The facts of Roger's committal to prison are slowly emerging. It seems that on Tuesday 26 June 2012 a Committal Hearing took place at which Wirral Council state that Roger failed to appear.
As a result the Judge issued a bench warrant for his arrest, and Roger was arrested yesterday morning. The Council spokesman either did not know or refused to name the Judge.
Following his arrest Roger was brought before a Magistrate and sentenced to 21 days. The Council spokesman either did not know or refused to name the Magistrate, and was unable to say how much, if any, notice of either hearing was given to the General Public.
At this point we would like to make a correction to our initial press release, and that is:
Roger Hayes "WITHELD" his Council Tax rather than "refused to pay" as we reported. This has important implications in his legal case.
The most important fact in Roger's arrest, trial and imprisonment is that nobody knows the detail of what happened to him. What were the names and numbers of the police officers? What was the Court? What was the number of the case? Who was the Magistrate or Judge? Were any public present to see justice being done?
Roger was arrested at home and 9 hours later he was in prison, on the decision of one Magistrate. This must be yet another very dangerous example of the rise of the 'secret' courts and 'secret justice' - Kenneth Clarke MP is still pushing for yet more Courts without Juries.
Calls to the police and Liverpool prison where he is being held, have all been met with a wall of silence under the 'we can't say' and 'data protection'. We can see from this how yet more secrecy is introduced to keep the public interest at bay.
It is understood that the police have received many calls - one member of the public had the phone slammed down on him when he mentioned Roger's name.
Roger's family have also been refused direct information and access to him. They have now started the paperwork trail for formal permission to visit.
A former police officer has kindly made a number of pertinent points which we are happy to publish.
He was informed us that the prison would not confirm that Roger was with them for "security reasons". They referred him to the "Prisoner Location Service" on 0121 626 2773 - they would not accept verbal requests. Merseyside Police switchboard are also referring calls about Roger to the Council. This appears a highly dubious practice at law.
He states - "Because I wanted to make complaints I was put through to the police control room. The drill is for complaints to be recorded and then passed to an Inspector who will contact the complainant within 24 hours. My initial complaints are:
1. Was anyone informed of Rogers arrest? The contingency plan was for him to get a message to me. Note that the prisoner does not get to make a phone call himself. This is a precaution against prisoners passing coded messages to their associates outside.
2. Merseyside police, according to various sources on the Internet, are claiming that "Data Protection" forbids them to confirm Rogers whereabouts. This appears highly dubious practice because a "Regulation" cannot be held to repeal or infringe a Common Law right.
3. Passing complaints about police actions to the Council is a breach of the Police Discipline Regulations and of confidentiality for the individuals who are being complained about. I believe the Police Federation will not like this abuse of process."
The UK Column is delighted to report that the story of Roger Hayes has gone UK and world wide. Many are asking us what can they do? Our first answer is to spread the word, highlighting the the seriousness of the secrecy and lack of transparency in the whole process. As an example another member of the public has asked these excellent questions:
"Was there a signed warrant (wet signature) and who authorised it if so:
- Was there any forced entry to the house and/or damage.
- Did the warrant remain at the house.
- Did they search the house. Did they take anything away, i.e. computer, files, phones, router etc.
- Did they leave an inventory at the house Were there any witnesses to the arrest.
- Was any force used on Roger, or anyone else in the house.
- Was he handcuffed. Was there any explanation to anyone else in the house. Is there any idea of the charge. Were the arresting officers 'sworn police officers,
- PCSO's, from another 'agency' with powers of arrest or privates, or a mixture.
- Did anyone get their names or collar numbers.
- Did anyone get the name of the Prison Officer who called. If anyone could collate that, am sure his lawyers (or others) will want it, plus, it would provide good info for a follow up article"
Please ring the authorities yourself to hear their answers first hand. Every call is a point of support for Roger and shows the authorities the overwhelming public interest in the case. Please also write and ask for information and answers from Wirral Council and other authorities. As always be polite and measured in your calls and requests for information - unfortunately the authorities may not treat you with the same respect. As soon as we have more information we will post it. For those that want to write to Roger we will post his Prison Number as soon as we have it.
Merseyside Police Tel: 101 local or +44 (0)151 709 6010 in UK.
Liverpool Prison Tel: +44 (0)151 530 4000
Crimestoppers (UK only) Tel: 0800 555 111
If you would like to write to Roger with your support, you can write to him at:
HMP Liverpool, 68 Hornby Road Liverpool L9 3DF
His prisoner number is: A8953CP
There will be a special UK Column Live broadcast tomorrow, Wednesday, 4th July at 12PM BST: