Saturday, September 22, 2007

Miranda Grell: £4,000 Poorer, Career At Best On Hold?

According to an anonymous comment at Dale's :

Waltham Forest Labour councillor Miranda Grell has been found guilty of falsely smearing her Liberal Democrat opponent in the 2006 elections as a paedophile. She has been fined £1,000, ordered to pay £3,000 in costs and banned from public office for three years.

UPDATE: Yes, but no but. The Times seems happy at that. Without being there or seeing the transcripts, on the basis of this Times report only, LOL feel Miranda Grell should (a) sue the Times for more shoddy reporting and (b) if there is no strict liability, on the milder points she has admitted, possibly appeal. The comment at Iain's IS A LIE as it ups the ante from what she has been convicted of - saying a man was gay and getting his partner's age wrong I think, to far more serious comments she was accused of. The Times is onto the same shoddy trick.

Ms Grell seems to have EITHER been convicted on the basis of demonstrably partisan hearsay of various very serious smears rehearsed in the piece. OR she has been convicted of saying her opponent was gay and getting his lover's age wrong. Which she admitted. If this is strict liability then the verdict is surely correct. But the comment and the Times report, which also again drags in some other hate figures of theirs: Cherie Blair, Jesse Jackson and John Reid, well these are WRONG.

Murdoch's Lot also run a Cherie Slide Show nearby. And they actually used to be a paper of record?

UPDATE: Does anyone know where a copy of the judgement can be found? BLINK has this. The fight goes on. MSM are reporting the more lurid accusations without distinguishing these from those of which she has been convicted. LOL do not condone the smearing of opponents. LOL also do not condone judges majoring on hearsay evidence. Or bloggers and MSM alike being careless.


Anonymous said...


From the BBC:

But another resident, Caroline Dargan, told the court Grell had a similar conversation with her.

Outside court Ms Dargan told BBC London: "(Grell) just started to talk about the Lib Dem candidate. She made some suggestions about him being gay, and I sort of knew that.

"But then I felt the conversation deteriorated into her saying that he was actually interested in young oriental boys."

BBC linked from my below.

Chris Paul said...

Thanks Matt. I've seen all sorts of reports. But most seem to conflate the original accusations with the serious but less so allegations she has admitted to. These, on strict liability and a judge's interpretation of smearage, could be enough.

I'm looking for the judgement. What the BBC are reporting the judgement is based on is hearsay isn't it? And all the MSM are conflating all the stories with whatever MG has actually been found guilty of. BLINK say she is going to appeal.

She could also sue some of the media I think.

Anonymous said...

The evidence here was not hearsay. It was direct testimony about what Miranda Grell said to a witness

Chris Paul said...

OK, sorry uncorroborated direct testimony. A she said she said stand off.

The main point however is this:

Blog and MSM reports alike pull out the whole of the panoply of allegations and do not identify which of these was found to have stood up.

This is very important. Not only to the silly gossip Miranda Grell but also to all who engage in the art of coarse politics. And those who try to rise above all this smearage but may be subject to it.

Just one example if getting someone's age wrong and seeking to influence an election through this is now an offence attracting a three year suspension than Nigel Bakhai and all who sail with him are bang to rights.

And despicable gay outing and "family man" nonsense will have to stop if people are to be suspended from public office for three years over it. Good thing I say. But is that it?

Or did the district judge believe the accusations that MG said Smith slept with underage boys? Is that where the "bar" is? Or is it lower.

I don't condone what MG has admitted never mind what she is accused of. But the press are being utter dickheads with such imprecise reporting.

Did anyone report the judgement in full?

Chris Paul said...

These Lib Dem witnesses - did their criminal or health records get examined in court at all?

Anonymous said...

Indeed they did. One of the witnesses who convicted Grell is currently awaiting trial for threatening to kill his girlfriend (the other witness who convicted Grell)and he has 3 ABH convictions for having attacked that same partner.

Anonymous said...

Yet again, you have proved that you are utterly loathesome. Your position is that all Miranda Grell got the age wrong of somebody a Lib Dem councillor was in bed with.

His actual age is 39, Ms Grell's claim was that he was 14. I don't think that was simply a dispute over numbers. But I don't expect a blindly partisan "no mark" like yourself to understand the implicatiosn of the case.

Anonymous said...

"been convicted of saying her opponent was gay and getting his lover's age wrong"

Which differs from making a wrongful accusation of paedophilia exactly how? Particularly if the "error" was as blatant as "confusing" a 39 year old with a 14 year old. I think she got off very lightly. A little more sympathy for the victim would be in order. But after all you are a member of a Labour party that believes in bombing hospitals to help Nazis in genocide & enslaving children for use in brothels so I suppose one should expect nothing better.

Anonymous said...

I love it. A blatantly partisan post in a forum which has no accountability, accusing people who gave evidence under oath of being partisan.

Every time you people say that anti-democratic corruption is OK, more people learn what the Labour party and its supporters are really like. Anything for The Party. Screw anyone else, even if they are put at risk of mob violence.

Chris Paul said...

Thanks to Neil Craig and Richard Dale for recent comments, presumably as a result of Iain Dale or Andy Mayer's links yesterday? Anyhow, you should know that whatever else you may believe about this case you should not believe Mayer's goodwill. He has chosen to link to my second-but-last post on the subject rather than to the most recent.

I consider that to be seriously snide and a bit of a smear to be honest. Dale quoted Mayer so he did the same. Mayer is a humourless and self aggrandising blether with a very part time blog.
Dale is occasionally amusing as in laugh with rather than laugh at which is a redeeming feature I suppose.

Grell is entitled to appeal. I am absolutely staggered that people like Mayer and Dale seek to close that down. Stipendary magistrates may be renamed as district judges but they still have a reputation as unreasonable mavericks.

Lawyers I know prefer to face volunteer magistrates - not because they are "easier" but because they are less ego and listen to legal advice better as non lawyers. This judge is a rather controversial one and his decisions have been appealled frequently.

He often has his verdicts upheld. But this is new law and it really does need a better court to look at it.

On Neil's points:

- I have every sympathy for the guy who lost his seat
- I believe the age discussed was 19 not 39
- Remarks about Nazis OT, cryptic and not helpful

On Richard's points:

- This is a blog. It is my opinion and my analysis.
- Your analysis is wonky. The judge was IMO - based on information from inside the court room - wrong to assess the reliability of the key witnesses on them being thick so therefore honest.
- I find that reasoning perverse.
- No-one has come forward to say that is not what the judge argued.
- I sadly don't have a transcript.