We are doing really well and things are proceeding. We have 7 groups taking part so far (with a couple still trying to get started) – 3 in Wales (Mid-Wales, West Wales and Pembrokeshire), Norfolk, Leeds, Bradford and Sevenoaks. Thanks to you all. Several of us have got as far as writing to the Attorney-General and hopefully the other groups will soon be at this stage too when we can then combine our work. Here are the details of each group’s work so far.
Mid Wales Group – Knighton Action for Peace and Justice
Angie sent off the first letter, signed by 61 people, to the Defence Minister on 1st October 2015 and received an unsatisfactory reply on the 3rd November. After preparing the documents and printing out the expert witness statements and finding 62 people to sign on as Informant Prosecutors she went to the Merthyr Tydfil Magistrates Court to hand in the Criminal Information. Around 30 people held a demonstration with a red dragon outside the court while 2 people went to hand in the package of materials and get a receipt. A short press cutting can be seen at picat-press-coverage2-wales-goup
A reply was received from the court on 10th February: merthyr-tydfil-court-1st-reply
On the 19th February Angie sent the letter to the Attorney General (A-G) asking for his permission for the prosecution to proceed, along with a copy of the materials and Criminal Information. In case it is helpful you can find copies of the actual letters sent off by this group on the website. We received a reply from the A-G on the 23rd February saying our request for the consent had been passed on to an appropriate lawyer who will be in touch in due course! On 22/4/16 I wrote to our MP and asked him to secure a speedy response from the A-G and he wrote back on 27/4/16 thanking me for keeping him informed! I therefore replied saying he had said nothing about asking the A-G to reply as soon as possible and to please let me know if and when he would write to him on my behalf. He replied saying ‘In cases such as this, you must allow the Attorney General ample time to respond.’ Still on 27/4/16 I asked him to inform me what ‘ample time’ is – and when I should expect to receive a reply?
Norfolk Group – Norfolk for Peace and Justice
Alicia sent off the letter, signed by 49 people, to the Defence Minister on 4th December 2015 and receiving no reply sent it to their MPs, Norman Lamb MP and Keith Simpson MP, on 27 December 2015. Both acknowledged the letters. Philip Dunne replied to Norman Lamb MP on 27 January and Norman forwarded this to them on 15 February 2016. They did not get a direct response from the Ministry of Defence. The only response was to Norman on 27th January 2016. See at
Alicia amazingly then found 260 local people to sign on as Informant Prosecutors. They rang the Magistrates Court in the week before they handed in their Criminal Information just letting them know of their intention and asking if any time or day would suit them better. 13 of the Informant Prosecutors went to Norwich Magistrates Court on 25th February 2016 to deliver the information and documents. See http://picat.online/norwich-group/picatnorfolk-peace-campaigners-take-ministry-of-defence-to-court-over-trident
Miss J A Hall, Deputy Justices’ Clerk wrote on 27th February saying “Your application will be placed before the District Judge when he returns to the office from annual leave on March 7th.” They only heard from the Magistrates Court after prompting them on 28 March, that they wanted the group to write to the Attorney General, which was done on 9th April 2016. Not having heard from him they sent a prompt to his office on 30th April 2016 and also asked Norman Lamb M.P. to prompt the Attorney General too.
Pembrokeshire – Pembrokeshire PICAT Group
On the 10th December 2015 the Pembrokeshire group sent off their letter, signed by 33 people, to the Defence Minister. They sent a copy to their MP on 26th December. On 8th February they received a reply – see mod-reply-to-pembroke-group/
Robbie asked for a court appearance on 1st April 2016 see http://picat.online/pembrokeshire-group/picat-pembroke-letter-to-camarthen-magistrates-court-booking-in-the-information-laying/
and were not allowed to do so in person. They handed in the Criminal Information to Haverfordwest Magistrates Court on 20th April 2016. There were 50 Informant Prosecutors. They held a stall and handed out leaflets at the same time . You can see their report at http://picat.online/pembrokeshire-group/picatreport-from-pembrokeshire-peace-group-at-haverfordwest-magistrates-court-on-20th-april-2016/
The court replied on 21st April 2016 saying they had to ask for the A-Gs permission themselves. See http://picat.online/pembrokeshire-group/haverfordwest-magistrates-court-response-to-west-wales-group/
They therefore sent off their request for the A-G’s consent on 3rd May 2016. They await his reply.
West Wales – West Wales PICAT Group
The West Wales group sent their 1st letter, signed by 11 people, to the Minister of Defence on 7th March 2016. They received a reply on 1st April 2016 and asked for a court appearance on 18th April but in the end had to hand it in. 12 Informant Prosecutors signed the Criminal Information that was handed in on 3rd May to Camarthen Magistrates Court through the Llanelli Clerk’s Office. They received a reply from the court on 4th May saying they had to apply to the A-G themselves. The same Justices’ Clerk was involved with the Pembrokeshire PICAT Group in Haverfordwest
Bradford – Bradford Group
The Bradford Group sent a letter around 21/22 December with around 20 signatures but having forgotten to add a return address they did not receive a response. A revised edition of the Sec of State letter was sent on 19th March 2016 with around 9 signatures. They are currently waiting for a response. Their local MP does not respond to emails and has not helped. They will soon proceed to the next step of sending in the Criminal Information to their local court.
Leeds – Leeds CND Group sent their letter to the Defence Minister on 11th February 2016 and received a reply on 9th March. See http://picat.online/leeds-group/picat-mod-reply-to-leeds-group/
They are now at the stage of gathering Informant Prosecutors signatures to send their criminal information ot their local Leeds Magistrates Court.
Sevenoaks – Sevenoaks Action for Peace with Justice is a newly formed group in the constituency of Michael Fallon – the Defence Minister. Jim sent their letter to the MoD on 30th April dated 1
May 2016 signed by himself. See http://picat.online/sevenoaks/picat-sevenoaks-branch-1st-letter-to-mod/
He copied the letter to his MP Michael Fallon.
A London group are intending to get going really soon but have done nothing yet.