Help us make history by collectively suing the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). This is the first time the CPS have had a case lodged against them, and a successful outcome would set an amazing precedent for other individuals wronged by the state.
Lorna was arrested in 2012 after filming a protest against an airline who were caught out shipping animals to laboratories. The police seized her footage - which proved her innocence - and forced her to go to trial, where it finally was extremely clear the whole thing was an absolute waste of time. So, after a lengthy period on bail and going through a week-long trial, she was acquitted and cleared of all charges. Of course, such a process left her with a lot of stress and time wasted.
The police then tried to shirk all responsibility by claiming it was the decision of the CPS to prosecute Lorna, despite knowing that the footage would eventually prove her innocence and that her arrest was completely wrongful. (More details about Lorna's case can be found below.)
So, we've got our mockingjay, we've got a kick-ass solicitor ready to take on the fight -- now we just need a few quid to help make it all happen.
Things you will receive in return for your donation towards this super awesome crowdfunding campaign:
- Help set a legal precedent – the CPS have never been sued before! If this case was successful, it would allow others to bring the CPS to court as well.
- Justice... (hopefully)
- The feeling that you helped out somebody awesome who is trying to do the right thing
- You'll be an important part in the ongoing battle against the capitalist state
- Any donations over £100 will receive a small bottle of genuine tears from the CPS
Background to Lorna's case
In early 2012 a protest took place against Air France-KLM at Bristol Airport. Air France-KLM are the only remaining passenger airline to transport animals into the UK for use in laboratories.
The protest was part of an animal rights weekend of action and the police were present throughout the weekend, eager to interfere with and stop any protests. During the protest at the airport the police began breaking up the demonstration and arrested a number of people.
Our friend Lorna was one of 3 people filming the protest in order to gather footage with the intention of releasing a video promoting the campaign later on, and to record the events for legal purposes (to protect the protesters from false allegations of wrongdoing). Shortly into the protest a member of the public became very aggressive and began assaulting a female protester, holding her by her neck and shouting at her. Witnessing this, Lorna walked towards them, filming the events, and calmly, but firmly, said to the man "Let go of her, let go of her. You're committing assault". The man then released the other protester and advanced towards Lorna. He grabbed her camera and kept moving towards her in an intimidating manner, forcing her to back away as she tried to hold onto her camera. Eventually the man let go of the camera, which he had broken. Lorna passed her camera to another protester and left the airport. The protester with the camera was later arrested and the camera was seized by the police.
Months later Lorna was arrested and shortly afterwards she was charged with Section 4 of the Public Order Act, for allegedly threatening violence towards the man who had assaulted the other protester. After many months on bail and a week long trial in the Magistrates Court, Lorna was acquitted. The charges were dropped after the Magistrate saw the videos from her camera and the CCTV from the airport, which clearly showed Lorna acting calmly and lawfully and attempting to get away from the aggressive member of the public.
The police and Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) had been in possession of this footage for months and should have easily seen that the allegations against Lorna were untrue.
Being wrongfully arrested, kept on bail (with conditions imposed on her) for 6 months and having to attend a lengthy trial was both expensive and stressful. Following her acquittal Lorna sought the advice of a solicitor who recommended they initiate a claim against Avon and Somerset Police. However, the police tried to avoid responsibility by claiming the decision to charge Lorna was made by the CPS. Still wanting those who made the wrongful decision to be held to account, Lorna and her solicitor are now attempting to sue the CPS. The CPS have never been sued in this way before and so this claim will set a legal precedent. If Lorna is successful in taking the CPS to trial for their wrongful decision making, it will enable other victims of unlawful arrest, malicious prosecution etc to do the same. This will make the CPS more accountable and hopefully compel them to consider their charging decisions more thoroughly.
In order to get the claim to court, Lorna's solicitor has found an excellent barrister who is keen to try this case. But they need to raise enough money to cover his fee. We've set up this fundraiser to try to raise the remaining £550 towards these costs, to help get this claim to court and hopefully challenge the immunity of the CPS.
Please contribute whatever you can!