On 12th June last year I was handing out leaflets outside Waitrose Supermarket in Brighton. This is part of Brighton PSC's weekly stall . As normal I urged shoppers not to buy Apartheid Produce, stolen from the Palestinians and the reception was, as always, a good one. Except that is for the handful of Zionists who frequent the store.
I noticed one person in particular eyeing up the stall and in an instance a plastic bag full of cans of food struck me on the side of the head. Fortunately there was little damage, other than some superficial bruising. The culprit, one Franklin Davies, was detained at the store entrance as the Police were called. Davies was arrested and then, as is often the case, the Police decided, despite my opposition, to ‘caution’ him. The Police explained that this meant that he now had a criminal record and had therefore been punished. I disagreed. The whole point of a caution is that one doesn’t receive a punishment.
In fact it isn't quite a criminal conviction either although it is a recordable offence although, as a member of the National Crown Prosecution Team explained to me, it is conditional on the person being cautioned admitting their guilt. I therefore sought my assailant’s name and address, which the Police refused to give to me, citing the Data Protection Act 1998. After a few months corresponding I researched the Act and lo and behold Section 35 states that:
(2) Personal data are exempt from the non-disclosure provisions where the disclosure is necessary—The Police were therefore wholly ignorant of the Act they were citing (this is something which is common in employment tribunals). In December the Police wrote back acknowledging their error and supplying Franklin Davies’s name and address.
(a) for the purpose of, or in connection with, any legal proceedings (including prospective legal proceedings), or
(b) for the purpose of obtaining legal advice,
or is otherwise necessary for the purposes of establishing, exercising or defending legal rights.
After a few month’s delay, having misfiled the letter, I filed a claim with the County Court for damages for assault and battery. I was somewhat surprised when his solicitors supplied a Defence alleging that I had been the assailant and that his client suffered from cataracts of the eye and had mistaken a sudden motion from me as an assault!! Zionism all over again. Just as the Palestinians are the aggressor so I too had clearly been guilty of assaulting Davies' bag!
Armed with a video showing Davies boasting that this might have been the worst such assault on a PSC member, but it was going to get ‘much worse’ – and under the gentle but firm questioning of Glenn Williams, he explained that that that was not a threat but a promise, in addition to 2 witness statements, I applied to the court for summary judgment, i.e. that there was no point in going to trial as there was no Defence worthy of the name, under Part 24 of the Civil Procedure Rules.
On June 9th 2011 a group of us turned up in court to see a somewhat different Mr Davies, all the bluster gone and keeping his head down and averting his eyes. Not only was he accompanied by his solicitor, a Mr Seymour, but a barrister too. When I wrote to his solicitor suggesting he might like to advise his client not to commit perjury, a criminal offence, I was sent a Bill of Costs for Mr Davies legal fees to date and told my application was 'inappropriate'! The amount? Some £2,250. No doubt, given the way the legal profession eats money, the eventual cost was around £3,000.
His barrister, who was certainly silver tongued, argued that Davies had only admitted his guilt because he had a sick mother and child to return home to! Further that there is a difference between a caution and a conviction. In reply I pointed out that if indeed Mr Davies’ admission was as a result of urgent family needs rather than guilt, then he had had a year in which to appeal against it. Further that the differences between a criminal conviction and a caution were technical and that none of this had stopped Mr Davies boasting of what he had done shortly after. I also applied for an Order that Davies’s solicitor be forbidden from giving or copying the video in question to his client in order that others pictured in the film were not subject to any threats.
Davies’ barrister couldn’t think of a reason to oppose the latter and the judge found for us on all counts, agreeing that there was no Defence worthy of the name. It was agreed that if, after four weeks, there was no agreement on compensation, we would return to court. Swift negotiations followed and it was agreed that I should be paid £600.
It is therefore with the greatest pleasure that one-third of this has been donated to that excellent Palestinian web site, whose funding the Zionists consistently target (see NGO Watch in particular), Electronic Intifada, in order that they might continue with their excellent work. It is particularly gratifying to think that Davies, in reacting as most Zionists do (whilst claiming to be the victim!), has thereby contributed towards the cause he hates so much. Another third is going to a charity that helps asylum seekers feed and maintain themselves and I’m going to celebrate with what's left!
Given Davies statement in the video that he only answers to a ‘higher authority’ what has transpired is no less than biblical justice at its best. An ‘eye for an eye’ incidentally was never meant to be taken literally but as compensation for any injury sustained.