The Trial of Edward Atkinson
(Pro-life, traditionalist, "criminal")
The following account of the ordeal of 74-year-old Edward Atkinson—a traditional Catholic living in England, who attends the old Mass in Downham Market—is edited by British essayist, Iain Colquhoun.
7 million British babies murdered
January 6th: I wrote to Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Kings Lynn, advising them that I would not be available between certain dates for appointments in connection with proposed hip-replacement. I enclosed a pro-life leaflet containing a photo of an unborn baby who had been murdered by abortion.
January 11th: Letter from Ruth May (Chief Executive) complaining about enclosures, and asking me not to send any more such material.
March 1st: I wrote to Ruth May explaining the situation viz: 7 million unborn babies murdered in Britain since 1968, with no end in sight, enclosing a leaflets on abortion with further details.
Mar 7: Letter from Karl Perryman (Hospital Complaints Manager), stating that, due to the ‘disgusting’ nature of the enclosures with my last letter, I was to be removed from the waiting list for a hip replacement, and that the matter was to be placed in the hands of the police.
March 15th: Two Police officers arrived at my home at about 8.30 am and searched my filing cabinet, impounding my pro-life videos and leaflets. I was then arrested and taken to Kings Lynn Police Station and spent 6 hours in custody being interviewed on tape. I was then formally charged under the ‘Malicious Communications Act 1988’, and bailed to appear in Court on March 22nd. Owing to a misunderstanding, I failed to appear then and was arrested on March 24th and taken straight to court.
Whilst waiting to face the Magistrates a male nurse was sent to the court and asked me a lot of fool questions i.e., Do you know what year it is? – Do you know where you are? – Are you sleeping well? – Are you eating well? – How do you get on with your neighbours? – Are people putting ideas into your heads? – Do you think that Mrs. May [the lady at the hospital whom I’d originally “offended”] is part of the conspiracy?
I was bailed to appear in Swaffham Magistrates Court on May 4th. Bail conditions were that I was not to contact any of the witnesses. But I had previously told them I had a video that I intended to send to Mrs May, i.e., ‘Eclipse of Reason’ which showed an abortion taking place, and was made by Bernard Nathanson, an ex-abortionist, who on his own admission had been personally responsible for aborting 60,000 babies. He has since made a complete turnabout and has now become a Catholic. So I personally took the video to the hospital, along with some other material. Mrs May handed it over to the Police unopened.
April 17th: I was arrested that evening and spent the night in a Police Cell to face the Magistrates on the following day. On this occasion I was committed to Norwich prison on remand until my hearing on May 4th. I spent a total of 21 days in prison: two weeks prior to my trial and one week as a convicted person afterwards. I must point out that after my trial I was sentenced to 42 days for refusing to pay a £650 fine for a similar offence. My imprisonment had thus no connection with the current case other than the 14 days I spent on remand as it ran concurrently and as I spent only half the sentence, I was released on May 10th.
In connection with the current case I was convicted and fined £500, which was ordered to be deducted from my Income Support. Judge Philip Browning also imposed a 5-year ‘Anti-social behaviour order’ (ASBO) on me, in default of which I could face five years in prison. I refused to sign the document and the Court Clerk called other persons to witness the fact.
The trial was a typical ‘Kangaroo Court’ affair to which I have become accustomed over the past 35 yrs. It was obviously politically motivated. I have since discovered that the Queen Elizabeth Hospital is murdering more than five babies weekly (about 280 per annum), according to an admission by Mr. Perryman to the ‘Catholic Herald’ (issue of May 19th). I can see now why they considered it necessary to ‘use a sledgehammer’... Obviously certain people in that hospital are terrified of the truth. When Mrs. May appeared in the witness-box, I told her: ‘Madam, your distress is either sheer pretence, or if genuine is the product of a troubled conscience. A troubled conscience is a precious gift from God. Look after it, and make your peace with God’. Before leaving the box she gave me a look that I am still trying to analyse, I can only describe it as a penitent child pleading for pity.
I stated to the court – ‘Every one here knows that abortion is murder, but no-one has the guts to say it!’ In the witness box myself I made a brief statement and nothing more: ‘It reminds me of the sanctimonious old hypocrite who would cheerfully commit adultery, but dare not pronounce the word’. The Judge knew well I was innocent. I said to him ‘I suppose murdering babies isn’t ‘anti-social’ – to which he made no response.
(Mr Atkinson has since received a letter stating that unless he paid his fine in seven days, bailiffs would call and remove property in lieu. This harshness clearly contradicts the previous order, so may be calculated to intimidate Mr. Atkinson from resuming his activities. He remains un-intimidated).