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Barrister John Morlar defends the hapless Lovelass at St Albans Crown Court: "It is not the defendant who should be on trial here, but a besotted establishment ... ".

Richard Burton, of course, played the part of barrister John Morlar brilliantly in this 1978 film 'The Medusa Touch'. This clip starts outside Middle Temple in London and goes on to St Albans Crown Court. Ironically, my own barrister Jonathan Crystal - a former director at Tottenham Hotspur - who acted for me in my Norway libel appeal before Lord Justice Hooper in 2012 - had his Chambers immediately next to where the first shot in the clip was taken and even more astonishing was that I visited my former Norwegian girlfriend Heidi, where she was an au-pair, in St Albans - Sandpit Lane. I will leave you with some paragraphs from page 697 of my book 'Norway - A Triumph in Bigotry' (available on Amazon or at Waterstones) to complete the remarkable place of 'The Medusa Touch' in my own Norway Shockers saga.

The place of Jonathan Crystal in this case links in well to the 1970’s film The Medusa Touch. The film starred Richard Burton and Lee Remick. In Greek mythology Medusa was a monster or Gorgon with the face of a hideous woman with snakes in place of hair. Nowadays Medusa is used as a symbol of malevolence and it was in this light that the film The Medusa Touch was cast.

Richard Burton played the part of John Morlar a well-known novelist whose previous occupation was as a barrister when he defended a gentleman called Lovelass, played by James Hazeldene. Lovelass was prosecuted for a publication which supposedly provoked public disorder and Judge McKinley, played by Robert Flemyng, sentenced Lovelass to nine years imprisonment. The look of hatred that Richard Burton gave the odious Judge McKinley was such that the judge died in his chambers an hour after the trial had finished. Richard Burton / John Morlar had the power to will death / disaster and Judge McKinley was one of his many victims. I very much identified myself with the “hapless” defendant Lovelass in the film and saw Mrs Justice Sharp as every bit as treacherous as Judge McKinley. In my case however, the ‘Medusa touch’ came at the very moment Mrs Justice Sharp’s judgment was about to be handed down. On 22nd July 2011 my sworn enemy, the Ministry of Justice and the Police in Norway, had its offices blown up by Anders Behring Breivik’s car bomb. Mrs Justice Sharp’s judgment was handed down on 29th July 2011. The Norwegian Police were also blamed, through their incompetence, for allowing Breivik to escape Oslo and carry on to kill 69 people on Utøya island. After what the Norwegian establishment and press had put me through for the previous 16 years I wanted the whole of Norway to be punished. It was. And the more so as my point, so prodigiously ignored by the Norwegians, that they were consummate racists and Islamophobes was proven beyond all measure by the persona of Anders Behring Breivik whose purpose in life was to defile Muslims. Breivik had a whole army of sympathisers in Norway and Europe according to many. The deaths of so many young people on Utøya island was a catastrophic horror for the victims and their families. But those who knew neither families nor victims – which was most of Norway – still, nevertheless, had a taste of the pain that their establishment had inflicted on me: the pain that comes from suffering outrageous iniquity.

The film The Medusa Touch began by showing a print of the ‘iconic’ picture The Scream – one of Norway’s greatest artistic treasures in its various forms – hanging in the sitting room of Richard Burton / John Morlar. The supreme irony for me. There was another personal connection as well. In the film there was a scene showing one of Morlar’s colleagues at the Bar, played by Alan Badel, talking with the detective, Brunel, played by Lino Ventura: the location was outside Temple Church and 1 Pump Court, Cloisters, Temple, London EC4. It just so happened that Jonathan Crystal was, when I first met him, a member of Cloisters chambers at 1 Pump Court. I gave him a DVD of the film.

On a Friday evening in late November 2013 I was showing a client around the Inner Temple when we decided to have a bite to eat at the Pegasus Bar – a brasserie in the Inner Temple itself. Some way into our snack in walks the recently retired Lord Justice Hooper and sits at one of the tables for two by the window where his guest was waiting for him. My client and I finished our meal and when we got up to go I told him that I had to take this opportunity to speak to the judge about one aspect of my case. I had already discussed the case with my client. So I went up to the judge and said: “Excuse me, are you Lord Justice Hooper?” He replied: “I used to be before I retired.” I introduced myself and asked if he remembered my hearing before him and he said he did, adding: “It was about that woman wasn’t it?” (He remembered policewoman Torill Sorte). So I spent five minutes reminding him firstly that my opponents in the case, the Ministry of Justice and the Police had had their building blown up by Anders Breivik and secondly explained that the phone messages I had left on Torill Sorte’s answer phone were a response to her false newspaper allegations that I had been a patient in a UK lunatic asylum for two years and the resulting hate emails received - and I quoted a couple of obscene phrases used by the senders. I told the judge that this was certainly not a case of my harassment of Torill Sorte as he seemed to think at the hearing. I told him that I was a solicitor in Lincoln’s Inn and was a Muslim and soon let it be known that I had a German mother and a German grandfather who was a soldier killed in Stalingrad. And that I had read out the hate emails to Mrs Justice Sharp and she had said nothing about them in her judgment. Then I told him that I assumed her silence was because she was Jewish. To which he said: “Well I don’t know about that.” I finished by mentioning Anders Breivik’s fictitious offshore company Brentwood Solutions Limited and the irony of me living in Brentwood. Lord Justice Hooper shook my hand and I left to rejoin my client waiting outside. I was hugely relieved as it so upset me at the hearing 22 months earlier not to be able to tell Lord Justice Hooper why I left those phone messages on Torill Sorte’s answer phone. He thought they were unprovoked phone messages (as he had not had the time to read too much of my two lever-arch files of evidence) and Jonathan Crystal had not explained specifically why I had left the messages on Torill Sorte’s answer phone. One senior barrister I knew well told me that “Tony [Hooper] would not have minded” if I had got up during the hearing to explain the reason I had left those phone messages. The same barrister also told me it would have been a good idea for me to go to the European Court of Human Rights when we were discussing the injustice of damaging material being posted on the internet about me and being unable to prosecute it because I could find no one who had accessed it here in the UK. But I said I just did not have the energy left to go to Strasbourg. Especially after what happened last time there. The noble legal concepts enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights was one thing but getting justice delivered was something else altogether.