On the ship of bonded slaves

The Crown: The accused, Mr Dillon, currently faces two charges arising out of a single incident on the 18th October 2020. Both charges relate to breaches of the then Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No.2) Regulations 2020

At approximately 1400 hours Sunday 18th October 2020, Police had reason to attend Stormont Estate, Belfast in relation to an organised demonstration, protesting the restrictions and regulations in relation to Coronavirus. Police spoke to members of the public and explained the current regulations and advising that any gathering over 15 persons would be unlawful and that they may be subject to being issued with a penalty notice. Approximately 300 protesters, including infants and children, were congregated on a green area at the Massey Avenue entrance. Police displayed electronic signage and made several tannoy announcements, warning those gathered that they were breaching Coronavirus Restrictions & Regulations. Despite repeated messages to disperse, the crowd already gathered continued to grow. Direction was made to enforce regulations by issuing penalty notices to those present. The crowd were becoming increasingly hostile and vocal, shouting and chanting at Police. It was noted that a large number were actively aggressive. Social distancing and the wearing of face coverings was largely not adhered to. Police spoke to the Defendant at approximately 1440 hours in relation to breaches being committed. He initially was passive and ignored any advice or direction from Police to leave the area. He was asked for his identity details and refused to provide these despite repeated requests to do so. Police explained that they were unable to issue him with a penalty notice without these details and he faced being arrested – he still refused. The Defendant then made off as if he was attempting to flee. Police prevented him from doing so by physically grabbing onto his coat. At this point a crowd then descended on Police and the Defendant. Police were still trying to restrain the Defendant, who swung his arm out at the Officer who had him detained, narrowly missing his head. The Defendant also grabbed this Officer by the shoulder and would not let go, resulting in the Officer being dragged for approximately 5 metres through a hostile crowd. The Defendant was extracted from the crowd with the assistance of further Police personnel. He was informed that he was under arrest for the offence of Obstructing Police as he was walked away from the crowd. He continued to behave aggressively, attempting to struggle away from Police and shouting. He was moved to a Police vehicle as at this time a large disturbance had broken out and the crowd had become hostile. He was cautioned at 1445 hours for the offences of Obstructing Police in accordance with Article 3 Criminal Evidence (NI) Order 1988. He gave no reply. The Defendant calmed considerably and provided Police with his name and address details. He was released pending a report to the Public Prosecution Service.

Those are the facts, your worship.

Commissioner: But the offence of Obstruction is not being dealt with here?

The Crown: No, your worship, there was no charge for Obstruction just the breach of the “Regulations”

Commissioner: And the numbers, it says 500 persons on the police statement.

Richard : Yes your worship, there is some dispute about the numbers in attendance that day.

MCP: The Assistant Chief Constable Alan Todd said in a public statement there were 300 people at the protest.

Commissioner: But this is all accepted, if this is disputed then it should have been done before now.

Richard: Your worship, the facts of the case are accepted and this case is about the defendants “reasonable excuse” for breaching the Regulations.

Commissioner: Yes I see quite a bit of case law here. And what are the Regulations that have been breached? Can we at least be clear on that? For the defendants sake and for anybody else who may be listening or watching.

The Crown: There are two charges, your worship, one of them is in the alternative, and we would invite the court to convict on the second charge, under Schedule 2

Richard: Your worship, Schedule 2 is from Amendment 9 of the Regulations made on 16th October 2022, 2 days before the planned protest.

Commissioner: Yes, Mr Dillon, could you come up and take a seat?

At the back of the court

Richard: Do you want to swear on the Bible or take the affirmation?

MCP: The affirmation

Richard: He’ll do the affirmation

Clerk of The Commission: Please raise your right hand and repeat after me

I do solemnly, sincerely and truly declare and affirm that the evidence I shall give shall be the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

MCP: I do solemnly, sincerely and truly declare and affirm that the evidence I shall give shall be the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Richard: Mr. Dillon, I’ll ask you a few questions and if you don’t hear or don’t understand anything, just say and I’ll repeat the question, and take your time.

MCP: OK no problem.

Richard: On the day in question why did you go to Stormont?

MCP: I went to Stormont to take part in a planned protest.

Richard: What was the protest about? What were you protesting against?

MCP: We were protesting against the Health Protection Regulations, scientific fraud, medical negligence and the pseudoscience of virology.

Commissioner: Sorry, I didn’t get that all..

MCP: Health regulations, scientific fraud

Commissioner: no, just the last things you said

MCP: Pseudoscience of virology, virology, pseudoscience.

Commissioner : OK thank you.

Clerk of the Commission smiles.

Richard: How strongly did you believe in what you were protesting about?

MCP: In October 2020 the race for the experimental vaccine was almost over and we were truly anxious about that. I was strongly opposed to vaccination. The virus narrative had darkened the earth and we were determined to educate about that during the protest. I strongly believe in protest against the scientific and medical fraud that feeds off this flawed virus germ theory. I strongly believed the government health protection measures were doing more harm than good: masks, social distancing , isolation especially for the elderly and the students was wrong since the symptoms and illness were not being caused by any virus called SARS-CoV-2. All that information is wrong and was available at the time.

Richard: So it is accurate to say you strongly believed in the political views you expressed and strongly believed in protest against the government safety measures and restrictions

MCP: At the time of the protest I felt so strongly about it I would have screamed it from the rooftops. Social media was censoring everything and the government pysche unit and media had people intentionally terrified. Terrified of a phantom bug.

Richard: Ok that’s ok.

MCP: and then when you try to protest you get unlawfully shut up and unlawfully arrested.

Richard: Who did you go to the protest with? Did you organise a lot of people to attend?

MCP: I went on my own and picked up one friend in Belfast city centre.

Richard: So you didn’t go as a crowd, just you and a friend.

MCP: Yes, my friend who is an expert in germ theory, knows all about Pasteur, Koch’s postulates and the isolation of viruses. Just the two of us. We arrived late.

Richard: And what did you see when you got there?

MCP: well when we got there all I could hear was a distressed voice on the loudspeaker, and when I moved up through the crowd I saw about 10 PSNIs surrounding a wee man around the tree.

The Crown: Your worship, since the facts of the matter are already acknowledged we don’t necessarily need a revision of the details

Richard: Your worship, my next question will cut to the chase. What I mean, Mr. Dillon, did you notice anyone being aggressive or violent toward the police?

MCP: No, Sir. It was a peaceful protest. No-one was violent or aggressive except the PSNI.

Richard: OK, no one was being violent..

MCP: They were just normal people, concerned mothers, fathers, grandmothers, children and grandchildren and their beloved pets.

Richard: Were you an organiser of the protest?

MCP: No, I did not organise the protest.

Richard: And when the police approached you why did you not comply with their directions?

MCP: They told me to wear a mask and I told them wearing a mask is bad for your health. I think I suggested they should take theirs off.

Richard: And why did you not leave the area when they asked you to?

MCP: I said I would leave the area as soon as the protest was over. In fact I probably would have left as soon as Liam would have finished speaking. But he never got the chance.

Richard: And why did you not give your details when asked by Constable Murphy?

MCP: He had no right to ask me. No crime had been committed and there was no probable cause for doing so. He was unlawfully interfering with my inalienable right to speak out and protest against the lies. He should have been facilitating my right to protest. Their job was to keep us safe.

Richard: Ok thank you. That’s all, your worship

The Crown: Mr. Dillon, you thought it was ok to take part in a large gathering at the height of the pandemic?

MCP: Was that the pandemic caused by Midazolam and Fentanyl or the pandemic caused by the PCR test that really only tells you if you have DNA?

The Crown: At a time when Regulations clearly stated there was to be no mixing in large groups, you thought it ok to take part in a large demonstration that did no safety assessment and put no restrictions in place?

MCP: Sinn Fein thought it OK to take 5000 people on to the street for Bobby Storey’s funeral. Black Lives Matter thought it OK to protest in numerous places on numerous occasions in groups of 2000 and more

The Crown: Were you aware of the Regulations at the time?

MCP: I lost interest around Amendment 7, the postcode one. Whenever the virus learnt the postcode boundaries.

The Crown: Were you not aware the regulations were made to safeguard people from the virus?

MCP: You have no evidence the symptoms and illness called Covid-19 was caused by a virus. In fact there is no evidence or proof for the existence of SARS-CoV-2 at all and what is not proven and what does not exist are the same.

It is not a defect of the law but of proof.

The Crown: So you don’t believe in viruses, what makes you right and the scientists wrong

MCP: Polio was caused by lead arsenate poisoning, Spanish Flu was caused by vaccination, Mad Cow Disease was caused by organophosphate poisoning, Small pox was caused by unsanitary living conditions and SARS was caused by industrial pollution. No proof of any virus ever. And you have no proof SARS C0V-2 exists either except inside of a computer.

The Crown: So you think that the virus is a hoax and no one suffered and died?

Richard: Sorry, your worship I don’t think we need to hear a layman’s view on the science.

Commissioner : Agreed

The Crown: So you admit to not following the Regulations that were made to save lives?

MCP: Only thing the Regulations did was cost lives. Destroy lives and livelihoods.

The Crown: Do you not agree that following the Regulations was for the greater good?

MCP: If you mean the greater good was increase in suicides, increases in domestic violence, retarded childhood development, sick people not getting treatments, increase in mental health problems, vaccine injury and death, economic meltdown and the cull of elderly in nursing homes, then I do agree, the Regulations caused all that.

The Crown: Mr Dillon, you were fully aware gathering in large groups was dangerous for the health and safety of others in society , the elderly and the vulnerable? Did you not understand that?

MCP: Your Director of Public Prosecutions admitted that he couldn’t even decipher the Regulations himself when he let 24 Sinn Feiners walk after organising a massive Republican funeral in Belfast, which the PSNI helped organise.

The Crown: You said that virology is a pseudoscience. What qualifications do you have?

MCP: None, but I can read.

The Crown: And I suppose you get your information from Facebook and Youtube?

MCP: The internet is a good place to start doing your own research and I could recommend you some good books.

The Crown: Nothing further, your worship

Clerk Of The Commission smiles excitedly

Commissioner : Richard, do you wish to re-examine?

Richard: No, your worship.

Commissioner : Thank you, Mr Dillon.

Richard: It is respectfully submitted that Mr. Dillon took part in a planned protest against many aspects of the government response to the health threat. In respect of the contraventions, it is respectfully submitted , following decisions of the Supreme Court in Ziegler and the Court Of Appeal in Dolan, that a right to protest under Article 10/11 of the ECHR can amount to a reasonable excuse and to not afford it as a defence , when factually present, serves to make the Regulations incompatible with Section 6 of the Human Rights Act 1998.

In respect of the considerations made by Lord Neuberger in City Of London Corporation v Samede identifying two further factors to assess proportionality of a protest, whether the views giving rise to the protest relate to “very important issues” and whether they are “views which would be seen as having of considerable breadth, depth and relevance”, and secondly, whether the protestors “believed in the views they were expressing. I think we can agree the protest on 18th October 2020 related to very important scientific and political issues surrounding Covid-19, viewpoints noted by the Supreme Court as particularly worthy of protection.

And the court may consider from the evidence in chief that the protest was peaceful and the protestors believed in the views they were expressing and Mr Dillon is very passionate about his political and scientific viewpoints regarding the Health Emergency. It is evident he strongly believes in the views he was expressing.

The precise location of Stormont is noteworthy as the seat of political power in Northern Ireland. The duration and occupation of Stormont was a planned protest against the very Regulations under dispute and it was peaceful and not obstructive of the rights of the general public.

Given that the Regulations did not expressly prohibit all protest they must be read in such a way as to permit protest where it would be unnecessary or disproportionate not to allow individuals to exercise their Article 10 and 11 rights.

It is on this basis, I would respectfully invite the court to dismiss the charges against Mr Dillon. Thank you, your worship.

The Crown: It is neither here nor there how strongly the defendant believes in what he believes in, and there is no doubt these conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers do believe in the misinformation that they spread.

At the height of the global pandemic the defendant Mr Dillon attended an illegal gathering to spread disinformation about the virus and the government health message and in doing so contravened the Regulations. It may well have been for political purposes but the gathering did not comply with the required health and safety assessments and the participants did not wear masks, did not socially distance and did not disperse when asked by police. Nothing was done to mitigate the spread of the virus, therefore this protest was unlawful and Dolan makes it clear in the context of a global pandemic what amounts to reasonable excuse would be limited.

As Lord Burnett of Maldon stated “the regulations themselves include the in-built exception of ‘reasonable excuse’. That would necessarily focus attention on the particular case in the event of an alleged breach”. We invite the court to convict the defendant given his non-compliance with the safety measures and his blatant refusal to follow any of the directions given to him by the police prior to his arrest.

Thank you, your worship.

Commissioner : I’m inclined to err on the side of caution, and rule in favour of the defendant. The case is dismissed. Thank you.

Clerk of the Commission: All rise




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