Michael Shrimpton

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Michael Shrimpton (born 9 March 1957[1]) is a British barrister, former immigration judge, and politician noted for his conspiracy theories and hoaxes. A self-described "national security and intelligence specialist", Shrimpton was convicted in 2014 for falsely reporting that Germany was planning a nuclear attack on the 2012 Summer Olympics.

Professional career[edit]

Shrimpton studied at University College, Cardiff (now Cardiff University)[2] and was called to the Bar by Gray's Inn in November 1983.[3] He practised law as a barrister and immigration judge.[4][5]

In 1998, Shrimpton chaired the Rolls-Royce Action Committee and Crewe Motors, two failed attempts to buy the British car manufacturer Rolls-Royce Motors from Vickers; the sale was made to Volkswagen.[6][7]

Shrimpton represented the five defendants in Thoburn v Sunderland City Council, the "Metric Martyrs" case of 2001–2002. The barrister held that, despite the passage of the European Communities Act 1972, traders were still legally permitted to use imperial units. His argument that the Weights and Measures Act 1985 had implicitly repealed the European Communities Act was ultimately rejected by the court.[8][9]

In 2002, Shrimpton was the Immigration Appellate Authority adjudicator in what became Chen v Home Secretary, a landmark case in European Union citizenship law. In an unprecedented move, Shrimpton referred the case directly to the European Court of Justice, bypassing the Court of Appeal and the House of Lords. Shrimpton's written decision was lauded as "brave" by British peer and journalist Adrian Berry, and has been credited with ensuring that justice in the Chen case prevailed.[10][11]

As a result of Shrimpton's child pornography charges (see below), in April 2013 the Bar Standards Board revoked his ability to participate in cases involving children. Following his November 2014 conviction for a nuclear bomb threat hoax, the Board completely suspended him from practice pending conclusion of professional misconduct proceedings.[12][13]

Political career[edit]

According to Bill Rammell, a contemporary of Shrimpton's at University College, Cardiff, Shrimpton was a member of the Conservative Party when he was elected president of the students' union in 1981. He soon defected to the Social Democratic Party, then a few months later to the Labour Party, and finally joined the Socialist Workers Party by 1982.[2] He contested the 1987 general election in Horsham and the 1989 European Parliament election in West Sussex as a Labour candidate.[14]

After being passed over for the Labour candidacy in the 1997 Uxbridge by-election, Shrimpton defected once again to the Conservative Party.[2][14] At the time, he attributed his decision to Labour's becoming too "centralised and overriding the wishes of local constituency activists". Prime Minister Tony Blair characterised Shrimpton's departure as "odd"[2] and Labour spokespersons stated that it was "just a simple case of sour grapes".[14] Years later, Shrimpton would claim that he left Labour over the issue of European Union membership.[15]

Since 1997, he has been a member of the Aylesbury Conservative Association.[16] He also served as chairman of Watermead Parish Council.[4][17] In 2002, he was co-chairman of the Bruges Group,[18] of which he was a director from 15 June 2001 to 13 December 2002.[19]

Conspiracy theories[edit]

Shrimpton is particularly noted for his claims concerning his role in the intelligence community and for his theories on the infiltration of British society by German spies and saboteurs.

Shrimpton describes himself as a "national security and intelligence specialist".[1][20][21] He claims that his address is the headquarters of an international intelligence network[22] and that he has travelled the world on intelligence assignments, with contacts in the CIA, FBI, MI6, Pentagon, Chinese intelligence, and the British Parliament.[5] He credits himself with a role in several intelligence successes, including the capture of Osama bin Laden.[23]

According to Shrimpton, Germany re-established its Nazi-era intelligence apparatus, the Deutsches Verteidigungs Dienst [sic] (DVD) in 1945, and has since used it to wreak economic and political chaos abroad.[24][25][26] The DVD is supposedly responsible for the assassinations (often via "weaponized cancer") of Hugh Gaitskell, Ross McWhirter, Airey Neave, Ian Gow, John Smith, James Goldsmith, Christopher Story, Anna Lindh, Jo Cox, Mohandas Gandhi, and John F. Kennedy,[15][27][28][25] as well as for the sinking of the Russian submarine Kursk and for the Japanese tsunami of 2011.[29][25][20] Shrimpton further claims that German spies have infiltrated MI5, MI6, and GCHQ[25][26][24] and have controlled Al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, and the British prime ministers Clement Attlee, Harold Macmillan, Harold Wilson, and Edward Heath.[15][27][28][25] Many of these claims are laid out in his book Spyhunter, published in 2014 by June Press, and in his articles for Veterans Today and UKIP Daily.

Shrimpton has also written or campaigned on issues and theories relating to Euroscepticism, organized paedophilia, global warming, Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370, Barack Obama's parentage and citizenship, the disputed status of Gibraltar, and coproxamol and its role in the death of David Kelly.[28][4][30][31][32]

Police and court officials and the mainstream press have generally rejected Shrimpton's claims as grandiose conspiracy theories that he uses to bolster his reputation and to ingratiate himself to those with real power.[28][26][29][25] He is known to police forces across the United Kingdom as an "intelligence nuisance".[33][21][34] Shrimpton denies that he is mentally ill or a compulsive liar,[5] and a psychiatric evaluation at his 2014 bomb hoax trial showed no criminally relevant evidence of mental illness.[35] His defence counsel nonetheless suspected him to be suffering from a developmental or personality disorder such as autism or narcissistic personality disorder.[24][35]

Madeleine McCann[edit]

The mysterious disappearance of toddler Madeleine McCann was a particular interest of Shrimpton's. He referred to himself as the "unofficial representative" for parents Kate and Gerry McCann, and claimed responsibility for setting up a meeting between them and Pope Benedict XVI.[33][5] According to Shrimpton, he made arrangements for the British Armed Forces to rescue Madeleine, who was being held in or near Morocco after being smuggled there from Lagos on a drug-running vessel.[33][24] Shrimpton further claimed that the government had invested him with the authority to issue Defence Advisory Notices, and that he once invoked this in the McCann case against the News of the World.[36] Buckingham Palace and Leicestershire Police officials confirmed receipt of correspondence from Shrimpton, but denied that he was responsible for arranging the papal visit.[33] The report of Madeleine's captivity in Morocco was also rejected as false, and authorities issued a strict warning to Shrimpton not to interfere with the case.[24]

2012 Summer Olympics bomb hoax[edit]

On 19 April 2012, Shrimpton contacted Barry Burton, the principal private secretary of Defence Secretary Philip Hammond, to warn of an impending attack against London.[1][24][25][20][26] According to Shrimpton, the DVD had stolen a nuclear warhead from the Kursk[25][20][26][24] and planted it somewhere in London.[34][25][1][24] The agency was supposedly planning to detonate the warhead during the opening ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics, with the principal target being either the Olympic Stadium or Queen Elizabeth II.[20][34][26][25] Shrimpton said the source of this information was the Russian Main Intelligence Directorate, via a back-channel network that included a friend of Pope Benedict XVI.[25][20] The following day, Shrimpton repeatedly called the office of MP David Lidington to make the same warning.[1][25][24][36]

Hammond and Lidington referred the reports to the Olympic Security Team. Though officials knew Shrimpton to be unreliable and were suspicious of his claims, they were obliged to take the reports seriously.[25][20][29][16][21] When they were confirmed to be hoaxes, Shrimpton was arrested at his home in Wendover on 20 April on charges of communicating false information with intent.[25][20][24] During police questioning, he said his arrest was a "colossal cock-up" and demanded "compensation and a nice lunch with MI5".[25][20][26] He later claimed that his arrest had been engineered by DVD infiltrators in the Thames Valley Police, and had allowed the DVD time to remove the nuclear device.[23] On 23 April, Shrimpton wrote to Buckingham Palace, the Ministry of Defence, the Kremlin, and the NSA to inform them that the Queen was no longer under threat, but that the bomb may have been moved to Ground Zero in New York City.[23]

The case went to trial at Southwark Crown Court in November 2014, with Shrimpton representing himself.[25][20] Shrimpton admitted to the court that his claims sounded "strange, high falutin, incredible and fantastic" but denied making positive statements about the bomb threat.[5] The Crown Prosecution Service disagreed, describing Shrimpton's claims as "false information" that he passed on as "a mechanism to gild his self-constructed reputation as an intelligence expert."[21] At one point during the trial, Judge Alistair McCreath reprimanded Shrimpton for using witnesses to advance his conspiracy theories.[29] On 25 November, the jury convicted him by an 11–1 majority on two counts of communicating false information.[22] In February 2015 he was sentenced to a twelve-month term of imprisonment.[34][25][24][35]

While investigating the bomb hoax case, police discovered Shrimpton to be in possession of a memory stick containing forty indecent images of children. This resulted in yet another criminal case, with Shrimpton being convicted and sentenced to a three-year supervision order and a five-year sexual offences prevention order. He was also required to sign the Violent and Sex Offender Register. Shrimpton unsuccessfully appealed against the conviction, claiming that local police or the intelligence services had planted the pornographic images in his home in order to discredit him.[4][25][22]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Shrimpton: Barristers 'A-bomb in London' warning". Court News UK. 23 July 2013. Retrieved 19 September 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c d Copley, Joy (26 July 1997). "Blair hits the campaign trail again". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 24 September 2003. Retrieved 24 September 2016. 
  3. ^ "Michael Shrimpton". Bar Standards Board. Retrieved 22 June 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c d O'Keeffe, Hayley (20 October 2014). "Ex-judge: 'Secret service framed me over child porn'". Bucks Herald. Retrieved 22 June 2016. 
  5. ^ a b c d e "Shrimpton: Bomb scare barrister says: 'I'm not a nutter'". Court News UK. 19 November 2014. Retrieved 24 September 2016. 
  6. ^ Harrison, Michael (5 June 1998). "Rolls-Royce falls into German hands". The Independent. London. Retrieved 14 January 2017. 
  7. ^ Stewart, Robb M. (7 January 1998). "Group of Rolls-Royce Lovers Plans Bid to Buy Auto Maker". The Wall Street Journal. New York. AP-Dow Jones News Service. Retrieved 14 January 2017. 
  8. ^ Aston, John (18 February 2002). "'Metric martyrs' cannot sell in lbs and ozs". The Independent. London. Retrieved 24 September 2016. 
  9. ^ "Metric martyrs lose battle for pounds and ounces". The Daily Telegraph. London. 18 February 2002. Retrieved 24 June 2016. 
  10. ^ Kochenov, Dimitry; Lindeboom, Justin (12 May 2015). Davies, Bill; Nicola, Fernanda, eds. Breaking Chinese Law – Making European One: The Story of Chen, Or: Two Winners, Two Losers, Two Truths. EU Law Stories: Contextual and Critical Histories of European Jurisprudence. Cambridge University Press. SSRN 2605671Freely accessible. 
  11. ^ Pollack, Mark A. (20 March 2016). Davies, Bill; Nicola, Fernanda, eds. Breaking Chinese Law – Making European One: The Story of Chen, Or: Two Winners, Two Losers, Two Truths. EU Law Stories: Contextual and Critical Histories of European Jurisprudence. Cambridge University Press. SSRN 2751739Freely accessible. 
  12. ^ "BSB Statement following the conviction of barrister for "bomb hoax"" (Press release). Bar Standards Board. 26 November 2014. Retrieved 22 June 2016. 
  13. ^ Hilborne, Nick (1 December 2014). "BSB suspends "bomb hoax" barrister". Legal Futures. Retrieved 19 September 2016. 
  14. ^ a b c "Labour Activist Defects in Uxbridge". BBC News. 25 July 1997. Retrieved 22 June 2016. 
  15. ^ a b c Shrimpton, Michael (18 June 2016). "On the assassination of Jo Cox MP". UKIP Daily. Retrieved 22 June 2016. 
  16. ^ a b "Shrimpton: Queen bomb plot 'like episode of 24'". Court News UK. 11 November 2014. Retrieved 24 September 2016. 
  17. ^ Shrimpton, Michael (1998). "Chairman's View" (PDF). Village View: The Watermead Village Newsletter. 5 (2). Watermead Parish Council. Retrieved 24 September 2016. 
  18. ^ "Tory right calls for EU rethink". The Guardian. London. 7 October 2002. Retrieved 8 January 2017. 
  19. ^ "Michael Shrimpton". Companies House. Retrieved 8 January 2017. 
  20. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Shrimpton: Lawyer claimed German spies were targeting queen". Court News UK. 10 November 2014. Retrieved 24 September 2016. 
  21. ^ a b c d Colley, Andrew (6 February 2015). "Barrister Michael Shrimpton, from Wendover, made claims in the build up to London Olympic Games". Bucks Free Press. Retrieved 24 September 2016. 
  22. ^ a b c "Shrimpton: Nuclear bomb hoax barrister facing jail". Court News UK. 25 November 2014. Retrieved 24 September 2016. 
  23. ^ a b c "Shrimpton trial day two: 'Bomb no longer a threat to Queen and may have been moved to Ground Zero'". Bucks Herald. 11 November 2014. Retrieved 24 September 2016. 
  24. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Barrister jailed for Nazi Olympics bomb hoax call". The Scotsman. Edinburgh. 6 February 2015. Retrieved 19 September 2016. 
  25. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r "Barrister sparked security scare by 'claiming Nazis wanted to blow up the Queen at the 2012 Olympics'". The Daily Telegraph. London. 10 November 2014. Retrieved 19 September 2016. 
  26. ^ a b c d e f g "Barrister's 'hoax call' to defence secretary over nuclear bomb at Olympics". Bucks Herald. 10 November 2014. Retrieved 24 September 2016. 
  27. ^ a b Shrimpton, Michael (2014). Spyhunter. June Press. 
  28. ^ a b c d McConnachie, James; Tudge, Robin (2013). The Rough Guide to Conspiracy Theories. Rough Guides. 
  29. ^ a b c d "'Control yourself': Judge warns 'bomb hoax' barrister over court conduct". Bucks Herald. 10 November 2014. Retrieved 24 September 2016. 
  30. ^ Dimiero, Ben (23 April 2014). "Newest Birther Conspiracy Involves The CIA, A Secret DNA Test, Edward Snowden, And A Missing Nuclear Weapon". Media Matters for America. Retrieved 24 September 2016. 
  31. ^ "WASME speaker in bizarre allegations about Spanish military invasion". Gibraltar Chronicle. 11 April 2002. Archived from the original on 3 December 2005. Retrieved 24 September 2016. 
  32. ^ "Las teorías de la conspiración del vuelo de Malaysia Airlines". Faro de Vigo (in Spanish). Redondela. 8 March 2016. Retrieved 15 January 2017. 
  33. ^ a b c d "Shrimpton: Barrister claims missing Maddie held on boat". Court News UK. 14 November 2014. Retrieved 24 September 2016. 
  34. ^ a b c d O'Keeffe, Hayley (6 February 2015). "Jail for pervert barrister who said nuclear bomb would blow up the Queen at the London Olympics". Bucks Herald. Retrieved 22 June 2016. 
  35. ^ a b c "Shrimpton: Olympic bomb hoax barrister is jailed". Court News UK. 6 February 2015. Retrieved 24 September 2016. 
  36. ^ a b "Shrimpton: Spy killing is a 'wild conspiracy'". Court News UK. 18 November 2014. Retrieved 24 September 2016. 

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