A Judge criticised a controversial Hackney vicar’s correspondence as “in bad taste” at the end of an unusual court hearing held at Thames Magistrates’ Court (London) on Thursday 16 June.
The hour-long hearing, regarding the variation or revocation of an unusual restraining order, came in the middle of a remand court listing which was otherwise concerned with common assault and domestic violence cases.
Court Two, presided over by Deputy District Judge Warner, heard from CPS prosecutor Miss Hohneyer, representing the Reverend William Campbell-Taylor, and Mr Sam Stein QC, representing Campbell-Taylor’s adversary, ‘Mr X’, a vulnerable male who cannot be named.
Campbell-Taylor and Mr X both assert that they are the victim of harassment by the other.
Rev Campbell-Taylor, in a grey suit with clerical collar, was seated in the public gallery throughout the hearing, whilst Mr X was present in the courtroom.
Judge Warner heard arguments from Miss Hohneyer and Mr Stein, and also questioned DC Samantha Kelland of Stoke Newington police station.
The hearing concerned Mr Stein’s pursuit of the revocation of a restraining order made against his client Mr X.
In what was described by Judge Warner as “an unusual situation”, a ten-year restraining order had been made earlier this year to restrain Mr X in respect of Rev Campbell-Taylor – an order which was made in the wake of Campbell-Taylor’s unsuccessful attempt to have Mr X prosecuted for harassment.
The ten-year restraining order was made against Mr X despite the fact that, as Judge Warner observed to Mr Stein, “Your client was acquitted.”
Mr Stein informed Judge Warner that the CPS had dropped the case against Mr X before it came to trial; Mr Stein said the “Prosecution offered no evidence” and said that the senior Crown prosecutor Mr Morgan “…felt it was not in the interests of justice to take the matter through to a trial.”
Mr Stein said “Our case is that the Reverend is bullying…” Mr X, and said “This order is being misused.”
Mr Stein said “discussion of a sexual nature” had occurred between Rev Campbell-Taylor and Mr X.
Miss Hohneyer said “The Crown is opposing this…” and said Rev Campbell-Taylor “…has no intention of bullying.”
Miss Hohneyer said, “It is not accepted by the Crown that there have been discussions of a sexual nature.”
Judge Warner said, “The order should not be abused…”
Judge Warner, referring to correspondence of Campbell-Taylor’s, described the correspondence regarding Mr X as being “in bad taste.”
Judge Warner said, “This needs a proper hearing.”
Judge Warner said, “I’m going to set this matter down for a hearing for revocation.”
The revocation hearing ordered by Judge Warner is scheduled for Monday 27 June.