sgt delroy smellie (you just could not make it up) was today acquitted of assault on nicola fisher at the g20 protest after pushing her then hitting her on the legs with his metal stick thingy (i’m sorry – if you want news, try the bbc; you know the thingy i mean and a silly name isn’t going to help us much). it was only the striking with the thingy that was alleged to be an assault. he was acquitted because district judge daphne wickham held that he acted in self-defence.
his brilliant defence was that he thought the orange carton in her hand was a weapon. brilliant, except, perhaps in 2 teensy respects:
i) he had (the court heard) 7 seconds to work out what it was – come on del, my partially-sighted 4yr old can spot a juice carton quicker than that and he lacks the years of training you got at hendon precisely so you don’t go twatting women about a foot smaller than you in public in close proximity to loads of photographers;
ii) no other police officer within 10ft (and there were plenty) in the line with him made the same mistake.
it gets still less brilliant when you watch the footage of the assault and see that in fact she was having an animated go at him for at least 20 seconds and that having pushed and waved her away, sgt smellie (still lovin it!) calmly drew his sticky thing and gave her a calculated belt despite the fact that she wasn’t approaching him or brandishing her ‘weapon’. in fact she looks like she is standing still, arguing with him and pointing the other way. have a look – the footage is here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/8597217.stm
i can’t believe a sane judge watched it and went for the self-defence line. i also can’t believe that given eye-witness accounts that she ‘threw orange juice at him’, smellie-boy (last one, i promise) wasn’t capable of the mental gymnastics required to decide whether the orange-juice cartony-thing that was decanting a substance not entirely unlike orange juice over him was a) a new and previously unknown weapon that looked remarkably like an orange juice carton or b) a sort of a … well… an orange juice carton really. i am still less able to believe that a copper you have to describe as a big lad, in full fig alongside all his chums really feels threatened by one woman who comes up to around his shoulder. if i didn’t know better, i’d say that del smell (ok, i lied) decided he was hot, grumpy and sick of getting grief from the great unwashed and his day would be improved by giving the gobby bitch the slap she so richly deserved. i imagine counsel suggested saying that sort of thing might not play too well.
you have to think that if he had been tried in the crown court with a jury he’d have gone down. very sensibly he didn’t exercise his right to a jury trial, relying on the classic ‘sympathy’ shown to the police in the magistrates’. i am also happy to report that thanks to our wonderful legal system, the smellie protector (one more for luck) is back on the beat watching over the innocent and defenceless.
unless they’ve got orange juice – you’ve been warned.