
The sooner the world realises that "Human Rights" are a thing of the past as far as the Police and authorities are concerned, the sooner people might wake up to the fact that corporations and crooked politics are controlling the world now

Julia Cardose wrote
at 05:27:45 on 17 March 2015
I was shocked to watch the lack of care given to her as she lay unconscious on the wet footpath at Barton Moss with police around her. There were enough witnesses, photos and video's to show that it is not her that should be in the dock. If anything she was upholding the police oath of serving and protecting the public; and brutalised for her integrity.

Debbie Jackson wrote
at 05:27:40 on 17 March 2015
Totally agree that the truth of what happened to Vanda that day needs to be put before the courts. The violence used by TAU that day was way over the top and out of order We asked politely for the speaker to be turned on and were blatantly lied to by a G4S worker who said it wasn't working. We know he lied because although a little quiet we could hear the case prior to Vanda's. When we complained afterwards we were told the maintenance of the building is G4S responsibility as they own the building!

sonia mclay wrote
at 05:27:24 on 17 March 2015
Like Vanda i fought the authorities 20 years ago over the Airth sites and am continuing the campaign to get UGE extraction stopped on the grounds of Heath, environmental impact, protection of badgers and wildlife and more.... everyone is entitled to a fair hearing and their hman rights Respect for inherent dignity, individual autonomy including the freedom to make one's own choices, and independence of persons; Non-discrimination; Full and effective participation and inclusion in society; Respect for difference and acceptance of persons as part of human diversity and humanity; Equality of opportunity; Accessibility; Equality between men and women!

sonia mclay wrote
at 05:27:12 on 17 March 2015
Vanda should continue with her plea of not guilty. in my opinion Vanda should be exonerated* for acting in the best interests of her children and her community, and the case dismissed The term sustainable development comes from Our Common Future, & Brundtland Commission in 1987 . Sustainable development is the kind of development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. promotes that while the "environment" was previously perceived as a sphere separate from human emotion or action, and while "development" was a term habitually used to describe political goals or economic progress, it is more comprehensive to understand the two terms in relation to each other "We can better understand the environment in relation to development and we can better understand development in relation to the environment, because they cannot and should not be distinguished as separate entities" "...the "environment" is where we live; and "development" is what we all do in attempting to improve our lot within that abode. The two are inseparable." The two key concepts of sustainable development are: the concept of "needs" in particular the essential needs of the world's poorest people, which should be given overriding priority; and the idea of limitations imposed by the state of technology and social organization on the environment's ability to meet both present and future needs.([7]Wikipedia) it is time that people can stand up and be counted / heard by our authoritarian masters ( MP,MSP, police and all) are elected by the people and paid by them too. * exonerated + absolve (someone) from blame for a fault or wrongdoing. "an inquiry exonerated those involved" synonyms: absolve, clear, acquit, declare innocent, find innocent, pronounce not guilty, discharge;

Edwina Hodkinson wrote
at 19:33:19 on 16 March 2015
It was like a secret court.. no one to hear what happened as the microphones were turned off even though they were working for the previous case. The reporter was not even allowed in.. This is British justice today.... Vanda is an amazing brave woman.. who has put community and protection of the water, the land and our children before herself. she is a true heroine.

christine steele wrote
at 18:19:39 on 16 March 2015
All admiration for Vanda's change of plea. The court should see what many of the public, her fellow "Protectors"and GMP know. It was far from a "fair cop" when she was arrested. The truth will now become a matter of public record. Goddess Bless and keep her strong

A. Layne wrote
at 18:19:22 on 16 March 2015
The Salford People are with Vanda on this. We are heartily sick of TAU thugs , police violence and fit -ups . Every police criminal must be charged and jailed. No exceptions.

Chaz wrote
at 18:19:08 on 16 March 2015
Microphones turned off and the Star barred from the court?!? The whole things bent as ****

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