Case of Hartlepool man accused of making illegal recording of court hearing to be referred to the Attorney General

A man has appeared in court charged with illegally recording a court hearing.

Monday, 9th September 2019, 5:45 pm
Updated Monday, 16th September 2019, 1:41 pm
The case was heard at Teesside Magistrates' Court.

Martin Oliver is alleged to have taped or videoed a hearing at Teesside Magistrates’ Court in Middlesbrough.

It is illegal for a member of the public to record or video a court hearing, although an official recording of some hearings is made by court staff.

Oliver is understood to have attended court as a member of the public during a preliminary hearing of a case in June.

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He was subsequently charged with contempt of court, and appeared as a defendant at Teesside Magistrates’ Court to answer that charge.

No plea was taken from Oliver, 31, of Kipling Road, Hartlepool.

Joanne Hesse, prosecuting, said the original charge would be withdrawn, and the matter referred to the Attorney General for consideration of further proceedings.

“The alleged contempt was not dealt with at the time,” added Ms Hesse.

“This means the correct procedure is for us to withdraw the charge for today’s purposes, and refer the matter to the Attorney General.”

District Judge Kristina Harrison ordered the charge to be withdrawn, but told Oliver that the case is being referred to the Attorney General who could decide whether to take any further action.

The judge told Oliver: “That is the end of it for today, but you should not assume it is the end of the matter altogether.

“The Attorney General will consider this for further action.”