Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The sweet aroma of justice

Sergeant Smellie has been acquitted of assaulting a protester at the G20 after the key witness failed to show up at the trial.

According to the CPS "Smellie lost his self-control because of Fisher's irritating, aggressive and confrontational actions."

Good to know. The next time the police are irritating, aggressive and confrontational (which apparently does happen occasionally) you are perfectly within your rights to slap them in the face and then whack them about the legs with a piece of metal. It's all good, the CPS says so.

Footage at the Guardian of the incident shows that the police were refusing to allow protesters to leave an area in a particularly aggressive way and had, moments before, used physical force against one person who, I believe, had actually been accidentally caught in the quarantined zone.

The protester who was attacked had stepped up to the Sergeant to remonstrate with him about the police behaviour and was certainly agitated, but Smellie's defense that he was frightened of being attacked by her appears laughable.

However, the fact that the officer was acquitted should come as no surprise when the woman at the center of the controversy, Nicola Fisher, seemed more interested in embellishing her story than seeking justice. Not only did she hire the publicist Max Clifford in an attempt to make money out the episode she also clearly embroidered the truth to make it more sensational, for example saying that she was attacked out of the blue rather than after she'd shouted at the officer.

Clifford said. "She sees it as a total miscarriage of justice. She was convinced that she wouldn't get justice." Well, you wont if you lie to the papers but don't even bother showing up in court. How was the prosecution meant to make the charges stick without the victim of the assault there to give evidence?

Only Fisher knows the real reason why she didn't show up in court. Perhaps she was intimidated, perhaps she's ashamed that she'd exaggerated to the press or perhaps she's just gutless but it's difficult to see the acquittal of Sergeant Smellie as a flaw in the justice system when she did not show up in order to give evidence and face cross examination.


spatuletail said...


or not, as in her case.

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