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News and Comment August 2012

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3 August (Part 2) - Twitter Joke Trial

Sandra BauerJohn Kerlen (aka Olly Cromwell) was at Woolwich Court this morning for his appeal against conviction for sending a malicious Tweet. Sandra Bauer the principal witness wasn’t.

The Judge said the prosecution had asked for an Adjournment last Wednesday because the two witnesses couldn’t or wouldn’t turn up. The request was refused. Councillor Melvin Seymour did the decent thing and made himself available in Court. Sandra Bauer didn’t bother. This blew a gaping hole in the Prosecution case because both sides agreed Bauer’s evidence was vital. However the lady Prosecution lawyer had another problem, she didn’t have the file of evidence with her. The Judge, who seemed to be a kindly fellow, generously allowed a short recess to allow her to locate it. Nearly an hour later she admitted defeat.

Olly’s barrister, Simon Connolly, argued that there should be no Adjournment and listed the litany of prosecution cock ups we have seen over the past ten months and emphasised how each one had cost Olly money he could ill afford. The Judge was extremely apologetic but came to the conclusion that he could not make a judgment without Sandra Bauer’s evidence. Simon Connolly, the Defence Barrister pointed out that even if Bauer could be persuaded to put in an appearance the papers might not be found; so the Judge ruled as follows.

That the Prosecution must confirm they have found their missing file by 5 p.m. next Friday and only then would mutually acceptable dates be thrashed out for everyone involved. 17th August has been provisionally pencilled in. If the file isn’t found in a week or Bauer remains a reluctant witness then the Prosecution case will fail. Those are the facts, what follows is speculation.

The deferment will cost Olly a great deal of money, not just hundreds, more than that. Possibly it is a prosecution strategy. It won’t work. Olly is yet to receive the costs he was awarded last May. Apparently it has to pass through Bexley magistrates and Olly’s legal team is beginning to suspect a sinister connection. The money is well overdue.

The Prosecution excused councillor Sandra Bauer’s absence on account of her moving house this very day. Why did she choose today when the appeal date was set on 12th June? Is she really moving today? We only have her word for it. If I had made a false statement and found myself lined up for cross examination by Simon Connolly, I wouldn’t want to show up either.


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