Courtroom vindication

This post will mean little or nothing to those of you outside of the UK, so my apologies in advance.

Something very unusual happened this afternoon, at The Royal Courts of Justice, in London. The just side won, in a high-profile libel case. The sorry ‘Plebgate’ affair came to a conclusion, after two years of heartbreak and distress for those concerned. Former government Chief Whip, and Tory high-flyer, Andrew Mitchell, lost his libel case against The Sun newspaper. One aspect of this case, was that someone I know well, was also vindicated. Dedicated Police Officer, former colleague, and all round straight-up man, Toby Rowland, was believed by the judge. After all this time; facing the end of his career, and the loss of his reputation, justice prevailed. He told the truth. Mitchell is not only a liar, he has been proven to be one. His true nature has also been confirmed, with the ruling that he not only swore at the police officers concerned, but also called Toby a ‘Pleb’. This word has been at the heart of the issue since it was first reported in the tabloid concerned. It shows exactly what Mitchell (and let’s face it, many of his ilk) really think of ordinary people, including those who risk their lives to protect him at his place of work.

Not only am I overjoyed for Toby, who has proved his integrity to any who doubted it, I am also pleased to see this rare example of justice handed out by our High Court. Other officers involved in the incident have been dismissed, disciplined, even imprisoned. Lies were told by some, collusion was evident with others. None of this should take anything away from the fact that Toby told the truth from the beginning, and that he was willing to lose everything, to protect his reputation. It is reported that Mitchell now faces costs of over £3 million, and that his career is ruined. I say good. It is less than he deserves. No doubt one of his friends will come forward, and offer him a lucrative directorship, enabling him to slip away from the world of politics, and recoup his riches.

Toby will be left with much more. Something priceless. His good name.


12 thoughts on “Courtroom vindication

  1. For a few reasons I’m very pleased about this outcome.

    He (Your friend) was telling the truth.

    The police get so much abuse in their day to day duties. They should not face this behaviour and politicians really should be able to control how they behave.

    He (Mitchell) was never really taken to task over his “colourful language”. For me it shows how tolerant the officer was in not actually arresting him on the spot.

    “Plebgate” what is all the fuss…. this was something I have heard so much.

    The good thing about this is that it really highlights our class system and how those ruling classes view us.

    Pleb is commonly mistaken as a slang word that means fool or idiot. Its not.

    Its an abbreviation for Plebeian used by Roman rulers to describe other classes. It is as dismissive and as insulting as calling someone a CHAV.
    (Although I believe this actually came from the police in the north of the country… Council Housing And Violent).

    Time people started taking a deep breath and showing a bit more regard for one another.

    I’m glad Mitchell didn’t get away with it. But then I’m also certain he will get a nice CEO job and fell he can continue to do whatever he wants.

    Good post Pete and congratulations to your friend.


  2. With respect to justice, the big news here this week was, of course, the decision of a Missouri grand jury not to indict Darren Wilson in the slaying of Michael Brown. Although it would appear that, based on extensive testimony, as well as forensic and other evidence, this was the right decision—and a courageous one at that, considering the pressure put upon the jury by the liberal media (that often described Brown, an 18-year-old who was 6’4″ tall and weighed 292 lbs., as a “child”) and the outraged black community (that threatened to riot)—the decision has polarized America, largely along ethnic lines, and has resulted in local violence and nationwide demonstrations that have once again exposed the deep racial tensions in our country, as well as put our nation’s law enforcement and justice system under the international microscope.

    I am reminded of your 9/11 post, in which you discussed being “newsed-out.” On the one hand, I think many people here are feeling that right now. On the other hand, the legal and social issues raised by the events in Missouri are compelling. We can’t help but look the monster in the eye.


    1. The news coverage about Ferguson is fairly basic here, though I would say that it is more sympathetic to the victim, than the police in this case. For example, other than seeing footage of burning and looting, obviously not condoned, the report stated that this unarmed man was shot 12 times. Admittedly, he was a very large young man, but the officer’s claim of self-defence, resulting in discharging 12 shots, seems a little incredulous.
      That is the view I have of it, from watching the news here. I could be completely wrong. This is the problem with TV news.
      As always David, a thoughtful and considered comment, and much appreciated.
      Best wishes, Pete.


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