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 
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



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


Certificate of Sixth Year Studies

Mathematics II A
Mathematics III A
Chemistry B
Physics C

Lornshill Academy Certificate of Distinction


Lornshill Academy Certificate of Merit


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 


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


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


Computer Science Hons 3 Pass


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


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.


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

Elected Science Postgraduate Students Representative


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.



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.


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 


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.



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.



Publication of a leaflet in the following terms ...
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."
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.


Aberdeen College 

Scottish Qualifications Authority - National Qualifications

Biology Higher A

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



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



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 


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.


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 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.

"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.

"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.

"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
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).

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

The naming and shaming of a procurator fiscal depute who wanted to cover up evidence and her own name

Aberdeen Sheriff Court, 13th September 2016

That's me, Peter Dow, photographed leaving Aberdeen Sheriff Court on 13th September 2016

Sheriff Morag McLaughlin, presiding

In Aberdeen Sheriff Court 6 yesterday, Tuesday, 13th September 2016, I appeared in the dock, representing myself, before Sheriff McLaughlin, presiding, who invited the unknown-to-me lady procurator fiscal depute (who wasn't introduced to me, nor would she give her name to me at the end of proceedings - in violation of the principle of open and transparent justice) to report back to the court regarding police cooperation with my request to have, if not my computer equipment returned to me, at least a copy of the data made from the hard drive, for my defence.

The lady procurator fiscal depute said that the police estimated a cost of £200 to £300 in equipment that would need to be purchased, it would take a week to complete the copy and therefore the time and cost required was "not commensurate".

When allowed to reply, I reiterated my 2 reasons my defence needed the data -
  1. the distress and offence to me caused by the seizure by police of my irreplaceable science research data, from years of efforts (much longer than the "week" of police support officer time claimed to do the copy) - all particularly unhelpful when I am expected to represent myself in court,  
  2. I intended to consider what data from my hard disk I could extract and present as evidence in my case, to show my tweets in the context of my political activities as a republican
Further I said that, although I was not a lawyer, I believed that there was a duty on the prosecution to disclose evidence, that whilst the computer data evidence had been discovered - now we know the police have it - still the evidence had not yet been disclosed to the defence and that, were the crown to refuse to disclose the evidence, they had no business bringing the case to court.

Sheriff McLaughlin said that she had some sympathy with my request for a copy of the computer data, noting the requirement to ensure a fair trial with regard to the particular restrictions as to what the crown is prepared to agree with me being an accused representing myself and so she asked the prosecution to think again, ordering another intermediate diet, for the 27th September.

      Accused Details          Court Ref No            PF Ref No        Court Room
27 Alastair Peter DOW    SCS/2015-060310    AB14008188     Court 3

I restrained myself from interjecting to rebut Sheriff McLaughlin's claims to be attempting to ensure a "fair trial" because whilst I have already stated in writing in my plea letter that -
"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 have not already explained the details of my plea letter in court and much remains unsaid about that.

At one point Sheriff McLaughlin said that I would get my computer equipment back (eventually?), saying "sorry" at which point I did interject to say that whilst I was pleased to hear her say "sorry" the appropriate apology was for her to throw the case out of court - but she claimed that she was not able to do that for me.

Before leaving the dock I did ask if it was in order to ask for the name of the lady prosecutor but when Sheriff McLaughlin looked to the procurator fiscal depute for her response to my request, the lady procurator fiscal depute shook her head and would not state her name for me to take note of.

I said that I was attempting to establish a dialogue with the procurator fiscal's office to seek an out-of-court settlement (deleting the tweets, apologising, etc) and so it is helpful for me to know the names of the people involved, that the reluctance for the lady to be named was embarrassing for the court, that I had to give my name in court, that I knew the Sheriff's name, that I had been introduced to Mr Townsend (the procurator fiscal depute for the previous 2 court diets) and that we were supposed to have open justice but Sheriff McLaughlin defended the unidentified prosecutor saying she was there as a (nameless / faceless?) representative of the crown.

Yes, the shameful nameless lady prosecutor fiscal depute was indeed a typical representative of a unjust crown which much prefers to get away with covering the truth up.

Post-script - Naming and shaming

Thanks to today's Press and Journal story of 14th September, North-east man accused of threatening Queen demands police return computer, the heretofore shamed lady procurator fiscal depute has subsequently been named as "Sophie Hanlon".

 Stephen Walsh in the Press and Journal wrote -
An Aberdeen man accused of threatening the Queen on social media sites has accused prosecutors of “offending science and humanity” after they seized his computer as evidence.
Alastair Peter Dow is alleged to have caused fear and alarm on July 25 and 26 2014 by posting offensive, abusive and threatening messages online about the monarch.
Prosecutors claim the 54-year-old acted in a threatening and abusive manner at his home, 21 Hollybank Place, Aberdeen.
Dow denies the charge against him.
Yesterday, he appeared at the city’s sheriff court and asked for the Crown Office to return his personal computer, which was seized by police more than two years ago.
But fiscal depute Sophie Hanlon said the Crown Office had been told by police it would cost between £200-300 for the files on Mr Dow’s computer to be copied and returned to him.
She also said that police were reluctant to copy the files because it would take them up to a week to do so.
But Mr Dow argued there could be evidence on his computer which may help in his defence.
He said: “I consider that the data on the computer is essential to my work.
“It’s stressful enough being in the dock without this offence against science and humanity.
“There’s years of my research that’s in the hands of the police, it’s my whole life’s work essentially.
“The data itself has not been made available to me, I may wish to make comment on it to provide context to the Tweets.”
Sheriff Morag McLaughlin said some of the files could be used by Dow in his defence and that to prevent him from accessing them may result in an unfair trial.
She called for another hearing later this month to give prosecutors the chance to go back the police and see if they can provide a copy of Mr Dow’s computer files.
Dow is due to stand trial later this year.
Well I'd rather be appearing in the pages of the Press and Journal under happier circumstances but thanks to Stephen Walsh for his court report - and thanks to the photographer too!

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

I complained in court of the police & prosecutor crime against science and humanity

Aberdeen Sheriff Court, 7th September 2016

Sheriff Morag McLaughlin, presiding

In Aberdeen Sheriff Court 3 today, Wednesday, 7th September 2016, from the dock, representing myself, I spoke to my email of 5th September to the court before Sheriff McLaughlin, presiding, with Mr Alan Townsend appearing for the procurator fiscal's office.

I reported with regret that my attempts to find a solicitor were falling on stony ground and so my efforts since the the last court hearing had been mostly directed to achieving disclosure of the computer data evidence, listing the emails I had sent to prosecutors, police and court of 29th June, 5th and 19th of August seeking their cooperation which had, regretfully, received no reply.

I offered to recap the reasons I needed the computer data returned to me, described in my email of 22nd July. Sheriff McLaughlin asked if I would reiterate one of my two stated reasons in particular, addressing myself to what it was that the return of my scientific research data had to do with my defence?

I stressed that it mattered particularly if I was expected to defend myself, considering my complaint that the loss of my science research data had left me distressed and offended at police and prosecutors for their actions which I consider to be a crime against science and because science serves humanity, therefore a crime against humanity also, one of the most serious crimes imaginable.

Mr Townsend said efforts were being made and he had been in contact with Forensic Computer Examination Report's reporting officer (DS Martyn Thomson 0961) and was awaiting an update as regards when the copying might be done, though considering the large quantity of data on the device, it would take time to copy and attending to this task was not a priority for police.

I later retorted that whilst I agreed this case was not a priority and was a waste of the court's time, the appropriate response was to throw the case out of court and for the prosecutors and I to reach an out-of-court settlement - deleting the tweets or whatever.

Mr Townsend maintained to Sheriff McLaughlin that it was not possible for prosecutors to enter into a joint minute of agreement with an accused who was unrepresented therefore the Forensic Computer Examination Report could not have its provenance agreed with me personally and that was why, he claimed, it was not acceptable quickly to return my computer equipment to me.

Sheriff McLaughlin wanted to consider how this legal obstruction might be solved and she suggested that it might be possible to have a solicitor represent the defence just for the purpose of signing the minute of agreement but Mr Townsend was doubtful about her suggestion.

I suggested that it would help if I was to be put into email and telephone contact with the Police Scotland cyber-crime unit support officers - police computer experts. I offered to provide a blank hard disk to copy the data onto, mentioning that I had written to the producer of the Forensic Computer Examination Report, FSO Ewan Stewart, 3035, but had no reply from him, nor from anyone else.

I mentioned that my graduate science degree was in computer science and that taking care to ensure the correct set-up for disk copying it shouldn't take all that long to copy a hard disk.

However, Sheriff McLaughlin said that I should not expect to be allowed to help with the copying, however much I wanted to but rather it was appropriate only for the procurator fiscal's office to liaise with the police to get the data copying done.

With that Sheriff McLaughlin ordered a further intermediate diet for this Tuesday, 13th September, to see what progress, if any, had been made by then.

So, somewhat of a "Groundhog Day" in court, a reiteration of the hearing of 29th July.

Saturday, 30 July 2016

Unscientific, bureaucratic red-tape, legal obstruction

Aberdeen Sheriff Court, 29th July

Sheriff Morag McLaughlin, presiding

In Aberdeen Sheriff Court 3 yesterday, Friday, 29th July 2016, from the dock, representing myself, I spoke to my "Computer evidence discovered but disclosure unjustly refused" email of 22nd July, a paper copy of which apparently had been added as I requested to the court papers for Sheriff McLaughlin, presiding.

Mr Alan Townsend for the Procurator Fiscal's Office offered to help disclosure by investigating facilitating making copies of the seized computer data evidence available to me, as I requested, as a useful alternative to the immediate return of my property.

In court, I read to Mr Townsend from the prosecution's own Forensic Computer Examination Report -
"Using specialist hardware and software, we copied the contents of all the relevant computer hard disk drives and other storage media onto our central storage system.
Thereafter we used the copies to examine the contents, leaving the original disks and media completely unaltered."

But Mr Townsend seemed to believe that the original equipment would have to stay in police / prosecutor hands for now, even though, as I point out again, exact copies of the data have already been made by the Police Scotland cyber-crime forensics team so there would seem to be no practical need for the crown to retain possession of the original equipment.

Additionally, Mr Townsend claimed that the prosecution could not agree facts with an accused representing him / herself so the conclusions of the Forensic Computer Examination Report could not be considered "agreed" between prosecution and defence, however much I state that my defence agrees with those conclusions which are, after all, merely matters of public record, published on the internet and advertised from my own front window.

"An anomaly" was I think how Mr Townsend described this legal obstruction to what seems to be the obvious thing to do now - return my equipment with its irreplaceable scientific research data, please!

"Unscientific and bureaucratic red tape" is how I might describe this legal obstruction.

However, if the prosecution and police were to make disclosure of computer data evidence as requested and to offer to make such copies of the seized data for the defence as are needed then I shall, of course, accept such copies with thanks.

Sheriff McLaughlin granted me a further postponement, rescheduling the trial diet for the 1st November, with another intermediate diet on 7th September.