Friday, 11 November 2016

My computer was finally returned by police after 2+ years

On the 2nd November 2016, I had emailed and posted a letter to the prosecutor in the following terms.
"To: James Dunbar, Procurator Fiscal Depute & colleagues
Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service Office, Procurator Fiscal's Office, AB1, CRIMON PLACE, ABERDEEN, AB10 1BJ
Dear Mr Dunbar and colleagues,
NOW, WILL YOU PLEASE ORDER THE POLICE TO RETURN MY PROPERTY SEIZED FROM MY HOME ON 27th JULY 2014?
 
My primary purpose in signing our "JOINT MINUTE OF AGREEMENT" with Mr James Dunbar, Procurator Fiscal Depute, in court 5 of Aberdeen Sheriff Court, yesterday, 1st November 2016 was to facilitate the earliest possible return from the police of my computer equipment, all of my data contained on it and all other items of my property seized by police from my home at 21 Hollybank Place, Aberdeen on 27th July 2014. 
We've agreed a "JOINT MINUTE OF AGREEMENT" as legally admissible evidence of my authorship of my complained-about tweets.
There now clearly being no legitimate remaining pretext for the police and prosecutors to excuse your continued possession of my property then I am entitled to demand that my property rights in law be respected by all officers of the law and in particular I ask that Mr Dunbar and his colleagues at Aberdeen Procurator Fiscal's Office do now order the police to return to me all my property items seized from my home on July 27th 2014.
 
So please do now order the police, instruct the police, advise the police - whatever is the appropriate form of words - to make the police understand that the Procurator Fiscal no longer has any need nor intention of using any of my property items seized for evidential purposes for trial in the Sheriff Court and that being so, it is now clearly the duty of the police to return my property to me without further delay."
This morning, 11th November 2016, I received a telephone message from Detective Sergeant Martyn Thomson and we arranged for me to collect my computer equipment from Queen Street, Police Station, Aberdeen, which I transported home by taxi and here it is, at long last!


So the police had seized and deprived me of my computer equipment (that they never needed, not for one minute) from Sunday, 27th July 2014 to Friday 11th November 2016.

I calculated the duration I was wrongfully deprived of my most valuable property including irreplaceable science research data using -

Calculate Duration Between Two Dates – Results
From and including: Sunday, 27 July 2014
To, but not including Friday, 11 November 2016

838 days

It is 838 days from the start date to the end date, but not including the end date

2 years, 3 months, 15 days

119 weeks and 5 days

229.59% of a common year (365 days)
So that's one more example of how bad the police state in Scotland is.

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

A Joint Minute of Agreement - for discordant purposes

ABERDEEN SHERIFF COURT, 1st November


Sheriff Morag McLaughlin, presiding

In court 5, Sheriff McLaughlin asked me if I was 'adhering to' my 'not-guilty plea'?'.

I said that I was but that I had submitted a plea email which also gave reasons for not proceeding to trial which I offered to address the court about.

Sheriff McLaughlin declined my offer saying that it was a matter for the fiscal to take a case to trial in court, not the Sheriff.

She indicated that she had seen my recent email to the court officials, a carbon-copy of my email of Monday 31st October to the prosecutors which I had sent in response to a letter I had received by post on Saturday 29th October from Mr James Dunbar, who was again the depute procurator fiscal appearing in court, proposing a "JOINT MINUTE OF AGREEMENT" which Sheriff McLaughlin wanted to hear from Mr Dunbar about.

Mr Dunbar confirmed that he had sent me a letter but that he wasn't sure that I had received it (apparently, he'd not received nor noticed my email reply). He said that he had based his draft minute on my previous representations - namely, that I was accepting authorship of the tweets and that, were the minute to be accepted, he would lead only 1 or 2 police witnesses rather than the 8 or so police witnesses he had available.

Sheriff McLaughlin asked if this was Dunbar's priority case to proceed to trial today? He admitted this was by far his longest running case - 71 weeks so far - but another adjournment was acceptable.

Sheriff McLaughlin asked me about Mr Dunbar's proposed Joint Minute of Agreement and I replied that I had amendments to propose. 

She suggested that Dunbar and I discuss those amendments during a pause in proceedings, later in the morning, which we later did, when I pointed out to Dunbar that my purpose in agreeing the joint minute was different from his, not to "focus the issue at trial" but primarily to facilitate the return of my computer equipment from the police and secondly to make my political point that the police raid and seizure was entirely unnecessary for any police or prosecutor assumed pretext of an investigatory or prosecution purpose and was an inappropriate abuse of state power.

Dunbar agreed my proposed amendments which were to correct his inaccurate or incomplete quotes of my tweets and to remove and edit points referring to "members of the public".

Dunbar revealed to me that he had not seen any of my many emails sent to him and his colleagues at Aberdeen Procurator Fiscal's Office in recent months, wherein I had suggested alternatives to prosecution, deleting tweets, direct measures and I enquired more information about who it was at the Fiscal's Office, which of his superiors, had made the decision to prosecute this case?

Dunbar said that although the name of "Andrew Shanks" appeared on his documents, Shanks had had no role as far as he knew in dealing with this case.

I showed Dunbar an email from his superior Principal Procurator Fiscal Depute Laura Begg wherein she confirmed the decision to prosecute (she was "not minded to discontinue the prosecution").

I asked Dunbar to raise the matter again with Begg and to see if she would agree to have a meeting with me, should the case drag on any further than today.

Dunbar went off to edit his document and returned with a new version, which still, I pointed out, included a disputed reference to "members of the public" which he agreed to score-through by hand. I have re-typed the resultant agreed text for my notes as follows.
AB14008188 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 November 2016
UNDER THE CRIMINAL PROCEDURE (SCOTLAND) ACT 1995
SHERIFF COURT OF GRAMPIAN HIGHLAND AND ISLANDS AT ABERDEEN
JOINT MINUTE OF AGREEMENT
RE
ANDREW SHANKS
PROCURATOR FISCAL, ABERDEEN . . . . . COMPLAINER
AGAINST
ALASTAIR PETER DOW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ACCUSED
, Procurator Fiscal Depute for the Crown and , Accused concur in stating to the Court that the following facts are agreed and should be admitted into evidence
1. That "Twitter" is an online social networking service that enables userss to send and read short 140-character messages referred to as "tweets".
2. That registered users of Twitter can read and post tweets onto Twitter, but those who are unregistered can only read said posts or "tweets".
3. That users access Twitter though the website interface, SMS or mobile device application.
4. That on 25 and 26 July 2014 the accused, Alastair Peter Dow, was a registered user of Twitter and utilised the username '@peterdow'.
5. That the username '@peterdow' is published on the accused's personal website 'www.scot.tk'.
6. That on 25 and 26 July 2014 the accused, Alastair Peter Dow, resided at the Ground Floor Right Flat, 21 Hollybank Place, Aberdeen.
7. That at 7.09am on Friday 25 July 2014 the accused, Alastair Peter Dow, posted a message or 'tweet' on the social networking service Twitter utilising the username '@peterdow'.
8. That the aforementioned message or "tweet" read as follows:
"@marshtheman56 My say as a man at war for my freedom against the imposed monarch - I want my army to put a bullet in HM the Qunt's head".
9. That at 12.05pm on Saturday 26 July 2014 the accused, Alastair Peter Dow, posted a message on "tweet" on the social networking service "Twitter" utilising the username '@peterdow'.
10. That the aforementioned message or "tweet" read as follows:
"@DeanMThomson @mollylguiness It's not a little rest I need but to see your Queen's brains blown out & her body splattered over the ground".
11. That the aforementioned messages or "tweets" were posted on "Twitter" by the accused from within his home address at the Ground Floor Right Flat 21 Hollybank Place, Aberdeen,
12. That the aforementioned messages or "tweets" were viewed by police officers _________
In respect whereof
PROCURATOR FISCAL DEPUTE
ACCUSED
When the case called again later in the morning, I once again tried unsuccessfully to address the court regarding my plea not to proceed to trial but Sheriff McLaughlin wasn't interested in that and wanted to know from Dunbar about our discussion about the proposed Joint Minute of Agreement, adding that she was sympathetic with my request for more time to prepare the presentation of my case using the data recently retrieved from the police.

Dunbar said that my proposed amendments were reasonable and so now that the minute could be agreed it meant the Crown calling less police witnesses so he was content with another adjournment but wanted to know from me which police witnesses the defence would ask to be called?

I then confirmed the agreement telling the Sheriff that I had long "for years" (actually just the 2 years) wanted just such an agreement, but explained that my science and political purposes in agreeing the minute were different from Dunbar's trial purpose.

I signed the principal copy of the Joint Minute of Agreement and that was lodged with the court, which, the Sheriff said, formally had began the trial.

I named police detective "Martyn Thomson" as the most suitable police witness I had prepared questions for, who was the police officer who seemed to have instigated the police action, roping other officers into it.

A date for Thursday 26th January 2017 was set to continue the trial and before leaving the dock I asked about displaying my computer data in court and a court official pointed to the court's equipment confirming that it ran Windows operating system and could read data from memory sticks.

I asked about testing the court's equipment out before the trial and their suggestion was that at 9.30am on the morning of the court case I would be allowed to check that my presentation would display OK.

Friday, 28 October 2016

Seized data finally disclosed, 4 days before the scheduled UNFAIR trial

I was allowed access to my seized computer at Aberdeen Queen Street Police Station this morning for the purpose of making copies of my data.

I had a couple of hours to choose and copy the most important 20GB's worth from my 2000GB capacity hard drive onto a memory stick which I was asked to provide and bring unopened in its original packaging so as to guard against the possibility of a used virus-infected memory device infecting my computer with a virus!

This break-through had followed my appearance in Aberdeen Sheriff Court on the 18th October, before Sheriff McLaughlin when she suggested that procurator fiscal depute James Dunbar contact me to arrange access for me to do the copying myself, after the prosecutors and police had excused themselves from doing the job.

Sheriff Morag McLaughlin, presiding

I wrote after court on the 18th October to prosecutors and police to make an appointment for access but yet again I got no reply and so to prompt action I wrote again a week later, on the 25th October, to the court, carbon-copying the email to prosecutors in the following terms -
"I can confirm that I am fully ready and standing by, waiting for any invitation to attend at any office with my portable hard-drive to copy my data onto, but time is now running very short before the next calling of the case, one week from today, Tuesday 1st November. 
I must say that it is most disappointing that Mr Dunbar has not acted with more urgency to act upon a clear request to him from Sheriff McLaughlin. 
I wonder if Mr Dunbar's seeming inactivity as regards his responsibilities in this matter would be viewed by the court as a dereliction of duty by Mr Dunbar? 
If Mr Dunbar is indeed, as I am led to believe, at present, the lead prosecutor for this case, could Mr Dunbar not be relieved from that role or otherwise dismissed by the court? 
Or must the court always tolerate whatever negligent person that the Procurator Fiscal Office decides to send to court as a representative of the Crown?"
Next, I got a phone on the 27th October from a helpful Detective Sergeant and we made the arrangements for 2 of his colleague Detective Constables to supervise the copying for disclosure of evidence purposes.

There's not now nearly enough time for me to review my data files and to organise my defence presentation before the scheduled (unfair) trial diet on Tuesday, 1st November but I'll have to go, ready or not, though it is my intention to plead for another adjournment.

           Accused Details          Court Ref No            PF Ref No        Court Room
17 Alastair Peter DOW    SCS/2015-060310    AB14008188     Court 5

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

My email from 2014. Andrew Shanks (HM Witch-hunter) -v- Alastair Peter Dow

Nearly 2 years ago, (on the 9th November 2014) I sent an email to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, which set out in great detail my response to the first charge made against me by Aberdeen Procurator Fiscal's Office, by Andrew Shanks, in July 2014, when I had been raided and arrested by police regarding my tweets.

Subsequently the prosecutors replaced the first charge with others, but my political defence to any and all charges arising from my political tweets would be much the same, so that's why I think it appropriate now to publish that email in full.

Subject: Andrew Shanks (Her Majesty's Witch-hunter) -v- Alastair Peter Dow.

Andrew Shanks 
c/o Procurator Fiscal's Office Aberdeen 


Dear Mr Shanks,

I write personally to reply in detail to your petition of 28th July 2014 wherein you libel a charge and accusations against me, for the purpose of prosecuting me in the Sheriff Court at Aberdeen for posting political comments on the Twitter social networking site.

It is not in the public interest to prosecute anyone for their political tweets - such an oppressive prosecution can only be the result of what may be described as a "politically-motivated witch-hunt" by my political opponents.

In whose political interest then does your prosecution petition serve, if not the public interest?

The answer is that your petition serves the political interest of, in your own words from your own petition, "Her Majesty the Queen" - specifically, the Queen's political interest to sustain her monarchy against the political opponents of monarchy, such as myself, a republican.

Your petition justifies my nickname for you, Mr Shanks, of "Her Majesty's Witch-hunter".

Your petition serves the Queen's interest and the Queen's interest alone undemocratically to silence republican political criticism of the monarchy.

It is in the Queen's own selfish interest to prosecute me for expressing my republican political opposition to monarchy here in Scotland.

But such a prosecution would not be in the public interest.

One may serve the public interest or one may serve the Queen's interest.

Either one puts the public interest before the Queen's interest, as I do in my political activities ...

... or one puts the Queen's interest before the public interest, as your petition does.

Whilst it is a worthy declared aim to seek to serve the public interest, you merely claiming that your petition is in the public interest does not make it self-evidently so.

The point which your petition misses is that the two conflicting interests - the public interest versus the Queen's interest - should not be confused with each other nor conflated together in error as your petition does.

Your error arose because your education was deficient to that which is required for appropriate and efficient decision-making in the public interest.

The responsible course of action for you now is to undertake a course of study to remedy those deficiencies in your education which I have identified.

The irresponsible and reckless action for you now would be to proceed on the basis of your petition - in ignorance of, oblivious to, or in denial of the inherent contradiction at the heart of your petition.

To assist with their education all of those in Scotland who wish to serve the public interest, I am pleased to present the study resource of my internet publication of "The Scottish National Standard Bearer website" at the web address SCOT.TK

Detailed in some 50 plus web-pages, the Scottish National Standard Bearer website explains how the Queen and the officials of the kingdom with allegiance to her have historically denied democratic political freedom in Scotland, resulting in a consequential damning record of severe damage to the public interest, including tragic deaths, disasters and missed economic opportunities, all of which were avoidable had only democratic political freedom been defended by officials rather than denied.  
As a solution to the deleterious effects of monarchist officialdom's oppressive acts against the public interest, I recommend in my Scottish National Standard Bearer website urgent political action with the aim of disentangling the monarchy from the constitution of Scotland to establish a republican form of democratic government of the people, by the people and for the people.  
The political issue which my website addresses is the habitual yet inappropriate criminalisation by the police of socially-responsible political activity.  
Police and prosecutors in Scotland and elsewhere in the UK act against political activity be that communication by the distribution of leaflets, by hand, by post, publishing of pamphlets and books, displaying of posters, carrying of flags, protesting, public speaking, shouting, using a megaphone, marching and now in recent years, use of the internet - politics in all its forms.  
Typically, "socially responsible political activities" may be directed towards the worthy aims of personal or community health, safety, improved terms and conditions of employment at work, or with respect to desirable changes to the delivery of private or public services, changes to government decisions, policy and regulations, election of candidates, legal, political and constitution reform or other political matters.  
It follows therefore that if and when such socially responsible political activity is criminalised then it is most likely that the politically intended benefits to society are frustrated, with possibly highly damaging, dangerous and tragic consequences.  
It should also be mentioned that a similar process can occur in the civil courts where political activity can be interdicted against and a breach of interdict can be treated as contempt of court and effectively criminal punishments imposed.  
To give an example which I have studied in detail, when the police issued Thomas Hamilton with a fire arms certificate, which allowed him to keep guns with which he later killed the children at the Dunblane Primary School Massacre, there was the ever-present deterrent of the likely criminalisation of the needed political action with a view to taking Hamilton's guns from him to prevent a tragedy.  
Thus political activists did not have the freedom they needed to pre-empt the massacre and save lives.  
Concerns about Hamilton could not be published in newspapers because of the fear of a defamation action by Hamilton which could lead to a financial loss in court damages awarded to Hamilton against any newspaper which could not prove the fears about him having guns were proved to the satisfaction of the judge.  
Anyone protesting the police's decision to grant Hamilton a fire-arms certificate could have been arrested, prosecuted and punished for a breach of the peace.  
There was not enough political freedom to save the lives of the Dunblane children because of the habitual inappropriate criminalisation of socially-responsible political activity which deterred live-saving political action.  
I have published further examples of avoidable deaths, disasters and missed economic opportunities and a detailed examination of the harm to society caused by the denial of political freedom in my Scottish National Standard Bearer website at SCOT.TK and the For Freedom Forums for bravehearted debate at FIGH.TK  
I sincerely recommend that all staff at the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service should read my website and forum so that you all may begin to learn how the kingdom's habitual criminalisation of socially responsible political activities has had and is having profoundly anti-social consequences for the people of Scotland.  
My website argues that Scotland would be better governed with a democratically elected president as head of state, empowered and obligated to insist that police and prosecution services must have leadership, policies and performance which never criminalises socially-responsible political activity.

Mr Shanks, in Scottish history misguided state officials in jobs like the one you are employed to do have routinely denied political freedom oppressively, harming the public interest in so doing.

Officials like you can harm the public interest because the constitutional monarchy has never placed constitutional obstructions in the way of officialdom arresting, prosecuting, jailing and even martyring politically outspoken men and women whose conscience would not allow them to remain silent.

The written constitution of a democratic republic, however, should, in addition to abolishing any place for a monarchy, solemnly task the democratically elected president as head of state with the constitutional authority and duty to halt politically oppressive prosecutions like the one your petition has initiated, setting free the accused innocent men and women to continue to serve politically the public interest as viewed by the light of their own conscience.

This is what it means for the president of a democratic republic to swear an oath to the best of his or her ability to preserve, protect and defend the constitution of a democratic republic - the duty is to preserve, protect and defend those human rights and those civil and political freedoms of the people enshrined within the text of that constitution.

Your "summary of evidence" text identifies that my website refers to my "anti-monarchist" views but your summary neglects to mention that my website explains in detail my positive pro-republican political views.

Republicans are not merely anti-monarchy and anti-kingdoms but are by definition positively pro-elected-presidents and pro-republics.

It is like a good prosecutor is not merely anti-criminal but is positively pro the victims of crime.

Incidentally, you have not identified any victim of my tweets. Who exactly has been harmed by my tweets?

I do not think you can imagine that the Queen has been a victim of my tweets? How have my tweets harmed the Queen? In no way whatsoever.

Or perhaps you think the police who knocked down my door, took my computer equipment, handcuffed me, took me to a police station and held me in custody for more than 24 hours are the victims of my tweets? Such a claim would be absurd because it is I who am the victim of the police's violent actions.

The police did not merely threaten violence against me. The police did violent acts against me.

If the police are victims of a waste of police time then they only have to blame their own foolish police commanders who authorised this over-the-top response to a couple of political tweets.

Your "summary of evidence" neglected even to mention the many constructive proposals detailed in my website with a view to the establishment of a modern Republic of Scotland to modernise the outdated and dysfunctional Kingdom of Scotland.

Republicans propose that elected presidents replace monarchs as heads of states.

In your "summary of evidence" which extends on to a third page of text, for you never to mention once that I have republican political views is not only careless it is misleading to any reader of your summary.

Even in the very brief text Twitter allows for the description of my @peterdow twitter account, I highlighted that I am republican, a "republican socialist" if I remember to quote accurately.

So considering that the police investigation has not even recorded my republican political affiliation then it suggests that the substantial deployment of police manpower employed - at my count: 4 detective constables, 1 detective sergeant, 1 inspector, 4 additional constables to search my flat and 1 police photographer - has failed utterly to detect and to report the blatantly obvious relevant facts in this matter which are the published facts about my republican politics which I have gone to great lengths to publish in detail on the internet for all to read and which facts are not to be found by an intrusive heavy-handed top-to-bottom search of my home!

One does not efficiently detect the full facts about an author's politics by focusing on a small number of tweets and then rushing to arrest that author and to seize that author's computer.

The police have failed to detect at the earliest stage of their investigation that which only a bunch of fools could fail to detect, that I am a republican author.

It should be part of the basic education of any police officer that the political views of republicans are in part defined by an opposition to monarchy and that as surely as a dog will bark, a republican will surely from time to time express anti-monarchist views.

Arresting republicans for expressing their anti-monarchist views is as absurd as arresting Christian preachers for expressing their anti-sin views.

As would it be absurd to prosecute the producers and distributors of the South Park cartoon which features the Queen committing suicide.
South Park 'kills the Queen'  
An episode of South Park featuring the Queen committing suicide is provoking outrage. But if the show is famous for anything, it's for going too far.
If one wishes only ever to listen to views of the monarchy which are only respectful and deferential views then one can tune into the reports of the royal correspondents which are broadcast by the BBC, ITV, Sky and other TV broadcasters.

However if one wishes to be sure never to read disrespectful views of the monarchy then one should never read the tweets of a self-declared republican such as myself because therein one must expect to read views of the monarchy which are very far from respectful.

If one can't handle the heat then one should not go into the kitchen.

Neither should one wander into a kitchen, misunderstand the heat therein and then foolishly call the fire-brigade because the fire brigade has better things to do than to attend to the heat of a kitchen.

As do the police have better things to do than attend to political tweets.

Your "summary of evidence" refers to the earliest stage of the police investigation as as "intelligence received by Police Scotland". 

However, it is apparent to me that the raw information received about my tweets has not been handled in anything remotely approaching an intelligent manner by Police Scotland.

On the contrary, the police officers involved have plodded through their protocols and established procedures routinely, somewhat hastily, forcefully and destructively, devoid of the influence of any intelligent senior operational command of the police.

The actions of the police and the conditions for bail imposed by the Sheriff Court are violations of my human rights under the European Convention on Human Rights, specifically those human rights described in ECHR articles such as

Article 5 - liberty and security
Article 8 - privacy
Article 9 - conscience and religion
Article 10 - expression
Article 11 - association
Article 14 - discrimination

To add to those police and bail condition violations of my human rights, you propose what would amount to a show trial of myself, a republican, for my anti-Queen comments, in the court of a Sheriff who has given an oath of allegiance to the Queen.

Assuming the Sheriff has not recanted his or her oath of allegiance to the Queen, such a Queen's Sheriff cannot be impartial while presiding over a case where the Queen's interest is at issue.

Since the Sheriff would not be impartial it follows that the trial cannot be fair. It could only be a show trial.

So you propose no less than a kangaroo court where my anti-Queen comments are to be given a show trial before a Queen's Sheriff presiding in a Queen's court.

In a Queen's court, the expectation must be that the Queen's interests will be given a prejudicial priority by a Queen's Sheriff and the scales of justice weighed heavily against any party whose interests are opposed to the Queen's interest.

My interests in defending against your charges certainly are opposed to the Queen's interest. So my interests cannot be given a fair trial in a Queen's court.

There is a public interest to have political freedom which is also opposed to the Queen's interest to suppress political criticism of the Queen and her officials. So this public interest cannot be given a fair trial in a Queen's court either.

A fair trial of your petition and my defence to your charge can only be had in a court which is not a Queen's court.

Therefore if you wish to insist on prosecuting your charge against me, I have a human right under the ECHR to be afforded a fair trial before a court other than the Sheriff Court, a court which must not be a Queen's court and which must be seen to be impartial.

I would be prepared to come to another genuinely impartial court so that justice may be carried out.

I would be prepared to respect the judgement of a genuinely impartial court, though as with all defendants, I would reserve my rights to appeal any judgement which was against my interests or against the public interest to a superior genuinely impartial court.

However, I expect, Mr Shanks, that you may be a one-trick pony, meaning that you either prosecute in the Queen's courts or you do not prosecute at all. That being so, I would suggest that you drop your charge against me or pass the matter to your superiors for their consideration.

The Lord Advocate has at times been heard in the Scottish Parliament so if the Lord Advocate or his deputy wishes to take your charge against me to Holyrood, I would be prepared to attend a court or committee established at Holyrood comprised of Members of the Scottish Parliament for trial when requested to do so.

Whilst MSPs too are pressured into swearing the oath of allegiance to the Queen, I would be prepared to accept at face value any statement by an MSP that his or her true loyalty is to their constituents whatever oath they may have given to the Queen.

Such a statement of putting the interest of constituents first and foremost before any Queen's interest would, in my view, qualify an MSP to sit in judgement on any matter where the Queen's interest is a consideration.

Another genuinely impartial court for consideration would be the European Court of Human Rights.

Otherwise if your petition is dealt with by the Sheriff Court, there would be a violation of my human rights described in the ECHR articles such as

Article 6 - fair trial
Article 13 - effective remedy

Having made the case against the impartiality of the Sheriff Court in this case, I do wish nevertheless to record my thanks for the bail, if not the conditions for bail, which was granted to me by the Sheriff and my thanks also to Mr McLeod, my solicitor for applying for bail on my behalf.

I value my freedom above all so I would not willingly remain in police custody or inside HM prison in preference to seeking bail from the Sheriff Court.

Indeed it was not until my release by Aberdeen Sheriff Court on bail that there was demonstrated any official behaviour in this matter which was informed by "intelligence", unless one counts my own intelligently stoical approach during the police raid and my arrest and imprisonment.

Since I have gotten onto the subject of "intelligence" it perhaps is appropriate at this stage of my reply to introduce myself as someone blessed with higher intelligence than many.

Mine seems to be the type of intelligence which is not always apparent to all considering the scrapes with the police and courts I have got myself into over the years.
Being so blessed with higher intelligence, I feel a moral obligation to volunteer myself for political leadership duties where I think that I can make a difference for the better.

Considering the trials and tribulations it seems I must on occasion endure as a consequence of my leadership activities, the misunderstanding of which is the bane of my life, sometimes higher intelligence does not seem to be an unqualified blessing but nevertheless I would not choose to have been born any other way nor would I seek to avoid my obligations to society to lead when the leadership which is needed appears to be in short supply.

Specifically, I cannot in all good conscience fail to offer my leadership in opposition to the monarchy and in support of the better republican alternatives.

Allow me then to introduce myself in other than in the pejorative terms of your petition.

My name is Alastair Peter Dow, known to my friends and family as "Peter".
I am, by education, a scientist. My qualifications are many which I list below chronologically, mentioning some of my other interests, such as social and political activities at the time. Copies of the certificates achieved have been scanned in and are available as attachments to this email.

Lornshill Academy, Alloa 
1976 
Scottish Certificate of Education

English Ordinary A
Geography Ordinary A
Arithmetic Ordinary A
Mathematics Ordinary A
German Ordinary A
Chemistry Ordinary A
Physics Ordinary A

Lornshill Academy Certificate of Distinction

Arithmetic
Maths
Chemistry
Physics
German

1977 

Scottish Certificate of Education

English Higher C
Geography Higher B
Mathematics Higher A
Chemistry Higher A
Physics Higher A

Lornshill Academy Certificate of Distinction

First in Mathematics
First in Physics
Outstanding effort in Music


1978 

Certificate of Sixth Year Studies

Mathematics II A
Mathematics III A
Chemistry B
Physics C

Lornshill Academy Certificate of Distinction

Mathematics
Chemistry

Lornshill Academy Certificate of Merit


Music

The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music

Clarinet Grade 8

Orchestras & Bands in which I played the clarinet

Lornshill Academy orchestra
Clackmannanshire country orchestra
Clackmannanshire county wind band
The National Wind Band of Scotland

Lornshill Academy Chess Team Captain

The University of Edinburgh 

1979 

Physics 1A Pass with 1st Class Certificate of Merit
Computer Science 1Ah Pass with 2nd Class Certificate of Merit
Computer Science 1Ch Pass with 2nd Class Certificate of Merit
Mathematics 1C Pass





1980

Physics 2A Pass
Mathematics 2X Pass
Computer Science 2A Pass

1981 

Computer Science Hons 3 Pass



1982 

Computer Science Hons 4 Degree of Bachelor of Science
2nd Class Honours (Division 2)


Politics

While a student at the University of Edinburgh, I once attended a protest against the Duke of Edinburgh attending the Student President's Ball. On another occasion, I proposed to a General Meeting of the Student's Association that the Duke of Edinburgh should be dismissed from his appointment as Chancellor of the University.

1983 

Began postgraduate studies in Micro-electronics but failed the exams.

Elected Science Postgraduate Students Representative

1984-1986 

Glasgow College of Nautical Studies 

Employment as a Lecturer B in the Department of Computing and Mathematics.

I resigned my employment as a lecturer after 18 months when I found the work had become repetitive, uninspiring and not challenging enough for me and I could not be bothered attending a scheduled teacher-training course for a teaching qualification with a view to doing more of the same work for years to come.

1986-1990

Politics

Labour Party membership. Supported Tony Benn MP for leader of the party.

Served as a public order steward at a public meeting addressed by Tony Benn in Glasgow.

Marched with trade unionists and Labour Party members accompanied with Glasgow Labour Party leaders such as Donald Dewar.

1990-1991

University of Aberdeen

Initially offered a diploma in Information Technology (Medical Physics) but the initial offer was not enthusiastically accepted by myself and eventually the offer of a diploma was withdrawn following disagreements regarding their refusal to allow me any opportunity for re-examination for the Master of Science qualification I had been studying towards.

1992 - 1995 

Politics

Legal action by solicitors, acting for University of Aberdeen officials, sought and were granted Sheriff Court interdicts to ban me from parts of Aberdeen University campus. The same solicitors hired a QC and from the Supreme Court in Edinburgh a court gagging order against me was sought and was granted and which was later enforced with contempt of court proceedings to stop my distribution of leaflets criticising my exclusion from the University of Aberdeen.

1997

Politics

Campaigning for "Yes I agree there should be a Scottish parliament" unofficially, even when official campaigning was suspended when Princess Diana was killed in a road crash.
Interviewed on Union Street Aberdeen by Sarah Smith for Channel 5 News.

1999 

Politics

Publication of a leaflet in the following terms ...
"1999: A CHALLENGE TO THE SCOTTISH LEGAL ESTABLISHMENT  
Ideally, who should tell the unelected judges to "FUCK OFF, YOU JUDGES, YOU MONSTERS" and why, when and how?  
Why should the people and the political parties ditch leaders who are seen to be ultra-loyal to the legal establishment? Why do we need to say, for example:  
to Donald Dewar (LAB) - a lawyer - "FUCK OFF, DONALD"
to Jim Wallace (LIB DEM) - a lawyer - "FUCK OFF, JIM"
to David McLetchie (CON) - a lawyer - "FUCK OFF, DAVID" 
 
(Oops, sorry, the judges and lawyers cannot be told to "FUCK OFF" for legal reasons. So perhaps the above should be read as "GET LOST ..." or "SACK YOU ..")  
For nearly three hundred years, the legal leeches, with their rotten cruel courts, have robbed the people of Scotland of their land, their hard-worked for wealth, their freedom of expression and on past occasions, their lives.  
Their rotten, robbing courts have smashed down hard on home-grown initiative and ambition, driving many decent people abroad or beating us into silent submission at home. Their rotten robbing courts have caused us to suffer national decline relative to world standards, much tragedy and many missed opportunities.  
The courts have allowed us to go quietly, cap in hand, to London or to Brussels but that has not served us particularly well.  
Some people have come to resent this imposition but, to date, the people of Scotland have not given priority to gaining a stranglehold around the neck of the legal establishment. It has always been the other way around; the legal establishment has always had a stranglehold on the people."
Etc.
Distributed "1999: A CHALLENGE" leaflet on the street to those attending a Labour Party public meeting and was quickly arrested by officers of Grampian Police using rigid handcuffs causing a very painful injury to my wrists and post-traumatic stress.

2001 

Aberdeen College 

Scottish Qualifications Authority - National Qualifications

Biology Higher A
Politics

While studying for my biology exam at home and needing some peace and quiet, I was tormented by youths and drunks repeatedly banging on my ground floor front window wherein I had displayed political posters. Exasperated and at the end of my tether I swore at police officers who were not taking any action to keep the peace and I was arrested.

I inexpertly represented myself and Sheriff Colin Harris imposed a bail condition that I must attend for a psychiatric examination. After a failure to agree a venue to meet the psychiatrist, Harris withdrew bail and I was remanded in HMP Craiginches for nearly 3 weeks.

Terrified in case I might be sectioned, I retained the services of the solicitor Tom Cruickshank of George Mathers solicitors whom I ordered to enter a guilty plea on my behalf and I was then released with time served. I am bitter to this day about that injustice. I hold the Queen as head of state responsible for allowing a foolish official of the state such as Harris to determine the fate of a scientist or a republican such as myself.

2002 - 2003 

Robert Gordon University 

Enrolled in part-time study in Biomedical Science

Excelled in the first term exams but in the second term I was excluded for asking difficult questions and for political activity. RGU officials hired the same firm of lawyers to intimidate me off the campus as were hired by the University of Aberdeen in the 1990s though there was no court action taken in respect of the RGU.

From 2004 

Authoring and publishing my Scottish National Standard Bearer website now at SCOT.TK

Developed my DowMod software for the administration of my For Freedom Forums extension to my website.

Posting internet-wide political commentary on national and international issues.

Carrying out independent scientific study and research

2007 

Politics

Protested outside the Scottish Parliament against the invitation and attendence of the Queen at the opening ceremony.

2008 

Politics

Appeared in a Scottish-produced human rights documentary, "The New Ten Commandments".

The ten-minute film chapter in which I was featured, reported on my republican protest of 2007 and the problems and restrictions routinely encountered in my political campaigns.

This film chapter was directed by David Graham Scott and entitled "The Right to Freedom of Assembly".

The New Ten Commandments - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The documentary premiered at the Edinburgh International Film Festival in 2008 and was broadcast on BBC 2 Scotland in December 2008.

There is a version of the "The Right To Freedom of Assembly" available on YouTube under the title "Scottish republican socialist Peter Dow, author and protester".

This film is my favourite example source to quote which explains my republican political viewpoints in only 10 minutes so you ought to watch it if you have not already done so.

2009 - 2014 

Science

Publication on my website and elsewhere on the internet of more of the results of my personal scientific research regarding an approach to a cure for cancer, renewable energy, mechanical design, medical instrumentation, economic, social, political and other sciences.

Politics

I signed up for Twitter and have made thousands of tweets on @peterdow, none of which got me arrested or even attracted so much as a caution from the police.

So I had happily assumed at this time that there was no issue of concern to the police with my tweeting or my internet publication of my long-standing republican political views.

July 2014 

Police raid, arrest, charge and Mr Shanks's petition regarding my republican, anti-monarchist tweets.

My tweets were spur of the moment compositions which were not well thought out at the time but since the police and Mr Shanks have chosen to make an issue of those tweets, I have applied myself to describing the language of my tweets, explaining what I really meant by that language and it is clear to me that I was casually using the language of political rhetoric, employing rhetorical devices such as hyperbole, militaristic figures of speech, synecdoche and brevitas - language which was clearly not meant to be taken literally.

Hyperbole

Hyperbole is explained in Wikipedia as follows
"Hyperbole is the use of exaggeration as a rhetorical device or figure of speech. It may be used to evoke strong feelings or to create a strong impression, but is not meant to be taken literally.  
Hyperboles are exaggerations to create emphasis or effect. As a literary device, hyperbole is often used in poetry, and is frequently encountered in casual speech. An example of hyperbole is: "The bag weighed a ton." Hyperbole makes the point that the bag was very heavy, though it probably does not weigh a ton."
Militaristic words as figures of speech

Considering the following examples of political rhetoric are very likely to be widely understood -
  • Mr Salmond did not mean to intend to hold Westminster politicians' feet to a fire, 
  • Nigel Farage did not mean that he had tanks which were going to be parked on Ed Milband's lawn, 
so comparing my language to the language of Mr Salmond and Mr Farage, any reasonable person should understand that I did not intend my language to be taken literally and I did not intend to threaten violence in any way.

So actually, no, Mr Shanks, I did not, as you accuse
"communicate material to another person or persons and the material implied threats to carry out a seriously violent act against a person or persons of a particular description whereby you did intend to cause fear or alarm or were reckless as to whether you caused fear or alarm in that you did send messages on the twitter social networking site making threatening remarks in relation to Her Majesty The Queen"
I did not make "threatening remarks in relation to Her Majesty The Queen". 

The remarks I made were rhetorical non-threatening remarks in relation to my republican politics which is in political opposition to the monarchy.

To accuse me of "threatening" is a foolish misunderstanding of what I tweeted.

When all of us wish to suggest something in the strongest possible terms, we may use language which employs hyperbole, militaristic words of figures of speech or other rhetorical devices, none of which are meant to be taken literally, without giving any reasonable grounds for any of us being arrested or criminally prosecuted for our language.

I wished to stress my republican politics in the strongest possible terms so I used rhetoric in my tweets to that effect.

I did not threaten the Queen in the same way as Mr Salmond did not threaten Westminster politicians and Mr Farage did not threaten Mr Miliband.

Other relevant rhetorical devices

I have never before now had any interest to purse an academic or forensic study of rhetorical terms but I have just recently identified other previously unfamiliar to me rhetorical terms which may, in an academic sense, be correctly applied to describe my language of my complained-about tweets.

Synecdoche 
"A synecdoche (meaning "simultaneous understanding") is a figure of speech in which a term for a part of something refers to the whole of something, or vice versa. An example is referring to workers as hired hands."
The example of synecdoche I have used in my tweet was referring to the medieval anachronistic constitutional impositions of the United Kingdom to which I, as a republican, wish to express my strong opposition to, as
"HM the Qunt" - @peterdow - tweet
Part of the kingdom, specifically, the monarch, I have used to refer to the whole of the kingdom.

Her Majesty the Queen, as the monarch of the kingdom, I have referred to in my tweet as a figure of speech to refer to the whole kingdom and in my context most especially those monarchist parts of the kingdom which would not be perpetuated in any successor republic to the kingdom, replacing monarch with democratically elected presidents as heads of state and replacing deference to the Queen and her officers with a written constitution.

Brevitas
"In rhetoric, brevitas is a style and figure of thought that uses the minimum amount of words to express an idea. ... Brevitas is a concise statement that implies more than is said, or a statement that expresses a thought with minimal words. For example, 'stuff happens' would be a case of brevitas. According to Cotton Mather, brevitas is an "essay made in a few words, to demonstrate that a few words may have much comprised in them" (Mather). Moreover, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, brevitas is the Latin form of the English word ‘brevity’, which Oxford English Dictionary defines as ‘being short in speech or writing; contraction into few words, conciseness, terseness’ ("Brevitas")."
Thus in the words of my tweet
"my army" - @peterdow - tweet
seems to be an example of my use of Brevitas wherein the full essay might replace these brief two words with
"The, as yet to be established, future army to which I would be likely to give my political support to would be a national or international, republican army with a democratically elected president as commander in chief which would serve my nations of the Scots, the British or indeed whichever nations would have me as a fellow national or allied national."
In other words, "my army", which I would expect would defend all citizens of the republic, would be an army which declared itself in service to my nations - currently, the Scots and the British - or in service to the people but certainly would not be an army which declared itself as "HM forces" and would not be an army whose military personnel were obligated to give an oath of allegiance to the Queen in preference to serving with a declared allegiance to the nations or the people.

Likewise,
"put a bullet in HM the Qunt's head" - @peterdow - tweet
is use of hyperbole, a militaristic figure of speech, synecdoche and brevitas, as political rhetoric, which is not meant to be taken literally but did instead suggest in the strongest possible terms democratically replacing the monarch with an elected head of state. What was being referred to by my rhetoric might be literally explained by a longer text such as -
"take all means necessary to establish democracy
"democracy" meaning "government of the people, by the people and for the people" - and people meaning "all of the people" and / or "the people's nations", 
with first recourse to diplomacy and a peace process if offered but reserving the right, to keep on the table as an option for the elected president as the commander in chief if necessary to order the military to take democratically and nationally authorized military action to overthrow the imposed rule by, or in the name of, any monarch."
All but a fool can understand Mr Shanks that my republican politics can only be explained with a far longer text which uses many more words and characters than can fit into a tweet.

A tweet posted on a republican's Twitter account has to mean something entirely different and much more reasonable and responsible than the "threatening" meaning falsely attributed to my tweets by the police and you jumping to a foolish misunderstanding of my rhetoric and acting recklessly upon your misunderstanding.

It is the police and it is you who have been reckless in this affair Mr Shanks, not I.

In any case, however I later define what I meant precisely at the time of authoring, my tweets were certainly clearly not meant to be, and indeed could not reasonably be, taken literally, but clearly could only have had a rhetorical meaning, the definitive source of authority for what precisely I meant can only be the tweets' author, myself.

Only I have the right to say what I meant by my tweets. If someone doesn't know exactly what I mean and is curious to know then the sensible way to proceed is to read my website or ask me if I am available what precisely I meant, but ask me politely, not while under arrest, not while under bail conditions, which can be done easily enough over the internet, and I will always be happy to explain myself.

No-one else has the right, any excuse or legitimacy simply to assume that my tweets were to be taken as meant literally and to take it upon themselves to overreact foolishly, inappropriately and in violation of my human rights.

The police and you Mr Shanks have been foolish and incompetent to date and you all ought carefully to consider my defence and then stop this ridiculous prosecution case forthwith, not proceeding to trial, or be forced to suffer the embarrassment of having your foolish decisions to date reviewed by your superiors and having this whole prosecution suspended and abandoned by the appropriate higher government authorities.

Submitting all the above for due consideration by the Procurator Fiscal in Aberdeen and superiors in the Crown office as appropriate, I make three suggestions, regarding the following case

Andrew Shanks -v- Alastair Peter Dow 
SCS Ref: SCS/2014-099567 
Local Ref: ABE/2014-003665 
PF Ref: AB14008188-001 
Police Ref: PGP0244410714 
SCRO No: S129419/83N 
I am being represented by George Mathers Solicitors of Aberdeen, and the solicitor dealing day to day with my case is Mr John A McLeod. 
George Mathers Ref: JAM/LS/D168.H 


1. Most importantly and urgently, I would like to have my computer equipment returned to me including my valuable scientific data.

My scientific data is irreplaceable and its future use by myself offers great benefits to humanity.

It was my understanding from the police that the reason they said they needed to take my computer equipment was to use as evidence so as to prove that I had tweeted the complained about tweets.

However, I have no issue with taking responsibility, with signing an admission of my ownership of the @peterdow twitter account and my authorship of my tweets and for the original document of that admission to be in the possession of police or prosecutors so that, if necessary, prosecutors could have in their possession my written admission as an evidential production, just in case they didn't trust me always to take responsibility for my tweets as I have always readily done.

So if we can agree that the tweets are admitted to by myself, can I have my computer equipment and its very valuable scientific data returned to me please?

My computer, the valuable data stored in it and my use of the internet is indeed my whole life. The police have taken my most valuable possessions and my life is on hold for so long as I am denied possession of my property.

2. While this prosecution still hangs over me, I request that the bail conditions be varied so that I can continue with my responsible use of the internet especially for the purposes of my scientific research and publishing.

For my science, I do need to view science videos many of which are typically only available on YouTube. Accordingly, I have asked my solicitor Mr McLeod to write to the Crown seeking an agreed wording for a variation of bail conditions application which would allow me only to view videos on YouTube but which would not allow me to comment on YouTube videos or use any of the more specifically social media networking facilities of YouTube.

Let's be fair about the bail conditions and not have them drawn so widely with such an oppressive scope that I can't use the internet harmlessly and usefully.

3. I would like this prosecution suspended while there could be an exploration by the parties of possible processes of conciliation wherein I offer to cooperate with police and prosecutors so that my tweets, social media networking or internet publishing generally would be willingly self-moderated so as to avoid prosecution in this case and to avoid the risk of any other such future arrest or prosecution.

So for example, such a conciliation procedure could involve that in the event of a future complaint about say, a future tweet of mine, rather than an immediate overreaction by the police breaking my door in and seizing my computer equipment, charging me, followed by prosecutors prosecuting me, the police or prosecutors could more proportionately email me or telephone me on 01224 583906, cautioning me that, say, a certain tweet of mine had been complained about and so should be deleted by myself now to avoid further police action. That would be so much easier and simpler for all concerned, would you not agree?

I am offering to be cooperative and constructive so as to seek to establish a future operating procedure which would hopefully, keep everyone reasonably happy with my tweets etc. and certainly if not very happy with every single tweet ever tweeted then at least not too offended for too long when any complained about tweets were speedily deleted by myself on request.

If such a conciliation process was successful, I would hope that this would resolve any existing or future possible complaints and accordingly then the prosecution could be abandoned.

My solicitor Mr McLeod at George Mathers suggested that if no prosecution proceedings had been commenced after some further months it was his intention eventually to seek a meeting with the prosecutor, suggesting that no further evidence for the prosecution was likely to emerge and to suggest that the prosecutor should drop the charges.

I agreed with Mr McLeod's proposal but since I am in a big hurry to get my computer equipment returned to me and the bail conditions loosened I suggested an earlier such meeting between my solicitor and the prosecutor, say within the next week or two at which I would like to attend so as to offer any help I can to expedite matters.

I trust that my proposals will be given due consideration and I do hope that common sense will prevail eventually.
 
Yours sincerely

Alastair Peter Dow

Ground Floor Right
21 Hollybank Place
Aberdeen
AB11 6XR
Tel Home landline. (Aberdeen) 01224 583906

PS. While it is no part of my defence to oppose the law which you Mr Shanks accuse me of breaking, namely the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act 2012, I would like to note that there was a debate recently in the Scottish Parliament about this relatively new legislation, including calls from some MSPs for its repeal.

This debate was recorded and is available to watch on the BBC's Democracy Live website at this link

The video plays OK when viewed using the Chrome browser but didn't work for me using Internet Explorer for some reason.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Murder of Bailey Gwynne. Aberdeen Police priority - not carrying of knives in schools

BBC: Bailey Gwynne death: Pupil stabbing death was 'avoidable'

Sadly the plods in Aberdeen have always been much more concerned with violating their duty so as to waste police time illegally persecuting republican political activists than bothering about stopping the carrying of knives in schools.

So long as no-one in Aberdeen gets away with making any disrespectful but harmless comments on Twitter about the Queen then Aberdeen's school children are expendable as far as Police Scotland are concerned.

Police Scotland are prepared to kill for their Queen so expect the rest of us to die for their Queen too.

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

In 1994 I was fined then jailed for doing my duty to prevent fraud.

If they had listened to me then Mr Chhokar would be alive today.

BBC: Ronnie Coulter convicted of 1998 Chhokar murder after second trial

The Chhokar murder arose from an argument over a stolen giro-cheque, which could only have value to any thief because of the incompetent policy of the Post Office which was (still is?) to cash giro-cheques to the bearer WITHOUT ASKING FOR IDENTIFICATION if the amount of the cheque was under £100.

In other words, the victim would be ALIVE today if the Giro-cheque payment system at the Post Office was competently managed to prevent fraud.

So the Post Office insisting on their right to make fraudulent payments has cost a man his life.

So the police and prosecutors insisting on arresting, prosecuting, convicting, fining and jailing someone (that would be me in 1994) who protests this mismanagement of the Post Office instead of arresting and prosecuting Post Office management has cost a man his life.

So the pro-fraud police state jailed me and it cost a man his life.

So there should in addition now be a conviction of the government ministers and head of state in the 1990s that allowed the post office to encourage fraud.

The following persons should stand trial for allowing fraud and risking lives in the 1990s
  • Head of state - Queen Elizabeth, 
  • Prime Ministers John Major, Tony Blair and 
  • Secretaries of State for Scotland - Ian Lang, Michael Forsyth, Donald Dewar (Dewar was also First Minister and is now dead so too late to prosecute him)
So-called "Conviction" of Alastair Peter Dow
27/09/94 Aberdeen District Breach of the Peace £50 - refused to pay, later jailed for a few days in Craiginches Prison, Aberdeen for non-payment
by the order of Justice of the Peace Mike Hastie.

Post office was habitually cashing stolen giro cheques in my name which had been stolen from the communal mailbox at my address. The post office practice was to cash the giro without asking the thief for any ID thus providing an incentive for the thief to return every fortnight to steal my giro. So I remonstrated with post office manager.

I do not admit this conviction because there was a miscarriage of justice. The post office manager was assisting fraud and I was right to point this out and to insist that the post office practice of fraudulently cashing giro cheques in my name should cease.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

James Dunbar, procurator fiscal depute - the slow learner

Aberdeen Sheriff Court, 27th September

Sheriff Margaret Hodge, presiding

Sheriff Hodge began by inviting procurator fiscal depute James Dunbar to address her regarding the notes Sheriff McLaughlin had made at the previous hearings and the opportunity the court had granted for prosecutors to report back from the police regarding copying of my data files for my defence.

Dunbar, apparently the lead prosecutor in this case, reverted to the prosecutors' earlier claim there was "no obligation to disclose" the computer data. Seemingly he was unfamiliar or in denial that the defence arguments and reasons for disclosure of evidence and the return of my irreplaceable scientific research data, which I had outlined, in his absence, to Sheriff McLaughlin in the previous intermediate diets of 29th July, 7th and 13th of September, had been understood by the court, the reporter for the Press and Journal and their readers, the good people of Aberdeen and the North-East of Scotland, if not as yet by him, Dunbar, the slow-learner.

Sheriff Hodge asked me to reiterate those arguments and reasons and I did so.

When then pressed by Sheriff Hodge, Dunbar admitted to police "technical difficulties" in copying the data.

Sheriff Hodge ordered another intermediate diet, for the 18th October 2016, before Sheriff McLaughlin and then I found the presence of mind to point out to Sheriff Hodge the prejudice of proceeding to trial regardless without first hearing the defence's arguments that it was inappropriate to proceed to trial in this case, for the reasons stated in my plea email of 15th June 2015 (quoted in my previous blog post of 14th September).