SF MLA remanded on bail

I noted the initial report of the arrest on Saturday 10th June of the Sinn Féin councillor, and MLA for West Belfast, Fra McCann for disorderly behaviour and assault of police while they were attempting to arrest a woman suspected of robbery – to a mixed response from commenters. The BBC have now reported that Mr McCann has been remanded on bail and, despite his reported comments at the time, he has denied assault, disorderly behaviour, obstructing police and resisting an officer and his solicitor has stated that the charges will be strongly contested.

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  • Rory

    The arresting policemen have certainly got the PSNI and the DPP in a stew over this one. With a charge hanging over the councillor for exercising his duty in coming to give aid and advice to a woman under constraint by police officers within his constituency we can reduce the odds on any Sinn Fein advance (if that’s what it is) on policing, while at the same time keeping their own constituency on board.

    What’s the betting in Sean Graham’s on the charges being dropped? That might be the best indicator of what happens next.

  • Levi

    I was always under the impression that someone under arrest was only able to talk to their representative, be that a solicitor or otherwise, when they were taken to the station and charged by the duty sergeant?

  • Rory

    You are then under the wrong impression, Levi, possibly garnered from common police practice that finds it much more comfortable to bully those they question or arrest out of awareness of their rights in law.

    This is true of practically all police forces and is not in any way a peculiar perversion of the rule of law by the PSNI. The London Met and New York’s finest are happy practitioners of the ‘rush ’em, gag ’em, book ’em, isolate ’em’ school of thought as the cells full of innocents within their jurisdiction will attest.

  • Cynic

    Nice to be so self assured Rory…but the initial report says that Police were arresting the woman for robbery when, according to Fra, he ‘tried to put himself betwen the girl and the police’. Presumably when a suspected robber is being arrested that is the best way to advise them. Oh well.

  • harpo

    ‘With a charge hanging over the councillor for exercising his duty in coming to give aid and advice to a woman under constraint by police officers within his constituency’

    Exercising his duty?

    What duty is that?

    No politician has a ‘duty’ to intervene when someone is under constraint by police officers.

    No wait a minute, maybe Provo politicians do, since they are anti-state and anti-police, and thus in any incident where it is a case of person X versus the police, they will automatically take the side of person X.

    Maybe you could clairify the details of this duty that I presume from your comment that Provo politicians have.

  • Knowing nothing of an alleged incident, according to the PSNI, warrants no further comment as to what either the woman is supposed to have done or the assumption the elected represenitive had some involvement with the episode at all.

    However, the whole charade possibly will ensure two things. Re-election to public office in the council chamber for the accused gentleman coupled with a likely distancing from policing structures from his party.

  • Rory

    The ‘initial report’ that you quote from, Cynic, is from the PSNI. Councillor McCann may report differently as may the woman in question. I favour the rights of the citizen and their elected representatives over a state militia anytime. That way we do not surrender our individual freedoms to the interests of state control, and most certainly not when we have no control over the state.

    Not only do politicians have a duty to discern the justification for the arrest of a fellow citizen, Harpo, we each and all have that duty and we fail to exercise it at our peril.

  • harpo

    ‘Not only do politicians have a duty to discern the justification for the arrest of a fellow citizen, Harpo, we each and all have that duty and we fail to exercise it at our peril.’

    Rory:

    Bollocks.

    That PSF guy and you are anti-state and anti-police. This has got nothing to do with rights, and everything to do with being anti-police.

    If I see some thug beating up an old lady and the police ome along and arrest the perp, I am not interested in the justification for the arrest. I want to see the victim saved and the perp get what he deserves.

    You approach such matters from the other angle, which is that the police are the bad guys and that the perp is who we should be concerned about. That isn’t surprising but is typical of anti-state nationalists.

    In this case the PSF guy didn’t just inquire about whay the person was being arrested. He put himself in a position of trying to stop the arrest. The police are perfectly entitled to arrest people but you and that PSF guy don’t accept that. Thus he tried to stop the police carying out their duty. If he had simply inquired as to why she was being arrested that would have been fine, but once it goes beyond that he is breaking laws. Not that they are laws that people like you would recognize though.

  • Cynic

    Rory…I’ll play the ball not the man on this one.

    The quotes are allegely from Fra explaining what he was doing, not from PSNI who, as others point out, seem to have responded to the story getting out.

    Second, you might consider why the police were arresting this woman? are you bothered at all about the victim of the supposed robbery. I can only assume that he/she doesn’t count

    Oh, and given the gross abuse of this woman’s rights by the Police bothering to arrest her, can we now assume that councillors in West Belfast will bother / dare to intervene the next time they come across some ‘restorative justice’ ‘ra team dealing with some anti-social behaviour. After all due process is essential isn’t it and they have a duty to help and advise their constituents!

  • aquifer

    BBC “A defence solicitor said the charges would be strongly contested.

    He said that a large number of witnesses still had to be interviewed. ”

    Spare a thought for them, caught between a RUC and a hard face.

    Sorry for that. Not punny at all.

  • Mick Fealty

    Rory,

    We’d need to know what odds you were offering in the first place, and whether you were taking any money. 😉

  • Comrade Stalin

    That way we do not surrender our individual freedoms to the interests of state control, and most certainly not when we have no control over the state.

    That’s strange Rory, I had you down as an authoritarian Trot. Tell me this, what do you do whenever your house is broken into, or when there’s a car accident, and the insurance company wants an police incident number before they will process the claim ?