Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Sheriff in £1/2Million trial of anti abuse campaigner failed to declare relationship with Lord Advocate on Northern Lighthouse Board ‘lawyers club’

Sheriff Principal was Lighthouse Board Commissioner along with Angiolini for TEN YEARS, failed to declare at trial. Sheriff Principal Edward Bowen who heard Scotland’s most expensive ever Breach of the Peace trial of anti abuse campaigner Robert Green and subsequently found Mr Green guilty of committing a breach of the peace over an attempt to hand out leaflets in Aberdeen during February 2010, is today alleged to have failed to declare a relevant relationship with one of the central characters of the trial, former Lord Advocate Dame Elish Angiolini DBE QC who served as a Commissioner along with Sheriff Principal Bowen on the Northern Lighthouse Board together with a large, if curious gathering of senior members of the legal profession, the judiciary & prosecutors which includes the current boss of the Crown Office, Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland, and his deputy, the Solicitor General, Lesley Thomson.

Detailed documents shown to Scottish Law Reporter reveal Dame Angiolini and Sheriff Principal Bowen were Commissioners at the Northern Lighthouse Board for around TEN YEARS, until both resigned, within 24 hours of each other during 2011. It has now transpired Sheriff Bowen “was the preferred choice of COPFS” to hear the trial against Green during the time the Sheriff served with Angiolini on the NLB.

Several records of meetings held by the Northern Lighthouse Board where the Sheriff & Lord Advocate Angiolini were both present, are available on the NLB’s website here NLB Minutes-of-Meetings The Sheriff & then still serving Lord Advocate attended three meetings on 22 February 2010, 01 June 2010 and 28 February 2011, dates which tally with the period of Green’s arrest & initial hearings.

Unusually there has been no reference made by Sheriff Principal Bowen in the trial to his previous relationship with the former Lord Advocate, who headed the Crown Office when Green was charged with breach of the peace for attempting to hand out leaflets in Aberdeen calling for an inquiry into allegations made by downs syndrome victim Hollie Greig of child abuse. Sheriff Principal Bowen also blocked the appearance of Dame Angiolini at the trial of Green, despite his legal team citing her as a witness, featured on Scottish Law Reporter HERE

Stonehaven Sheriff Court officials refused to confirm Sheriff Bowen’s status. A letter handed over to Scottish Law Reporter today reveals Sheriff Court officials at Stonehaven Sheriff Court have REFUSED to elaborate on Sheriff Bowen’s relationship with Angiolini, or confirm whether the Sheriff Principal did tell the court of his association with the former Lord Advocate. A member of the staff at Stonehaven Sheriff Court took an angry tone over enquiries made on the Sheriff’s relationship with Angiolini, saying : “I am not in a position to confirm or deny that Sheriff Principal Bowen failed to disclose to the court his relationship with Elish Angiolini, and I do not think it would be proper to enter into any further correspondence on the matter.”

Legal experts say the Sheriff should have declared his interest and immediately recused himself from the trial. A solicitor commenting on the matter today was of the opinion Mr Green’s rights as an accused had been breached.

Meanwhile a campaigner speaking to Scottish Law Reporter this morning said there should be an independent investigation to establish whether the Sheriff Principal deliberately concealed the information from the trial.

Mr Green has written more about the apparent conflicts of interest on his web blog : holliedemandsjustice-robertgreensblog

A reminder of previous events in the trial of anti abuse campaigner Robert Green can be viewed in earlier coverage by Scottish Law Reporter HERE and further coverage of the Hollie Greig case along with a recent investigation into the knighthood of Angiolini, apparently recommended by the Scottish Government.

NMG0505123Former Lord Advocate now Dame Elish Angiolini employed Cayman Islands hopping lawyers from Glasgow. Reporting on the background of the case, Robert Green was arrested by Police on 12th February 2010 in relation to a breach of the peace alleged to have been committed in Aberdeen when Mr Green attempted to hand out leaflets regarding the anti-abuse campaign. It was also revealed the then Lord Advocate, now Dame Elish Angiolini had employed private law firm Levy McRae to serve interdicts on Mr Green in connection with his campaign to ‘out’ alleged abusers of downs syndrome victim Hollie Greig. Glasgow law firm Levy McRae who later represented shamed former Glasgow City Council Boss & Cocaine addict Steven Purcell, proceeded to threaten several media outlets & journalists over their reporting of the case, covered by Scottish Law Reporter HERE & HERE. The Purcell scandal caused some newspapers to ‘evaluate’ their relationship with Levy McRae, details of which were featured in a report here : HERE

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskillJustice Secretary Kenny MacAskill worked at, has ties to same law firm used by then Lord Advocate Elish Angiolini in interdict case. As details of the case began to be reported in the wider press, it emerged the Scottish Justice Secretary, Kenny MacAskill had links to LEVY MCRAE, the law firm employed by the then Lord Advocate Elish Angiolini in legal action against Mr Green. Mr MacAskill has made no comment on the fact he served his apprenticeship at Levy McRae and also worked at the firm for a considerable time during his years as a solicitor before he entered politics, while he is thought to have backed Dame Angiolini in her actions at the time. The revelations were reported by Scottish Law Reporter at the time, HERE.

Northern Lighthouse Board – A haven for lawyers, judges and prosecutors

A perusal of the list of Commissioners of the Northern Lighthouse Board reveals some very interesting personalities from the Scots legal world, which include senior Sheriffs, the current Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland and his Solicitor General Lesley Thomson, and a host of others in a curious mix of unexpected legal world dominance.

http://www.nlb.org.uk/AboutUs/BoardBusiness/List-of-Commissioners/

Sheriff Principal Alastair Dunlop QC (Chairman) Sheriff Principal of Tayside, Central & Fife

Captain H Michael Close (Vice-Chairman), Elected by the Commissioners

Frank Mulholland QC, Lord Advocate

Lesley Thomson QC, Solicitor General of Scotland

Sheriff Principal Bruce Kerr QC, Sheriff Principal of North Strathclyde

Sheriff Principal Brian Lockhart. Sheriff Principal of South Strathclyde, Dumfries and Galloway

Sheriff Principal Craig Scott, Sheriff Principal of Glasgow and Strathkelvin

Sheriff Principal Mhairi Stephen, Sheriff Principal Lothian and Borders

Sheriff Principal Sir Stephen Young Bt QC, Sheriff Principal of Grampian, Highlands and Islands

Rev Dr George Grubb, The Rt Hon The Lord Provost of Edinburgh

Councillor Robert Winter, The Rt Hon The Lord Provost of Glasgow

Councillor Peter Stephen, Lord Provost of Aberdeen

William Petrie OBE JP DL, Convener of the Council of Argyll and Bute

Councillor Sandy Park, Convener of Highland Council

Sir Andrew Cubie CBE, Nominated by the Department for Transport and elected by the Commissioners

Robert Quayle, Nominated by the Lieutenant Governor of the Isle of Man and elected by the Commissioners

Alistair Mackenzie, Elected by the Commissioners

John Ross CBE FRAgS, Elected by the Commissioners

Alistair Whyte, Elected by the Commissioners

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

quango alert!

Anonymous said...

What concerns me more is the makeup of this Northern Lighthouse Board and all those lawyers on it.

How did this come to be?

Also if the same Lord Advocate who just prosecuted Green is on the same quango and goes to the same meetings etc how on earth can Green or anyone else for that matter get a fair trial?

If something as innocuous sounding as the Northern Lighthouse Board is populated by the top honchos in the legal establishment then what other societies quangos or clubs out there are just waiting to be discovered doing the same.

Anonymous said...

Yes me too I'm going to find out who is on a few charities I know about because if lawyers are involved on their boards its fairly obvious where the money will be going - ON THEM

dognamedblue said...

I used to work at the NLB at their head office. all the board were judges or equivalent back in the 90's. was racially assaulted on 4 occasions, black eyes, busted mouth, nose, strangled so bad I struggled to talk the next day. was told they been after the culprits for some time, so they'd sort it out as long as I didn't go to the police, they did, they sacked me. I can tell a juicy story or two on what's been hushed up at that place

Anonymous said...

The first 10 people on that Commissioner list of the NLB must be earning over a million between them.

Reason enough to ensure anyone who scraps with the legal system gets the shit end of the stick.

Legal Beagle said...

dognamedblue

contact
scottishlawreporter@gmail.com with more on your story

Anonymous said...

The letter sounds very angry.Lots to hide of course.

Anonymous said...

NLB is an Organization which maintain Aids to Navigation around the coast of Scotland and the Isle of Man.

So why is there 100's of lawyers and judges controlling it ?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Lighthouse_Board

The board is based at its Georgian headquarters in George Street in the centre of Edinburgh from where it remotely monitors its network. Technical operations are carried out from a base in Oban, Argyll and Bute, where there are maintenance workshops and facilities for the construction of buoys and beacons. The NLBs vessels are also based here. The Oban depot has been recently modernised.

Under the terms of the Scotland Act 1998, the NLB is not a devolved body and thus remains directly accountable to the UK Secretary of State for Transport. In practice, close co-operation is made with both the Scottish Government and the Isle of Man Government. The NLB is funded by pooled light dues administered by the UK's Department of Transport and distributed to the NLB, Trinity House and Commissioners of Irish Lights.

Lawyers and judges have to arrange all this ?

Why the heck arent they in court where they should be cleaning up crime instead of farting about on quangos getting paid even more?

The Commissioners

Most of the Commissioners have always been ex officio appointments. The original Commissioners appointed in 1786 were the Scottish law agents of the Crown, the Sheriffs of Scotland's coastal counties, and the Lord Provosts and Provosts of Scottish cities and towns with strong mercantile interests. Reform of local government and sherriffdoms have since resulted in changes.

The current Commissioners of Northern Lighthouses are the Lord Advocate and the Solicitor General for Scotland; the Lords Provost of Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen, the conveners of Highland Council and Argyll and Bute Council; the Sheriffs Principal of all the sheriffdoms in Scotland; a Manx representative nominated by the Lieutenant Governor of the Isle of Man and appointed by the Secretary of State; and up to five co-opted Commissioners.

Sounds like some outdated and bent UNIONIST institution worth SCRAPPING in an INDEPENDENT SCOTLAND

Get rid of all these hangers on and put the proper people in charge - TRANSPORT SCOTLAND.

Liberty Scotland said...

Hi all,

For Liberty Scotland's take on this please see: http://www.liberty-scotland.net/pages/LS-fair-trial-legal-submission.htm

LS has been, amongst other fair trial issues, actively raising the issue of the set up of the Northern Lighthouse Board for quite a while.

Good luck and happy reading...

Tom Muirhead on behalf of Liberty Scotland.

Anonymous said...

You could have some nice private conversations on that large ship that hops between the light-houses up that way...just saying.

Anonymous said...

Nice to have the confirmation in the letter - clearly he did not disclose his post along with Angiolini.

How many other cases could this affect?I hope a few from the Aberdeen area are reading this right now and thinking about appealing their convictions.

Anonymous said...

Yes well spotted the nlb is a UNIONIST HAVEN we can do without and experienced people should be in charge of the lighthouses as well as our own coast not some lawyers and judges who cant even replace a lightbulb.

Would anyone send a lawyer to save a sinking ship?Hell No.So why are they creaming off the top to keep this quango in cash.

I dont need to say it.Vote against this UNIONIST TYRANNY in the INDEPENDENCE REFERENDUM.

Anonymous said...

To Tom Muirhead of Liberty Scotland

Thank you for that good link you posted it is terrific to know you are campaigning like this.I hope Mr Green and many others take notice of what you said on that page especially the following

Issue 2 – All Sheriff Principals have a link to the Scottish Ministers that automatically disqualifies them from hearing any case as they work together on the board of a corporate body.

The Facts:

36. The Scottish Ministers (via the Lord Advocate) and all Sheriff Principals sit together on the board of a corporate body. This corporate body is known as The Northern Lighthouse Board.

The Law:

37. It is well known, well established and well settled that a judge is automatically disqualified from sitting in any case where he or she has a link to a party to the case: See Pinochet, Re [1999] UKHL 52 (15 January 1999); Sellar v. Highland Railway Co. 1919 S.C. (H.L.) 19 at pages 20-21; R v. Sussex Justices, Ex parte McCarthy [1924] K.B. 256, 259; Davidson v Scottish Ministers 2005 1 SC (HL) 7 and R v Abdroikof [2007] UKHL 37.

38. The European Court of Human Rights has consistently held that the protections offered to an accused by article 6 do not cease after the initial trial or hearing. They must be guaranteed throughout the whole process and that includes any appeal. Further, the state has a positive duty to ensure that all litigants can receive a ‘fair hearing’ at all stages of the litigation: See Delcourt v Belgium (1970) 1 EHRR 335, para 25; V v UK (1999) EHRR 121

39. This area of law is so well known that all legal professionals in Scotland are well aware that while the situation described above exists it is impossible for anybody to receive a ‘fair trial’ or a ‘fair hearing’ in Scotland. See all of Pinochet

40. Please note that since Devolution in 1998 all litigation potentially involves the Scottish Ministers, all criminal proceedings are prosecuted by the Scottish Ministers and that Sheriff Principals regularly sit on criminal appeals: Section 2, The European Communities Act 1972; Section 7(1)(b) The Human Rights Act 1998; The Scotland Act 1998. In the criminal appeal Amy Leigh-Ann Anderson v. Procurator Fiscal, Dunfermline [2009] HCJAC 99 the bench consisted of Lady Paton, Sheriff Principal Bowen and Sheriff Principal Lockhart.

IT IS TIME THIS JUDICIAL DICTATORSHIP CONTROL OF SCOTLAND AND OUR HUMAN RIGHTS IS ENDED

Anonymous said...

Agreed the Northern Lighthouse Board is nothing short of a unionist front for ripping us off just like the Crown Estate swindle of our own coast & shoreline

Christ people wake up and vote 100% for independence in 2014 to get rid of all these quangos and unionist stooges sucking our blood dry

Anonymous said...

Could they all be brown nosing?

http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article-23515817-princess-annes-secret-personal-quest-to-visit-every-lighthouse-in-scotland.do

Anonymous said...

This is as mad as allowing landscape gardeners to run a nuclear power station

Close it down get rid of all these hangers on as already stated and give the lighthouse running to Transport Scotland.

Anonymous said...

well i dont really know what is going on here but i can tell you i would never let any of these suppsedly high flying lawyers and judges near a wee girl who has downs syndrome girl and been abused and hope they would give justice for her

Anonymous said...

Good to see people commenting against these UNIONIST institutions for a change and now realising their purpose against the Scottish people.

Vote for full independence at the referendum folks and we will be rid of these slave masters.

Robert Green said...

At present, I am awaiting official confirmation as to who exactly appointed Bowen to adjudicate at my trial.

The case number is SH10000189.

So far, no one in the Scottish Court System seems to know, but I hope to have the information I seek from Stonehaven court soon

Anonymous said...

I think we can take it from the court's letter Sheriff Bowen made no such declaration at all therefore his verdict is as biased as his lack of disclosure.

Full investigation and done by someone honest if of course there is anyone left in Scotland who is honest

Anonymous said...

If it sounds or looks crooked it is crooked..

Anonymous said...

I wonder how many of these people use Cayman Islands lawyers or bank accounts?

Anonymous said...

I wonder how many of these people use Cayman Islands lawyers or bank accounts?

2:03 PM

If you mean how many people at the nlb are acquainted with a certain law firm..