Crown Prosecutor, Sir William Scrotesack QC’s tepid case drew to an unremarkable close yesterday with another appearance from a copper.
This time we got to hear from Detective Constable Matthew Cron of Bristol CID, who led the police’s criminal damage investigation. His evidence was largely gathered from mobile phone text messages and was largely irrelevant.
Cron had seized Milo Posnford’s phone and had accessed his text messages, which showed he had contacted fellow defendant ‘W’ (Sage Willoughby) and they had discussed bringing down the statue, which tells us nothing that the pair haven’t already admitted elsewhere.
Cron’s evidence does, however, serve as a useful reminder to activists to NEVER arrange or discuss any action by text message. If Milo and Sage had done the old-fashioned thing and phoned each other, the only evidence Cron would have is the location of the two phones and the fact calls had been exchanged between the two. All just circumstantial evidence. The content of their conversation would never have been known as intercepting telecommunications requires a warrant. Accessing text messages does not.
Cron went on to say that Milo later attended a police station and agreed he had put a rope around the statue’s neck. He also told coppers having a monument to a slaver in our city centre was “disgraceful” and that Bristol City Council, who claim ownership of the statue, is run by “very racist people”.
Cron interviewed defendant Rhian Graham on July 6 last year and she confirmed that she was at the incident and helped pass ropes to others and helped pull the statue down. She told the coppers the statue was “abhorrent”.
Scrotesack QC rounded off his case with a video of a media appearance from Supt Andy “Media Tart” Bennett. Who, presumably, as the highly paid senior copper in charge on the day the statue came down was too much of a pussy to be accountable in a court of law?
Media Tart’s TV appearance showed him trying to explain why the coppers sat back, watched and did nothing on the day, despite later claiming a crime had been committed. A pretty weird approach to crime stopping and one Media Tart may have wanted to avoid publicly explaining to a jury?
The defence opened their case with Milo Ponsford’s lawyer Tom Wainwright calling his client to give evidence. Milo openly described his involvement in the necessary removal of the offensive statue, which the council had refused to do anything about and told the jury “I believe I had a lawful excuse to damage that statue, preventing further harm to the people of Bristol.”
The final business of the day saw Liam Walker, of Human rights firm Doughty Street, open the defence for Sage Willoughby, He told the jury Colston organised the genocide of 19,000 human beings and that his “wealth was built on repeated atrocity”. He also said Willoughby didn’t dispute taking the “monument to racism” down.
Tomorrow Walker will be calling celebrity historian David Olusoga. This will be the first sighting of a black person in the court after three days of listening to a variety of sad old white careerists giving prosecution evidence in exchange for continuing generous salaries and a quiet life tolerating racism.