The nature of the charge against her is unclear and that information is refused when requested of court staff. The case took place late yesterday morning but it did not appear on any court lists until the hearing was past.
Melanie Shaw did not appear in person in court for this hearing, which was conducted by video link from her prison, as has also been the case with previous of her court ‘appearances’. She states that without fail, whenever in the past she has given testimony by such video link, she has been cut off on the pretext that “you were shouting”, which she denies.
The effect of this is to prevent her testimony from going on the court record, as well as to prevent her as defendant from hearing certain deliberations and assertions being made in the courtroom.
In addition, UK Column News is very confident that at this particular secret hearing, no member of the public was present, and particularly not any of the supporters who have been following Melanie Shaw’s case very closely. The public is therefore entirely dependent on any transcripts—accurate and complete or otherwise—which may be produced in order to find out what was said at the hearing.
Time already served by Melanie Shaw in prison on remand, namely 11 months, mostly in solitary confinement, does not appear to have been set against the two-year custodial sentence imposed yesterday.
Melanie Shaw is one of the few child abuse whistleblowers who is prepared to name politicians as having been among the abusers of her fellow inmates, some of whom she asserts were murdered on site at Beechwood. Her reminiscences date from 1987, in which year the Cabinet was constituted of these politicians until the general election that May and of these politicians thereafter. (This does not constitute an allegation by UK Column News that any particular Cabinet minister at the above links was an abuser.)
Melanie Shaw’s correspondence address in prison is:
HMP Foston Hall
It is advisable if writing to Melanie Shaw to use a card or light letter containing no stamps, blank paper, return envelopes, money or any other objects. These are highly likely to be confiscated, potentially together with the letter or card itself.
Definition of terms: By “secret court hearing”, UK Column News means:
(a) a court hearing not listed until after it took place;
(b) a court hearing whose outcome (i.e. of what alleged crime Melanie Shaw has been convicted) is withheld from the public on request, to the puzzlement of some court staff themselves.
By these two definitions, UK Column News is quite confident in describing Melanie Shaw as a political prisoner.