A few edited highlights from the McKenzie friends' notes we mentioned in yesterday's article about TV Licensing's hounding of an innocent man.
Briefly, for those who missed yesterday's article, Michael Shakespeare's conviction for licence fee evasion was quashed by a Judge at Basildon Crown Court who dismissed key video evidence presented by TV Licensing.
A reminder of the key players mentioned below:
- Michael Shakespeare is the Appellant.
- Peter Jones is TV Licensing's expert witness in relation to the video evidence.
- Ian Doyle is the TV Licensing employee who searched Shakespeare's home at the time the video was made.
Shakespeare's McKenzie friend, appointed to give support and legal advice, kept a record of proceedings at the appeal hearing. An extract of these notes, relating to the Judge's summing up of the case, is given below:
"Mr. Shakespeare submitted that the prosecution (TV Licensing) had failed to discharge the burden of proof because the video itself (referred to in these proceedings as ‘PJ1’) is not validated. Different versions of that video are available on the internet, some of them do not include the ‘frozen image’, and Mr. Jones could not confirm the authenticity of the version of the video which he examined. The video is also different from Mr. Doyle’s account of the visit.
"Mr. Doyle, when giving evidence before us, stated emphatically that he did not see the ‘frozen image’.
"When the ‘frozen image’ appears in PJ1 video, it can be seen that Mr. Doyle is not just in the room, but in front of the TV set, pointing or gesticulating towards it. However, when Mr. Doyle gave evidence before us, he did not refer to seeing the image. When questioned by us, he said: “I did not see that image on the TV screen”. It is difficult to reconcile this evidence, given by the prosecution’s own key witness, with the Youtube video whereon the whole prosecution case is based."
Those notes are a contemporaneous record of the Judge's words at the time.
Readers are welcome to draw their own conclusions.