NEWS ON ROBERT

3 weeks behind bars – for what and for how much longer?

Being stuck down here in London behind a pile of work waiting for good news from Scotland, for example that Robert’s bail application has been heard and that he’s being released and/or that at least we now have a proper explanation as to why he’s been locked up this time, would be a lot more frustrating were it not for the wonderful support of all the kind people who have been visiting him and making sure his needs are supplied. It is a real weight off his family’s minds and mine – thank you!
One such kind person calling herself my “Scottish reporter” who has visited this week has written a report on him as follows: “He always seems on top of things, relaxed and not in a panic or depressed, though I will say there is never a visit or a letter without him saying how much he misses his loved ones. Other members of the public are kind to him too especially the people who referred to him as  a “legend”…. he says, to get bail he will have very stern bail conditions, but now he can say what he wants so in that way he is quite happy to be where he is. Now he knows the English police force will not protect him, he will have to abide by whatever they come up with if he doesn’t want to be re-arrested.
So the most important thing he says is to concentrate on Salmond because even taking Hollie out of the picture Salmond has broken the law by not providing information to the FOI in Scotland…[Robert sees]  the “Yes” campaign…[as] a way of putting through these terrible laws – the Children/Named Person law and [now] Kenny McAskill wants to remove the law of corroboration which means of course just one person can point a finger at you and next thing you’ll be locked up.
The other thing Robert wouldn’t mind having printed is [how] at the hearing in Edinburgh on 6th March 2013 Sarah McLeod tried to get him to talk to Sylvia Major, which he was banned from doing. (He said you [Belinda] know this one but it would do no harm to inform the public). And that he asked a policeman who was on duty to go over to the women and say in no uncertain terms were they trying to coerce Robert into a conversation?
Robert said he is so appreciative of all the mail and that he has a large amount from people in Scotland and these “TRUE SCOTS” as he calls them have his respect and gratitude. He always says how much he loves the Scots which is very nice, given he would have every reason to despise the lot of us for the way he has been treated in recent years.
[As for what to send him] If anything he suggests people send SAEs as they cannot be used for any other purpose than that for which they were intended.
As I left my house a plastic bag was pushed through the door requesting clothes etc for charity…. for the NSPCC – it has a logo “CRUELTY TO CHILDREN MUST STOP”   And here I was visiting someone who has been locked up for 2 plus weeks and all he has asked for is essentially to watch out for the children of the UK.
Though a form has been sent twice for Robert to sign to permit the solicitor to act for him it has now become a mysteriously odd missing document and a third one has been requested.*  Another hold up! As Robert said – he could have been home by now. The new Peterhead prison is open and some prisoners have been transferred. (I overhead a member of prison staff saying it will be done gradually) but it is a possibility that Robert will be moved. Peterhead is basically a bit of Scotland that no one goes to and as you will see from the map it is almost IN the North Sea ie. always a fresh cold wind. And probably smells of fish
Robert was interested in an article that Sonia Poulton wrote in The Express 2nd March  about paedophilia. I will try to send it in but you never know what the prison authorities will allow. If I remember correctly she ends the article by saying “The question is – who is protecting our children?”  Quite.
The hard thing about being in prison on remand is that he can’t do any of the jobs he did last time (such as working in the library) though he is helping where he can if inmates need help with literacy problems, so the 19 hours being locked up is hard. Any visits come out of the “locked up” times so put out the message “PLEASE VISIT” and that the prison staff are friendly and helpful. The only thing you can take in is loose change to buy Robert (or anyone else) drinks, crisps and sweets, all of which have to be consumed during the 75 minute visit.  Also that one has to persist with the booking phone-line-from-hell as another supporter calls it (I have found Monday pm to be the worst)
Meals are consumed alone in the cell and while he now has TV he says he doesn’t watch much except sport and of course they have no access to newspapers. He said he is disciplined about exercise and always does an hour every day!
I  was able to give the people behind the” LEGEND” story some chocolates (Ferrero Rocher) to eat on their long bus journey home. They were wondering whether I’d put brussel sprouts  in them or not after my telling them what we had done about 10 years ago now and no one died !! Very warm-hearted people who probably I won’t see again sadly, as their son is being transferred to Peterhead tomorrow. They are spreading the word for Hollie though.”
Thanks very much for this report, you know who you are!
One thing about visiting Robert, you need to be on his list so if you are planning on doing that make sure to write to him in advance and ask for your name to be added.
Thanks to everyone who’s been commenting on the posts on this blog so far, the pace of life is such at the moment that I mostly can’t answer but very much appreciate getting messages of support on Robert’s behalf and pass those on.
*This 3rd copy got to him so the solicitor has now been formally instructed. Phew!

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