ViewtyJuly 30th – Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court , Chris Spivey found guilty – and vilified by the national media. Guilty of what? See my letter (below) handed in to the Minitry of Justice on August 12th.

Spivey had earlier put out the statement: “The court case is going ahead tomorrow despite my Barrister stating in writing that I cannot get a fair trial without the witnesses there. Apparently the judge has refused to postpone the case despite the appeal being put in to have the witnesses present… That should tell you what the outcome of this Kangaroo Court will beThe bottom line is that this is a fraudulent court case and the rule of law completely ignored

By August 1, Chris had to take down his website by midnight or go to prison. Earlier he announced that the site along with his Facebook page were being deleted.

There was a petition about the right to face one’s accusers in a court of law: Spivey was denied that right – and the petition has been deleted, after getting two thousand signatures.

He was found guilty of two counts of harassment without violence and two counts of malicious communication against Lee Rigby’s mother, Lyn Rigby, and his sister Sara McClure. (He had tried to contact them on Facebook) If those were the charges it seems strange that they did not have to turn up in court to press them.

Did he post up the private street address of the Rigby family? It was a business address (see comments below), already in th public domain.

This is a black day for British justice. What on earth can it mean to swear on oath to tell the ‘absolute truth’ if those making the charge don’t even have to turn up?

Text of the letter I handed in:

To: Judge John Woollard.

Chelmsford Magistrates Court

Dear Sir,

I understand that you are the judge who presided in a magistrate’s court, at Chelmsford on July 30-31. You served an ‘ultimatum’ to Mr Chris Spivey that he take down his entire website (which had received some ten million hits) or go to jail. Then the sentence of your court hearing will be handed down on August 27th.   Quite what a judge was doing in a magistrates’ court, or how an ultimatum could be handed down before any sentence has been given, are minor irregularities compared to the guilt you purport to have found in this case.

Mr Spivey was not allowed to call any witnesses, nor could he even confront his accusers in court. Sir, have you not used hearsay evidence here? He merely requested an interview, and requested a facebook link – both declined – with a member of the Rigby family, and behold! you have formulated this as “ two counts of malicious communication against Lee Rigby’s mother, Lyn Rigby, and his sister Sara McClure”

These are people Mr Spivey has never met – and you find him guilty of “two counts of harassment without violence” Sir, these are public figures, clearly receiving large amounts of charity money, through the ‘Team Lee United Forces Ltd’ (since changed to The Lee Rigby Foundation Ltd.) – set up by Lyn Rigby. This is a limited company, which may look like a charity. So, what is the crime? If Spivey had hung around their homes then we would at least know what you were talking about – but he hasn’t. There is a long tradition of British satire, from Hogarth to Private Eye, and Mr Spivey’s popular website is surely within that tradition, much enjoyed by people who read it. On what grounds have you closed it down?

At your court hearing, a statement by Lyn Rigby was read out, that she ‘cried for weeks’ after Mr Spivey published her personal address on his site. Sir, that was a business address – as your court hearing made clear – of the above-mentioned lucrative business, of which she is a company director, for selling Rigby memorabilia etc. It was already in the public domain. It was given out in the newspapers on reporting the Spivey case – are you going to accuse them? And, since when have British people been found guilty, over a read-out testimony, about some woman crying, who could not even turn up to the court?

You charged Mr Spivey four thousand pounds for court costs. Your judgement was, that he had pursued “a course of conduct to those people [the Rigbys], likely to cause distress.” Is not that an innovative notion of crime, that one can be fined thousands and be threatened with jail merely because of conduct ‘likely to cause distress’? Moreover, as emerged from your Hearing, no-one had even written a letter to Mr Spivey requesting that any offensive content of his site be taken down or adjusted in the preceding years – as one would surely expect, for a case of this kind.

According to newspaper reports of your two-day hearing, Mr Spivey ‘claimed the 25-year-old soldier did not exist’. Are you saying that was a crime? A question-mark does hover over the identity of Drummer Lee Rigby, aka James Lee McClure: I applied to the Registrar’s Office for a copy of the birth certificate of Lee James McClure, born 1st or 4th July 1987, in the North Manchester Hospital, and after four weeks they returned me my ten pounds and said they could not find any such entry.

If you are making such a claim, then your courtroom should have been given a quote from his website to prove that that was his view – that Lee Rigby ‘did not exist.’ I believe you would there have found some difficulty. When Mr Spivey came to talk to our group on the subject (‘911 keeptalking’ group, which meets monthly in London) he somewhat surprisingly would not commit himself on that matter.

If you had requested that Lyn Rigby turn up to the hearing with a birth certificate and a death certificate of Lee Rigby (whether or not she could have done that), then at least you would have had a meaningful event. Instead you have attempted to ruin Mr Spivey’s life and his family without anything which I can see resembling a crime.

That Mr Spivey is a law-abiding citizen, is shown by the way he set up the petition  – which had gained two thousand signatures, before it was mysteriously closed down, at the same time as your court hearing. Did you cause that to happen?

You have apparently found him guilty because he ‘claimed the murder of Lee Rigby was staged.’ Well, a lot of people believe that – i.e., that what happened on 22 May on Artillery Road 2013 was a staged event done by actors. Are you saying it is a crime to hold such a dissident opinion? Most issues concerning ‘Lee Rigby’ seem questionable – was he a drummer or a machine-gunner, was he in Cyprus or Afghanistan, etc, and can any evidence of his existence in these roles be shown? Have you ever heard of a man who changed his name apparently just because his mother re-married? It ought to be the role of British courts to uphold our traditions of freedom of expression.

I suggest, Sir, that that court case of yours was a travesty of justice.

Yours truly,