End Game in sight for Cllr Patrick Heesom?

The views from Mold Crown Court 3 are stunning. 1st April, All Fools Day lived up to its name as the panelled court room hosted almost as many lawyers to field a football. team with the judge nice-ly placed to keep goal . Cllr Heesom’s team were led by barrister Mark Henderson, his junior, & the genial Michael Murphy, Patrick’s first barrister who had tenaciously represented him through the long months of the tribunal which started in 2010 & which finally ended in July 2013. Of course Patrick was found guilty and suspended from councillor work for 2.5 years. The PSOW ‘s Panel had, as expected done its work.

Team Patrick’s managers, Boss lawyer Martin Howe and trusty partner Kieran O’Rourke looked positively ordinary compared with the robes of bewigged barristers. The assembly of the PSOW’s team was led by QC! He’s funded by the taxpayer so spend, spend, spend. What’s another million or two to sustain the dreadful Welsh Ombudsman. He’s beetled off to Dublin to cause more misery over there! His Registrar, Stephen Phipps his faithful henchman sat quietly at the back, doing just that. Sitting ! No idea why? Mr Justice Hinkinbottom, sans wig, was alert. Encouraging to see him engage, write lots and ask tough questions.

The PSOW and the Panel that had found Cllr. Heesom guilty were torn to shreds by PH’s barrister. The list was long. The PSOW was plain wrong on some things, wrong, evidence was missing, he delved into areas which were not his concern, & he even ignored advice from Flintshire’s senior Legal Supremo. The faults of the Heesom Panel were equally numerous. They had missed the point, had misdirected themselves; had not been fair, had ignored freedom of speech which should have given higher protection to an elected member than any one else .

Susan Lewis, a Director on a huge salary had no right to object to her Housing Department being described as “Shambolic”. Her limited knowledge of housing issues indicated it probably was! Patrick barrister asked the question over and over, “Does this matter deserve a disqualification?” What about two decades of blameless service?

Mark Henderson took issue with Welsh ministers too. Seems they attempted to re-write the PSOW policy & wanted their barrister should be allowed to address the appeal judge. England abandoned its Ombudsman system years ago. The Welsh system is biased, one sided & unfair. The minister who introduced it, Sue Essex, an intelligent & experience woman, a cut above the rest; admitted years ago, that it was not working as expected.

When the PSOW’s Silk rose to rip up the good work of Patrick’s brief, what we could hear sounded muddled & pathetic. The gallery soon exited leaving him balancing his papers on a box & raining fire & brimstone on the remnants of Patrick’s reputation.

Determined to finish on time, the judge demanded an early start on day 4. Once the QC finished Heesom’s character assassination, Mark Henderson’s final job was to demolish the arguments of the demolisher. He did well & at 13.05, sat down. Mr Henderson had given his best. Judge stomped out promising a reserved judgement & a wild scramble ensued from the legal lot who tore off wigs & opened collars and frantically piled papers into huge boxes, ready to cart them back to London. My role in this landmark case was to dispose of discarded document boxes as the Clerk demanded that no rubbish was to be left in her court.

It’s not known how long the judge will take to deliver his judgement. If Cllr Heesom is pro-nounced innocent then the PSOW system, unique to Wales; must collapse as it is not fit for pur-pose.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.