The first criminal trial without a jury to take place in England and Wales in more than 400 years begins on Tuesday after lawyers' legal challenges were exhausted.
John Twomey, 62, and three other defendants face trial over a bungled robbery at Heathrow airport in 2004.
Robbers allegedly tried to steal more than £10m from a warehouse but had misread a flight document and only £1.75m was there at the time, most of which has not been recovered.
Twomey and his associates face the historic trial in the absence of a jury after the court of appeal examined secret evidence and ruled that "the danger of jury tampering and the subversion of the process of trial by jury is very significant". It is the first trial of its kind under provisions in the Criminal Justice Act 2003.
In the last 400 years, trials without juries have taken place only in Northern Ireland, where the Diplock courts were set up to provide justice in the intimidating atmosphere of the Troubles.
The case is being heard at the high court in London and is expected to last three months. The judge, Mr Justice Treacy, will act as judge and jury during the case. Unlike a jury, he will see all the witness statements in the case.
Lawyers for Twomey say the evidence of alleged jury tampering has never been presented to them; instead it was made in court by senior police officers under public interest immunity.
Yet another of our protections from the state—because that is why things like trial by jury exist—has been torn away. And once again the police has been not only complicit, but active helpers. These cunts are not your friends.
For a more detailed description of just what a disgusting and dangerous precedent this is, let me pass you over to Tom Paine, a lawyer.
I despair. The right to trial by jury has protected Englishmen from an over-mighty state since long before democracy was born. Combined with the Great Writ of habeas corpus, it meant you could not be detained without trial and that your trial must be by 12 independent jurors. For most of the last 400 years, those jurors were required to decide unanimously that you were guilty. If they couldn't, you were acquitted. The odds were loaded against the state and in favour of the citizen. Guilty men went free, that's true. But (though nothing human is perfect) the odds of an innocent man being convicted were reassuringly small.
In the last century, in the wake of jury-nobbling scandals, majority verdicts were introduced. Even then, some thought that the state should do more to protect jurors, rather than implicitly accept that criminals could intimidate them. The efficiency of the justice system was put before the ancient rights of free Englishmen. Those who saw it as "a slippery slope" were dismissed as old fashioned.
Now, jury nobbling is again the excuse, but this time to hold trials with no jury at all. Again, those who object are dismissed either as friends of organised crime or as old buffers. Let's not forget however that the jury was designed to prevent it from being nobbled - by the state. The odds of 12 good men and true all being subverted by plain bribery, or by nods and winks or hopes of preferment from the government, were calculated as being too small to worry about. To put it at its lowest, it was assumed that a random sample of 12 Englishmen would contain at least one who couldn't be bought. It's not the highest of national praise, but it's practical.
As for criminals doing the nobbling, that is clearly a smaller problem. Even the mightiest of them does not have anything like the state's resources for corruption or intimidation.
As Tom Paine says, it is one more step towards the abyss—one more step on the road to a totalitarian state.
And David cunting Tennant thinks that Cameron is "a terrifying prospect"?
Yes, David: Cameron is a fairly horrific prospect—if only because he has not spoken out against the needless stream of disgustingly illiberal laws. But it was these Labour cunts that you support that passed them in the first place. Wake up, you stupid Scots cunt!
"I would rather have a prime minister who is the cleverest person in the room, than a prime minister who looks good in a suit."
That's just as well, David, because Gordon Brown doesn't look good in a suit. But nor is he the cleverest man in the room.
And—as you have made abundantly clear—nor are you, David, you thick twat.