Aberdeen Sheriff Court, 7th September 2016
Sheriff Morag McLaughlin, presiding
I reported with regret that my attempts to find a solicitor were falling on stony ground and so my efforts since the the last court hearing had been mostly directed to achieving disclosure of the computer data evidence, listing the emails I had sent to prosecutors, police and court of 29th June, 5th and 19th of August seeking their cooperation which had, regretfully, received no reply.
I offered to recap the reasons I needed the computer data returned to me, described in my email of 22nd July. Sheriff McLaughlin asked if I would reiterate one of my two stated reasons in particular, addressing myself to what it was that the return of my scientific research data had to do with my defence?
I stressed that it mattered particularly if I was expected to defend myself, considering my complaint that the loss of my science research data had left me distressed and offended at police and prosecutors for their actions which I consider to be a crime against science and because science serves humanity, therefore a crime against humanity also, one of the most serious crimes imaginable.
Mr Townsend said efforts were being made and he had been in contact with Forensic Computer Examination Report's reporting officer (DS Martyn Thomson 0961) and was awaiting an update as regards when the copying might be done, though considering the large quantity of data on the device, it would take time to copy and attending to this task was not a priority for police.
I later retorted that whilst I agreed this case was not a priority and was a waste of the court's time, the appropriate response was to throw the case out of court and for the prosecutors and I to reach an out-of-court settlement - deleting the tweets or whatever.
Mr Townsend maintained to Sheriff McLaughlin that it was not possible for prosecutors to enter into a joint minute of agreement with an accused who was unrepresented therefore the Forensic Computer Examination Report could not have its provenance agreed with me personally and that was why, he claimed, it was not acceptable quickly to return my computer equipment to me.
Sheriff McLaughlin wanted to consider how this legal obstruction might be solved and she suggested that it might be possible to have a solicitor represent the defence just for the purpose of signing the minute of agreement but Mr Townsend was doubtful about her suggestion.
I suggested that it would help if I was to be put into email and telephone contact with the Police Scotland cyber-crime unit support officers - police computer experts. I offered to provide a blank hard disk to copy the data onto, mentioning that I had written to the producer of the Forensic Computer Examination Report, FSO Ewan Stewart, 3035, but had no reply from him, nor from anyone else.
I mentioned that my graduate science degree was in computer science and that taking care to ensure the correct set-up for disk copying it shouldn't take all that long to copy a hard disk.
However, Sheriff McLaughlin said that I should not expect to be allowed to help with the copying, however much I wanted to but rather it was appropriate only for the procurator fiscal's office to liaise with the police to get the data copying done.
With that Sheriff McLaughlin ordered a further intermediate diet for this Tuesday, 13th September, to see what progress, if any, had been made by then.
So, somewhat of a "Groundhog Day" in court, a reiteration of the hearing of 29th July.