Pensioner accused of council meeting abuse faints in court

CPS charges relate to chaotic planning meeeting

Thursday, 31st March — By Isabelle Stanley

13_Gondar Gardens_Marie and Cecilia Adie

Marie and Cecilia Adie at last September’s meeting

AN ambulance was called to a courtroom on Friday afternoon after a woman accused of harassing a council officer collapsed in court.

Marie Adie, 84, and her daughter Cecilia, are both facing a trial in front of a magistrate for charges relating to a Town Hall planning meeting in September, according to court details.

Both had vehemently objected to a new housing development close to their home in West Hampstead and were angry when councillors eventually granted building consent.

Clips of exchanges from the meeting later went viral on the internet as voices were raised and a chair was thrown across a desk.

Since the incident last autumn – which sparked a wider debate over how long objectors get to speak at planning meetings and if their criticisms are ever taken into account – the pair are accused of sending abusive messages and voicemails to the council officer who had been handling the case, Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court was was told.

Fiona Martin, prosecuting, said that the women had said: “The council were incompetent, the council should be shut down and they were turning the city into a shithole… They were making threats and calling them bastards.”

The hearing was adjourned, however, when Marie Adie said she felt faint and began to lie down on a bench as Ms Martin was addressing the court.

How the new development is due to look

At this point the magistrate, Greville Waterman paused proceedings and she was escorted out.

On his return, Mr Waterman, told the court: “Obviously one does not condone this behaviour, but it may seem it is not for us [the magistrates] to sort out.”


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Cecilia Adie’s lawyer, Lauren McDougall, requested to adjourn the case on the basis of an abuse of process and the case will now not return to court until May.
As Cecilia Adie’s case was adjourned, Marie Adie approached Mr Waterman to talk about her health problems.

Mr Waterman at first said: “Who is this lady?” and then asked her to take a seat.

Marie Adie then began to speak in French to the magistrate and it emerged both women had requested an interpreter for the proceedings.

Mr Waterman then tried to communicate with Marie Adie in rudimentary French, but she walked over to a bench in the middle of the court and lay down.

The magistrate gave the order to clear the court and after a few minutes, first aid was called. Then a few minutes later an ambulance was called as well.

Although planning consent was approved for four new three-storey homes last year, work has yet to begin on the land in Gondar Gardens.

The mother and daughter want it to be an open space and told planners last year they will be left staring out of their window at a brick wall.

The applicants, urban planners Iceni, said it was an “exemplar” design of how to tackle infill sites.

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