His “Honour” Judge Pearce

May 24, 2018

NOTE: The contents of this page are true and published because they are in the public interest.  My opinions are clearly stated as such and should not be taken as fact.  My opinions are formed on the basis of my observations and some are my deductions based on what I saw, read and heard.

Judge Richard William Pearce misinterprets evidence, miscalculates, ignores evidence and invents new “evidence” to believe lying police witnesses and reject the true account of what happened.

His Honour Judge Pearce heard my claim against the Chief Constable of the Cheshire Constabulary. Obviously my biggest concern is that he got it totally wrong – he decided that I was lying and that the crooked, untruthful police were telling the truth. It is hard to understand how he reached that conclusion, but in effect he did so by inventing the “evidence” that gave him reason to reject my account of what I did, while ignoring the evidence that supported the truth of what I said. In fact there are multiple instances of his ignoring my evidence as I shall outline. What was particularly galling was the extent to which he was prepared to accept anomalies in the police testimony as understandable mistakes to give him an excuse for believing them.

In theory it shouldn’t matter how bad a lower court judge is, because there is always the course of appealing their decisions to a higher court. In practice, as I discovered, even when lower court judges are totally wrong, and it can be demonstrated that their decisions are wrong, it is near impossible to get them overturned if they appear to have used sound judgment in reaching their decision. The presumption is that they have taken all the evidence into account and have reached a fair and unbiased judgment based on the evidence. To get their judgments overturned requires that they contain a demonstrable error in law or in fact and that another competent, fair and reasonable judge might not make the same judgment.  I would have thought that Pearce’s invention of evidence would be sufficient to qualify, but apparently not.

Click here for a description of the incident that gave rise to my claim.

THE TRIAL

The first thing to note about the written police evidence, including witness statements that bore declarations of truth, is that they described something totally impossible, namely that I used the hard shoulder to facilitate turning around in a motorway slip road at a point where there was no hard shoulder. If statements describe something impossible, they are untrue, and I made that clear in my witness statement and my testimony, and one would have thought that the judge would take that into account.

On the face of it, almost an open and shut case. I told the truth: the police statements could not possibly be true, meaning they lied.

So how did it go so wrong? First off, by way of explanation because I did not know this ahead of time, in a civil claim the witnesses can be in court when others are testifying, so they have the benefit of knowing what others say so that they can, if they feel so inclined, modify their testimony accordingly. Well, the reason it went wrong is that PC4226 Eoin Anderson, having heard my testimony and fully understanding that his written statements described the impossible, testified that he had made a mistake in estimating my distance up the slip road and that I had been much further up where there was a hard shoulder (actually at about 100 feet, whereas he had estimated my location as 25 to 30 feet along the slip road). Up until this point he had always stated the 25 to 30 feet estimate and he never ever told anybody anything different – even the Chief Constable in his statement of defence quoted the same 25 to 30 feet.

Now Anderson had included as part of his statement a dishonest diagram showing locations of the police car and my car at various points and that did show me way up the slip road, but it should be pointed out that he specifically stated the diagram “is not intended to show any scale”, so I never took it to be anything other than him trying to make me look bad by showing me a long way up the slip road. Anyway, I was completely thrown by this, especially with Pearce saying to me “Well, yes, you might perhaps have anticipated it from the fact that there is a clear inconsistency between 25 to 30 feet and where the police officer has the vehicle turning round.”. Well no, I had not anticipated it after so many written statements with the original location and after Pearce’s ruling that the written witness statements would be taken as “evidence in chief”, i.e. take precedence over any verbal testimony unless he ruled otherwise.  The whole point about written witness statements and pre-trial disclosure is that a trial will be fair without any last minute revelations.  Pearce’s ready acceptance of this new story with his statement that I should have anticipated it is an absolute disgrace.  If he had an ounce of decency he would have advised me, an unrepresented litigant in person, that I had a right to request an adjournment to consider the new testimony instead of saying that I might have anticipated it. Additionally worrying is the question why I might anticipate it when it is even more untrue than their previous statements.  The only reason I can think that Pearce thought I might anticipate it is if he thought it was true, before he had even heard all the evidence – it does rather reinforce my view that he was inclined to believe whatever the police say in spite of all the anomalies.  I consider Pearce’s actions utterly despicable.  I was then quite put off by the lengths that Pearce went to in order to “understand” this mistake. (I may later attach the relevant parts of the court transcript)

Pearce then went on to misunderstand the following, written by Anderson in an email.  He came up with the idea that this related to Anderson recognizing his “mistake” and correcting it:

“I have discussed this case with Sergeant Hackett and Sergeant Harrison and a decision has been made to withdraw this case due to being unable to state if the vehicle was beyond the motorway regulations sign and, having measured the distance from the start of the junction to this sign, it is approx 35 metres, which is not close to our estimate. As such, we are unlikely to be successful in this prosecution.”

What that message very clearly says is that Anderson did not revise any estimate. He measured the sign as being in a location nowhere near his estimate of where I was, with absolutely no suggestion that his “estimate” should be revised. If Anderson had made an honest estimate in the first place (which he didn’t) and was going to realise that he had made a mistake, then he would definitely have realised his mistake when he revisited the scene and took measurements, but that is not the case. And if his “estimate” was wrong, he would have told somebody sometime, especially when my complaint against him was being investigated. The only evidence is that his new testimony was made up during the trial or in preparation for the trial. And he certainly fooled Pearce.  Although it did seem that Pearce was overly eager to find a reason to believe him.

Another thing that I found off-putting about the trial was Pearce fiddling with his computer, making me wonder whether he was paying attention. At one point I paused in my cross examination because he appeared so distracted.  I have come to the conclusion that he wasn’t much interested in the evidence.

THE JUDGMENT

At the end of the trial, the judge issues a judgment, basically analysing the evidence and supposedly making a reasoned judgment based on the evidence.

There is so much wrong with the judgment that I have published the whole thing together with my comments HERE

PART 1 – RELATING TO MY TESTIMONY

Pearce states a weakness of my case as being that I had no explanation as to why the police did what they did, i.e. falsify their testimony to make it appear that I had committed an offence that I did not commit. In fact, he is wrong in law to say that. If somebody makes a false statement, it is not up to the other party to say why they did what they did. It is sufficient that they did it. I believe my subsequent analysis shows why they did what they did, but for the purposes of the trial it should not matter, just as in a murder trial, the motives of the killer do not affect whether they were the killer, they only affect what an appropriate sentence might be.

The biggest problem with the judgment though was that Pearce rejected my account of what I did on the basis of totally unsubstantiated “evidence” that he made up, at the same time as he just happened to ignore the evidence that gave credibility to my account.

This is what he made up:

  1. It would take me 2 seconds to decide on the manoeuvre that I conducted
  2. He “calculated” that during those 2 seconds, at 10 miles per hour, I would travel 4.47 metres down the slip road in each second (total 8.94 metres by my reckoning) and so be unable to conduct the manoeuvre I did.

Why is that wrong?

  1. There is no sound basis for saying that it would take me 2 seconds to decide to do what I did. Pure conjecture. And any experienced driver would tell you that it is ridiculous. Almost like he pulled a number out of the air so that he could find against me.
  2. His calculation is rubbish, as shown in the diagram HERE. I was at no time pointing down the slip road. He totally ignored, or totally failed to recognize that when turning a corner, one is driving along a curved path. Both by calculation, and by recording on my dash-cam (see the video HERE (to be added)) I show that I was turning left for at least 2 seconds before needing to turn right to steer out of the entrance of the slip road. Pearce looked at the video a few times, but it obviously failed to sink in.  So even if his ridiculous 2 second “estimate” were correct, I would still have had no problem doing what I did.

What evidence did he ignore in coming up with his rejection of my account?

  1. That I had conducted a similar manoeuvre before, making it more, rather than less, likely that I would be able to repeat it. I wouldn’t normally have volunteered this information, but defence counsel did ask me if I had done a similar thing before, so I had to say that I had.
  2. My account of what I did is the only consistent account. The police lied, but what they said I did was impossible, so during the trial they changed their testimony to make it appear only improbable. But that was enough to give Pearce an excuse for believing them, so he let a couple of crooked cops off the hook at my expense.

Conclusion: He was clearly in error. But why? Apart from the lies told by the police, the only evidence against my doing what I did was made up by Pearce, at the same time as he ignored evidence in my favour.  I would really like to know why Pearce went to such lengths of inventing nonsensical facts and deeply flawed, indeed bogus, calculations.  It looks intentional so that he could feel justified in making a decision that I think everyone in the courtroom thought ridiculous.  It was obvious that the defence barrister was surprised.

PART 2 – RELATING TO THE POLICE TESTIMONY

The police witnesses were PC4226 Eoin Anderson and PC4524 Nicola Rimmer.  These were the two crooked cops in the police car.  Anderson was the one who charged me and Rimmer was the one who corroborated his false version of events.

There is just so much wrong with Pearce’s analysis of the police testimony that I would refer you again to the transcript of the judgment with my comments. What is worrying is that he appeared not to have been paying attention to the evidence.

I shall limit myself here to what was not included in the judgment:

  • He failed to mention the impossibility of the original police witness testimony – absolutely no reference to it.
  • Following that failure, he failed to question their revised “estimate” of my position.
  • He failed to address the fact that two police witnesses both misunderstood the meaning of “truth” when declaring their written statements true, even though, they claim, that their estimates of my position on the slip road were a “mistake”.
  • He failed to address the improbability that two police witnesses would both estimate a distance as 25 to 30 feet, then both re-estimate it at about 100 feet on the day of the trial while giving verbal testimony.
  • He failed to mention the impossibility of vehicle(s) between my vehicle and the police vehicle still being in front of the police vehicle when I had supposedly driven 100 feet up the slip road, as Rimmer testified they were.
  • He failed to understand that my description of events was the only one that stacked up with the relative positions of my vehicle and the police vehicle in a queue of traffic leading up to the slip road

All in all, and not just because he got it wrong, I think it was a very poor judgment which did not properly consider all the evidence at the same time as introducing matters not in evidence, and making things up, in order to reject my truthful version of events.

COSTS

In the normal course of events, the loser in a civil case pays the costs of the winning party. As Pearce so unpleasantly put it “You lose, you pay”. But a judge does have some discretion, especially in a case like this where the winning party has clearly not played by the rules. The Ministry of Justice publishes a Practice Direction – Pre-Action Conduct, which lays down how parties are to behave prior to a trial and, if possible, to avoid a trial completely. You can see these rules HERE. The Chief Constable was in breach of the rules in these areas:

  • Not responding to the facts;
  • Rejecting my offer of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) without good reason; and
  • Concealing the change of witness testimony so that I was caught unawares at the trial.

Any one of these breaches would have been sufficient to reduce, even to zero, the amount of costs he ordered me to pay. I wanted to discuss these issues but Pearce pretty much closed down any discussion – perhaps because it was Friday afternoon and he wanted to get away for the weekend.

So why did he stick the knife in and order me to pay the lot? More especially considering that in order to reject my true version of events he had to invent new “evidence”, because there was no evidence presented that would justify his conclusion. (If this question is not answered it is because Pearce did not give me an answer when requested)

CONCLUSION

It is hard to know what to say. There are a number of reasons why Pearce might have got it so wrong. Did he not understand the evidence? Was there some motive behind his decision? Prejudice? (I am hoping that he will provide an answer.  If there is no answer here it is because he has not provided one).  The possibilities are:

Incompetence?: It is possible that he was unable to comprehend all the evidence.  He did not seem able to correlate my evidence with the evidence of the police to establish where there were areas of agreement, for example the number of cars between the police car and my car at the outset, so he invented the possibility of more cars between which gave him an excuse for not dismissing the police evidence as impossible, which it was.  Then his grossly incorrect estimates of time and calculation of distance which just happened to benefit the false police version of events.  Pearce is clearly not totally competent as I discovered in reading information about a successful appeal against one of his judgments which you can read about HERE.  In that case, Pearce didn’t know the law, so made an incompetent judgment that was overturned.

Prejudice?: There is some evidence for prejudice either in favour of the police or against me (or my visible minority partner who was in court). His statement that I might have anticipated the police changing their evidence is one example, giving me the feeling that he had already accepted the huge change as true, and making up an interpretation of an email as meaning that the police witness realised his original estimate of distance was wrong.  He even told everyone what the police officer should have written in his witness statement so that he could pretend that it was not actually a false statement.  Additional evidence is his invention of the possibility of more cars between the vehicles, and his grossly incorrect estimates and calculations as above.  Then the ONLY evidence that I might not have done what I did was invented by Pearce himself – namely that I needed two seconds to think about reacting the way I did and then doing a grossly incorrect calculation of where I would be after that two seconds, whereas the evidence shows that even after two seconds of thinking about it, I could still have done what I did.  Then there was nothing even-handed about his awarding full costs against me when there were so many reasons why he should not have done so.

Corruption?: This is too awful to contemplate, but Pearce’s judgment is so out of step with reality that one cannot help but wonder if there is a truly sinister motive.  Were Pearce and the chief constable acquainted?  Were they members of the same “club”?  The chief constable went into this trial with two witness statements that could not by any stretch of the imagination be true.  His Statement of Defence was likewise a statement of the impossible.  A defendant would not normally have let such a cut and dried issue go to court unless he had very good reason to believe that, against all the odds, he would get a ruling in his favour.

I am unable to think of any other reasons why he might have ignored evidence and invented evidence in order to reach his ridiculous judgment, but I will state it here if he tells me why he did it, or why any of the above possibilities is not possible.

My own assessment is that the most probable reason for his judgment is prejudice.  Whereas not taking evidence into account could be a mark of incompetence, inventing “evidence” is a deliberate act.  The fact that he came up with multiple inventions – on the one hand to provide an excuse for believing the police and, on the other hand, to provide an excuse for disbelieving me, is so one-sided that it is difficult to come up with any other explanation.

I can only conclude that this was a deliberate miscarriage of justice committed by Pearce. Whereas I cannot say for certain that Pearce was motivated by prejudice, nor why, it is the most likely explanation.  But I would say that to be in the safe side, you do not want to have your case heard by Pearce if you are a visible minority, or associated with visible minorities, or if you are up against the police.

With Pearce, the criminals go free, the innocent suffer.  This is not justice.  I would even go so far as to say that this despicable man is not fit to be a judge – if he isn’t too corrupt to be a judge, then he is too prejudiced to be a judge or, if not too prejudiced to be a judge, then too incompetent to be a judge.  I cannot be sure which applies because he did not respond to my request for comments on what I have written.  It is really sickening that someone so evil is referred to as “his honour”.  He shows no trace of it.

THE APPEAL

The crooked, arrogant and prejudiced judge Pearce refused me permission to appeal. Nevertheless I sought permission to appeal to the high court and my request to appeal and the appeal itself were heard before judge Sir Alistair MacDuff.  There are really only two grounds of appeal, namely that the judge at the original trial was mistaken in law or that the judge made a very evident mistake.  There was clearly no mistake in law.  What I did not realise is that to succeed, I would have to demonstrate that no judge who was intelligent, reasonable, fair and unbiased would reach the same verdict on the evidence presented at trial.  Unfortunately, I only went prepared to show that the verdict was wrong because the evidence did not stack up and obviously on the basis of what I presented, MacDuff, although he believed my version of events, was not prepared to say that Pearce was crooked and biased and was not therefore able to overturn the verdict.  Had I realised what it was necessary to demonstrate, then I would have gone over Pearce’s judgment even more thoroughly than I have since, to demonstrate that he is bent and only reached his verdict by inventing “evidence” as well as by ignoring and misinterpreting evidence.

It is perhaps unfair that the initial trial should only have been judged on the balance of probabilities, but that an appeal is judged on the basis of certainty that the judge got the law wrong or the facts wrong.  Well, Pearce tipped the balance of probabilities in favour of the criminal police and I didn’t know that I had to convince MacDuff that Pearce was crooked – but a high court judge is probably pretty reluctant to agree that a lower court judge is a crook, although in this case he is.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Peter November 12, 2019 at 12:29 pm

Same judge, different court, similar verdicts. He read nothing in the bundles. Total bias against the defendant when other side clearly committed severe misappropriations. Pointed out after court case and backed up with considerable evidence from the bundles but am now landed with disproportionate costs. Too costly/risky to appeal in view of author’s experiences. Why can’t judges stand for scrutiny? Now considering my MP for help. Any suggestions welcome.

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admin November 12, 2019 at 7:28 pm

Nasty, incompetent and crooked judges like Pearce are a real menace and do real damage to people’s lives. I assume he is a judge only because he can’t hack it as a lawyer where earnings require the practitioner to be competent and on the ball. Pearce is so rotten because he fails to study or comprehend the evidence, then goes on to misinterpret evidence and make up new evidence in order to rule in accord with his prejudices. It is a pity that he won’t sue me for defamation so that I won’t have the opportunity to prove this in court. My appeal was heard before Sir Alistair MacDuff, who is an intelligent and thoughtful person. He told me in his judgment that I would have had to prove that no intelligent, unbiased and competent judge would reach the same verdict that Pearce did – i.e. I would have had to prove that Pearce was unintelligent and/or biased and/or incompetent. I believe that I could have proved that if I had known it at the outset, but instead I set out to prove that my version of events was the only one that fitted the facts. So although MacDuff believed me, as he said, that was insufficient to win my appeal. Obviously MacDuff was not going to say that Pearce was prejudiced and incompetent without proof. However, being decent and a gentleman, he did not stick me with the defendant’s costs for the appeal. Pearce did not respond to my request that he tell me of any inaccuracy in my write-up of his performance, nor tell me whether his judgment was a result of incompetence, prejudice or corruption.

I advised my own MP of the matter and in essence there is nothing that politicians can do. The police and the courts are held free from political intervention, although when the new parliament is elected, I shall approach my MP again with respect to whether anything can be done to turn the CPS onto the criminality of constables Eoin Anderson and Nicola Rimmer. But I am not especially hopeful. Complaints about judges relating to their judgments are not considered – their decisions have to be tested in court. If you do write to your MP, you might draw his attention to my website and the facts about Pearce. If evidence mounts up of his injustice, it might conceivably have some effect. If there are any damning facts that I can publish here, I will be happy to do so. Obviously I need to know that what I publish is true and you might need to find a way not to be identified if you don’t want to be.

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