Posted by: John Brace | 10th March 2020

What happened during day 1 of a trial which involved a Lancashire Constabulary request for an anti-social behaviour order against Mr Ponting?

What happened during day 1 of a trial which involved a Lancashire Constabulary request for an anti-social behaviour order against Mr Ponting?

                             

Liverpool Civil & Family Court, Vernon Street, Liverpool, L2 2BX which was the venue for the hearing

Liverpool Civil & Family Court, Vernon Street, Liverpool, L2 2BX which was the venue for the hearing

By John Brace (Editor)

This is a report of day 1 (of a possible 4) held on the 9th March 2020 of Chief Constable of Lancashire Police v Ponting in Court Room 26 on the third floor of Liverpool County Court, 35 Vernon St, Liverpool, L2 2BX.

HHJ Knifton QC is presiding over the case. Henry Gow (New Bailey Chambers) is the barrister for the Defendant Mr Ponting. Lee Bonner (Atlantic Chambers) is the barrister for the Chief Constable of Lancashire Police.

As the case was ongoing at the time of publication comments are turned off.



The case started with those present rising for the entrance of HHJ Knifton QC. He invited Mr Bonner to speak.

Mr Bonner referred to a copy of a further statement of Detective Constable Harrison and how it would be numbered (with reference to the existing statement). The witness bundle would be updated in the same way.

HHJ Knifton QC thanked him.

Mr Bonner in his opening remarks about the case referred to section 1 of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 and the procedural history of the case regarding an anti-social behaviour injunction which had involved an appearance on the 18th December and an interim injunction without notice on the 26th September before a Recorder. The interim order as amended in its current form was in the application bundle.

Referring to the tests outlined in section 1 unless it was wished that he did so, he was not going to deal with or go into the framework in his opening but was live to the article 10 freedom of expression issues which were live in this case concerning human rights.

Continuing, on a factual basis he said that the factual basis of Mr Ponting’s conduct fell into a number of categories that were interlinked which were to do with harassment, alarm and distress of police officers and staff of Lancashire Constabulary. One of the categories was set out in the bundle of complaints made against Lancashire police officers that had been seen and read.

He referred to the witness statement of a detective superintendent who is Head of the Professional Standards Department at Lancashire Constabulary. Mr Bonner referred to 45 complaints made [by Mr Ponting] covering 73 allegations that were sometimes of very serious misconduct. Two complaints had resulted in words of advice only but no misconduct. Paragraph three in the first statement mentioned serious allegations without foundation and the significant alarm, distress and anxiety to officers.

Mr Bonner continued by referring to many of the complaints as unfounded and not upheld. A second statement dated 22nd October following 12 further allegations made in complaints by the Defendant meant the complaints were far in excess of any other member of the public over the same time period.

As no complaints were upheld, the conduct of Mr Ponting resulted in the contact policy first being applied in January 2017 with subsequent revisions in April 2019 which pointed to the subject today and formed part of the interim injunction exhibited at MW4. Mr Bonner continued by alleging a number of breaches of the contact policy by Mr Ponting and referred to paragraph 10 of the witness statement of Chief Inspector Jones. He referred to the 8th of April 2019 and a date in May 2019 and how relatively early on Mr Ponting had described it as “some bullshit contact policy” and how without a court order Mr Ponting stated he would report incidents in the same way as any other member of the public and Mr Ponting’s intention to challenge this in the courts if necessary.

Chief Inspector Jones had given examples of continuing contact with police and later the hearing would hear a recording by Chief Inspector Jones of a call to police call handlers. He referred to details about the call and what happened during it. During the call, the call handler had threatened to terminate the call, Mr Ponting had said he would make a formal complaint if that happened. Although the vast majority of his complaints were not upheld, by making complaints it was detrimental to those complained against.

Detective Superintendent Winstanley had referred to not only the fact of how Mr Ponting used the threat of such a complaint, but also made threats to be named publically on forums such as YouTube and the UK Corrupt Police website as a tool to obtain the outcome or resolution that he sought. This was echoed in the statement of Chief Inspector Jones at paragraphs 5 and 17.

Continuing Mr Bonner referred to the “excessive use” of freedom of information and subject access by the Defendant, which was not just a burden on Lancashire Constabulary in handling (along with the consequential impact on other policing) but that Mr Ponting had been seeking material for campaigns against and allegations against police officers.

In the bundle ICO in 2018 had considered whether it was correct that a number had been categorised as “vexatious” and it was informative in paragraph 15 of the report that ICO [Information Commissioner’s Office] considered Mr Ponting had gone beyond normal persistence and beyond the level of adverse commentary that Lancashire Constabulary and staff tolerated.

Mr Bonner’s view was that Mr Ponting’s behaviour and misuse of the FOI [Freedom of Information] was a further example of his conduct and the manner in which he spoke and communicated included threats to complain or make public online details in his conflict. Reference was made to “aggressive, offensive and abusive language” and a description by Mr Ponting of Chief Inspector Jones that he “was a fucking fool”.

In a complaint made by Mr Ponting against Chief Inspector Jones he had called him a “liar”, reference was made to a letter and page 845 and a recording stating, “you’re a fool like the rest of the dicks in”. This was similar in tone but a small example of acting offensively in response to the slightest error. Mr Bonner continued describing Mr Ponting’s complaint about Chief Inspector Jones’ alleged dishonesty.

However the conduct that had caused the greatest form of harassment, alarm and distress had been the targeted publishing of online articles on the UK corrupt police website that had caused Chief Inspector Jones “immense harassment, alarm and distress”. Chief Inspector Jones had been accused in the article of lying, malicious allegations, being “full of shit” and part of a cover up. The article included pictures taken from the internet, a reference was made to page 225 of the bundle.

A reference to paragraph 18 of the witness statement stated that Chief Inspector Jones at the time of the posts in June and July of the previous year [2019] had had no contact with Mr Ponting for several months and had not met in person.

Mr Bonner referred to an allegation by Mr Ponting referenced at IG13 about Assistant Chief Constable Jo Edwards which was on page 230 “signing off dubious charges” without CPS [Crown Prosecution Service] advice to “frame him”. Mr Ponting had described it as Assistant Chief Constable Edwards trying “to chuck shit at me in the hope something would stick”. Following the interim injunction and a further article on the UK corrupt police website the Assistant Chief Constable signed off on a harassment charge. Although the Assistant Chief Constable was not mentioned by name, the article was linked to a previous article that had mentioned the Assistant Chief Constable therefore there was no doubt that the article referred to the Assistant Chief Constable Edwards.

Mr Ponting had referred to Inspector Jolly as a “fool” and had been threatening to mention Inspector Jolly all over the internet and YouTube. In an article about Inspector Jones on the UK Corrupt Police website, Mr Ponting had accused Inspector Jones of intentionally abusing his power as a police officer to protect a police informant from prosecution, colluding with criminals and having a vendetta against a victim of crime. Continuing Mr Bonner referred to further allegations made by Mr Ponting that a police officer had been protecting a convicted knife offender, deciding not to follow up relevant information and perverting the course of justice.

Serious allegations had been made about Inspector Jolly by Mr Ponting but none had been upheld. Reference was made to a YouTube video which highlighted the dangerous approach to such posts and an example of two people with similarly sounding surnames being mixed up.

Even retirement did not remove a person from the sights of Mr Ponting as retired Inspector Cox, now working for a civilian employer had had his employer contacted by Mr Ponting about matters that had occurred during his time as a police officer.

Criticism of the judiciary had also been made by Mr Ponting. Perverting the course of justice was a favoured allegation made by Mr Ponting. Detective Constable Harrison, Police Constable Whittle and Sergeant Eckersley had also been complained about by Mr Ponting who complained about the way he had been searched by Sergeant Eckersley. Police Constable Craig Appleton was another person that Mr Ponting had disagreed with in relation to the issue regarding alleged breach of bail by James Whitehead in a case in which Mr Ponting was a witness.

Mr Bonner then referred to an article referring to Assistant Chief Constable Appleton in relation to the investigation into the alleged breach of bail conditions. Ponting’s reaction if told something he disagreed with was to use the word “bullshit”. In a witness statement of Chief Inspector Jones, reference had been made to the tit for tat nature of the online disagrement and Chief Inspector Jones’ view that Mr Ponting had engaged in unnecessary online abuse which two police forces had confirmed.

A visit to a police station by Mr Ponting involving the simple matter of providing a witness statement had led to Mr Ponting unhappy at a police officer recording what was happening using his body worn video which had led to Mr Ponting conducting the meeting with his coat over his head and adding to the witness statement that it had been taken under duress because of the body worn video.

Police officers were aware of articles referring to “police pawns”, accusations to pervert the course of justice, “nob” and had described the understandable effect these articles had had on them. A post online dated 16th March 2019 featured one police officer’s name and photo which had impacted on whether he could be considered for covert roles.

Another whom Mr Ponting had been in conflict with was a sergeant and there had been an incident on the 13th June in Ormskirk when Mr Ponting had been seeking to video record in non public areas. He had been confrontational, aggressive, used foul language and threatened to make a complaint. The related section 5 conviction had been overturned on appeal and he had been bound over for breach of the peace.

Detective Constable Harrison had referred to various offensive articles accusing her of “perverting the course of justice”, “sabotaging evidence”, falsifying information on the Police National Computer and the effect this had had on her.

Police Officer Briggs had referred to Mr Ponting’s descriptions of her as “foolish”, “cocksure” and how a picture of a troll had accompanied an article about her also on the site about UK corrupt police officers. Police Officer Briggs detailed the effect the unpleasant posts had had and how using the word “corruption” was offensive and not simply expressing views.

Mr Ponting had stated he complained when “in my opinion is an actionable wrongdoing”. Mr Bonner continued that it was likely to cause officers and in some instance their families harassment, alarm and distress which in his view submitted to the statutory test in section 1 and section 2 in the Anti-social Behavior, Crime and Policing Act 2014 balanced with the right to freedom of expression and that the restrictions were properly sought.

The first witness was Detective Superintendent Mark Winstanley who was called to give evidence. He read the witness oath after prompting.

Mr Bonner asked him to identify himself to the court. He identified himself as “Detective Superintendent Mark Winstanley” and the “Head of the Professional Standards Department”.

Mr Bonner referred to the two statements and a number of exhibits. HHJ Knifton QC asked why the date on the witness statement was the 17th April, but the signature was the 17th October on page 243?

Detective Superintendent Mark Winstanley answered that the statement was from the 17th April, but it had been put onto a formal court process in October, although made in April it had become formal in October when signed.

Mr Bonner asked him (in reference to pages 271, 271a and 272) and the exhibits if he would make a statement of truth by confirming that they were the truth and accurate to the best of his knowledge and belief?

Detective Superintendent Mark Winstanley answered, “Yes they are”.

Mr Bonner asked if he wished to introduce them as evidence to which he responded “Yes”. Mr Bonner had no further questions.

The Defendant’s barrister Mr Henry Gow asked if the witness didn’t understand his questions to please ask him to rephrase. He asked about the process of what happened when the Defendant or any member of the public made a complaint?

Detective Superintendent Mark Winstanley answered that Lancashire Constabulary’s Professional Standards Department would make an assessment of the complaint. A senior member of the Professional Standards Department recorded if it was to be investigated how it would be dealt with.

Mr Henry Gow asked what happened to complaints?

In response the answer given was that they were investigated by the professional standards department which included police officers and police staff.

Mr Gow asked what happened after?

He was told that following formal investigation the complainant was informed of the outcome of the investigation as well as notice of a right to appeal depending on the level to either the Chief Constable (which was delegated to himself) or the IOPC (Independent Office for Police Conduct) to make a decision.

Mr Henry Gow said that in the vast majority of complaints they were not substantiated not just Mr Ponting’s, was this correct. To which “yes” came the reply.

A further question was asked to which Detective Superintendent Mark Winstanley said he would not give a decision on a hypothetical but that there was often conflicting evidence.

HHJ Knifton QC asked what standard applied?

Detective Superintendent Mark Winstanley said that complaints were decided on the balance of probabilities, including any corroborative evidence to the assertion.

Mr Gow asked if accepted that even a series of unsubstantiated complaints showed a pattern of behaviour?

In answer he was told that the police officer may well be in conflict with an individual who make vexatious complaints.

Referring to the number of complaints Mr Gow referred to 54 complaints and 73 allegations which were not in a vacuum and asked how many times Mr Ponting had been arrested and summonsed in 2013?

Detective Superintendent Mark Winstanley answered that he didn’t know.

Mr Gow said it was a matter of fairness, as there were references to arrests, summonses or prosecution but no one had bothered with a summary for Your Honour but that it had been at least nine times since 2013.

Detective Superintendent Mark Winstanley replied that if it was it was a matter of record.

Mr Gow said that five different offences had been prosecuted but that Mr Ponting had never been convicted of any.

Detective Superintendent Mark Winstanley replied with a reference to evidence during the hearing.

Mr Gow referred to the arrest, assault, prosecution and civil action against the police.

Detective Superintendent Mark Winstanley stated that he was aware of the arrest and civil action.

Mr Gow stated that the Defendant had been arrested, unlawfully imprisoned and awarded £35,000.

Detective Superintendent Mark Winstanley replied that the police settlement had not found liability.

Mr Gow said that the police may use force to detain a person and this was a lawful right, but in any other circumstance it was an assault, did he understand that in the absence of a lawful right it was an assault?

The response from Detective Superintendent Mark Winstanley was “Some not all”.

Mr Gow said that the Defendant had sued for unlawful imprisonment and had received a substantial £35,000 with no admission of liability?

Detective Superintendent Mark Winstanley said that the police had not admitted liability.

Mr Gow asked him if he conceded that a significant amount of complaints were in relation to that action?

Detective Superintendent Mark Winstanley replied that some were.

Mr Gow asked, “How many?”

Detective Superintendent Mark Winstanley said that without looking he didn’t know.

Mr Gow said that the rest of the complaints were to do with being continually arrested, summonsed, prosecuted and found not guilty.
Detective Superintendent Mark Winstanley replied that some were on different matters.

Mr Gow said that they were not broken down for Your Honour.

Detective Superintendent Mark Winstanley replied that every allegation, arrest, prosecution and other matters if deemed necessary were in the document.

Mr Gow referred to the last time the Defendant was prosecuted which Mr Bonner had alluded to in his opening. It had happened at a police station where the Defendant was arrested for breach of the peace then prosecuted. He referred to the statement of Chief Inspector Jones and the decision to prosecute on section 5, could he summarise the other charges or advise if there were other charges as well that the Magistrates’ Court originally convicted on or not?

The answer was that to clarify the charges were made on the advice of the CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) and the Defendant had been convicted was his understanding.

Mr Gow referred to the video of what had happened that had been withheld. He received a reply to this point. Mr Gow continued that after an appeal to the Crown Court after disclosure there had been an agreement not to challenge the appeal if the Defendant agreed to be bound over.

Detective Superintendent Mark Winstanley stated that he had no first hand knowledge but he was sure it would be tested.

Mr Bonner stated that Inspector Jolly would be a better officer to ask this question to.

Mr Gow made another point about complaints in reference to a quote by Chief Inspector Jones about the Defendant.

Detective Superintendent Mark Winstanley said that he dealt with complaints by members of the public.

Mr Gow referred to his witness statement and a letter sent on the 19th exhibited at MW2674, a letter sent by email on the 19th April, April last year was this correct?

Detective Superintendent Mark Winstanley answered, “Yes”.

HHJ Knifton QC asked for the page number?

Mr Bonner referred to a page number and exhibit MW2674.

Mr Gow asked if the Defendant had broadly complied with the control order? The answer given was unclear. Mr Gow said that he was quite a distance from Detective Superintendent Mark Winstanley and for him to speak up.

Detective Superintendent Mark Winstanley answered that on a number of occasions there had been a failure to comply.

Mr Gow referred to specific dates, an email and a road traffic accident where the Defendant“s wife had been driven into, was he aware of this?

Detective Superintendent Mark Winstanley answered that Chief Inspector Jones would be better to answer that question.

Mr Gow asked if the Defendant had complied with the control order to which the answer given was “Yes”.

Mr Gow referred to paragraphs 9, 10, 11 and 12 referred to them as hearsay and that what had been done with no witness statements from staff who could not be questioned, just made allegations with little or any probitive value.

In reply Detective Superintendent Mark Winstanley stated that it was down to HHJ Knifton QC to make a decision about that.

Mr Gow asked if he knew that in response to one complaint he had actually removed a post from a website?

Detective Superintendent Mark Winstanley replied that he had not be aware and apologised.

Mr Gow asked as far as he was aware regarding antisocial behaviour had anybody tried to mediate the complaint or warn him? Had there been any attempt at mediation and if so when?

Detective Superintendent Mark Winstanley answered that numerous attempts at mediation had failed but there wasn’t any specifically prior to the application but that there were reasons for that.

Mr Gow stated that nobody warned the Defendant that if he didn’t stop an order would be sought, the force sought an anti-social behaviour order?

Detective Superintendent Mark Winstanley said it was nothing personal but he couldn’t speak for Mr Ponting.

HHJ Knifton QC asked if there had been numerous attempts at mediation, whether formal involving a third party or informal steps. Detective Superintendent Mark Winstanley stated that informal mediation had been attempted including one one occassion a senior police officer.

Mr Gow referred to a letter from the Professional Standards Department sent to the Defendant on 16th November and had he seen it?

Mr Bonner stated that it was not in the evidence bundle, therefore he needed the opportunity to read it.

HHJ Knifton QC stated that as the witness was part way through their evidence that they were not to speak to anyone about it.

The matter was adjourned at 12.01 pm.


The hearing resumed at 12.09 pm.

HHJ Knifton QC asked for the date of the letter? The date was given as the 16th January 2018 but was an unsigned letter.

Detective Superintendent Mark Winstanley was asked to read out a section into evidence. He read out a part that stated that Chief Inspector Jones advised that a full explanation had been made why the telephone conversation terminated and the “effing fool” comment had been made in 2008.

A series of short questions were asked and short answers given, in answer to the last Detective Superintendent Mark Winstanley explained that the letter had not been sent from him personally.

Mr Gow asked a question about the tables appended to the witness statement and the summary of brief subject details attached to the second. Detective Superintendent Mark Winstanley confirmed this was correct.

Mr Gow referred to page 281 and the “fucking fool” issue and checked that this was the same incident in which the Defendant had made an allegation of lying to which Detective Superintendent Mark Winstanley answered, “Yes”.

Counsel for the Defendant Mr Gow asked a series of short questions. He referred to the call, how the word “fucking” had not been used during the call, which if used would have been offensive, but that it had prefaced “fool” in Chief Inspector Jones’ recollection of the call? Detective Superintendent Mark Winstanley answered, “Yes”.

Mr Gow asked for the outcome of the matter and whether any of the complaint was upheld? The answer given was that in October it was shown as all resolved with no action in relation to any of the complaint and no the complaint had not been upheld.

Mr Gow asked about mediation and a meeting between Mr Ponting and Superintendent Thistlethwaite.

Detective Superintendent Mark Winstanley replied that before retirement the police had made efforts to mediate with a view to resolve outstanding matters.

Mr Gow referred to a meeting and how Mr Thistlethwaite had asked Mr Ponting what he wanted and what it would take to take the website down? He made a number of points, finally he asked if there was one example where Mr Ponting had been spoken to about resolutions concerning the website and responses?

Detective Superintendent Mark Winstanley responded that it was the most recent example of concerted efforts to resolve matters to everybody’s satisfaction.

Mr Gow said that they may hear from Chief Inspector Jones.

HHJ Knifton QC asked for context what the date was for the arrest for the offences that led to the Defendant to bring an action against the police and the date of the settlement?

The answers given were 18th June 2014 and September 2018.

Mr Bonner asked if the witness could be released? HHJ Knifton QC said he should have said that at the outset. Detective Superintendent Mark Winstanley left.

Next Temporary Detective Sergeant Harrison was called to give evidence. The witness read the witness oath.

Mr Bonner asked the witness to confirm their identity?

The answer given by the witness was Detective Sergeant Harrison of Lancashire Constabulary.

Mr Bonner referred to the witness’ witness statement, attached article, further witness statement and further article. The witness confirmed this.

The witness was asked to confirm that it was accurate to the best knowledge and belief of the witness to which the answer was yes. The witness also confirmed in response to a question that this was their evidence before the court.

Mr Bonner had no further questions at this stage.

Mr Gow had a series of questions for the witness. He asked about an interview of the Defendant in June 2018 when the Defendant had been accused of harassing a Mr Turner. The witness confirmed this.

Mr Gow referred to the incident that led to the out of court settlement, the witness was asked if the witness played a part in the arrest? The witness answered that their part had been the interview. The witness was asked about the search to which the witness answered that the witness didn’t know.

Mr Gow went on to a series of questions about the CCTV from the Yew Tree pub. It was explained that the landlord had explained that the CCTV had not been available. Questions were asked about the attempted stabbing of the witness in 2012 and the time off sick the witness had had in 2017.

An application for the witness’ medical records had previously been quashed.

Further questions were asked about matters that had happened five years ago. She was asked if she was aware of the out of court settlement. She answered that she was now.

Asked if she knew he had been arrested and summonsed nine times she answered she didn’t know until today.

Mr Gow asked if the Defendant had been arrested nine times and prosecuted five wouldn’t the Defendant feel alarmed, harassed or distressed?

The witness answered that she couldn’t comment on Mr Ponting, what was inside his head or how he felt.

Mr Gow asked about the ten day delay in asking for the CCTV at the Yew Tree pub? She answered that as soon as he was on bail, one of the inquiries straight after interview was to go speak to the landlord.

After a further question and answer, Mr Gow confirmed he had no further questions.

The witness explained that there had been numerous attempts to get hold of the landlord but the landlord had not been present at previous visits to the pub.

Mr Bonner asked a question about the attempt to obtain CCTV and his question was answered.

There was a series of questions about the witness’ maiden name of Johnson and her married surname of Harrison. More questions were asked of the witness and answered.

HHJ Knifton QC asked her in her own words the effect upon her and how it made her feel?

The witness answered that she was worried, very stressed and hadn’t slept that morning and that “in fact I might even burst into tears right now”.

HHJ Knifton QC asked when she had been signed off from work he assumed it was for a stress related illness to which the witness answered in the affirmative.

Next PC Kerry Briggs was called to give evidence. PC Briggs read the witness oath and confirmed her name and that she worked in Ormskirk CID.

The witness confirmed the contents of the witness statement was true to the best of their knowledge and belief.

Asked when the witness had first met Mr Ponting, the witness confirmed it was when the witness was asked to sit in by another officer. Questions were asked that the witness couldn’t answer.

The witness was asked when the witness went to the house to serve the summons was the witness told it was out of time. The witness confirmed this.

There were a series of questions and answers about past contacts between the witness and Mr Ponting. A question was asked about a clash with the Defendant’s wife at a school. The witness answered that she wouldn’t describe it as a clash, was not aware at the time that the person was Anna Ponting and had just asked her politely to move her car.

Many more questions were put to the witness and answered.
Mr Bonner asked the witness about the allegations made in the articles. The witness denied the allegations.

A series of questions were put to the witness by HHJ Knifton QC. The witness was released.

The hearing was adjourned till 2.05 pm for lunch.



The next witness was a police sergeant who read the witness oath and confirmed the evidence of the witness statements.

Mr Gow asked a question about a date in the statement. The witness confirmed that the original had had the wrong date on it.

The witness was asked about the foot in the door incident and the disclosure of the video evidence. In answer to a later question the witness stated that the witness wasn’t aware that the appeal had been won. In answer to a further question answered that they hadn’t been aware of the conditions of the appeal.

Detailed questions were asked about the video recording of the interview in relation to policy and any relevant rules or regulations. The police officer had referred the Defendant at the time to a sign on the door but couldn’t personally show the policy.

There was a further long exchange of questions and answers about various matters.

Sergeant Craig Appleton was the next witness. After a short period of questions, the witness revealed that the witness had discovered on Friday 7 witness statements to support their comments.

The matter was adjourned to allow time for these witness statements to be redacted and copied.


After the adjournment (restarting at 3.04 pm) further questions were asked on subjects ranging from a plea hearing, a victim personal statement and the investigation about what happened at the Magistrates’ Court.

It was eventually agreed that once someone attended court that the conditions of bail no longer applied.

Eventually the witness was released.

The next witness was Constable Corridge. The witness oath was read and the evidence apart from a corrected date (14th January 2019 rather than 15th January 2019) was agreed by the witness.

The policy regarding body worn cameras recording when dealing with Mr Ponting was discussed. The issues at the interview about recording were discussed.

Mr Gow asked if the witness ever thought the behaviour of Mr Ponting may be due to a reason such as post traumatic stress?

The witness stated that Mr Ponting had made them aware at the time.

Various questions were asked about the articles, where the photos had come from and other sources of information on police officers.

The murder of Lyra McKee was referred to by the witness. Mr Gow put it to a witness that Lyra McKee was at a riot, the police had been targeted but she had not been targeted.

Mr Gow put it to the witness that through his statement the most emotive language had been used to blacken the reputation of Mr Ponting without any basis in facts.

Further questions were put to the witness and answered.

One more witness was called by the police. When questions to this witness were finished the case was finished for the day and a delayed start of 10.30 was agreed for the start of day 2 on Tuesday 10th March 2020.

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