Friday, 17 July 2009
After a wait of six months the case against d. Murphy brought by the Crown Prosecution Service was thrown out of Court by Judge John Diehl QC. In the Judge’s own words, he said those who had decided to charge the matter as ‘theft’ must be ‘on a different planet’. There were moments of laughter from members of the public in the Court when the Judge asked the Prosecuting Counsel Mr. Walters, if he thought d. Murphy was also guilty of theft of Tesco’s floor where she had scattered the tomato sauce.
He repeatedly asked for explanations as to why the charge had not been one of ‘criminal damage’ and was told that the goods d. had removed had been damaged and so she had ‘deprived’ Tesco of them, which he queried, and was told that she had treated the items as hers ‘to dispose of’. The Judge then asked how they had been disposed of (as she had in fact left them on the floor of Tesco). He said while he didn’t wish to encourage the defendant’s behaviour, he found that there was no evidence of an intention to permanently deprive, and as such he need not consider the question of dishonesty. He then quashed the indictment.
In amongst the discussion about the pointlessness of a ‘criminal damage’ charge being brought, the Prosecuting Counsel stated in open court ‘we were going to get a political drama in court, whichever way you looked at it’ The Judge appeared to agree.
The Judge also asked the Defence Counsel Salma Karmi-Ayyoub to note down, more than once, that the defence was in ‘wonderland’ in relation to their assertion that an expert witness from Israel was needed.
Greg Wilkinson, who wheeled out the first trolley-load of Tesco’s ‘West Bank’ goods, commented: ‘I’m a bit disappointed, as a trial might have had to deal with the real issue. How can it be illegal to stop the sale of stolen goods – produced on stolen land, by settlements our government deems illegal?’ (But that’s easy for
me to say: I was not the one in the dock; for some weird reason, I wasn't charged). The Crown Prosecution may be on a different planet, but the settlements are not: they’re wrecking Palestine, chances for peace in the Middle East, and the threat comes nearer home: the 7/7 London bombers said they were avenging Palestine.'
d. Murphy afterwards said: ‘I am partly relieved, and partly disappointed. Once again those opposing the illegal Israeli Occupation of Palestine have been denied the opportunity of bringing even one aspect of their illegal actions before the British Courts. There seems to be a pattern emerging here…….however we will continue to put pressure on the British Government, Tesco and the other British supermarkets who are colluding with Israel, in direct contravention of International Law.’
(Photo: Ingrid Bousquet)
Evening Post report
A SWANSEA judge has thrown out a case involving a city woman who made a headline- grabbing protest at a city store earlier this year.
Dee Murphy — one of the so-called Tesco Two — was charged with theft after she and former journalist Greg Wilkinson upended a shopping trolley outside the city centre Tesco store and sprayed its contents with blood-red paint and ketchup. The trolley had been loaded with dates, herbs and salad items from the store.
Their actions were in protest at Tesco selling food produced in the West Bank, an area of Palestine occupied for the past 42 years by Israel.
No action was taken against 72-year-old Mr Wilkinson, of Brynmill, while Ms Murphy, of Mount Pleasant, was charged with stealing food items worth £169.
But at Swansea Crown Court Judge John Diehl QC granted a defence application for dismissal of the case and Ms Murphy walked free from the court.