What happened on the 2nd day of the New Ferry Explosion Trial?

What happened on the 2nd day of the New Ferry Explosion Trial?

What happened on the 2nd day of the New Ferry Explosion Trial?

                                          

Queen Elizabeth II Law Courts (Liverpool Crown Court), Derby Square, Liverpool, L2 1XA (5th January 2019)
Queen Elizabeth II Law Courts (Liverpool Crown Court), Derby Square, Liverpool, L2 1XA (5th January 2019)

This report of a criminal trial in the Liverpool Crown Court continues from What happened on the 1st day of the New Ferry Explosion Trial?

The reporting restrictions I referred to in my report on the first day linked to above mean I can only report on what happened after around 3.15 pm. The following may be of interest to those ever called for jury service wondering what happens.
Continue reading “What happened on the 2nd day of the New Ferry Explosion Trial?”

What happened on the 1st day of the New Ferry Explosion Trial?

What happened on the 1st day of the New Ferry Explosion Trial?

What happened on the 1st day of the New Ferry Explosion Trial?

                                          

Queen Elizabeth II Law Courts (Liverpool Crown Court), Derby Square, Liverpool, L2 1XA (5th January 2019)
Queen Elizabeth II Law Courts (Liverpool Crown Court), Derby Square, Liverpool, L2 1XA (5th January 2019)

The first day of the trial about an explosion in New Ferry in March 2017 of two defendants started this morning in Court 5-2 on the 5th floor of the Liverpool Crown Court. Due to its high profile nature all the seats in the public gallery were full and the Usher had to find seats elsewhere in the court room for extra people.

The jury wasn’t present for a discussion between Judge Menary QC and the representatives for both defendants as to how long the jury should be allowed to complete the jury questionnaires. The trial is expected to last up to four weeks.

Judge Menary QC did agree an order with the parties for reporting restrictions (specifically delayed reporting) on some aspects of the case. Despite asking the Liverpool Crown Court staff for a copy of this reporting restriction order when the morning’s hearing concluded, at the time of writing the staff have been unable to provide a copy and insisted I email (I have since received an electronic copy this afternoon and made this edit before publication).

The jury are expected to be sworn in possibly tomorrow afternoon and some material in the bundles will be changed (one reason given was to correct an incorrect address).

There will be no sitting on Friday due to a Regional Sentencing Seminar. Defendant Pascal G Blasio was re-bailed on the condition that he appear again for tomorrow’s hearing.

Due to the ongoing nature of the trial comments are turned off.

A report on day 2 can be read at What happened on the 2nd day of the New Ferry Explosion Trial?

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1 invoice and 1 letter about the secret Court application I’m not allowed to write about that cost Wirral Council £535.20

1 invoice and 1 letter about the secret Court application I’m not allowed to write about that cost Wirral Council £535.20

1 invoice and 1 letter about the secret Court application I’m not allowed to write about that cost Wirral Council £535.20

                                  

I’m going to write a story now to show you how difficult it is to do investigative journalism in this country due to the legal framework here, as there are details I know about this story which is would be unlawful for me to publish.

There are two documents associated with this story so first I have to explain the background as to what they are and why I got them. The first is an invoice dated 13th January 2014 to Wirral Council from Lees Solicitors to Wirral Council for the sum of £535.20. This is for:

36 minutes preparation for a hearing at £160/hour 36 minutes which is £96 (+ VAT of £19.20) = £115.20

Counsel’s fee £350 (+VAT of £70) = £420

Grand total: £535.20

Due to legal restrictions *(*don’t you just love this country sometimes and their restrictions on the press?) although I know the names of the parties (such as the Applicant and Respondent) in this case, I’m not allowed to publish either of them on this blog. I cannot tell you who (although I know) the Applicant or Respondent are. In fact I’d better not tell you the date of the hearing, just in case you use that to somehow figure out who the Applicant and Respondent are. As far as I can tell (maybe I’m wrong) I’m not allowed to get a copy of or publish the Court Order (if there is one) that resulted from the hearing to consider the application.

This is openness and transparency in the local courts British style.

So why are Wirral Council paying £535.20 to Lees Solicitors for the legal work outlined in the invoice below? I think I’ve gone as far as I can do in answering that question as the rest would be educated guesswork.

Ironically I get more openness and transparency from Laura Quarry of the Family Court at Birkenhead than I get from Wirral Council in this matter in her letter to me dated 27th October 2014 (also below that the Wirral Council invoice). Mind you it is not hard to be more open and transparent than Wirral Council is it?

Laura Quarry states “Thank you for your letter dated 24th October 2014. This case is a Private Law Family matter. Therefore as you are not a party to this application, we cannot provide you with the documents you have requested. The documents you have requested refer to a civil matter and the case number you have provided is not a civil case number.

If you can provide us with a civil case number we can process your request. Please find enclosed your fee.”

If anyone would like to translate exactly what that means by leaving a comment, please do! I think I understand what she means although I may be wrong!

So which department is involved at Wirral Council in Family Court matters that the press aren’t allowed to write about? Why the Children and Young Peoples Department at Wirral Council of course! Who else?

In a recent change a few years ago, the press can be present at court hearings in the Family Court, however we’re still not allowed to report the details. The Family Court run to a different set of rules to the rest of the court system you see.

redacted invoice Wirral Council £535.20
redacted invoice Wirral Council £535.20
Letter from Birkenhead County Court dated 27th October 2014
Letter from Birkenhead County Court dated 27th October 2014

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