Monday, December 27, 2010

Smear Campaign Against Fathers Rights Activist?

Two articles from the BBC. Here's the first, from the 13th of December:

Newport fathers campaigner on explosives trial

A campaigning father planned to use bullets and explosives to shut down his home city, a court has heard.

Father-of-three Matthew Starmore, of Newport, was found with smokeless gunpowder, ammunition rounds and bullet heads when police raided his house.

Mr Starmore, branch secretary for New Fathers 4 Justice, had a list of targets in his diary, Cardiff Crown Court heard.

He denies possessing explosives, ammunition and handling stolen goods.

The court heard that Mr Starmore, 31, had promised "The most hard-hitting events since World War Two" for Newport.

Prosecutor Roger Griffiths said a diary entry read: "This will be the most dramatic, climatic and hard-hitting events since World War Two.

"This is just the start of a nationwide campaign."

Mr Griffiths said Mr Starmore's diary had a "to-do" list of targets that included sites key to the city's infrastructure.


Mr Griffiths said: "He wanted to shut down the city and pull in police and emergency services from far and wide.

"Starmore wanted to escalate the activities of Fathers for Justice by using the bullets.

"He had these items and he was going to use them to carry out some kind of publicity for Fathers For Justice."

Mr Starmore told police he and his housemate had found the items in a lane and taken them so they were not picked up by children.

He told police the entries in his diary were not written by him and that they were "hypothetical" thoughts.

The trial continues.

Yikes! Sounds pretty scary, doesn't it! What a scary man!

But then, four days later:

Matthew Starmore cleared of all charges

A Cardiff Crown Court jury has cleared a campaigning father of all charges relating to possessing gunpowder and bullets.

Matthew Starmore, 31, of Newport, said he knew the materials were in the house but denied they were his.

Mr Starmore, ex-branch secretary of New Fathers 4 Justice, said he was shown the items by another man, David Hodge, who lived in the shared property.

Hodge had already pleaded guilty to possessing the material.

The court previously heard that police searched the house in Newport in October last year and discovered bottles of gunpowder, 24 rounds of ammunition and 108 bullet heads.

The jury was told that when police arrived, Mr Starmore asked if they had come about the bullets.

He said he had been shown the items by Hodge and had advised him to go to the police.

The police had not been contacted by Hodge and officers discovered the gunpowder and bullets when searching the house for another reason.

Mr Starmore was cleared of all charges: Possessing an explosive substance with intent to endanger life or property, two counts of possessing prohibited ammunition and one count of handling stolen goods.

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