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IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE
IN THE MATTER OF AN APPLICATION
BY H.M.ATTORNEY-GENERAL TO
B E T W E E N:
LORD GOLDSMITH QC,
HER MAJESTY'S ATTORNEY-GENERAL Applicant
DR MICHAEL JOHN PELLING Respondent
BROUGHT IN EXISTING PROCEEDINGS:
IN THE MATTER OF THE CHILDREN ACT 1989
AND IN THE MATTER OF FORHAD MATIN (A MINOR)(BORN 15 MARCH 1992)
B E T W E E N:-
ABDUL MATIN Applicant
RUQIA ALI Respondent
1. I am employed by the Department for Constitutional Affairs. There is now produced and shown to me marked PMIG/1 a copy of a journal called 'CONTACT' dated April 2003.
2. On 28 November 2003 and 3 December 2003, using a standard PC, I conducted an Internet search to seek to establish how and to what extent two articles in CONTACT could be read on the Internet. These articles were "MR JUSTICE SINGER CHILD ABUSER'' (the "Singer Article") to be found on pages 1-3 and "THE JUDGMENT THAT DAME ELIZABETH BUTLER-SLOSS & THE EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS DO NOT WANT YOU TO SEE'' (the "Alexander Judgment") on pages 11-15.
3. I would first refer the Court to the issue of CONTACT as published. I draw the Court's attention to the column at the top right of p.6 under the sub-heading "Dr Pelling Publicly Pronounces Judgment'' and, in particular, the last sentence which reads "So now the whole world can read the Judgment via the Internet – just email firstname.lastname@example.org and ask for a copy - and we are also producing it in this Issue of CONTACT". There is a further reference to this email address on p.16 which states: "With a view to maximising the exposure of the rotten English Family law system copyright in this publication is hereby waived. Articles may be reproduced in full or in summary, but acknowledgment would be appreciated. CONTACT No.5 is also available as a Word document on request from email@example.com".
4. The exhibits to which I refer hereafter in this affidavit are copies of the documents which I have printed off the relevant websites. I used the leading search engine known as Google. A document headed 'Our Search: Google Technology', which provides information about the features of Google, is now produced and shown to marked PMlG/2. For the purpose of conducting a search I used the following search terms –
5. I found no difficulty in finding sites and printing off material from the various websites. Two sites provided the Singer article in full (exhibits PMIG/6 and PMIG/13). I was also able to access both the Singer article and the Alexander judgment in full from exhibits PMIG/4 and PMIG/7 (as can be seen from exhibit PMIG/11). Several sites provided links to an e-mail address run by Paul Warren from which the journal CONTACT could be obtained in Word format on request.
6. I first searched "michael pelling" and found 83 items. The first ten items are now produced and shown to me marked PMlG/3.
7. I selected item 4, "Open Justice Campaign 2003'' (http://www.fathercare.org/pelling02.htm). That item is now produced and shown to me marked PMIG/4. I then clicked on a link inviting me to read more about Dr Pelling (now produced and shown to me marked PMIG/5). Clicking on the link "Dr Pelling's Story", I was redirected to a Fathers for Life site which contained extracts from CONTACT, including the Singer article.
This is now produced and shown to me marked PMIG/6.
8. The "Hits Counter", which displays the number of visitors to the site, indicates that the Fathers for Life site has been visited on 359,522 occasions since 19 June 2001. Exhibit PMIG/6 appears to have been posted on the site on 13 July 2003 having been emailed by Dr Pelling on 12 July 2003 to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. It appears that Dr Pelling emailed exhibit PMIG/6 to these Yahoo! Groups and that it is likely that one of those members was able to place it on the Fathers for Life site.
9. I returned to the site which I have referred to above as exhibit PMIG/4, namely the Open Justice Campaign on the Fathercare website, where I found a series of 5 links entitled "pelling pages”. I clicked on no.1 and was taken to http://www.fathercare.org/pelling.htm which is now produced and shown to me marked PMIG/7. Looking down that page, there is an image of the CONTACT journal. Clicking on that image, it opened an email addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org (now produced and shown to me marked PMIG/8). The email address is the same as that set out in CONTACT, as referred to above in para.3. The email is a request to provide a copy of CONTACT. Also contained within exhibit PMIG/7 I noticed a number of images on the left of the page suggesting that CONTACT "...is and has been freely available on the Internet", and another quote, "CONTACT 5 Journal published in Canada by The Children's Voice". This quote contains a link to the Fathercare site with an icon entitled "The Children's Voice" (exhibit PMIG/9). Clicking on the icon provides a link to a site called "The Children's Voice" (exhibit PMIG/10), which contains a link entitled "CONTACT 5 – East London Fathers Journal – UK Publication". Clicking on that link produces a full version of the CONTACT journal containing both the Singer article and the Alexander judgment (exhibit PMIG/11). I recalled seeing the "Children's Voice" icon in both exhibit PMIG/4 and exhibit PMIG/5. On returning to those pages, I found I was also able to link to the full articles produced as exhibit PMIG/4, in the same way as I had done so from exhibit PMIG/9. The same icon contained in exhibit PMIG/5 is not actually a link. Also in exhibit PMIG/7 is a link entitled "or CONTACT 5 Journal via email from Thailand" which opens an email addressed to Paul Warren (as seen at exhibit PMIG/8). As before, the email is a request to provide a copy of CONTACT.
10. I then searched Google with the term "fathers4justice". There were 373 hits. Again, I concentrated only on the first 10, which are produced to me as PMIG/12. I selected Fathers4Justice (Wales) (homepage.ntlworld.com/f4jswansea/). There was nothing on that page about Dr Pelling so I clicked on a link to the Fathers4Justice main website, conscious of the fact that Dr Pelling had emailed Fathers4Justice on 12 July 2003 (exhibit PMIG/6). There was nothing directly referring to Dr Pelling. However on clicking on the navigation "Join the movement'', now produced and shown to me marked PMIG/13, it is clear that Fathers4Justice runs an Internet forum. It is through this forum that Dr Pelling appears to have sent his email of 12 July 2003 (exhibit PMIG/6) which contained a copy of CONTACT.
11. Returning to the search on "fathers4justice'' (exhibit PMIG/12), I clicked on the second item groups.yahoo.com/group/expectandnewdads/message/2530 - which opened up a web page containing an email submitted to a Yahoo! Group by Paul Warren entitled "Attorney-General and Internet". This is now produced and shown to me marked PMIG/14.
12. This led me to do a search on Yahoo! Groups under the search - yahoo groups attorney general pelling. This produced 107 items. Copies of the first 10 items are now produced and shown to me marked PMIG/15. The first item was a repeat of exhibit PMIG/14. The second item, now produced and shown to me marked PMIG/16, is entitled "Attorney-General writes to Dr Pelling". It is from the same Yahoo! Group, and is the preceding message to exhibit PMIG/14. It is a message sent to this Yahoo! Group, on August 17, by a Dave Mortimer forwarding an email from Dr Pelling. Dr Pelling's email was to a Fathers4Justice members only group (probably the one referred to above in paragraph 10). I infer that one of the members of the group forwarded it to the public Yahoo! Group which I had accessed from the Google search (PMIG/15).
13. The email now produced and shown to me marked PMIG/16, contains extracts from CONTACT including the Singer article and provides a method of obtaining a Word version of CONTACT on request by providing an email link to Paul Warren.
14. Finally, I carried out a search using the words "child access orders'' which led to 21 items. Included in the first 10 items (exhibit PMIG/17) were two references to the Fathers for Life items produced as exhibit PMIG/6 which includes a copy of CONTACT.
15. Accordingly it is clear that the Singer article and the Alexander judgment are widely available and easily accessible on the Internet and/or by email through an address available both on the Internet and given by Dr Pelling in the offending issue of CONTACT.
SWORN this 5th December 2003, at the Royal Courts of Justice, (Signed)
Strand, London WC2A 2LL
Before Me (Signed)
An Officer of the Supreme Court authorised to administer oaths.
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