An Urgent Appeal by Matt Taylor
As you may know; I was told I would have to go to a Crown Court trial to defend myself against allegations of downloading and possession of two indecent pictures. I was warned the trial will happen the week commencing 11 December 2017, and that the trial will definitely go ahead and once booked will not be moved. I was informed of this on Wednesday 21 June 2017.
- Matt Taylor is a Nonce
I’ve been living under the shadow of a Crown Court trial ever since. Six months of knowing that from 11 December 2017 onwards, I would be called to defend myself against the most hideous, horrific and damaging crime any man and father could be accused of committing.
My predicament was made all the more dire when my solicitor Mr. Andy Horsman of Horsman Solicitors dumped me as a client, because I wished to call Equality lawyer Mr. Edward Ellis as my defence witness.
Following my fourth arrest, I was somewhat reassured when Solicitor Steve Wedd of Bristow Wedd Solicitors, offered his services. Mind you, he didn’t particularly fill me with confidence, warning me that all the ‘no hopers’ are fitted into the last week before the Christmas holidays.
Sadly Steve Wedd wouldn’t help me prepare for the trial, insisting he’ll want payment before any advice is given; even though he filled out a Legal Aid application on my behalf.
So, to recap at this stage; My trial was set for the week commencing 11 December, the trial was going to happen and I would have to defend myself having lost two solicitors.
The omens looked bad
So when I received a letter from Lewes Crown Court dated 16 November 2017, I knew that everything I had been dreading for the last six months was about to come true.
- The letter stated; “Criminal Warning list for week commencing 11 December 2017.”
- The venues were warned for; “Hove, Brighton, Horsham, Chichester and Southgate.”
- The letter continued; “Time and venue to be confirmed. You will receive a Certificate of Readiness” and to “follow the instructions as to the time and venue of the trial.”
So I was a bit confused when a second letter arrived from Lewes Crown Court dated 30 November 2017 stating everything the first letter said, but this time the date of 11 December changed to the 7th of December.
I didn’t understand the change of dates, but assured myself that in due course a Certificate of Readiness would be issued confirming a time, date and venue.
As the Christmas season kicked in and kids across the country started to open their Advent calendars, I was left in doom and gloom of an imminent trial which could brand me a paedophile, put me on the Sex Offender’s List and see me serve a term in prison.
After the letter dated 30 November arrived, telling me the trial had been brought forward four days, I continued to live with a dark cloud of despair hanging over my head. I was expecting the Certificate of Readiness to arrive at any moment and remember returning home on Wednesday 6 December, knowing that a letter from Lewes Crown Court would be waiting for me. Low and behold as I opened the door, there was a letter waiting for me…
So you can imagine my surprise upon opening it, that the trial date had been changed for a second time to between 15 January and 26 January 2018.
I didn’t know what to feel or what to think ??? As far as I was concerned the trial against me had collapsed and I swiftly released a press released saying the same thing.
At this point in time I was under the understanding that the trial will not now commence week 11 December, but between 15 January and 26 January 2018.
Would you concur?
All three correspondences from Lewes Crown Court stated a Certificate of Readiness would be issued confirming the time and venue of the trial. As far as I was concerned, all I had to do was to wait for the Certificate of Readiness and follow the instructions there-in.
In light of this I decided to spend the weekend with my girlfriend in Surrey and not to worry about getting back to Brighton until the 12 December. I felt confident that I was no longer required to be available during the week commencing 11 December, as I had been waiting to be for the last six months.
Again; can I double check that you would have thought the same thing if you were in my position?
So (again), you can imagine my shock and horror when at 10:08 am on Monday 11 December, having just finished breakfast, DC Andy Grimwood rang me up.
“Where are you,” “you are meant to be here at Hove Crown Court,” “get yourself here now,” “if you don’t you’ll be arrested.”
Flabbergasted is not the best word used to describe my shook. I was shaken to the core and frozen with fright. What the fuck is going on?
According to Grimwood the trial was now and I was at least two hours away in Surrey. I explained that I was under the understanding the trial was moved to January 2018 and that it was a “cock-up” on their part and not mine.
Grimwood hung up saying he’ll talk to Counsel and will get back to me. As promised he called back at 10:29 am.
“A Bench Warrant has been issued and you are liable to arrest,” was the stark message. “I must meet you now to get your signature,” he insisted.
I wasn’t in the position to meet Grimwood. At the time of his second call I was in a car being driven to Caterham and it simply wasn’t possible to get the driver to alter the travel route to liaise with Grimwood to sign a piece of paper; no matter how important a piece of bureaucracy it was.
Grimwood was insistent and demanded I change my plans to meet him on a motorway lay-by to sign a piece of paper. I replied it wasn’t practicable for me to do so. We resolved the stalemate by giving him my assurance that I would be at the Hove Crown Court at 9.30am on 12 December 2017.
The Night Before Christmas
I was buzzing as I went to bed knowing that when I woke I’d be facing the biggest challenge of my life. I didn’t get to sleep until well after 3 am. Never before had I been in such trouble. I was facing the most hideous and horrific crime anyone could ever be accused of. Failure was not an option. I knew beyond all doubt that whatever happened at the trial, I must come out of it with a ‘Not Guilty’ verdict. My life depended on it.
It was the biggest challenge of my life and I went to bed with a smile on my face. I went to bed confident I had the truth on my side and that the truth would ultimately prevail.
I went to bed happy and excited that a new chapter in my life was about to be written. I was staring the abyss in it’s face and smiled with the confidence I would pass this challenge with flying colours.
I wrote in my diary that night, “I’ve never felt so alive…”
Hove Crown Court
The notice board stated:
Court 4: Sitting at 10:00am
HER HONOUR JUDGE HENSON DC
10:00 For mention TAYLOR Matthew (Reserved) Re: Bench Warrant
Present with Equality Lawyer Mr. Edward Ellis, we entered Court 4 at 10:00 am and took our positions at the front bench.
Our first question was for the Court Clerk to explain why I was required to be here, when the letter’s from the Lewes Crown Court stated otherwise.
The clerk, usher and barrister for the prosecution, Sarah Lindal, all shrugged their shoulders with indifference.
Once pressed, the clerk did explain that it was common practice for a ‘reserved’ date to be issued, though the word ‘reserve’ did not appear in the Lewes Crown Court letter.
Sarah Lindal defended her ignorance saying, “I’m here to deal with the Bench Warrant and nothing else.”
“The Charades are Ending,” shouted the Equality Lawyer
At 10:07 am Judge Henson DC entered the room and looked surprised to see me and confirmed with Sarah Lindal that I had voluntarily attended.
I was expecting a jury of 12 men and women of my peers. I was keen to stress my innocence at not attending Court on Monday 11 December. I dreaded the thought of the jury turning up for my trial, with myself absent. The natural assumption any jury would make under such circumstances, would be that I’m guilty by my absence.
That was when it became apparent that no jury had been assembled for Monday 11 December and nor was my trial ready.
Upon listening to the exchange between Judge Henson and Sarah Lindal, the only reason for the 12 December hearing was to deal with the fact I never attended the Court the day before.
It was the intention of the Judge and Prosecutor to sentence me to prison for not attending a trial in which no Certificate of Readiness had been issued, with no time, date and venue confirmed.
Before Judge Henson left the room, I doubled checked with her whether I was in anyway to blame for not turning up on Monday 11 December. For the purpose of the tape, she confirmed that “no criminal offence had been committed,” and that “the Bench Warrant is cancelled.”
Its a Set Up
Surely; if DC Grimwood had never called me I wouldn’t have known about the 12 December Bench Warrant hearing. And If I wasn’t there, I would have been found guilty of not attending the trial and a subsequent Bench Warrant would have been issued, and I would have been arrested for the fifth time of the year, later that day.
Arrested for the 5th Time
A van load of Sussex police officers would have banged on my door in the frozen early dawn and would have arrested for failing to turn up to a trial in which no Certificate of Readiness was issued. I would have pleaded my innocence and the police would have shrugged their shoulder’s, telling me to shut up and to explain it to my duty solicitor down at the station.
Beyond all shadow of a doubt, I would have been spending this Christmas in prison.
Wouldn’t you agree its a ‘Set-Up’?
Equality Lawyer Edward Ellis claims the State and the Law Courts are not fit for service; and doesn’t my experience add weight to his conclusion?
Only yesterday, the headline news was of the massive miscarriage of justice, averted at the 59th minute of the 11th hour.
Am I missing something? Did I misunderstand the instructions? Am I right to conclude I’ve been a victim of a conspiracy by the State and Law Courts to imprison me for a crime I never committed?
DC Grimwood Saved my Life
As the text message I sent to DC Grimwood makes plain, “Dear Mr Grimwood. I cannot thank you enough for your call on Monday. If you hadn’t I wouldn’t have known about the Bench Warrant and if I never attended on the 12th, I would have been arrest and sent to jail. You saved my life and I’m forever in your debt. Merry Christmas, Matt Taylor.”