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McCanns v Bennett: LATEST - 4 June 2012 Mm11

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McCanns v Bennett: LATEST - 4 June 2012

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Post by Tony Bennett on 04.06.12 20:27

BACKGROUND

The two-day trial in the case of McCanns v Bennett, due to be heard on 9 & 10 May 2012, was adjourned at my request and by mutual consent, in order for me to explore the possibility of being granted Legal Aid under exceptional circumstances. This because there was a gross inequality of arms in the case, the McCanns’ lawyers, carter-Ruck, having anon on 19 April that they had already spent ‘well over £120,000’ in costs on the case so far. The McCanns are employing a barrister, their most senior partner Adam Tudor, and another partner, Isabel Hudson in their application to commit me to prison. I was unrepresented at the hearing on 8 February before Mr Justice Tugendhat.

LEGAL AID

On 4 May, Mr or Ms Ka Poh Ling, of the Legal Services Commission (LSC)’s Central Complaints Handling Team, wrote to me confirming the LSC’s original decision NOT to consider me for Legal Aid. S/he wrote:

“I can confirm that if you have capital above £8,000, after any relevant deductions, then legal aid will not be available to you. However, it remains open to you to submit an application to our Special Cases Unit through a contracted solicitor if your financial circumstances change”.

However, it appeared that Mr/Ms Ka Poh Ling had ignored what is called ‘the pensioner’s disregard on capital’, as set out in Paragraph 7-4 and Appendix 2 of the LSC Manual, which applies to those aged 60 or over.

To cut a long and complex story short, it appears that the effect of the pensioner’s disregard could entitle me to Legal Aid.

AN APPEAL

I therefore appealed.

On 24 May I received a further letter from the LSC, this time from Ms Helen Riley, Director of Case Management.

The LSC reversed their previous decisions in December last year and on 4 May this year.

This time, Ms Riley wrote: “We can formally confirm whether you can receive Legal Aid when we receive an application from a Legal Aid solicitor, acting on your behalf…The next step you need to take is to find a Legal Aid solicitor to take on your case and to submit an application [for Legal Aid] on your behalf”.

I have now made applications to a number of solicitors and given them an outline of the case. I expect to be able to instruct someone fairly soon to apply for Legal Aid on my behalf.

As I agreed with Carter-Ruck on 3 May, I have kept them fully informed of all these developments.

I should add for the record that Carter-Ruck, on behalf of the McCanns, have always accepted that I should be represented, this being a formal application to imprison me, and they themselves suggested I apply for Legal Aid. Carter-Ruck themselves seemed to be surprised that the LSC refused my initial application, and have agreed that I should have sufficient time in which (a) to see if I qualify for Legal Aid and (b) if I do, to be able to fully instruct a solicitor and barrister (in which case they will have to start by reading around 5,000 pages of documentation from Carter-Ruck and a further 440 from me.

I should also add, for the record, that in their last letter to me dated 18 May, carter-Ruck themselves suggested the names of three Lon don firms of solicitors known to do Legal Aid work in human rights-type cases, and I shall also be writing to each of them.

Finally, in Carter-Ruck’s last letter, they asked me to make clear that in this case Adam Tudor is charging ‘only’ £660 an hour, inclusive of VAT, and Isabel Hudson ‘only’ £540 an hour (including VAT).

SUMMARY

To sum up:


  • I need to find a Legal Aid solicitor who will agree (no doubt for a fee) to apply on my behalf to the LSC for Legal Aid.
  • The LSC will then consider whether or not to grant me Legal Aid, and if so on what terms. They will consider both my means, and the ‘merits’ of the case. On the latter point, Carter-Ruck do not in any way dispute that, subject to a test of my means, I should be able to receive Legal Aid for the simple reason that I face serious consequences if I lose, namely imprisonment, a fine, seizure of assets, or even a combination of all three.
  • If I can qualify for Legal Aid, I shall no longer have to represent myself.
  • If I do not qualify for Legal Aid, I shall have to represent myself, as there is no way I can afford to match the McCanns’ enormous fire-power.
  • It is likely to be a few weeks before the court is able to fix a new date for the 2-day trial. It may even be that he trial will need longer than two days.
VIDEO EVIDENCE IN COURT OF MARTIN GRIME AND EDDIE & KEELA IN THE McCANNS' APARTMENT, THE McCANNS' HIRED CAR, IN THE McCANNS' VILLA, AND EXAMINING THE McCANNS' CLOTHES AND CUDDLE CAT

One more point.

On this thread: https://jillhavern.forumotion.net/t5140-blacksmith-another-cracking-piece#111737

…‘Newintown’ wrote (and I am very grateful to her/him for pointing this out):

“Tony, you are probably well aware of the fact, but I thought I would just mention it, that the showing of the videos of Martin Grime, Eddie & Keela in Praia da Luz should be mentioned by your solicitor/barrister in your witness statement/court proceedings prior to the trial, as they may not be able to be used in evidence if they are not mentioned in the paperwork put before the judge for him to read up on on your behalf beforehand. I hope that makes sense.

If any facts/items are brought into a trial which the Judge was not aware of previously, they may be classed as inadmissable by the other side.

Having been through a very long, protracted court case myself I know how the other side's solicitor/barrister will try all they can to dismiss any evidence that goes against their client, especially if it hasn't been put through the proper legal procedure”.


REPLY: That is quite right and, in general terms, neither side is allowed to bring up new points at the trial. All thje evidence should be laid out beforehand so that neither side, nor the court, is taken by surprise.

Fortunately I had anticipated this, and Paragraph 119 of my Applciation to be released from one of my undertakings reads as follows:

QUOTE

An extended video of Martin Grime taking his cadaver dogs around the McCanns’ holiday apartment has been made public (during the latter half of 2008) as part of the release of around 80% of the evidence collected by the Portuguese police. It is submitted with the very greatest of respect that before the court makes a decision as to what action if any to take in response to the Claimants’ committal application it might wish to view the entire original footage of Martin Grime’s visits with his dogs to the McCanns’ apartment, accompanied as it is by Mr Grime’s commentary on the alerts of his dogs. The video of this event has been placed on the internet where hundreds of thousands of people have already viewed it.

UNQUOTE

THANK YOU

Thank you once again to all those who have wished me well, and especially to all those who have offered me practical help one way or another, including many on this forum.


“The ultimate ignorance is the rejection of something you know nothing about and refuse to investigate” - Dr. Wayne Dyer.

____________________

Dr Martin Roberts: "The evidence is that these are the pjyamas Madeleine wore on holiday in Praia da Luz. They were photographed and the photo handed to a press agency, who released it on 8 May, as the search for Madeleine continued. The McCanns held up these same pyjamas at two press conferences on 5 & 7June 2007. How could Madeleine have been abducted?"

Amelie Mcann (aged 2): "Maddie's jammies!".  

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Post by Tony Bennett on 04.06.12 21:19

I have been informed that Pat bb1 = bonnybraes on JATYK has responded with rapidity - and rabidity - to the news that the Legal Services Commission (LSC) is now considering granting me Legal Aid.

She and her cohorts are apparently whooping with delight because they think I've misunderstood the 'pensioner captial disregard' provisions in the LSC Manual. They think that the term 'pensioner' means aged 60 for women and 65 for men. And they think I am stringing this out until 7 September, when I will be 65.

Well, it doesn't say that in the LSC Manual. On the contrary, it says, and I quote from Paragraph 7-4 (page 3D-097):

There are additional capital disregards on assessments where either the claimant or partner is aged 60 years or over at the date of computation..."

bonnybraes, let me say something - two things - very gently to you:

You're WRONG about Joana Cipriano - she and her brother DID brutally murder little Joana, hide her body, and falsely claim abduction

and

You're WRONG about the LSC pensioner's disregard.

____________________

Dr Martin Roberts: "The evidence is that these are the pjyamas Madeleine wore on holiday in Praia da Luz. They were photographed and the photo handed to a press agency, who released it on 8 May, as the search for Madeleine continued. The McCanns held up these same pyjamas at two press conferences on 5 & 7June 2007. How could Madeleine have been abducted?"

Amelie Mcann (aged 2): "Maddie's jammies!".  

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Post by PeterMac on 04.06.12 22:16

Tony. They are cretins. Don't encourage them !

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Post by Guest on 04.06.12 22:23

My advice is as I've said before - keep your larders and fridges locked; feeding trolls at any time of the day has the same effect as feeding gremlins after midnight!
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Post by ShuBob on 04.06.12 22:59

Good luck Tony.

I view with suspicion C-R seemingly offering you "help".

Also, don't feed the proverbial by responding to them.
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Post by coppernob on 04.06.12 23:10

I'd also like to wish you all the very best tony. You are one of the bravest people I know ,if only there were more people like you McCanns v Bennett: LATEST - 4 June 2012 725573
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Post by jd on 04.06.12 23:23

@PeterMac wrote:Tony. They are cretins. Don't encourage them !

I echo PeterMac Tony, They are cretins. Don't encourage them! They are not worth it

And my first feeling was that I too view with suspicion C-R seemingly offering you "help". Personally I would't trust a single thing C-R say or do...wolves in sheeps clothing who will have friends in other legal practices. Personally I would find your own solicitors independent of any of C-R suggestions
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Post by Ribisl on 05.06.12 0:22

I agree with previous posters and worry you might be giving your hand away too much by publishing your detailed updates here. Prudence, Tony. All the best.

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Post by tiny on 05.06.12 8:40

i agree with the posters who say be carefull of cr offering help.i do believe that the mccanns and cr DIDNT expect this to go this far and are a little worried.and as for bb what a mongral.
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Post by Tony Bennett on 05.06.12 16:39

Thank you all for your comments.

In response:

* I prefer to give as full an account of developments here as I am able to, I feel I owe this to those who've kindly supported me, and to the forum-owner and Mods who have done much to help me

* I don't think I've actually 'given away' anything. Carter-Ruck have seen my Affidavits over two months ago, so quoting one paragraph from one of them tells them nothing about my case that they don't already know

* I won't be rushing into the arms of one of the firms of Solicitors recommended by Carter-Ruck

* The information supplied by Carter-Ruck is probably not because they WANT to help me. However, Solicitors' rules of conduct about dealing with unrepresented defendants are quite tight - and have recently been tightened (April 27). Up to a point, they MUST assist me with certain matters. And they dare not overstate their case because this could lead to a complaint to the Solicitors' regulatory bodies (there are two of them).

But I'll take all your advice - I'll be keeping quiet for a bit. If I succeed in getting Legal Aid and being legally represented, I'll let you all know here starightaway.

Equally, I'll let you all know if I fail to be granted Legal Aid.

____________________

Dr Martin Roberts: "The evidence is that these are the pjyamas Madeleine wore on holiday in Praia da Luz. They were photographed and the photo handed to a press agency, who released it on 8 May, as the search for Madeleine continued. The McCanns held up these same pyjamas at two press conferences on 5 & 7June 2007. How could Madeleine have been abducted?"

Amelie Mcann (aged 2): "Maddie's jammies!".  

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Post by jd on 05.06.12 17:05

Protecting yourself is the most important thing Tony, and I don't think anyone feels you owe them anything while this is in progress. I really think you should stay quiet on the matter until after the hearing, or only give just very limited informations at most. You are fighting real life vermin who will stop at absolutely nothing, and I would play my cards very close to my chest and not give them an inch in anything even if they already may know it. They will be doing the same to you as they have no respect for human beings and the truth, freedoms of speech, they will be just abusing their positions to crush & destroy regardless of who is in front of them
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Post by friedtomatoes on 05.06.12 17:14

£1200 an hour lawyers? Whatever makes them worth that much? If I were you I would imagine them on the toilet and picking their noses in private. It is pure intimidation lies over exageration and waffle, they cant win IMO. Decent judges are sober and will put them in their place. And parents of missing children do not spend the donations in trying to imprison or fine people for having opinions. Big Shame on them.They are sick and will get their commupance. They have to date IIRC failedto win a single court case. Thats providence in action. Best of luck!!

eta as for the lunatics ignorant hypocrites and cowardly liars on such forums as jatyk, why give them a single nanosecond of your time, they are not worth it.
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Post by jd on 05.06.12 17:24

The mccanns and their machine have lied in their police statements, have lied to the public and media, have lied in documentaries twisting facts to their agenda, all of which has been proven....yet they are trying to destroying someone who has only ever reported the truthful facts. Says it all about the celebrity child neglecters and carter ruck
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Post by friedtomatoes on 05.06.12 18:00

@jd wrote:The mccanns and their machine have lied in their police statements, have lied to the public and media, have lied in documentaries twisting facts to their agenda, all of which has been proven....yet they are trying to destroying someone who has only ever reported the truthful facts. Says it all about the celebrity child neglecters and carter ruck

yes but only a small amount of people know this
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Post by listener on 06.06.12 0:32

@friedtomatoes wrote:
@jd wrote:The mccanns and their machine have lied in their police statements, have lied to the public and media, have lied in documentaries twisting facts to their agenda, all of which has been proven....yet they are trying to destroying someone who has only ever reported the truthful facts. Says it all about the celebrity child neglecters and carter ruck

yes but only a small amount of people know this

An aweful lot more will if Mr. Bennett gets his time in court!
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Post by Angelique on 06.06.12 0:54

May I also wish you good luck and reiterate what others have stated.

CR are only concerned with representing their Clients, they will be eager to show that they are concerned about you being represented in Court but it will have no effect on their ultimate goal. I think caution is always best practice.


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Post by Truthwillout on 06.06.12 21:44

Good luck Tony.
As others have said, please be careful as to what you post.
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Post by espeland on 07.06.12 10:06

Best wishes, Tony.

Your supporters, the forum owner and mods will all understand the importance to you of keeping many things to yourself: all would prefer to wait to hear until the case is complete.

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Post by Spaniel on 07.06.12 12:17

Maybe the trial won't take place until Tony has legal representation, hence their "helpfulness."

There are direct access barristers on the net, an email to one or two outlining the case would be useful for feedback.

A 30 min talk either via phone or in person is less than £100, and if Tony needs a solicitor they will advise. If it's a lost cause at least they will tell him so.

I really do think Tony needs to spend some money now or they'll wipe the floor with him. He won't know the best angle to take or how best to present it whereas a barrister will and possibly even know how that particular judge works.

Please Tony at least email a couple of them, that won't cost a penny.
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Post by ShuBob on 07.06.12 15:58

Where will the money be coming from if he doesn't get legal aid? Even if both sides use barristers, one side will still come off worse.
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Post by aiyoyo on 07.06.12 16:08

[quote="Spaniel"]Maybe the trial won't take place until Tony has legal representation, hence their "helpfulness."
quote]

Why should they be concerned if the trial takes place or not, or in this instance is deferred until later? Surely deferment would mean more money in it for them.

I dont trust CR as far as I can spit and view their "help" as suspicious. Likely the three law firms suggested by them are known to them hence pre knowledge about their strengths and more likely weaknesses so that they know who they are up against. It is most definitely not about wanting to help TB in the real sense per se. Their prime concern must surely be for their clients.

TB's overt style is in stark constrast to mccanns covert style, so I echo the rest and would urge him to protect himself as priority.

Best wishes and Good Luck Tony.
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Post by Guest on 07.06.12 20:28

@ShuBob wrote:Where will the money be coming from if he doesn't get legal aid? Even if both sides use barristers, one side will still come off worse.

Negative.

Any judge would be dutibound to protect the weaker party, observing a balanced approach.

That is their job.
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Post by ShuBob on 07.06.12 22:08

Context.

I was responding to the post stating Tony needs to spend money. Even if he did, he is not guaranteed success. That's my point!
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Post by Spaniel on 07.06.12 23:54

@ShuBob wrote:Context.

I was responding to the post stating Tony needs to spend money. Even if he did, he is not guaranteed success. That's my point!
That was my post ShuBob. Tony stands to lose upwards of £120,000 so he needs to buy some professional advice and having used both solicitors and a barrister, the latter who's workplace is a court is the best bet. Direct access barristers are barristers with extra training to deal direct with us the public. You said if he spends money there is no guarantee of success, but there never is in a court case, you just have to prepare the best you can.

Where does one find the money? Well from their own savings, loans, remortgage etc. Very few people qualify for public funding anymore. My suggestion was to invest very little to outline his case to get an opinion. He may very well be advised that his situation is hopeless. Then he would change his tactics away from a fight to deep contrition. That may also result in a one day hearing rather than two, reducing costs. Unless he knows the likely outcome, how can he possibly adopt the correct tactics?

I don't believe he will be commited, at the worst maybe a suspended sentence but if he loses he will be liable for costs and compensation for various reasons. I believe people are helping him so he may have charitable legal minded people among them.

To aiyoyo, of course CR want this over. All businesses rely on cashflow, they'll want the case over and archived to get on with the next. That's nothing though compared with their costs increasing by 100% if they win. You can read straight from the horses mouth here. http://www.thelawyer.com/ready-willing-and-libel/107318.article

To Portia. Quote "Any judge would be dutibound to protect the weaker party, observing a balanced approach." I agree and the Judge will ask whether he has recieved legal advice before proceeding. The sooner Tony does so the better, as the strain on him and his family must be enormous. The sooner it's over, the better for them all.
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Post by jd on 08.06.12 0:18

I dont trust CR as far as I can spit and view their "help" as suspicious. Likely the three law firms suggested by them are known to them hence pre knowledge about their strengths and more likely weaknesses so that they know who they are up against. It is most definitely not about wanting to help TB in the real sense per se. Their prime concern must surely be for their clients.

This is the truth of it
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