At a hearing last week in Manchester Magistrates’ Court, an unemployed 49 year old conspiracy theorist from Mossley, Tameside, accused of harassing a 39 year old lawyer from the Salford area, was bailed to appear next at the same court on 15th September, 2022.
At the conclusion of the hearing the prosecutor asked the magistrates to strengthen the conditions attached to Raja Miah’s court bail. His application succeeded and it was made clear to the defendant that there was to be no direct, or indirect, contact with the principal witness in the case, including via social media. He denies the charge (read more here).
The witness, who was granted anonymity at a hearing in March, 2022, did not appear in the courtroom used for the hearing last week. Having been smuggled into the building, she spent the duration in the court’s Witness Support Unit, as a result of being harassed outside Tameside Magistrates’ Court earlier in the year by a group of Miah’s supporters whom, appositely, self-style as The Rabble.
A repeat was, quite reasonably, anticipated by the police, the prosecutor and court staff – and given The Rabble’s appalling behaviour, both inside and outside the courtroom in Manchester, that likelihood translates into a near certainty.
Aided, no doubt, by Miah’s ‘call to arms’ the previous day where he invited The Rabble ‘to cause chaos’ in the court if his application for an adjournment of the trial that was listed to take place on 17th August, 2022 (read more here) was not allowed: His solicitors, Tuckers, a leading criminal defence firm in Manchester, had written to the court earlier in the month to say that they were no longer acting on his behalf. That formed the basis of the application as he was legally unrepresented on the morning the trial was due to open.
A source close to Miah says that there is a dispute over unpaid fees and, also, a strong disagreement over the way he wanted to run his defence, based on his claim that his arrest was ‘politically motivated’ (read more here). Miah did not share with the court the reasons for the split but had, earlier in the same week, claimed on his Recusant Nine Facebook page that there was ‘a conflict of interest’ between himself and Tuckers.
Since the hearing on 17th August, 2022, a group of Raja Miah’s closest supporters have mounted a sustained, apparently co-ordinated, and reprehensible attack on the aforementioned principal witness on social media. They include some of The Rabble’s usual suspects: Anita Lowe, a notorious, frequently banned and unpleasant troll; Tony Martin, David Nestor, Chris Downing, Pauline Cooper – all ever-presents on Miah’s Recusant Nine channels – and an anonymous, prodigious trolling account with the Twitter handle, @justbeingmefree, which is believed to be run or contributed to, in part at least, by the disgraced Chairwoman of the ‘far-right, racist’ Failsworth Independent Party, Kath Wilkinson.
Nestor and Martin were certainly at court for last week’s hearing and must be aware of the bail conditions and what their actions amount to. Miah referred to the bail conditions in a Recusant Nine broadcast on the same day as they were handed down. The other trolls appeared to be present in the audience, and adding commentary, at that time.
It would also stretch the bounds of credibility to suggest that Miah is unaware of this very recent attack on the principal witness by The Rabble. He frequently claims to see, and know, everything that happens in his neighbouring Borough. One he inevitably, and falsely, refers to as ‘my town’. He hasn’t lived in Oldham for almost 20 years.
The matter of the alleged bail breach has now been reported to Greater Manchester Police, the Crown Prosecution Service and the resident district judge at Manchester Magistrates’ Court.
The principal witness says: “As a lawyer and criminal justice activist I recognise more than most the importance of a fair trial for a defendant in any court proceedings. But, similarly, witnesses in criminal cases must be allowed to go about their daily life, and work, unmolested.
“For the avoidance of doubt, I have no political affiliations – nor have I ever had any. As the Crown prosecutor made clear at the hearing last Wednesday, this case is not about politics, in spite of what the defendant might believe, or assert. The indictment is very clear: It concerns an offence under the Protection of Harassment Act, 1997”.
Page last updated Wednesday 24th August, 2022 at 1455hrs
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