Tommy Robinson's summing up statement in his High Court libel defense

in #tommyrobinson2 years ago (edited)

Tommy Robinson outside High Court London, April 2021

This is Tommy Robinson's summing up statement which he is delivering, in person as his own legal representative at the end of his libel trial brought by Jamal and his family (and their financial backers) against Tommy.

This has been significantly re-ordered from the version posted on Telegram. It has also had some identifying information redacted.

There were two further updates:

My Lord,

My Lord, I am far from perfect however, this case is not about me, no matter how much the Claimant's representatives would like to make me, my history or my views a focus of their attention.

My political beliefs are not on trial, my Lord, it’s whether my reporting on publicly available information was a matter of truth - or not.

So, this case is about the truth and the five young people willing to come to court and give their testimonies as well as the other testimonies given in hearsay evidence.

These five young people can be proud of themselves for speaking the truth.

I believe that it was unwise that the Claimant should have been encouraged to bring this case; I think it is very unfortunate BUT unavoidable that he should have had to endure having his character and the character of his father being examined.

The young girl (a former pupil from Almondbury community school) is a bright, intelligent, courageous young lady, who gave evidence before this court on Friday. As her school records say, she was the only pupil in her class to go an entire year without a single negative behaviour point – a fantastic achievement. In another glowing reference she represented her form on the School Council, achieved 13 A1 grades and – I quote – “represents all that is positive and exciting about studying at Almondbury”.

She had a difficult end to her school life, due in no little part to the trauma she suffered when a fellow pupil launched a violent, cowardly and unprovoked attack on her, from behind, in a hockey lesson. That pupil was the Claimant, Jamal Hijazi. But she persevered, resorted to home schooling, and overcame her anxieties to go onto further education, where she chose to study law. I sincerely hope her experiences at the hands of Miss Evans’ cross-examination didn’t shatter the dreams of this blossoming young woman.

But the court has to ask itself a number of questions about the young girl. Why, in the hours after the video of the incident at Almondbury School went viral, would she completely fabricate an outrageous lie about the Claimant? To what end? She soon deleted her comments because the wave of hate thrown at her was terrifying, as it was, and has been, for anyone daring to question the truth of this matter.

But four years have passed since Jamal Hijazi raised a hockey stick above his head and brought it crashing down between her shoulder blades – an incident clearly observed by a fellow pupil, and related calmly, clearly, and in precise detail, to this court.

Four years. The young girls life has moved on. She’s studying law at college. She had no need, nor interest, in continuing an elaborate lie about the Claimant. If, as Miss Evans accused, that attack never happened, then she had nothing to gain. There was zero benefit for her in persisting with the account.

It certainly couldn’t have been for some perverse idea of being in the public spotlight, because she argued passionately to be afforded anonymity in the case. Indeed, both she, her mother, and her younger sisters, are fearful of the repercussions of her persisting in insisting this truth is heard and acknowledged.

When that anonymity was eventually denied, the young girl displayed great bravery in publicly taking the stand – not that there was a single member of the Mainstream Media in court to report it. Indeed, not that there has been a single Mainstream Media representative in court to report on a single word of the Defence witnesses.

The young girl chose to be honest, brave, and faithful to the values of a profession she aspires to, but which in this case at least has certainly not covered itself in glory.

Meanwhile, the Claimant and his father have been conspicuously absent from court. They contrived an absurd and baseless excuse to avoid facing their accusers and I believe My Lord that that in itself speaks volumes.

But in order for the Claimant to win this case, the court has to believe the young girl is a brazen liar. That she is willing to inconvenience herself massively, put herself and her family at potential risk of harm, and to come to the highest court in the land, and commit the crime of perjury, in front of a watching world.

A law student. Possibly ending her career before it’s even started by lying in the High Court. But that is what Miss Evans wants us to believe – without one single shred of evidence to support her shameful attacks on the young girls unblemished character.

The young girl posted her comments about the Claimant’s vicious attack on her well before I was either aware of, or involved in, the true events surrounding Jamal Hijazi and Almondbury School. Another girl had also been the victim of this young man. And that child’s mother also felt it necessary to tell the world about the Claimant’s violent and abusive nature.

I spoke with this woman and verified the truth of her online posts with her. She also shared messages with me of her correspondence with the Huddersfield Examiner where she was attempting to get the story of the attack on her daughter heard.

This woman, (another victims mother) revealed how her daughter had been beaten black and blue by three female pupils, assisted by Jamal Hijazi, who bit her on the head. If untrue, that is one spectacular lie to share with the world. And again – for what reason, to what end?

The reason is that the victims mother had seen a video of the attack. She’d seen the harm done to her terrified daughter. But again, within hours, she was besieged by people threatening her and her daughter with rape and worse. The child victim's mother deleted her comments and posted an apology. But the apology was a lie, albeit one based in self-preservation.

I am only here because she was frightened into deleting her story.

The mainstream media delighted last week in yelling that “Tommy Robinson secretly recorded witnesses” as if that was the BIG story in this case. The people in this court know better. The media simply had zero interest in the other side of this story – the uncomfortable truth.

As displayed in this room last week, the media only reported one side of the story. There is not one single mainstream media outlet that has reported any of the allegation by any of my witnesses. The mainstream media disappeared. They have no shame and certainly no professional integrity. But upon acting as a Litigant in Person, I did persevere. I went knocking on dozens of doors in Huddersfield, seeking out the truth. If covert recordings were the only way to hear that truth from people who had been silenced either by fear, or the Big Brother sanctions of Kirklees Council, then I believe they were justified.

And indeed, not once, but twice, the young victims mother confirmed she had deleted her online accusations out of fear for her safety, and that yes, Jamal Hijazi truly had taken part in the gang-beating of her young daughter.

The court does not know if the Claimant’s lawyers tried to question that woman, or call her as a witness to back up their story. But then the Claimant’s lawyers have not managed to convince a single friendly witness, let alone an independent witness, to verify a single thing Jamal Hijazi has either said in written testimony, or on the witness stand.

On the other hand, in my attempts to find independent witnesses in this case, I unearthed a large number of children, adults, senior teachers and staff members at the school, all of whom spoke honestly about the troubled character of Jamal Hijazi, of his scorn for both women and girls and his abuse of them. And of course, his apparent inability to tell the truth.

It was perhaps not relevant to the Claims central to this case for all those people to be heard, but another female pupil, younger than Jamal, told us bravely and honestly how he repeatedly swore and spat at her, calling her a tramp, as she just tried to make her way home from school. Why would that young girl lie? She’s pregnant and she still lives in that troubled neighbourhood, so what incentive would she have to come to London and perjure herself?

Remarkably, the Claimant even tried to smear that girl too, clutching at straws in his witness statement by claiming that girl was Bailey McLaren’s girlfriend. Both young people found that absolutely hilarious, by the way.

My Lord,

Speaking of independent witnesses, there should have been at least one who could have supported Jamal Hijazi, if indeed he was the victim of bullying … And I must say here, Jamal may well have been a victim of bullying. That is unacceptable for any child and especially one who had endured the hardships of fleeing his war-torn homeland, lived in a refugee camp for three years, and then been exposed to a completely alien culture and language. It could not have been easy for Jamal.

The problem is however, despite having dedicated Victim Support officers, Social Care professionals, and various other individuals doing their very best both for him and his family, there isn’t a shred of evidence to support his story. Not one of them appears willing to support this claim.

In fact it’s clear from the mass of documentation disclosed to the court, that one of those senior professionals did their level best to justify this as a racially motivated victimisation of Jamal. They couldn’t. And they couldn’t because it wasn’t. School investigations, Council investigations, Police investigations – with the best will in the world, they couldn’t establish any truth in Jamal Hijazi’s various accounts of his victimhood. Until the incident with the viral video, that is – and even then, only by deliberately lying about the incidents involving Jamal.

Almondbury Community School had its failings, for sure – but racism and racist bullying was certainly not one of them. Jamal’s so-called bully, Bailey McLaren, had black and Muslim boys in his friendship group, and mixed-race sisters. Time and time again, people told me – as the young people have told this court – that the school was a multi-cultural mixture of races, colours and nationalities with just one thing they all shared in common. They were children.

The viral video showed Jamal with a cast on his arm. The world was told – and believed – that it was broken in a previous bullying incident. Except there is only one person who persists in that account. Jamal. In his witness statement, he describes giving his schoolbag to his friend when he ran to attack a pupil whose mother he had called a “white fat bitch” and who had thrown water at him.

Where is that friend, who ought to be a compelling witness for the Claimant? Where is his statement testifying to Jamal’s account that he was attacked by a group of boys – including Bailey McLaren – before being thrown to the ground, thus breaking his arm? Why did that boy not come to court to support Jamal’s claims?

I say it’s because that young man refused to support Jamal’s lies. And by the way, Bailey McLaren not only assured the court he wasn’t present during that incident, but his version is supported by another witness who even told the court he “hated” Bailey at school.

The school authorities thoroughly investigated that incident. So did the police. Statements were taken from everyone in the vicinity. All said the same thing. Jamal grabbed a boy three years younger than him and half his size, punched him repeatedly and put him in a headlock. Another pupil pushed him off the little boy and that’s when he hurt his wrist. The people who donated £157,000 to Jamal Hijazi certainly didn’t get to hear that version of events.

In order to believe Jamal, we have to imagine that a number of people all somehow contrived to conspire an imaginary scenario – presumably without any chance to gather and all of them agree their lies. It beggars belief – but then again almost everything Ms Evans has desperately thrown at the Defence witnesses beggars belief. Indeed, Jamal himself managed to contrive different versions of that event to different people, as the court has heard. Before of course settling on the version that the world’s media swallowed hook, line and sinker.

In turning to the events that led up to the Viral Video, for once we have an agreement in the source of the classroom argument between Jamal and Bailey. Jamal’s coat ended up on the floor – he testified that it both fell on the floor and that Bailey threw it on the floor. No matter. Heated insults were exchanged, Bailey heard Jamal muttering something as he left the classroom and later, at lunch, a boy Bailey later confirmed to be Ahmed, came up and told him Jamal was saying he was going to stab him.

Incidentally, on the School’s Incident Report someone – anonymously – has scribbled an unsigned additional note saying in fact it was Bailey who threatened to stab Jamal. That is not corroborated anywhere else. Jamal confirmed in court there was only one teacher in class, Dr Wilkes, and he certainly did not say that.

An independent hand-writing expert has judged that the additional comment is by an altogether different, and unknown, individual. Who added that extra line and when did they add it? To what purposes that deceit was carried out we will never know.

It’s not clear whether it was what Jamal said in class or the confirmation of the threat that reached Bailey later, that was most significant. But the stabbing threat to Bailey McLaren explains precisely why he grabbed Jamal and poured the remnants of his lunchtime water bottle on his face, while saying “what are you saying now? What are you saying now?” Jamal had threatened to stab him, and he wasn’t having that. He was washing his mouth out, as he told the court. Unfortunately the Claimant was not here for the court to observe his reaction.

As if a threat to stab Bailey McLaren wasn’t enough, the boy witness not well-disposed towards him described hearing the Claimant threatening to rape Bailey’s younger sisters, when the witness was sitting behind the pair in class. On that occasion Bailey bit his lip and avoided physical confrontation, but clearly his temper was wearing thin. And when he snapped he was determined to demand of Jamal, “what are you saying now?” as he splashed water on him.

As for the ludicrous Mainstream Media descriptions of the viral video being water-boarding – it was nothing like waterboarding.

Adjacent pages in school records of the incident show an account describing a boy with a broken arm saying Bailey did all of the above, but punched him about five times in the face and then on his broken arm. This, of course, was a statement taken before anyone knew the incident had been filmed. That exaggerated version clearly never happened. But then again Jamal denied it was his statement. Just as he denied he was ever disrespectful of school rules, aggressive, or abusive towards anyone and especially teachers or females.

There were 91 negatives on Jamal’s 2017/18 school record – pretty much matching Bailey McLaren’s dismal disciplinary record that year. They were detailed as being for physical aggression towards other pupils, being abusive and insolent to staff, and significantly, for lying. Jamal’s explanation? They were either a result of people “tricking” him to get him into trouble, they were outright lies, or they simply never happened.

Bailey McLaren’s did not tell lies. His school report shows that from 2014 to 2018 there was not one incident where he told a lie. Quite the opposite. He always admitted his fault and apologised. And this is what he did on the day of the playground incident, recorded in his incident report.

But then again, as Jamal testified, he was never sent to isolation for his misdemeanours. He swears that. And it is true, there is no school record of him being in isolation – but then again there are a great many documents missing from various Kirklees sources, which one would have expected to be present.

But yet another pupil told this court in person that he regularly saw Jamal Hijazi in isolation. Indeed, he often saw him being counselled by the Head of Isolation (redacted name). In Hearsay evidence (redacted name) himself gave a scathing account of Jamal’s character and relationship with any kind of truth, also confirming the Claimant was often in isolation. He also alleged that Jamal was waiting outside isolation one on occasion intending to beat up a girl a year younger than him.

Miss Evans has made a case for the absence of a physical record of the attack on the young girl (with a hockey stick) as evidence it never happened. Given the sporadic recording of various incidents, the Defence would say it’s quite the opposite. Almondbury School bent over backwards to accommodate Jamal Hijazi, already a serial complainer, precisely because it didn’t want to be seen as victimising him.

Mr Cattell, the PE teacher, did not personally witness the actual attack on the young girl. And sadly, despite her apparent distress, he chose to look the other way and not record it. The same thing happened when the mother of a young girl who gave evidence phoned the school to report Jamal abusing and spitting on her daughter. They were told “it didn’t happen in school, it’s not our problem.”

The defence says it should have been. In fact, in choosing to look the other way so many times, it allowed the issues with Jamal’s behaviour to continue.

Just consider the incident where he fractured his wrist. Everyone saw him beating a smaller, younger boy. Where was the incident report in the Claimant’s school records for that? Instead the authorities went to great lengths to unsuccessfully try to find non-existent culprits. They did their best. Not that it was good enough for the Hijazi family.

But it’s not just about either direct witness testimony or Hearsay evidence. Kirklees Council is an authority which has resettled a great many Syrian families, and it has bent over backwards to accommodate their needs, and indeed protect them. It was one of their Young People’s Victim Support officers however, Kirkham Robinson, who was reported as saying – and I quote – “in his professional opinion, Jamal was not the victim he portrayed to be.”

Why would Jamal be so painfully unable to admit any wrongdoing whatsoever? Why did he have such a distant relationship with honesty? If the court needs a possible answer, perhaps it came in the testimony of his father, Jihad Hijazi.

Mr Hijazi swore that he would rather he and his family all died in the war in Syria, than witness the bullying his children suffered in England. Almondbury must be some particular hell on earth, if it was worse than the bombed-out ruins of the family’s home city of Homs.
Of course, faced with considering that on the witness stand, Mr Hijazi said well, okay, he’d rather have just died himself, and not the entire family.

Likewise, thankfully, it appears Mr Hijazi hasn’t yet followed up his threat to Kirklees Council, recorded in minutes, to kill himself if they don’t bring his mother to the country. Once again something recorded in minutes by a professional that Mr Hijazi denies ever saying this. Senior Council staff, perhaps understandably tired of being bombarded by complaint after complaint from the Hijazi family, communicated between themselves that Jihad Hijazi was “manipulating the system”.

Confronted with that statement, Mr Hijazi doubled down, and told this court he was told by a senior Kirklees Council officer, James Street, appointed to assist the family, that if he didn’t like it here, he should – quote – “go back to Syria”. I think we all know that a public employee’s feet wouldn’t touch the ground if they had to face such an outrageous accusation. Kirklees Council have already said publicly that they have investigated all the complaints and recognise none of these allegations. In other words, that they are all a pack of lies.

If his father was the shining example of truth and honesty in his life, then perhaps Jamal’s difficulties are more easily understandable.

It was thanks to Mr Hijazi’s demands that Almondbury School take the welfare of his children more seriously, that we were drawn to the incident where Jamal was found with a knife and a screwdriver in his bag at school. It was Mr Hijazi who raised the subject of the knife and the screwdriver at the meeting and it was recorded in the minutes. Mr Hijazi and his son now claim it never happened. There was only a screwdriver, someone had snuck out of class and planted it in Jamal’s bag, and CCTV proved it. The school even, unthinkably, let Jamal carry it around and take it home with him.

There’s no evidence to corroborate any of that naturally, just Jihad and Jamal’s version and, as usual, they were sticking to it.

Likewise with the incident where Jamal stabbed a pupil’s hand with a board pin clenched in his fist. He says it was a fun game they played – some fun – and it wasn’t a board pin, but a simple toothpick, which he got from the library.

No matter that Jamal had actually signed the incident report admitting it was a board pin, suddenly, in court, it was a far less lethal toothpick. Almondbury Community School really must think of everything if it puts toothpicks in the library, but another thought also occurs. A toothpick has two sharp ends. If Jamal hit someone with one end, with it clenched in his fist, he’d stab himself with the other. Just a thought.

Another Hearsay witness in Jamal’s year group experienced a different sharp pointed weapon. He was one of five pupils the Claimant was punching, this time with a compass in his clenched fist. On that occasion he drew blood. Jamal, again, claims it simply didn’t happen.

The father of another defence witness recalled a friend seeing Jamal charging around a nearby field brandishing a long-bladed weapon, possibly a machete, although there is no evidence it was with any malicious or threatening intent. Just another possible example of a boy with a fondness for knives and sharp-pointed weapons.

Could such a boy be capable of threatening to stab someone he was at violent odds with? The Defence believes evidence and testimony provides a compelling argument that not only did the Claimant make such a threat, but that on more than one occasion he actually caused physical harm with a sharp pointed object. Again, that he wasn’t in court to face the people making those allegations, asks its own questions.

My Lord,

This is a case surrounding a playground incident between two boys in a High School that should have been settled there, and not here in a High Court. Indeed, in the days and weeks after the events of October 25th, to all intents and purposes it was.

The school looked into it and punished Bailey McLaren accordingly – with one, then two detentions and as the pressure mounted, a two-day home exclusion. Even the police investigated, and found no evidence of any kind of racial motivation. Far from being charged with a serious assault and facing court, as Team Jamal would later claim at length, the matter had already been dealt with by a simple caution for the boy.

However, once the Claimant got opportunist lawyers involved, and they rolled out their big guns to take aim at Bailey McLaren and Almondbury School, the die was cast.

The school was their first target. Someone – Jamal and Jihad Hijazi claim no knowledge of it – requested a criminal record check of Jamal. The request is in his name but he pleads ignorance as does dad. Councillors and MPs were brought onside and Almondbury Community School was under siege. A marvellously articulate letter in Jamal’s name was fired across the bows of all concerned.

A month after the school had dealt with the playground incident, Bailey McLaren was summoned to hear that his detentions, followed by a two-day exclusion, had been amplified into permanent exclusion. Because Jamal’s father had insisted that his son would not return to school while Bailey McLaren was there, boy was thrown under a bus. On November 26th the Claimant and his lawyers got confirmation that Jamal had a clean bill of health where the police were concerned. Everything was set for blast off.

Hours later, on 27th November someone – and the Defence believes it was a close friend of the Claimant, a man named Dodi – sent that month-old video viral, and ensured it was shared and spread around the world. Although the Claimant denies any knowledge of anyone called Dodi, the young girl who was allegedly attacked with a hokey stick makes clear in her witness statement that Jamal and Dodi were friends, that Jamal went to his gym, and indeed there were multiple online images of the pair together in the Hijazi home in Almondbury. Again, that was something the Claimant denied. Meanwhile, the GoFundMe page was all ready to go. Waiting in the wings, an array of ever-ready activists were poised to descend on Almondbury School and play to the cameras.

The next morning, television celebrity Piers Morgan was urging “severe retribution” upon Bailey McLaren. Morgan was a bit late to the party, because as we’ve heard, gangs of men were already prowling the streets of Almondbury wanting Bailey McLaren and his family’s blood. But within 72 hours there would be more than 30,000 comments, almost exclusively threats against the life of Bailey McLaren and his family, on that boy’s Instagram account alone. His other social media accounts received similar levels of hate.

The Hijazi family claimed and still persist in the claim that they were made to flee for their lives. That was another lie. Official Kirklees Council and Police documents disclosed in this case have zero records of any such threats. Naturally, Mr Hijazi claimed it was another conspiracy by every public agency that actually exists to protect and support him, against his family. The truth is that it was actually Bailey McLaren, his mum and his young sisters, who had to flee 200 miles. Who were the real victims, and still are.

My Lord,

I did not want to come before this court to defend this case. But I was not willing to pay the £50,000 ransom that Jamal’s original solicitors, Mohammed Akunjee and Farooq Bajwa, demanded of me, because I shared the versions of (young victims mother) and other young girls horrific experiences online.

That Akunjee and Bajwa are not here, absent in disgrace after an outrageous publicity stunt that endangered the lives of my wife and children, is a matter for another time. But they set in train a sequence of events that their successors, Burlingtons, have persevered with. I think they have persevered unwisely. I believe they have victimised young Jamal Hijazi for their own questionable purposes, whatever they may be.

They have exposed that boy’s worst instincts and actions to the world at who knows what cost to his reputation.

That Jamal Hijazi and his family were victims when fleeing from war-torn Syria is indisputable. None of us can imagine what they saw and experienced. That Jamal Hijazi suffered some elements of bullying and hardship in trying to settle into life in a new country and culture, is more than likely. That is not acceptable in any civilised society.

But it by no means absolves Jamal of his own wrongdoings. Just because he might have been a victim does not automatically mean he himself couldn’t be a nasty, foul-mouthed and often violent young person, particularly against girls and smaller, younger boys. As for his loose-affiliation with the truth, the evidence calling that into question is absolutely compelling, and in large abundance.

Your Lordship made it clear in earlier proceedings that in a civil case such as this, the court has to consider a balance of probabilities in reaching its conclusion. Part of that process can and should include considering the propensity of an individual towards a certain type of behaviour.

Five young people courageously stood up to be tested on the facts in this case. Many, many others spoke privately, in fear of their safety, their livelihoods or the threat of legal consequences for speaking out. All, completely independent of the others, were loosely united in their condemnation of the behaviour of Jamal Hijazi.

In contrast, in his school incident report, Bailey McLaren apologised immediately for reacting to Jamal’s taunting over his stutter and his threat to stab him. But as he – and others – testified, he had a troubled time as a young lad but one thing he was not driven by at any time was racism.

For the Claimant to succeed in this action, the court must believe that every single one of those people was lying. From the admirable and steadfast law student (young girl), to the professional social care worker (name redacted). All of them, lying to persecute one vulnerable child.

The combined powers of Almondbury School, Kirklees Council and West Yorkshire Police must have conspired together in one huge and inexplicable vendetta against the Hijazi family, if the Claimant’s arguments are to be believed.

And in response? We have a father and son, with variously fluctuating versions of quite unbelievable accounts, which fly in the face of common sense, or in fact human nature. Caught out in their lies, they couldn’t even attend court to face the exposure of them.

Their legal representation? Their case? One tiresome monologue of accusations of seemingly everyone in Huddersfield lying, but with no worldly explanation as to why they would do that. The chief liars among them? Vulnerable young people accused of perjuring themselves in the Royal Courts of Justice.

My Lord, I believe this Claim was both groundless in being brought, and has been damaging on so many levels, to so many people, in being persevered with.

I would respectfully ask you to find the facts stated by the Defence in this case to be true.

Stephen Lennon