Hampshire Police Told by Judge They Carried Out Unlawful Arrest on F4J Founder

Matt O’Connor Founder Fathers4Justice

Fathers4Justice Founder Matt O’Connor won his Criminal Appeal Case Hearing yesterday, 7th December 2017, after a 3 year legal battle.

Judge Fraser at Guildford Crown Court, who did not even need to hear from defence witnesses, ruled that there was no case to answer over the alleged Section 5 Public Order Act 1986 offence.

The Judge also found that Matt’s arrest, carried out by Hampshire Police Constable Peter Robinson 3700 in September 2014, had been unlawful.

PC Robinson’s evidence did not match what was seen and heard on the video in Court. The other prosecution witness, Pamela Bailey from King’s Somborne, gave accurate evidence that rather supported the defence. The defence also gave evidence that they believe showed an attempt by a Crown Prosecutor (CPS Wessex) at an earlier hearing to “coach” Pamela Bailey to give evidence favourable to the Prosecution.

PC Robinson is currently under investigation by Hampshire Professional Standards Department for assault given that his use of handcuffs during the incident on Stockbridge High Street on the 4th September 2014 did not comply with police guidelines. Further complaints against PC Robinson are now also being prepared following the evidence and outcome in Court yesterday.

Caroline Nokes, MP

Matt O’Connor’s arrest in September 2014 followed an incident earlier in February 2014 when Caroline Nokes MP brought a man to the O’Connors’ home, uninvited.

A physical attack on Matt O’Connor and his landlord took place but despite indubitable evidence and witnesses to the attack, which caused significant physical injury, Hampshire Police and CPS Wessex appear to have covered up the involvement of Caroline Nokes MP and they declined to prosecute the man over the attack.

Although the recording played in Court yesterday does have PC Robinson saying “She was arrested, so we didn’t do anything”, when cross-examined PC Robinson refused to identify “She” as Caroline Nokes and claimed he could not remember. The only 2 people who came to the O’Connor’s house in relation to that incident, were Caroline Nokes MP and the man she collected from London in her car.

Legal proceedings are being prepared against Hampshire Police and CPS Wessex for unlawful arrest, false imprisonment, and malicious prosecution. A full update will follow.

Posted in Caroline Nokes MP, Fathers4Justice, Hampshire, Hampshire Constabulary, Matt O'Connor, Stockbridge | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Fathers4Justice launches #SOSManDown Campaign

There are those who, through ignorance, proclaim that “every day” is International Men’s Day. They point to a world where the majority of politicians are still men, and the majority of people in senior positions in the media and business world, are men.

But just because there are men in these influential positions, it does not mean that they have any knowledge or desire to address the needs of their fellow men. In fact, male politicians and male industry leaders are more likely to pretend there is no problem. After all the DNA of man is to compete and overpower, they are not in these positions of power because they cared and helped their colleagues along the way.

Likewise, these men are still inherently sexist towards women, the others are cheerleaders for the radical feminist movement. This lethal combination means that issues such as suicide, depression, homelessness, family breakdown and cancer – all things that affect men – are over looked, at best, and under valued and under-funded at worst. We have a Minister for Women and Equality in the UK, yet her idea of equality does not extend to men.

This is why we are launching a campaign to highlight men’s issues and we are calling on men, and women, to start an urgent conversation because statistically you will at some point in your life be affected by these issues. This is not the time to stick your head in the sand and pretend it only happens to other people.

Call on your MP or TD to be a champion for Men’s issues as well as Women’s issues. If you believe in equality then you have a responsibility to campaign for equality for all. You have no place campaigning for equality if your idea of equality comes at the expense of others, including at the expense of men.

The UK’s leading campaign group for fathers’ rights has launched a new offensive, calling for an urgent package of measures to reduce casualties from the higher rates of suicide, alcoholism and drug abuse suffered by men across the British Isles.

The campaign, #SOSManDown, was launched by Fathers4Justice in London, Edinburgh, and Dublin to coincide with International Men’s Day on Sunday (19 November).

At prominent sites in all four cities, members of the public were greeted with the sight of the naked body of a man on a mat with the hashtag #SOSManDown and were given real-life information about who that person represented and the circumstances which led to their death.

Locations for the launch this morning included landmarks across London, Edinburgh and Dublin.

Fathers4Justice are calling for the following steps to be taken urgently in all parts of the British Isles:

1) MINISTER FOR MEN & BOYS: Just because many politicians are men, it does not mean they are addressing men’s health issues.  In fact, male politicians, like men in society, are uncomfortable discussing men’s health.  Men and boys urgently need a voice in government and political representation for men’s issues, with a Minister focused on coordinating a strategy to deal with the men’s health crisis.

2) NATIONAL SAFETY NET: A fully funded safety net for men and boys including a national Life Line and health strategy targeting the causes of male suicide, depression and other health issues, as well as supporting men in difficulty.

3) PARENTAL EQUALITY: Having a father is a human right. Dads should be treated equally and with dignity by the courts and the state, and their right to family life respected. That means automatic parental responsibility for all fathers and a legal presumption of shared parenting and child support.

4) A NATIONAL CONVERSATION: Let’s break the political and social taboo around men’s health and fatherlessness and bring men and women together in unity to make a difference to the lives of millions of men and boys.

Key findings from the campaign briefing also published today include:

  • The excess of premature male deaths is the equivalent of a jumbo jet full of men crashing every week
  • Nearly 4 times as many men die from suicide than in Road Traffic Collisions (RTCs)
  • The biggest killer of men under 45 is suicide and 12 men take their own lives every day in the UK.
  • Because of social stigma and religious taboos, male suicide is significantly underreported, or deaths wrongly attributed to other causes such as ‘accidental’ or ‘undetermined intent’ by coroners.
  • Dads are 3 times more likely to die after separation than mothers.
  • More boys aged 15 have a smartphone than live with their father.
  • More than 1 in 3 children never see their father again after their parents separate.

Matt O’Connor, who founded Fathers4Justice in 2001, said: “The #SOSManDown campaign has been born out of the stories of suffering and loss we have received from the thousands of broken men we have helped since our foundation in 2001.  The campaign aims to break the wall of silence surrounding the men’s health crisis and calls on respective governments across the British Isles to take urgent action.”

“We want women and men to join together to tackle this wall of silence.  In the same way that women’s health issues should be relevant to men, men’s health issues should also be tackled by everyone because they affect everyone.  Those suffering will be someone’s son, someone’s nephew, someone’s uncle or someone’s father.”

“We need a comprehensive package of measures to tackle long-term health issues which face men including a recognised voice in government to coordinate efforts and show that, whilst the majority of politicians might be male they have shied away from tackling this health crisis.”

Locations for the launch this morning were:

  • London: Buckingham Palace, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Millennium Bridge, Oxford Street, Leicester Square, Liverpool Street Station, London Eye
  • Edinburgh: Scottish Parliament, George IV Bridge, Princes Street, Edinburgh Castle
  • Dublin: Heuston Station, Dáil Éireann (Irish Parliament), Grafton Street, The General Post Office and the offices of the Irish Human Rights & Equality Commission (IHREC).

Download the UK #SOSManDown Briefing Paper here: F4J #SOSManDown Briefing Paper

#SOSManDown Media Coverage

Watch the #SOSManDown Campaign Launch Video

Watch the London Live interview with Paul Browne from Fathers4Justice talking about the #SOSManDown campaign

Nadine O’Connor on The Last Word talking about the Fathers4Justice #SOSManDown campaign

Other press interviews included LBC Radio, Dubai TV, 98 FM News, Today FM News and Q102FM News.

The Sunday Mirror: Shocking ‘SOSManDown’ campaign highlights mental health issues in Ireland http://www.irishmirror.ie/news/irish-news/shocking-sosmandown-campaign-highlights-mental-11544705

The Irish Examiner: #SOSManDown: New campaign launched to tackle male health crisis http://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/ireland/sosmandown-new-campaign-launched-to-tackle-male-health-crisis-814648.html

The Irish Post: Half-naked men are lying down on streets of Ireland in men’s mental health protest http://irishpost.co.uk/half-naked-men-lying-streets-ireland-mens-mental-health-protest/

Joe.ie: Semi-naked men are lying down in the street to promote men’s mental health awareness https://www.joe.ie/fitness-health/semi-naked-men-laying-street-promote-mens-mental-health-awareness-606828

The Beat: New campaign launched to tackle male health crisis http://www.beat102103.com/news/sosmandown-new-campaign-launched-tackle-male-health-crisis/#.Wg8HtZ6cleU.twitter

Dublin Live: Shocking ‘SOSManDown’ campaign highlights mental health issues in Ireland http://www.dublinlive.ie/news/health/shocking-sosmandown-campaign-highlights-mental-13922432

The Dublin Informer: Fathers4Justice launch #SOSManDown campaign in London, Edinburgh & Dublin https://dublininformer.com/27957/fathers4justice-launch-the-sosmandown-campaign-in-london-edinburgh-dublin-dublin-video/

The Cork Evening Echo: #SOSManDown: New campaign launched to tackle male health crisis http://www.eveningecho.ie/oneaday/SOSManDown-New-campaign-launched-to-tackle-male-health-crisis-b2d0087e-4915-4ef1-a6a9-01afed89a94e-ds

#SOSManDown Social Media Comment

About Fathers4Justice

Fathers4Justice was founded in 2001 by father of three boys, Matt O’Connor.  F4J is the world’s largest shared parenting campaign group with over 80,000 registered families in the UK and Ireland.  It is also the third highest supported campaign group in the UK behind Greenpeace & Amnesty International (Conservative Party Polling 2011) and their position on Shared Parenting enjoys 84% public support. (YouGov, 13/6/12)

In 2013 the Fathers4Justice Early Day Motion 210 won cross-party support from 104 MPs and in 2017 MSPs from all parties in the Scottish Parliament backed the F4J ‘Forgotten Fathers’ campaign.

F4J campaigns for 50/50 shared parenting and parental equality, family law reform, and on related men’s health issues, including male suicide and depression.

Posted in Family Breakdown, Fathers 4 Justice, Fathers4Justice, Fathers4Justice Ireland, Matt O'Connor, Mens Rights, Nadine O'Connor | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New Forest Officer, Steve Avery, faces probe into Caroline Nokes MP planning case

New Milton Advertiser and Lymington Times Article  – 3rd November 2017
NPA officer faces probe into MP who broke planning rules

New Milton Advertiser 3rd November 2017

A TOP officer at the New Forest National Park Authority could face investigation after it emerged an MP was granted planning approval to change her home – despite apparently breaking the rules in her application.

NPA chief executive Alison Barnes has been called upon to set up an independent probe into Steve Avery, the executive director for strategy and planning, over revelations concerning Caroline Nokes MP and a development at her home in Canada Road, West Wellow.

Caroline Nokes MP faces a police enquiry

Ms Nokes represents the Romsey and Southampton North constituency and is a junior minister in the Department for Work and Pensions.

The NPA has been forced to defend its decision not to prosecute Ms Nokes after it emerged that she had wrongly stated in the application that the land was owned by her sister.

In a further twist, a complaint has also been made to Hampshire Police about the matter. The constabulary and the NPA have both said they are looking into the planning application but have not confirmed if they will be taking the matter further

Ms Nokes, who claims to be a planning expert and has publicly criticised developers for manipulating planning rules in the past, sought to downplay the issue, insisting a “genuine error” was made on the application.

Steve Avery – NPA

The complaints against Ms Nokes and Mr Avery have been made by retired lawyer Don Jerrard, who has previously stood for election to parliament and for the Hampshire Police and Crime Commissioner role. Mr Jerrard went to Hampshire Police HQ on Tuesday to hand over a letter to Chief Constable Olivia Pinkney and he subsequently attended the NPA office in Lymington to deliver a letter calling on Ms Barnes to revisit the planning application and investigate Mr Avery.

“Ms Barnes must now call an independent investigation and look into the conduct of her senior officers, especially Steve Avery,” Mr Jerrard told the A&T. “This is extremely serious.”

Don Jerrard

Mr Jerrard stood against Ms Nokes for the Romsey and Southampton North seat at the General Election earlier this year. He said that on his election literature he claimed Ms Nokes had made false claims on a planning application.

After she won the seat, Mr Jerrard claims he was contacted by police and interviewed because Ms Nokes had reported him over the planning claim on the election literature.

But he pointed out Ms Nokes had now conceded her planning application contained a mistake. That showed her complaint to police about his election literature had been “malicious”, he said, and that was part of the reason he had reported her to police.

Planning documents reveal Ms Nokes made an application to the NPA to carry out works to the property known as “Moorland”, in Canada Road, West Wellow, in 2014.

The application included proposals to demolish a conservatory, store and outbuildings, and build a two-storey and single-storey extension, a detached double garage, stable and store building.

When it was approved with conditions later that year it was signed off by Mr Avery.

Elisabeth Bellingham’s name is on the planning application

But the NPA has confirmed the application was submitted by Ms Nokes’ agent Graham Jenkins in the name of Elizabeth Bellingham, who is Ms Nokes’ sister.

The application, seen by the A&T, was signed on behalf of Mrs Bellingham and states that at the time no one except her owned any part of the land or the buildings to which it related. However, it is understood Mrs Bellingham has lived abroad for many years and Ms Nokes was the sole owner of the property and the land at the time.

The Town & Country Planning Act 1990 makes it an offence to issue a certificate in the course of a planning application which a person knows to be false or misleading.

Cllr Roy Perry

In a further entanglement, Ms Nokes’ father is Cllr Roy Perry – the leader of Hampshire County Council. It is understood he lives in an ancillary building on Ms Nokes’ land that has been developed but is not involved in the revelations.

Responding to questions from the A&T, the NPA acknowledged there could have been an offence committed under planning law.

But a spokeswoman pointed out that while it was open to a local planning authority (LPA) to consider prosecuting such an offence, it had to be satisfied that doing so would be in the public interest and “represent a prudent use of public funds”.

New Milton Advertiser

The spokeswoman went on “In this case, in light of the relationship between the applicant and the owner, we have taken the view that it would not be in the interests of justice to pursue a prosecution in this instance as the owner (or any other third party) cannot reasonably be said to have been prejudiced.

“We have therefore concluded that it would not be in the public interest for us, as the LPA, to take the matter further.”

She added, “We have now received a further complaint from Mr Jerrard regarding the handling of the case which we are dealing with thoroughly through our formal complaints procedure.

“In line with our complaints procedure, Mr Jerrard will receive a detailed response to his complaint from the chief executive within 20 working days.”

The A&T put a series of questions about the planning application to Ms Nokes’ office.

Caroline Nokes’ ‘Agent’, Graham Jenkins RICS

In response, a spokesperson for the Tory MP replied: “This is a simple admin error which resulted in no profit or gain whatsoever.

The planning authority has confirmed under their scheme of delegations it would not have gone before committee and they consider the matter closed.”

The spokesperson said the ancillary property on Ms Nokes’ land – where it is understood Cllr Perry lives with his wife – was not part of the application that sparked the controversy.

This was inspected last year by the NPA, she claimed, and the NPA had confirmed in writing there was no breach of planning permission at the property.

She also pointed out that Mr Jerrard had made various complaints about Ms Nokes’ conduct over the past year or so to police and the planning authorities and no action had been taken.

Ms Nokes hit the headlines in 2010 when it emerged she was having an affair with a young Tory councilor. She later divorced her husband Marc.

Hampshire Police said it could not confirm which individuals Mr Jerrard had complained about.

The force added: “we can confirm we were contacted by a member of the public in relation to a planning application in the New Forest area. We are currently assessing the matter to identify if there are any criminal offences to be investigated.”


Press Headlines

For further reading:

Sunday Times – 22nd October 2017
Minister broke planning law

Daily Echo – 26th October 2017
Calls for MP to quit after claims of misleading council planner

Sunday Times – 27th October 2017
Caroline Nokes faces police inquiry over ‘bogus’ planning papers

Nadine O’Connor – 28th October 2017
Nokes Agent, Graham Jenkins, must be investigated by the RICS

Daily Echo – 30th October 2017
Caroline Nokes MP to face police enquiries over claims that she misled council planners

Nadine O’Connor – 30th October 2017
‘Toxic Tory’ Caroline Nokes MP attempts to dump another ‘dead cat’ on the table

Posted in Caroline Nokes, Caroline Nokes MP, Cllr Roy Perry, Don Jerrard, Graham Jenkins, Hampshire Constabulary, Hampshire County Council, MP's, Romsey & Southampton North | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments