The Walter Mitty-like figure of Raheem “call me Ray” Kassam has recently taken to issuing legal threats against Zelo Street (the post that so distressed him can be read HERE), but following a series of emails, no word has been had from his lawyers, whomsoever they be. Why this might be was explained yesterday, when the true breadth and depth of Kassam’s legal expertise - or rather, the lack of it - was laid bare for all to see.
“Ray” Kassam decided to pontificate on the contempt conviction handed down last Friday to Stephen Yaxley Lennon, who styles himself Tommy Robinson. In doing so, he caused ridicule to rain down upon him, and left himself open to legal threats of his own.
He kicked off as he meant to go on - aggressively, dishonestly, and with his woeful ignorance in full view. “For those on the alt left screaming ‘OMG TOMMY PLEADED GUILTY TO CONTEMPT!’ you are about to find out why... his lawyer was told he wouldn’t be charged. I understand he had a (very poor) public defender appointed to him, who urged him under the duress of arrest, to plead guilty”. There was more.
“This is yet another tool of the politicized judiciary. No duty solicitor would have the technical expertise, especially not within a matter of hours, to fight a contempt of court charge. Gloat all you want but this court is going to shown up as corrupt v soon”. Keeping up with the lies and defamation? The Secret Barrister certainly was.
“Oh my dear sweet Raheem. 1) No-one is ‘charged’ with contempt. It is a purely judicial function. 2) We don’t have ‘public defenders’ in England and Wales. He was represented by a very experienced independent criminal barrister. 3) ‘Duress of arrest’ is not a thing” they told. Was Kassam grown up enough to take the hint? Was he heck.
“Wrong again (you’re a fake barrister [er, no they aren’t]). He was given the duty solicitor. Same thing as public defender. Most of my followers are American [irrelevant]. Also, whether he felt under duress is up to him. (Hint: he did)” came the response.
Ross McCafferty was looking in, and asked “How can you be under duress of arrest after you've been arrested?” The Great Man was having none of this! “Because he was refused his own solicitor and told to plead something he didn’t want to. He was refused basic and normal access to a good lawyer who knows contempt law. The police also lied to him (told him he wouldn’t be charged). Brush up on the case before judging”.
I know, I know, Kassam clearly knows Sweet Jack Shit on what he’s shouting about, yet there he is swaggering around as if he’s the fount of all knowledge. Nor did he take the further hint that The Secret Barrister gave him: “I hope you have deep pockets, Raheem. That’s three times you’ve defamed a legal professional by questioning his competence and integrity. I hope for your sake the advocate in question doesn’t see your tweets”.
The advocate in question might just be seeing those Tweets very soon. But in the meantime, Kassam just kept on digging himself in deeper as he sneered “Your passive aggressive threats are risible. Everyone knows duty solicitors are on the whole not specialists in contempt and are typically not as good as private hires. Next you’ll be calling it defamatory for me to call Uber drivers shit vs black cabs. You’re a fraud”.
Next to bring the chill wind of reality to Kassam was Ben Summers, who reminded him “You've just been told that Crown Courts do not have duty solicitors (which is objectively true). You're only making yourself look sillier”. So who defended Lennon?
Legal Claret had that answer: “According to the BBC, he was represented by Matthew Harding, a barrister of 16 years call with a wealth of experience in criminal law”. The BBC report confirms this. Harding is at Park Square Barristers, an address which should tell anyone with the faintest knowledge of Leeds and the law of his status. Harding is also on Twitter, which may assist with the transmission of information in this case.
Raheem Kassam has spewed out an aggressive and ill-informed pack of lies about the contempt case of Stephen Yaxley Lennon. He has also managed, intentionally or otherwise, to defame more than one legal eagle. And he has shown exactly how seriously his legal threats should be taken - that is, not seriously at all.
There’s little point shooting your mouth off if you don’t know your subject. I’ll just leave that one there.