So it is that she has gone after all those “activist lawyers”, with the result that at least one legal practice that assists those seeking asylum in the UK has been the target of a suspected far-right terrorist attack. Then she turned her attention to marking the anniversary of a tragic incident which was discovered last year at Grays, in Essex.
39 Vietnamese nationals had been found dead in a sealed lorry trailer. As the BBC later reported, “The bodies of the Vietnamese nationals were discovered at an industrial estate soon after the lorry arrived in the UK on a ferry from Zeebrugge in Belgium. Among the men, women and children were 10 teenagers, two of them 15-year-old boys”.
Last April, “Lorry driver Maurice Robinson … pleaded guilty at the Old Bailey to 39 counts of manslaughter”. Earlier this month, “Gheorghe Nica … admitted conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration between 1 May 2018 and 24 October 2019”. But this later BBC report ended with the caution “The trial continues”. Which means what, exactly?
The Attorney General’s office, domain of Ms Patel’s pal Suella Braverman, has helpfully provided an explainer: “Interfering with the administration of justice constitutes a serious offence - learn more about contempt of court and the right to a fair trial on our website”.
It seems Ms Patel may have found such a visit instructive: the Crime Line Twitter feed responded to her yesterday “There is a trial in progress, this Tweet is ill-advised”. Later, we learned “Home Secretary deletes Tweet which may have wrecked major criminal trial”. The Secret Barrister mused “I suggest that [Priti Patel] start following [the Attorney General’s Office]. Might save future embarrassment/imprisonment”.
So what’s the connection? Simples. Yesterday was the anniversary of the 39 bodies being discovered in that sealed lorry trailer. And I can reveal that Ms Patel Tweeted out a reminder of that anniversary. She would have been OK leaving it at that. But she did not.
She had to add a comment, which was where Crime Line came in. And, unlike those of us who Ms Patel has blocked, she had not yet got round to removing Crime Line from her field of Twitter vision, and so was able to see the warning before too much damage had been done. Hopefully the trial will be able to proceed without hindrance.
Think before Tweeting. Especially when you’re supposed to know about the law.
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