Unable to attend court due to Lady Patel being disabled and requiring 24 hour care Lord Patel only got to Manchester Croiwn Court this morning.
To discover that after 9 days trial and three days deliberation by the jury they had to tell the judge they could not reach a verdict and probably could not so the case had been dismissed last night. (On day 2 the trial had to re-start beacuase a juror it was discovered knew one of the defendents)
Former BNP candidate Robert Cottage (49), of Talbot Street, Colne, and retired dentist (not a BNP member) David Jackson (62 - with glasses), of Trent Road, Nelson, had denied allegations of conspiracy to make an explosion with intent to endanger life. Jackson had denied possessing explosives, although Cottage had admitted the offence under the Explosive Substances Act 1883.
Apparently my friendly court usher tells me that they will be re-tied on July 7th - although of course the CPS can still re-consider the case. Apparently Burnley plod were not best pleased.
It must rank as an extraordinary case when the defendent pleads guilty and the jury cannot agree he is guilty as charged.... but some of the exchnages were somewhat bizzarre...
Asked by hs brief Anthony Nuttall QC in cross examination about his political activites Jackson said ...
"No, I do have very strong views but I am too idle to do anything about it. I'm apolitical. The last time I voted was for Ted Heath in the '70s and I've regretted it ever since."
In police questioning Jackson was reported saying ..
"And it makes you think, well we've just given the land away, to another culture, another religion and that's the wickedest thing a nation can do to itself. "It's much worse than being colonised in some war; I mean, it's all happening without a fight and with encouragement from the powers that be."Which are views that can be heard expressed widely in the saloon bars of Lancashire mill towns any night and probably in Police Station canteens as well.... the expression of such views evidently failed to convince the jury that they had terrists on their hands...... It was at Jackson's house that Police found a bow, some arrows and nuclear protection suits.
Explosives expert Sarah Wilson for the prosecution also failed to impress when she explained that the chemicals found could produce so called , "Touch explosives" and were the only possible things that could be constructed , "for which all the ingredients were present at the house." which Jackson's brief Anthony Nuttall was not challenged when he described them as ..." suitable for "schoolboy pranks" and were similar in strength to toy "cap-gun" explosions.
Ms Wilson, under examination also conceded seven of the chemicals found at Cottage's home were either "pointless" or unnecessary in the production of explosives.
Mrs Cottage who had 2 years previously married Mr Cottage had shopped her husband and said in her written statement (She was unable to give evidence in person due to her health)
" her husband held strong views on immigration and his membership of the BNP had driven "a wedge" between them.
I have seen a change in Rob since he became involved with the BNP four years ago. Rob was becoming very radical in his views and opinions."
Cottage was described as a "very religious" man who would regularly quote and read from the Bible. He would also listen to radio programmes on conspiracy theories."
My friendly usher, a keen movie buff said that the proceedings had all the elements of the Marx Bros in a Flywheel, Shyster and Flywheel sketch...."Absolute barmpots, the pair of them was his judgement, make a bomb, they couldn't boil an egg!"
Unremarkably when Lord Patel visited the area when the case arose, he couldn't find a bad word foreither defendent, near neighbours of Mr. Cottage almost invariably described him as a gent. Mr. Cottage drove a bus for disabled school children.
PS. The two tonnes of ball bearings reported were in fact two small boxes, apparently of some vintage. There was no RPG as reported and the BIO-warfare suits (whose carbon filtering lement has only a 30 month shelf life) can be readily bought at stores, websites that trade in ex MOD equipment.e.g ex IDF Hagor NBC Bio Chem Nuke Suit Kit includes suit + 1 pair of nitrile gloves + 1 pair of booties + 1 roll of duct tape US$400.see pic - Toni Fabuloso informs us that some people use such garments in certain "games" and thereby get their rocks off.. quite what you do with the duct tape she refuses to tell.
Although this pair sound a bit like the lonely sick perverts who do such things aided apparently by amyl poppers so favoured apparently in the wild youth of Eton, and according to his friends by the boy David.