first jail sentence for posting bills
i appeared in the magistrates’ court on the 16th of october, in front of magistrate hardy — the matter was heard and i was sentenced the same day to 70 days jail, suspended for 2 years, for one charge of posting bills arising from the single panel of advertising i obscured on the 9th of march 2014 (here’s the video of the incident).
here is the audio from the hearing:
and this is the audio from after the lunchtime adjournment, when i was sentenced:
i thought the matter would be put off for another couple of months awaiting the supreme court decision, as had happened with the cases awaiting hearing in the county court — but magistrate hardy seemed to be indicating that the matter should go ahead on the case law available at the time.
i tried to leave it up to him whether the hearing went ahead or not, but apparently that is not how it is done, i had to apply for adjournment or not, so seen as he seemed certain to reject it, i didn’t apply.
i then had to run my human rights defence from memory, having no written submissions prepared, which was a bit of a joke.
while i was giving evidence, the prosecutor showed the video from this website of the incident in question — it was surreal, me sitting in the witness box, while the video was being shown to the magistrate, playing on a laptop that the prosecutor was holding on his chest as he stood up at the grown-ups table — all the school kids in the audience left because they couldn’t see the video.
in the end, after another finding of the guilt i fail to feel. magistrate hardy presented himself as the hard-man who was willing to do what the other wimpy magistrate’s didn’t have the stomach for — sending a harmless and totally legitimate political protester to jail for temporarily obscuring a known social evil with soggy paper — yet he didn’t even send me to jail, he put me on a suspended sentence for two years, knowing full well that my intention is to continue, in an attempt to shift the blame for my future incarceration onto me.
i only had one friend in court with me because i didn’t invite anyone because i didn’t think anything would happen.
i’m appealing the decision to the county court, scheduled to be heard on the 29th of january (if the supreme appeal decision is back that is, which is unlikely) — the 70 day sentence is close to the maximum sentence for posting bills (90 days), and for one ad panel covered, that may be a little excessive.
i gave a deep and internally-sarcastic bow to the coat of arms of our great nation as i left, the magistrate took time out from the patronising lecture he was giving to an indigenous drug-user to say thankyou to me — i have no idea why he decided to do that or what i could possibly have done for that magistrate to be deserving of his thanks, i didn’t return the thanks.
so the point at which my continued ‘insolence’ translates into prison sentences seems to be upon me…..