|WINNER! When the rules don't apply...|
I was rummaging around in my wallet in the Newsagents the other day to buy some of those delicious herbal sweeties. I go crazy for them, I do. Anyway, I rustled together the necessary change and found an old Lottery ticket. I passed it to the man behind the counter and asked if he’d check the numbers for me – he did, handing it back to me saying that it was worthless and I’d won nowt.
Sad face, yes? Well, this is the good bit. I asked if he had the most recent draw numbers available – he showed them to me and I sighed and said “Ahh well bugger me backwards, if I thought those were gonna be the numbers then I’d have picked them instead!”
I was joking, but his face lit up. He said to me “Well, sir, that’s good enough when you’re playing the Lottery – CONGRATULATIONS, YOU WIN!!” He jumped over the counter and put a big kiss on my cheek. I’m sure I felt his tongue go in my ear but I can’t confirm that.
But anyway, yes, that’s how I did it! All you need to is to go and explain that, had you known what the winning digits were before a draw then you’d certainly have picked them, you win. Easy!
Except..... sad face :-( much like in the fantasy world in which people believe Jeremy Bamber to be guilty, the above is clearly a load of balls. (And not actual winning Lottery balls, either – I do actually mean testicles.) Shall I explain?
Essentially in UK law, the Crown requires a licence to prosecute one of its citizens – this is called an indictment. It’s a formality but is required as it gives the authority to take someone before a court and without one, there can be no prosecution. A bit like plugging in the Blackpool illuminations but forgetting to flick the switch – it might be simple and it might be obvious, but if you don’t do it, you get no light show!
Get this one. There was never, ever a valid indictment in place for Jeremy Bamber despite the fact he has been in jail for close to 30 years.
Jeremy was committed for trial on 7 May ’86, and, according to the law of the land, there should have been an indictment in place “within 28 days commencing with the date of committal.” Counting the days properly one doesn't have to be a maths genius to see that the indictment MUST have been signed off, on or before 3 June. It was signed on the 4th.
Yes there was an indictment, but it wasn't valid. By a day, by a week, by a year – it’s irrelevant. If I purchased a Lottery ticket on a Sunday with Saturday’s winning numbers, do I still win? No, cos I’m a day late.
The law states if there is an invalid indictment then ANY proceedings (pleading guilty, pleading innocent, being found to be either by a jury or washing a giraffe’s hair – ANY proceedings) “will be a nullity”, which is defined as “Null and void, worthless, not legally binding.”
Now, of course, the law does allow a technicality here. A trial judge does have the power to correct an invalid indictment providing it is discovered before the start of a trial. But it was not discovered before the trial. How do I know? A letter from the trial judge, almost 20 years later, stated HAD he known about the issue, he would have sorted the mess out anyway and made the necessary rulings so the case could start.
But he did not know about it and did not make the necessary rulings. Sure, he can SAY he would have ruled to iron out the matter in hand but the fact is he didn't – you can’t apply the law of the land 20 years later, retrospectively, just cos you reckon that’s what you’d have done HAD you known this that or the other.
It’s fantasy and shouldn't be allowed to stand. The fact that Jeremy Bamber is completely innocent of his supposed crimes is, for the purposes of this argument at least, is completely irrelevant – if the rules weren't followed properly then it doesn't matter if Jeremy was innocent, guilty, or the heir to the rings of Saturn – the rules still weren't followed.
Unless the rules don’t matter? In which case, I AM a millionaire! Either way, the plug has well and truly been pulled on the sideshow that put Jeremy in prison. Now he's on his way home.