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UK: CPS drop charges against Bud Buddies' Jeff Ditchfield
Kevin John Braid
Feed The Birds
Wednesday 16 Jan 2019
Earlier today Jeff appeared at Southwark Crown Court where the prosecutor informed him that he was not proceeding with the prosecution and upon being pressed confessed: “having read the evidence in the case I’m not confident of a conviction”
Every case has to pass two CPS ‘tests’, they have to stand a realistic chance of conviction and a prosecution has to be in the public interest. Interestingly the CPS isn’t proceeding with the prosecution as his case fails the prospect of conviction test.
Jeff was originally required to attend Court last month on 14th December, but due to some kind of bureaucratic blunder or deliberate act of maliciousness, he was not notified by e-mail as requested, which is now an accepted form of correspondence between all parties in legal matters.
At the time, Jeff was in Spain on business, which meant an automatic warrant was issued for his arrest for not turning up at his court date. He subsequently handed himself for arrest at Llandudno police station in Wales the following Tuesday after he returned to the UK, where he was transferred to St Asaph and held overnight.
At 7.30 am on the following Wednesday morning, Jeff was collected by G4S and locked into a 2 x 2 ft cage in the back of a transit van and given a blue bag with the advice “in case you need a shit”.
He was taken to Westminster Magistrates in an uncomfortable five-hour journey on a hard plastic chair after no sleep, which was an unpleasant ordeal, to say the least.
The Magistrates and prosecution accepted there had been some error in communications after his solicitor explained he hadn’t been notified by the Met police of his court date as had been agreed. Later in the afternoon, after spending more time in the cells, he was granted unconditional bail after opting to be tried at Crown Court when asked by the Magistrates.
Paul Flynn MP invited people to break the law outside the British Parliament in London.
This stems from Jeff’s arrest on the 23rd February of last year answering the plea of Paul Flynn MP ‘to come to Parliament and break the law’
Paul Flynn said in a speech to Parliament on the 19th July 2017: “I would call on people to break the law, to come here to Parliament and use cannabis and see what happens.”
Jeff Ditchfield took him up on the invitation just to see what would happen, which resulted in his arrest, prosecution and subsequent dropping of all charges. I had a quick chat with Jeff to find out his feelings on today’s court proceedings.
“I’m disappointed this has not had the chance to be taken to trail following my arrest after Paul Flynn MP in the House of Commons invited people to come to Parliament to last year to break the law,
“When I appeared at the Magistrates court just before Christmas, I was advised by the Magistrate to plead guilty in their Court and they said if I go to Crown Court they could impose a much heavier sentence than they would.
“If I had followed the Magistrate’s advice, I would have been sentenced and given a criminal conviction, however, because I ignored their advice, I walked free with no conviction.
“I keep hearing in the cannabis community people do this because they don’t want to make things worse, but I’ve just proved the opposite is the case.
“If everyone on who had a cannabis charge declined invitations by Magistrates to please guilty and took it to Crown Court … how long you think cannabis prohibition would last?
“Parents who are prosecuted for prosecuted for supplying THC to their children illegally are being prosecuted in the family courts which are closed to the public and the press.
“Bud Buddies will be submitting a Freedom of Information Request to find out how may parents have been prosecuted through the family courts system for cannabis offences and sick children,” said Jeff Ditchfield.
Watch out for next week when I’ll be speaking to Jeff about his plans to sue the Metropolitan Police for wrongful arrest.
Kevin John Braid is an artist, writer and activist who was born in Scotland, grew up in the U.S.A. (California and Arizona), lived in England for a few years, and now lives in Poland. He has spent many years fighting against marijuana prohibition, and is a lover of books, cooking and Nietzsche.
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