To: Mr Justice Spencer
C/o the Registrar of Criminal Appeals
Royal Courts of Justice
London WC2A 2LL
18th December 2014
From: Andrew Bradford
Dear Mr Spencer,
The Trial of three security guards accused of the manslaughter of Jimmy Mubenga
I am a 66 year old retired banker who has never before thought it necessary to write to a judge. However I feel so strongly about the ruling you gave that the evidence of "racist texts" sent or received by at least one of the defendants was "inadmissible" that I wanted you to know that I feel that you may have presided over a serious miscarriage of justice.
After Mr Mubenga's inquest, the Coroner wrote:
“It seems unlikely that endemic racism would not impact at all on service provision. It was not possible to explore at the Inquest the true extent of racist opinion or tolerance amongst DCOs [Detainee Custody Officers] or more widely. However, there was enough evidence to cause real concern, particularly at the possibility that such racism might find reflection in race-based antipathy towards detainees and deportees and that in turn might manifest itself in inappropriate treatment of them.”
In view of the Coroner's remarks, I think that the Jury had the right to hear this evidence. What is the point of having a jury at all if you don't give them all the facts of the case to consider? To unilaterally decide that the Jury hearing about the racist material would “release an unpredictable cloud of prejudice” in the jury is patronising and condescending and doesn't lead to fair trials.
I have no connection with any organised campaign on behalf of the Mubenga family or any other deportees. I am just a concerned citizen who thinks that your ruling was plain wrong and that justice has therefore not been done.
This is an open letter, I have posted it to my Twitter account. I would have emailed it to you so that you could see it before Twitter got hold of it, but nobody at the Royal Courts of Justice would give me your e-mail address.