Tag Archives: Durham

Expert legal advice supports law graduate in crowdfunded private prosecution of Dominic Cummings

Mahsa Taliefar: there is a case against Dominic Cummings and she needs your help to take it to court.

Dominic Cummings could find himself facing an unlimited fine for breaching the Covid-19 lockdown after expert lawyers said there is a case against him.

Law graduate Mahsa Taliefar launched a funding campaign to help her bring a private prosecution against Cummings over his now-notorious trip to Durham at the end of March this year.

She sought legal advice from Benjamin Douglas-Jones QC and Nathaniel Rudolf on the practicalities of bringing a prosecution.

Their opinion is that he could indeed be prosecuted under Regulation 6 of the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020
Prosecutions.

These state that “during the emergency period, no person may leave the place where they are living without reasonable excuse”.

The lawyers’ advice states: “The published guidance… in our view reinforces the conclusion that there is a realistic prospect of conviction in relation to this conduct.”

The penalty, if such a conviction is won, would be an unlimited fine.

Concerns had been raised that Regulation 11 of the same law prevents private prosecution. It states: “Proceedings for an offence under these Regulations may be brought by the Crown Prosecution Service and any person designated by the Secretary of State.

The advice states: “At first blush this may be seen as preventing a prosecution by anyone other than the CPS or a person designated by the Secretary of State. In other words preventing a private prosecution.

“The regulation is not drafted with any precision: a literal (and absurd) reading would be in that in the absence of anyone designated by the Secretary of State the CPS may not prosecute.

“It seems to us that… permitting the Secretary of State to designate people who can prosecute the section simply clarifies that this does not oust the ability of the CPS to do the same. It does not go further.

“If Regulation 11 were to be read as excluding private prosecutors, it would also exclude the police from prosecuting, unless the police were designated by the Secretary of State as persons who can prosecute. As far as we can tell no such designation has taken place.

“Our view is that the Regulation 11 is sufficiently clear so as not to warrant, at this stage, our consideration of whether the right to bring a private prosecution had been prevented by its language. A private prosecution may be classed as a ‘constitutional’ right founded in statute (or common law). It would require the most explicit language to extinguish that right.”

So not only could Cummings face a large fine if found guilty of breaching the regulations, but it seems entirely possible that a private prosecution may be launched against him, in order to ensure that he does so.

As This Site has already reported, Ms Taliefar is already crowdfunding for this purpose and her site may be found here.

If you agree that Cummings should be brought to book, feel free to contribute to the fund.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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Law graduate launches private prosecution bid against Dominic Cummings. Will you help fund it?

Mahsa Taliefar: she has already received abuse from supporters of Dominic Cummings. Have a guess at their reasons – then scroll down through the article to see if you’re right.

How will the populist, propagandist supporters of our far-right government de-legitimise Mahsa Taliefar, the 25-year-old law graduate who wants to take Dominic Cummings to court?

Well, for a start she has a foreign-sounding name (her background is Iranian), so obviously she’ll be trying to harm all good, right(-wing)-thinking British people, right?

And from the photograph she’s physically attractive, so she’ll be talked down as a know-nothing bimbo (qualifications notwithstanding).

Undoubtedly Gina Miller will be able to provide advice on some of the other ways.

Oh hey! It’s already happening:

She has … been targeted by abuse and misogynistic comments from Dominic Cummings’ supporters on social media.

“I have been subjected to nasty comments about my facial features and hairstyle,” she said.

“There have also been many Cummings supporters who have suggested that the money may be going towards aesthetic lip fillers and hair maintenance.

“I find this totally unacceptable. This campaign has nothing to do with my gender or looks. Many people supporting Dominic Cummings have also aggressively told me to ‘move on’ – but we should not until he does.”

Ms Taliefar – like those of us who know right from wrong – was incensed by Cummings’s decision to ignore lockdown rules and drive off to Durham with his wife and son.

These feelings were undoubtedly aggravated by his decision to (again) ignore rules – this time relating to government advisers – to hold a press conference in which he defended his behaviour.

So she has launched a funding campaign to help her launch a private prosecution against Cummings.

“It was like Dominic Cummings was spitting in the face of everyone who adhered to the lockdown,” she said.

“People were not able to see their families and friends and were not even able to bury their loved ones and grieve properly.

“This is because we were all following the laws that were put into place to protect the public.

“Dominic Cummings had a direct hand in the making of those Covid laws and I was extremely offended when he didn’t even apologise for breaking the rules – he seemed very arrogant and there were people in government standing by him.”

She makes good points about the insult Cummings’s behaviour represents to people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds:

Mahsa, who is from an Iranian background, says Dominic Cummings’ behaviour is also a kick in the teeth for people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities who have been harder hit by coronavirus and are more likely to die of it.

“People from ethnic minority backgrounds are affected more by this virus and have less money and resources and are less likely to have powerful friends and connections,” she said. “Everything Dominic Cummings has, most people from ethnic minorities don’t.

“That makes me angry as when people from ethnic minorities are disproportionately affected by coronavirus, why should someone well off and more powerful put other people’s lives at risk by breaking his own laws?

“People from ethnic minority backgrounds also tend to have more people in our households and a lot of families have grandparents living with them. So it is really difficult for these communities to understand why someone like Dominic Cummings would travel so far and potentially put his parents at risk.”

Ms Taliefar reckons it will cost £300,000 to take a lawsuit all the way – and any funds not used for the private prosecution will be donated to Vision Aid Overseas – a charity dedicated to helping those with eyesight problems.

Here’s that GoFundMe campaign address again. With no interest in justice from the government, it seems this is the best way to get it.

Source: Law Graduate Pursues Private Prosecution Of ‘Arrogant’ Dominic Cummings | HuffPost UK

Are we letting Dominic Cummings off, now we have other things to entertain us?

Dominic Cummings in the Rose Garden: his attitude was “I can do whatever I like”.

Whatever happened to Dominic Cummings?

Did he quit his job as a prime ministerial advisor, ahead of being sacked? Did he apologise to the nation?

No.

Boris Johnson told us he was on his “last warning”, as if that means anything to us.

His arrogance has been unforgivable. His “last warning” should have been before the lockdown was imposed in Mid-March – not after he broke it in everybody’s face.

Nobody believed it anyway. When Boris Johnson failed spectacularly during Prime Minister’s Questions this week, we all thought he was wearing an earpiece so Demonic could Dominate him from a backroom.

There has been one dead cat after another. Today’s was the revival of a plan to build a new Royal Yacht, to cost the people of the UK £100 million that would be better-spent rebuilding the fabric of our ruined society after 41 years of neoliberal conservative rule and the Covid-19 pandemic.

So this question is pertinent:

Also, if Cummings was on his “last warning” earlier this week, shouldn’t he be out on his ear after this revelation?

Apparently…

Dominic Cummimgs; a Special Advisor to the Prime Minister, made it clear that he had stayed at a “spare cottage” at his father’s farm when he addressed allegations that he had broken lockdown restrictions in April.

The cottage in question is not registered for Council Tax, nor has planning permission been sought for the cottage from Durham County Council.

So he broke lockdown and social distancing rules in order to stay in a house that is a standing violation of planning laws, where Council Tax is avoided. Am I correct in that assumption?

And still this creepy little rule-flouter is drawing fat amounts of cash from the public purse.

Why?

Simon Wren-Lewis makes some good suggestions on Mainly Macro. He writes:

The old rules, like when an adviser becomes the story they go, just do not hold anymore, because this government has no respect for those rules.

Cummings is so valuable… He gaslighted half a nation into making them[selves] poorer because of an issue few of them had cared about before the referendum. To then convince enough people that Johnson accepting a deal which the EU originally proposed and the UK rejected was some kind of triumph was also impressive. Winning a large majority in the subsequent election sealed his reputation as a master manipulator of voters, although it has to be said that with all these things he had tremendous help from the collective media.

He wants a say in everything any minister does that might influence his mission… [and Boris Johnson] is happy to allow his partner in crime to pursue his own agenda, because Johnson does not have an extensive agenda of his own.

The ultimate in Cummings gaslighting was his appearance in the Rose Garden of No.10. As Frances Coppola writes, it was a gigantic show, a show of personal power. Look what I can do, he was saying. I can lie about why I went to Barnard Castle, I can lie about how I foresaw how vulnerable the UK was to a pandemic, and there is nothing you can do about it, much like all the previous lies I have made in the past and got others to say.

Yup. This Site drew attention to this lie but hardly anybody paid attention.

And later, when a BBC presenter tells the truth about what he did, his helpers get the BBC to give her a reprimand.

Again, I highlighted the injustice of this, to a chorus of tumbleweeds.

It is not as if Cummings necessarily improves Johnson’s decision making capacity. What Johnson desperately needs is someone with a proven record of gaslighting a nation to get voters to forget about it all as quickly as possible. For that reason Cummings survives, for now at least.

So there you have it.

Dominic Cummings will remain at Downing Street as long as he manages to do what Boris Johnson cannot, which is to make Boris Johnson look acceptable.

He has enjoyed the complicity of the right-wing media in this.

But the press pack has shown signs of turning lately. With Keir Starmer dragging Labour back across to the political right-wing, they have a new horse to back while still supporting the idea that rich people should be allowed to do what they want, especially if it humiliates the poor.

Maybe Demonic’s days are numbered after all. But don’t get your hopes up because even if that does happen, you won’t reap the benefits.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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Durham police may face inquiry into handling of Cummings case; is this the reason?

It seems Boris Johnson isn’t the only one who can’t put Dominic Cummings’s Durham trip behind him.

The local constabulary has fallen foul of the general public:

Durham police is facing a possible inquiry into its handling of the Dominic Cummings saga after complaints were passed to its internal investigation team.

The force has received a number of complaints from members of the public angry at the way it dealt with Boris Johnson’s aide over his travels during lockdown.

Durham police said it believed the special adviser probably did break lockdown rules by embarking on a 52-mile round trip to the town of Barnard Castle with his wife and son on her birthday.

Officers might have intervened to send him home had they caught him on the trip on 12 April, or fined him if he refused, the report said.

Its investigation also concluded that Cummings did not break health protection regulations by making the 260-mile trip to Durham with his son and wife, who had coronavirus symptoms, though it made no finding in relation to the “stay at home” government guidance.

The force’s findings have been met with anger in some quarters, prompting several emailed complaints which were then passed on to its professional standards department as is protocol.

The nature of the complaints is not known.

Is it possible that the force has been accused of favouritism – of according Cummings a privilege not provided to others?

I mention this merely because of the following:

Durham police issued fines to two people – from different households – who travelled together from London to County Durham during lockdown.

The two individuals fined by the force travelled to nearby Peterlee.

The BBC is seeking further details from Durham Constabulary about the two individuals who were fined for travelling from London to Peterlee, about 13 miles east of Durham, on 8 April, a week after Mr Cummings made his trip.

So, they fined these two people for travelling a similar distance up from London, after Cummings made his journey – but they decided not to fine Cummings or take any other action against him?

The question is simple: Why?

I fear we know the answer.

Source: Durham police facing possible inquiry into handling of Cummings case | Politics | The Guardian

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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Cummings’ Barnard Castle trip ‘minor’ breach of social distancing rules. What about dangerous driving?

Dominic Cummings: he and his buddy Boris Johnson probably think they got away with it again.

Durham Police have confirmed the adage that the UK has one rule for the elite and another for the masses, by refusing to fine Dominic Cummings for breaking social distancing rules in his controversial trip to Barnard Castle.

What about the breach of lockdown represented by his trip to Durham, where he breached social distancing rules by handing his son, who had been exposed to two people who had Covid-19, over to his elderly parents – vulnerable people who were now potentially exposed?

What about the implication of dangerous driving – a criminal offence – in the fact that Cummings himself said he drove to Barnard Castle because he believed Covid-19 had affected his eyesight and he wanted to check whether he could see well enough to drive back to London?

All we get is that Durham Police “did not consider an offence had been committed”.

To the rest of us, this simply suggests that Durham Police are not fit for purpose; this service cannot enforce the law with equality towards rich and poor alike.

PM aide Dominic Cummings’ trip to Barnard Castle “might have been a minor breach” of lockdown rules, Durham Police has said.

But the force said no retrospective action would be taken against the PM’s chief adviser.

In a statement, Durham Police said they view Mr Cummings’ 50-mile round trip to Barnard Castle with his wife and son as “minor” because there was no apparent breach of social distancing rules during their visit.

The force said it had “no intention to take retrospective action in respect of the Barnard Castle incident”, since this would amount to “treating Mr Cummings differently from other members of the public.”

Other members of the public who have been fined for travelling may take a different view. Tory MP Daniel Kawczynski recently made a fuss about being denied access to Welsh beaches for fear of being fined, for example. Was he mistaken? Would he – and others – have been permitted to make the trip, if Cummings’s 60-mile round trip was not worthy of a fine?

On the issue of whether it was an offence for Mr Cummings to drive himself and his family from London to Durham to isolate on his family’s farm, Durham Police said it did “not consider an offence was committed”.

Source: Dominic Cummings ‘might have broken lockdown rules’ – police – BBC News

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Tories who laughed off Cummings’ Durham visit now have to explain his SECOND trip

Dominic Cummings: he took a second trip to Durham, breaking lockdown rules again.

After the Conservative government spent all day protesting that Dominic Cummings wasn’t wrong to drive all the way to Durham if it was to protect his children from Covid-19, it has emerged that he was seen there AGAIN, days after he had returned to London.

And there’s no excuse this time!

This is from the Mirror:

Dominic Cummings is under huge pressure to explain TWO trips which defied lockdown rules HE helped draw up.

Boris Johnson’s top aide was spotted in Houghall Woods a fortnight after the first sighting.

He was first spotted in Durham on April 5 while self isolating with the coronavirus.

A return to London saw him back at work on April 14. But by April 19 he was back in Durham.

On the second visit, fellow walkers spotted Mr Cummings at the local beauty spot.

Downing Street – and multiple ministers who should all resign with Cummings – spent all of May 23 claiming that it was entirely within lockdown rules for Cummings to have driven 260 miles from London to Durham.

They said because he was trying to protect his children from Covid-19 it was fine for him to take a house near his parents’ (I think this has yet to be verified) for the 14-day period of his self-isolation.

That’s interesting, because… well, look:

You might say, “That’s okay because the kids didn’t stay with the grandparents after all,” but…

Now consider this, if you can stand the hypocrisy:

So it seems that the most accurate thing to be said about the government’s attitude is this:

Also:

That’s right: Downing Street knew Cummings had left London and lied about his location.

Of course, even though he doesn’t think they count for him, Cummings is happy to inflict lockdown rules on others:

So Cummings, Boris Johnson, his ministers, Downing Street and any journalists who defended them are all mired in a mess of lies, rule-breaking and hypocrisy from which they cannot extricate themselves.

They’ll laugh it off and ignore it because the people of the UK decided to give them a massive 80-seat Parliamentary majority in the last election.

So it is our public duty not to let them.

Source: Dominic Cummings ignored coronavirus lockdown rules for SECOND time to visit parents – Mirror Online

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Did Rachel Riley’s ‘Durham Miners’ tweet upset you? Support Mike’s libel fight!

Rachel Riley wants you to believe she has been wrongly targeted by me with a claim that she bullied a teenage girl. Read this tweet and consider who you believe is right.

 

Yup – she compared the Durham Miners’ Gala with a meeting of the Ku Klux Klan.

And the organisers were not amused:

 

We’re observing a pattern of behaviour that, in my view, is indefensible. That’s probably why Ms Riley threatens litigation against anyone who points this out.

The Durham Miners’ Association hasn’t (at the time of writing) reached the point where court action is inevitable – but I have.

So if you know someone who has been infuriated by Ms Riley’s treatment of the good people who organised, attended and performed at the Gala, please invite them to visit this CrowdJustice site – https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/ – and then do one, some, or all of the following:

Please email five of your friends, asking them to pledge to this case.

You could also post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge. Again, the address is https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/

If you’re on Twitter, you could tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

And if you can afford it, please consider pledging some cash yourself.

It’s only my personal opinion but I think that Ms Riley’s behaviour is utterly unacceptable. If you agree, please spread the word about my campaign as widely as possible.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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