JANUARY 12 1992.
A car driven by Mr R Young of Corry Close, Blackhall, Co. Cleveland crashed his vehicle into our property causing an estimated three hundred and eighteen pounds worth of damage. Mr Young claimed he was unemployed and without income and totally insolvent. Enquiries by myself led me to the conclusion that this was not so. He was in well paid employment. In his form of submission to the court Mr Young signed that his monthly financial outgoings were £520 per month. He stated in his form that his income and capital was nil. When I pointed that out to the court the reply that I received from the judge was, "Well not everyone tells the truth Mr Kellett". Mr Young did not allow my claim to his insurance company,(it seems probable that his reason for doing so was toretain his no claim insurance bonus because the vehicle he drove during his crash was a Ford Sierra XR4I). After a long period of waiting during which Mr Young offered only fifty pounds for the cost of damage I had interviews with two solicitors who told me that because Mr Young claimed he was unemployed then the chances of settlement for damages were very poor, I was advised that my best approach would be for myself to conduct my case in person at the small claims court. In effect I had been barred the use of a solicitor because I was told that legal aid was not available for a case such as this.
Monday 27 July 1992. Re- documents 1 & 2.
My claim for damages was heard at Durham County Court, Hallgarth Street, Durham City. The judgement was thus:
"Upon hearing the plaintiff in person and upon the non attendance of the defendant and upon reading the detailed statement and the estimates attached thereto it is adjudged that the plaintiff do recover against the defendant the sum of £318 and fifteen pence for debt (or damages) and thirty seven pounds for costs."
Friday 7 August 1992. Re-document 3.
The defendant, Mr Young lodged an application to set aside the judgement of Monday 27 July, on grounds he was unable to attend the hearing. He claimed that he did not feel that the judgement took into account the statements made in his previous letter to the Court.
Tuesday 18 August 1992. Re- document 4.
The judgement of Monday 27 July was set aside by Deputy District Judge James.
"The action be listed for hearing before the District Judge at the Courthouse, Hallgarth St, Durham on Thursday 1st October, 1992 at 11.00 am (30 minutes allowed)."
Mr Young claimed during the above hearing that he had not been able to attend Court on Monday 27 July because his lift to the court had not turned up, he could not offer any explanation as to why that had happened. Mr Young claimed that he had telephoned the Courthouse just prior to the hearing of July 27 to state that his lift had not turned up.
Immediately after that hearing I spoke to the Court usher who told me that the normal procedure in such circumstances was that any telephone call made to the Court was noted on the file, and the usher was then informed in order that the plaintiff could be informed and possibly asked if he was prepared to have an adjournment of the hearing. I had not been approached by anyone at the hearing of July 27.
After talking to the Court usher I went to the Court office, It was confirmed by the office that the latter procedure referred to was indeed correct. I was then informed that no record of the alleged telephone call by Mr Young could be found.
August 19 1992. Re-documents 5 & 6.
On the basis of the latter I went ahead with an appeal against the Order made by Deputy District Judge James on August 19 to be heard on Friday September 4 1992 before District Judge J. Stephenson . (Should this appeal not also have been heard before a Circuit Judge rather than a District Judge? I think it should have been).
My appeal was dismissed on the following grounds. It was stated by Stephenson that it was possible that the record of Mr Youngs alleged telephone call to the Court on July 27 had been lost. The judge called upon the office clerk present to give evidence on the matter. It occurred to me later that I had been quoted a figure of around forty pounds to have a letter for use in evidence from the police woman in attendance at the crash scene of January 12 1992 giving in that letter evidence about the crash, which would have helped greatly in the matter. Yet, here,another civil servant was in effect giving evidence on Mr Youngs behalf free of charge, and it seemed apparent only at the judges request, whether I am right or wrong I have to say that my feelings are that this did not seem right.
October 1st 1992. Re- document 7. Note this was a DISTRICT Judge.
The case was re-heard before District Judge D. Scott-Philips, it was adjudged that:
"The plaintiff recover against the Defendant the sum of one hundred and eighty pounds for debt and thirty seven pounds for costs amounting together to the sum of two hundred and seventeen pounds payable within 28 days of service of this order with liberty to the Defendant within 14 days to make application for an instalment order, such application to be supported by an affidavit giving details of the Defendants capital, income and expenditure."
At the end of proceedings the judge said that he would have to think on the matter and give his judgement later in writing to both myself and Mr Young, it was then that Mr Young handed to District Judge D. Scott-Philips an envelope. He asked what it was and Mr Young replied that itwas a statement. The judge accepted this envelope but did not open it. I had in the course of proceedings by rules of disclosure, to hand Mr Young any documentation that I had if he said that he had not been given copies of such documentation. Because the proceedings were in effect over, I did not feel inclined at the time to raise the matter with the judge, the envelope was handed to the judge in the presence of myself, Mr Young and a witness for Mr Young who had been a passenger in his vehicle at the time it collided with our property. It was only later that I was informed of the judges decision whereupon I lodged an appeal against hisjudgement on the grounds that the contents of the envelope had not been disclosed to me. (re document 8)
Tuesday November 10 1992. Re-documents 8 & 9. Note this was also a District judge.
My appeal was dismissed by District Judge Baird on the grounds:
"The judgement dated 1st October, 1992 do stand. There be no order as to costs."
Thursday November 19 1992. Re- document 10.
I wrote to Durham County Court requesting a copy of Judge Scott-Philips reasons for judgement as Judge Baird had asked both myself and Mr Young if we had received it. I had not and Mr Young had stated that neither had he.
Re Document 11.
A week or so later I received via post the Notes Of District Judge D Scott-Philips Dated 1 October 1992.
December 7 1992 Re-document 12.
I wrote acknowledging the receipt of Judge Scott-Phillips notes, I asked If the court could confirm that notes relating to the other four Court judgements could also be supplied to me. I also requested a copy of the contents of the letter handed to District Judge Scott-Phillips on the hearing of October 1 1992, previously referred to, and subject of my appeal of November 10 1992 before District Judge Baird. Later I learned that judge Baird was only a Deputy District District Judge.
January 7 1993. Re-document 13.
After a long wait received a reply to my letter to the Court of December 7 1992, (the reply relates to my letter dated December 5 1992, however I can only presume that the Chief Clerk Mr I Cuthbertson had got the date confused because I had not wrote any letter to the Court dated December 5, only December 7.)
The letter stated:
"I refer to your letter dated 5 December 1992, which has been referred (to?) the District Judge.
The court cannot enter correspondence on this matter any further as this action has been the subject of an appeal." The letter was signed by the Chief Clerk. (note- the letter stated the action had been subject of appeal).
Upon receipt of the above letter from the Chief Clerk of the Durham County Court dated 4 January 1992 (note January 1992 referring to my letter of 5 December 1992) I telephoned him and was told that my letter had been given to a judge,( to date I am unaware of which judge) and that I would hear within a few days this judges decision. It seemed strange that the letter that I had received that very same morning stated that there would be no more correspondence on the matter?
During my telephone conversation with the clerk I was again told that the matter had been subject of appeal. I then asked the clerk to confirm in writing that the case had indeed been subject of appeal. He told me that he needed to get the file on the case and that he would telephone me back. (Afterwards I thought it odd that he was quite definite in his letter wrongly dated 4 January 1992 that the matter had been subject of appeal, he re-affirmed that during our telephone conversation. He now though needed to look at the file. It seemed nothing could have changed in the file, the letter referred to dated January 4 1992 does say that my letter of December 5 1992 (but was in fact December 7 1992) had been referred (to?) the District Judge. Surely it could only have been upon the basis of referring my letter to this judge that the reply in paragraph two stating that no more correspondence could be entered into, could have been made ? Around twenty minutes later the court clerk telephoned me to say that there had been a mistake and that my appeal had been booked for Thursday January 21 1993. The mistake was that my appeal should have been heard before a Circuit Judge not before another District judge. Can anyone really accept that a District judge could have been unaware that the appeal being heard by him of a judgement of another District judge was unlawful? All District judges are aware that an appeal against against the judgement of a District judge can only be heard by a Circuit judge. This was my first experience of corrupt judges.
January 9 1993. Re- document 14 & 15.
I received a letter from the Chief Clerk Mr Cuthbertson stating :
"Please find enclosed a notice relisting the Plaintiffs appeal in this matter. This has arisen because the appeal was listed before District Judge instead of a Circuit Judge. The Court apologises for an (any?) inconvenience caused by this error."
Would it not be a reasonable assumption that DISTRICT Judge Baird would on the hearing of November 10 1992 have been aware that the previous Judgement had been made by DISTRICT Judge Scott-Phillips ? Would he not also have been aware that an appeal against a District Judge's ruling can only be heard before a Circuit Judge? I am sure that he must have been aware of that. In fact he had questioned me on who had told me that I had right of appeal (this was prior to Mr Youngs arrival in court, he was late as he had been on another occasion), he made the comment that he felt that my only right of appeal could be on a point of law, I felt that my appeal was on a point of law because it had been based upon the fact of Mr Young having handed District Judge D Scott-Phillip's a letter said by him to be a statement. The contents of which were not disclosed to me, (re-documents 8 & 9) However, the appeal went on as normal. Would it not also be a reasonable assumption that the DISTRICT Judge referred to in the letter from the Court Chief Clerk Mr I Cuthbertson dated 4 January 1992 (should have been 4 January 1993) should have seen the "error" upon examination of the file ? In March of 1994 Deputy District Judge Baird was to allow in the favour of Shirley Carr an injunction preventing me from returning back on to land of which I and my father had lawful title. He had not required that Carr produce any evidence whatsoever of her alleged title to the land. In fact she had none so could not in any event produce it. At that hearing of March 1994, my wife was refused access to Mr Baird's chamber. He allowed the entry of two other people representing Carr into the chamber. One was a Mr Kevin Kerrigan and the other was a Professor Kenny of the University of Northumbria Law School. Though it appeared that a Mr Kerrigan of the University of Northumbria Law Clinic was representing Carr, Mr Baird asked if Professor Kenny would like to make any comments about what was being heard before him. That was a further improper act by Mr Baird.
Thursday 21 January 1993. Re-document 16. (Was Judge R.A. Percy a District or Circuit Judge? It would seem he was yet another District judge because my appeal against his judgement was finally to be heard before Circuit Judge. This being the situation it was a furtherance of the breach of law and rules that had already been carried out at the Durham County Court)
This duplicated appeal was made in front of Judge R.A Percy. The defendant Mr Young did not appear. After spending some considerable time going through the documentation in the case file and making the comment that I had been very fortunate to have received the amount of damages that I had been awarded, and that he would not have given me that amount, I commented in return that I would in that case also have lodged an appeal had he given judgement, this did not appear to go down well with him. In the event this judge had to admit his mistake because of his not taking into account the VAT related to an estimate for part of the damage. I had received a letter from British Telcom stating that they had responded to our call on the day of the crash January 12 1992 stating that their engineer had erected an overhead cable, and that on January 14 1992 other engineers corrected the problem of the pole leaning. This I believed was substantial evidence that Mr Young had struck the telephone pole, pushing it over and tearing the telephone anchoring bracket from the Dormer roof of our home damaging a barge board. This judge was of the opinion that if damage had occured to the barge board then I was only entitled to claim for the portion of board damaged, in effect to cut out the portion and patch it with another piece, I found this very hard to accept. Of my claim for damage and grass and glass pollution to a ten ton load of building sand, which occurred during the vehicle collision, the judge said that I could not claim for the full amount because the pollution had not been right through to the core of the heap, he said it would have been possible to seive the sand, he was ignorant of the fact that sand can only be seived satisfactorily when it is very dry, or by means of washing equipment which would without any doubt whatsoever have entailed a much higher cost of around forty seven pounds claimed for it by me. the current cost of replacement (in 1992) for the same is seventy pounds plus. The judge said that to prove damage to the barge board I needed a witness to confirm it because the letter I produced from British Telecom was of no use. I became rather heated because Judge Percy had spent considerable time going through the case file, in fact I believe the biggest amount of time spent was with this procedure, however when I touched upon anything relating to the case prior to the hearing before District Judge Scott-Phillips I was immediately told that anything prior "was all water under the bridge" as stated by the judge, it seemed strange thatthe judge had spent so much time going through the file on events prior to the hearing before Judge Scott Phillips, it was as he said "all water under the bridge" so why did he spend so much time on his personal examination of the file prior at that time ?.
It was of interest that for the first time on any of my court visits, that in addition to the clerk, the court usher remained for most of the proceedings, it seemed that there was concern among other parties requiring her presence during my hearing, probably because my hearing had lasted for around the one hour allocated. During the proceedings in front of Judge Percy and at a point where I was told that the law stated that I could only claim for the portion of barge board damage (i.e. a patch) and again with his comments on the claim for the sand I replied to the judge that it had often been said that the law was an ass, and because of what the judge had said I replied further that I felt that this was so. Since the time I made these notes in 1992, I am now of the opinion that it is not so much a case of the law being an ass, but more one of some of those administering it are asses and are eaten up with corruption in the belief that they are themselves above the law and rules.
When I raised the matter of the letter which had been handed by Mr Young To Judge Scott-Phillips on the October 1st hearing and of which the contents had not been disclosed to me, Judge Percy said there was no such letter. I requested then to be placed on oath in order that I might swear that Judge Scott-Phillips had taken the letter from Mr Young. Judge Percy ignored my request. I left the room in anger mainly because I could not agree with the judges reasoning which defied justice. Further, because after he had read my letter of December 7 to the Court Clerk asking for notes of judges on all previous hearings, this having being read out aloud, making a comment to the effect that this would have entailed further cost to me, I got the very distinct impression that his comment was meant to "needle" me. At the end of proceedings Judge Percy wrote, while speaking loudy, "appeal dismissed".
Within a few days I received verification of this judges judgement (re:document 17).
I lodged an appeal against the judgement of Mr R. A. Percy. This time it was heard by a Circuit Judge. He asked the question on the matter of my appeals being wrongly heard before District judges. He asked the question to a member of the Court Office staff who was present at that hearing. He awarded the full cost of the damages.
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