Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court saw a packed public gallery for the case of a 64-year-old man charged with being abusive in a cafe.
He is charged after allegedly being abusive at Costa Coffee in Gosport when staff said he had to use the chain’s phone app to redeem loyalty points for a drink.
But yesterday afternoon a bearded man, who went into court when the defendant’s case was called on, refused to identify himself to magistrates.
Instead, a man who identified himself as ‘Nicholas, son of Alex’ tried to address the court on the unidentified man’s behalf.
The so-called ‘son of Alex’ said: ‘I just need to know from you on the bench here today that all my inalienable rights will be guaranteed in this court today.’
When magistrate Gillian Park did not immediately answer, ‘son of Alex’ added: ‘That requires a yes or a no answer.’
Asked if he was a barrister or solicitor, and who he was addressing, the hat-wearing gentleman said: ‘I’m neither. I’m a private attorney general at law.’
The court legal adviser told him: ‘You’ve got no standing in this court.’
He replied: ‘I do under common law.’
Again told he did not have the right to address the court, he added: ‘That’s not correct, I’m seeking common law jurisdiction in this court.’
Magistrate Ms Park said: ‘The position has been laid down by the legal adviser.’
But ‘son of Alex’ shot back: ‘She’s only an adviser. She has no standing. All my inalienable rights will be guaranteed. She has no standing in this court, she’s merely a clerk.’
With that parting shot he strode out of the courtroom as 17 members of the public gallery watched on.
During the exchange a woman, who was supporting the unidentified defendant, had left. She returned and sat next to the mystery man, who was sitting in front of the dock.
She was asked if she was a social worker but replied the unidentified man was ‘part of our membership group’.
She said: ‘I’m an independent person. A living woman.’
The man - who was dressed in a grey denim jacket with fur collar - was asked: ‘Mr Thomas, are you able to stand?’
He said ‘no’ and remained sitting. Magistrate Ms Park asked him to identify himself but he said: ‘No.’
At this point the magistrate ruled she would proceed in the absence of the defendant ‘as we can’t determine exactly who you are’.
Prosecutor Liam Hunter outlined the public order charge against 64-year-old Leslie Thomas, of Mountbatten Close, Gosport, who may or may not have been in attendance.
Thomas is charged with using threatening, abusive, insulting words or behaviour to cause harassment, alarm or distress on September 19 this year.
Mr Hunter detailed the issue with the Costa Coffee app and added: ‘He becomes abusive to staff and a number of other people.’
Magistrate Ms Park adjourned the case for trial on January 25 next year.
The public gallery was at this point warned to be quiet after many erupted into laughter when the defendant’s bail conditions were read and included him not attending Costa Coffee in Cotsworth Road, Gosport.
Around 20 people were outside the court for the case, one of whom told The News prior to the hearing he was from a Hampshire freeman of the land collective.
Police were enlisted to help security at the entrance to the court.