Act of judicial madness sees Arctic Convoy veteran jailed for being deaf

On the eve of a 70th Anniversary service on 20th August 2011 at Loch Ewe in Wester Ross, paying tribute to the World War II Arctic Convoys  and the now veteran heroic crews who sailed on them, an English Judge has performed an astonishing feat of crass loss of judgment.

These convoys were among the most dangerous wartime operations, with heavy loss of life among both the Merchant and Royal Navies. Their success at this heavy price, however, kept the Russian people able to survive, to defend themselves and to stay in the war – a serious contribution to the continuing freedom of the UK.

Judge Jonathan Rose of Bradford in Yorkshire has just jailed Arctic Convoy Veteran, 86 year-old Norman Scarth.

For what?

Mr Scarth has been imprisoned or attempting to record a court hearing on an audio device – because he is hard of hearing and hearing loops were not provided by the Court. Another judge had previously allowed him to do this.

It is hard to believe but Judge Rose had Mr Scarth immediately arrested by police, taken away in handcuffs and imprisoned in Leeds Prison for serious offenders – which has the highest suicide rate in the UK.

We understand that Mr Scarth is denied his prescription medication for serious muscle cramping; and is being kept in tortuous conditions in solitary confinement.

He has actually been sentenced to six months imprisonment  and denied court access for one year.

No-one in government is responding to his formal complaints.

The madness as well as the inhumanity of this action would touch anyone – but Argyll has a special interest in the Arctic Convoys. The naval escort ships and their crews were trained for this duty in Tobermory on Mull – by Vice Admiral Sir Gilbert Stephenson, known as The Terror of Tobermory, the title of Richard Baker’s book about him.

Please sign the petition here to have this heroic gentleman released. The foreword to the petition will also give you details of exactly what happened to Mr Scarth, on Judge Rose’s instructions. It does not make reassuring reading.

You may also follow the case on TWITTER @freenorman website and on the campaign website here.

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36 Responses to Act of judicial madness sees Arctic Convoy veteran jailed for being deaf

  1. Obviously I don’t know the ins and outs of this case – but I am absolutely horrified. Actually I am incandescent with rage…. this man and the people with him sacrificed his life so that I and my children and all the children that I teach and all the people that live around me etc etc have the life of freedom that we have. In the great scheme of things what he did (whatever ‘the letter of the law’) says is unimportant…..what he did in the past and the very fact that he is an elder of our community who should be respected is. This could be my Grandad who lost his hearing after being stationed on a destroyer in Scappa flow. And to make matters worse the judge is from Bradford from where I hail – so ashamed that a Yorkshire ‘man’ could do this….absolutely livid (and I don’t get annoyed easily) I am so ashamed that our older people are treated so badly…. and yes I am sure this gentleman is a difficult person for the authorities to deal with and I bet he has asked awkward questions and waved placards – but surely this is his right and as free citizens our duty – afterall this is what the people who were involved in the Arctic Convoys and the rest of WW2 enabled to happen – I hope that judge has this explained to him !

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  2. The jailing of this gentleman is absolutely disgraceful, diabolical inhuman, what the hell is this judge thinking of for goodness sake.
    I say to this judge get your backside back to england and start locking up some real thugs for a change and leave our war veterans alone.
    This chap has served his country and doesn,t deserve to be treated in this way.

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  3. I just signed this petition for what appears to be an appalling injustice. If the facts of this case are as portrayed by the petition site then its the judge that needs locking up.

    As a regular reader of the broadsheets (of all persuasions) I could not recall having heard of the case.It is one which the Guardian/Indy/Telegraph would certainly have picked up. I checjked their websites and could find no reference to Mr Scarth except as a serial candidate at elections for the Anti Crime Party.

    I then checked on Twitter for Tweets about him and found that he has a very motley crew of supporters including Nick Griffin, EDL, David Icke and Casuals United. He has clearly become an ultra right wing cause celebre.

    This shouldn’t detract from any injustice caused to him but I would certainly like more information before offering more support.

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    • For Bob Chicken: He may be right wing and he’s probably a pest in the courts, but no one should be jailed because we don’t agree witH them or because they’re a nuisance to a judge with a short fuse. We’d have thought that equality legislation protected the right of the hard of hearing to know – by whatever means – what is going on around them – and in a court.

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  4. Don’t know the details but on the face of it it does seem right that the courts come down hard on crime.

    The bankers have ruined the economy whilst helping themselves to billions, and no one has been prosecuted.

    Save for a few token scapegoats, all the politicians who fiddled their expenses have gotten away with it.

    Same goes for the cash for honours brigade, the illegal Labour Party multi million pound donations that when exposed were revealed to be ” loans”, the collapsed pension funds like Equitable Life, rigged prices, etc etc etc.

    So yes it does seem right that when you get an 86 year old criminal who illegally records court proceeding that the full might of the law be applied to him.

    Justice needs to be seen to be done and this appears to show justice at it’s finest. Equality in the eyes of the law for all.

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  5. Newsroom. I don’t disagree with you at all. I am frankly appalled at some of the riot sentencing and unjust treatment dished out by the English judicial system at the moment.

    I would just like to see a more detailed and objective account of
    this case

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  6. Bob Chicken, I am afraid that the sentences whch have been passed in the courts for the English riots are only shocking because for the last 30-40 years we have seen more and more lenient sentences passed in all courts. As an example the maximum sentence for burglary is 14 years. As a police officer in South Wales for 22 years I have never seen anyone, regardless of their previous record, being sentenced to anything near that. Some in this time are being harshly treated, but conversely, the situation is exceptional.
    That said, this case is a strange one. A warning might have been more appropriate, but who knows what went on without the full details. He should be released, but the problem is that the laws exist, and we only complain when those laws that we don’t agree with are implemented.

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  7. Jailed for six years in 2001 for attacking a bailiff with a chainsaw.

    Further to my last post, I have ‘Googled’ Mr Scarth, and i wonder about the ramblings that i see on a number of sites. War hero, yes. Convicted criminal, yes. Accepts what has happened to him, no. Fair play he has his own principles and sticks to them, he has been a failed parliamentary candidate, against David Davies. It would seem that not everything is as it first appears. Is he actually still in prison? Or is this a recycled story which pops up every now and again? I am sureI had emails some time ago on this very subject.
    From my biased stance I think he is mad as a brush, and is a person who will complain as far as he can. But hey ho, that is his right.

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    • The “chainsaw” incident – a tool which Mr. Scarth did not possess, was totally fabricated by West Yorkshire police. Please get that straight. You are right that the world is not as it appears, and much goes on that the British public are not aware of.

      On Mon, 22/8/11, Christopher Fogarty wrote:

      From: Christopher Fogarty <
      Subject: Norman Scarth: Hero; from WW2 to Now
      To: "Mary O'Sullivan" <

      Date: Monday, 22 August, 2011, 7:06

      Tonight, here in Chicago, RT TV (Russia Today TV) aired a 3-
      minute report on Norman Scarth in England. Though a heroic
      participant in convoying ships on the Murmansk Run in WW2
      and the Scapa Flow naval battle that sank the German warship
      Scharnhorst at great loss of life including many of his mates,
      Norman has been persecuted for the past few decades by his
      own Crown gov't.

      The oath of officers of Britain's judicial system is to uphold the
      monarch, not justice; so very few litigants vs. Crown ever get
      justice. After WW2 Norman operated a riding stables. A politically
      -connected client developed a complaint against Norman, and
      though it was a civil matter, not criminal, the police were wielded
      against Norman, and Norman lost in court. Failing to get justice
      in Britain, Norman took his case to the European Court for Human
      Rights, pro se, and won. That court also ordered member nation
      Britain to cease its practice of secret trials; that trials in Britain
      thenceforth would have to be public affairs.

      The British judiciary frequently violates that law – it still holds
      secret courts. Worse; Norman became a marked man; from then on,
      he has been framed repeatedly by crooked police and judges. They
      evicted him, violently, from his house, in what was actually a civil
      matter. A crooked judge sentenced him to prison and later ordered
      him to a hospital for the criminally insane whence it was unlikely he
      would exit alive. But a few honest psychiatrists refused to inject him
      with the psychotropic solutions that would have made him a zombie,
      and successfully demanded his release.

      Since his release Norman has become a critic of judicial corruption
      and has championed other victims of it. Partly deaf (at 85 years of
      age) while attending the trial of another victim of injustice, Norman
      turned his audio-recording machine on so as to listen to it later
      with the volume turned up. Thought Britain infamously spies on
      its own people with cameras covering all public places, and with listening
      devices also common, at the one event that most needs to be recorded,
      trials, the judge imposed another prison sentence on Norman for trying
      to record the trial. The judge's insistence on secrecy in his courtrooom,
      is especially corrupt due to the routine, ex post facto changes British
      courts makes to trial transcripts.

      Norman is a brilliant and energetic champion of democracy with whom
      I've maintained a correspondence for the past twenty years. Mary and
      I have met him in London where we pursued justice for another victim
      of blatant Crown corruption against Ex-Limerickman Patrick Cullinane.

      Tonight's RT report on Norman was crucial to the success of his efforts
      for democracy; in that the British news media were blacking out all
      of Norman's exemplary efforts. I believe that this single report, being
      so well done, is a major step toward demolishing the pervasive corruption
      in Britain's judiciary. Also, due to RT's report, we expect that Norman's
      time in prison will be shortened.
      Chris and Mary


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    • YES norman is still in leeds armley maximum security prison(highest suicide rate in the country)it is becoming very clear the more you try to expose corruption ,fraud ,or question authority the more chance you have of being labeled a lunatic or trouble maker,there is absolutley no good reason for this man to be in prison ,how can this be in the public interest,why are we not allowed to record in a court room ,most other european countrys have no problem with it,what are they afraid of ,this man is being abused by the very people who enjoy the freedoms he fought so bravely for,HOW DARE THEY

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  8. i hope w.hutchison would feel the same way if it was his grandad.if his letter was not tongue firmly in cheek then i hope the next time there is a riot it is on his doostep.

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  9. Swanseaplod – Thanks for that information. Clearly Mr Scarth had some pretty heavy “previous” ( attacking bailiffs with a chainsaw, knife, studded club and potential gas bottle bombs! A six month sentence for a second offence, given his propensity for violence, seems quite lenient.

    I do wonder though if time in a psychiatric unit might have been more beneficial for both Mr Scarth and society in general.

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  10. reply to Bob Chicken AND Ann Baird – neither of whom know Mrs. Scarth: The chainsaw incident did not happen. Mr. Scarth is a human rights activist who has exposed corruption. “They” wanted to silence him, just as they are doing now. The police FALSELY stated that he attacked six policemen with a chainsaw in one hand and a knife in the other. No chainsaw was produced as evidence in court because it did not exist. If anyone has ever used a chainsaw, they will know that it is impossible to operate with one hand. The story was entirely fabricated, in order to put Mr. Scarth away. THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WRONG WITH HIS MENTAL HEALTH – ON THE CONTRARY.

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  11. Jean has now introduced conspiracy theories “They wanted to silence him” which means that this discussion has nearly reached rock-bottom. She has also stated that the police claimed that Mr Scarth “attacked six policemen with a chainsaw in one hand and a knife in the other”.
    Yet the newspaper report of the court proceedings quotes the judge as saying: “You started up the chainsaw and immediately lunged at Mr Teale with it. He received cuts to his hand as he pushed the blade away. Had the blade sliced into his abdomen, the injury would have been serious if not fatal. You then took a knife and tried to stab Mr Teale, but at that point bailiff Lynden Evans managed to disarm you.”
    So Jean is presumably accusing the judge of lying.
    I know who I believe, and am still wondering why Newsroom hadn’t done its homework and found this report of Mr Scarth’s past behaviour in order to give a more balanced account instead of the partial and emotive one we were treated to.

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  12. Pingback: Deaf Village

  13. funny how the comments on this sit are being censored in favour of the establsihment ‘position’….even John Hemming was prep’d to publissh whaat i said on his blog!

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    • For Jake Maverick: We would not have published at all on this issue if we were given to promoting any ‘establishment’ position.

      But some have to learn that answering a wrong with another wrong – such as the countenancing or inciting of violence, is not a civilised response.

      We will not contemplate making our space available to this – nor would we leave the open and reasoned debate for which For Argyll is known, subject to it.

      The activist playwright, John Arden – who with his wife and fellow playwright Margaretta D;Arcy was jailed for civil disobedience on several continents for supporting just causes unpopular with a range of’ political regimes, had Serjeant Musgrave, in his play of the same name (Serjeant Musgrave’s Dance) say: ‘You cannot cure the pox with further whoring’.

      And that is where we stand.

      No one who reads For Argyll regularly would question our courage – but we believe in reason and we make no apology whatsoever for not publishing unreasomed and anti-social contributions.

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      • It is not ‘wrong’ to defend oneslef when attacked, no matter how you twist it! If you don’t go around attacking people people would have no reason to defend themselves….is your name Victor? You haven’t won yet and it really is war without end when you carry on like this…

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  14. Well said newsroom, and keep up the good work supporting the wronged and sticking it up the establishment. That is my view on your reports in the short time since I discovered this site.

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    • Jake: I am not sure what your point is. There are some people here who don’t believe that the establishment has corrupt judges and police, it is true, but they are posting all comments.

      Judge Jonathan Rose appears to have been VERY nervous about being recorded. Judges don’t want open courts and recordings because they EDIT court transcripts, and the facts are often concealed and phrases spoken in court completely airbrushed out.

      So when nervous Judge Rose saw the audio device, which I believe may have been Norman’s mobile phone, he went berserk. He tought he would get away with locking up the old gentleman without any reaction from the public, but he thought wrong. He has closed his LINKED IN ACCOUNT, I understand. The petition is being signed around the world, including the civil liberties association in Australia sending letters to the press, and Russia Today and Russian TV have been so outraged as to publish.

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  15. Jake, unsubscribe yourself if you feel so strongly about it. You don’t have to read this website, unless of course you feel the need to monitor various websites to find offence.

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  16. This was a response from Baroness Thomas of Winchester concerning an email sent to parliament about Norman Scarth’s abuse in prison.

    —–Original Message—–
    From: THOMAS, Baroness (Winchester) []
    Sent: August-21-11 8:35 AM

    please take me off your mailing
    Iist immediately

    baroness Thomas of Winchester
    Sent from my iPad

    Baroness Thomas bills herself publicly as having a particular interest in prisons. It would appear that her interests are not the same as Norman Scarth and his supporters.

    This clearly illustrates how the British government REFUSES to listen to the people.

    The Government NEVER listens to the people because most of the time they don’t even read correspondence, much less act.

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  17. an update on the norman scarth case ,on 25th august at the royal courts of justice london, judge wyn williams denied norman bail and habeus corpus was also denied,to my amazement judge williams did not know if he had the power to grant bail to norman and asked the prosecution for clarity, they replied “no”.norman was on video link from leeds armley prison at his own request as the journey to london in a sweat box would have been to pain full for him ,norman gave a good account of himself and seemed in good spirits,the case now goes to appeal i believe on the 1st of september,also at the case on the 25th normans defence team asked for evidence (not for the first time)of norman recording in the court as it is not clear if the device was actually recording, there reply “this evidence is not available at this time”.The total disregard for this mans rights is disgusting,the abuse of power should concern us all ,we must support norman he gave a large part of his life defending the freedoms of this country ,WE NOW NEED TO REPAY HIM ,PLEASE WRITE LETTERS TO YOUR LOCAL PAPERS ,RADIO STATIONS ,TALK TO PEOPLE IN LOCAL PUBS ,LOCAL BRITISH LEGION

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  18. One does feel that it is not so much the Rule of Law, but the Rule of Lawlessness.

    The big beasts such as the bankers, the multi-millionaire politicians with their hands in the till, the billionaires who pay no tax, the Police Commissioners who take £12,000 luxury spa holidays as freebies but have nothing to answer for, the rigged market prices for bank charges, power and etc, these are the real Rule of Law.(lessness)

    So we should not be surprised when an 80 year old veteran gets banged up. We need to be tough on crime!

    And lest we forget it wasn’t so many years ago that another 80 year old holocaust veteran was arrested by Police on terrorism charges at a Labour conference.

    His crime – well he spoke out against the Labour Leadership and that was grounds enough for the Police to frog march him out under terrorist legislation.

    Comforting to know that we live in a fair and well run mother of democracies.

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  19. If this old man is deaf and mad – then no matter what, he should not have been sent to prison, I’ll bet a guinea to a florin, was he Islamic you’d have heard the judge’s bottle crash 50 miles away on a dark and stormy night. In any case, it seems prima facie the court got at him for previous and that is illegal

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