Thursday, February 19, 2009

Queries Regarding Farrant's Account, Pt. 2

To read the previous installment, click here.
The detective in charge said if I was willing to plead guilty to the charge next morning, the case would be over without any fuss, and I would only get a technical warning for trespass.
Does that mean you were aware of committing a felony, by virtue of trespassing?
I took him at his word, and pleaded guilty. But as soon as I had entered my plea, this detective made a statement to the court involving statements that I was alleged to have given. He said the ‘accused’ had told him that I had intended to search through coffins in vaults in Highgate Cemetery, to look for the ‘King Vampire of the Undead’. When I found it, he added, I intended to drive a wooden stake through its heart and then ‘run away’. He went on to say that there had been unlimited serious vandalism at HC since these vampire stories had started, and he believed I was one of those people responsible for it.
That's interesting, considering the "King Vampire of the Undead" was a quote attributed to Manchester (or, more specifically, "a King Vampire from Wallachia").

Now, as to being one of the people responsible for the "vampire stories" being perpetuated, do you think there might be some merit in this? Again, consider the March 6, 1970 article.

Of course, in the succeeding months, the vampire connection to yourself would become even more explicit.
Now, ironically, as I had pleaded guilty to the offence, it is little wonder that all of this was being believed by the stipendiary magistrate, Mr. D. J. Purcell. It is also perhaps of little wonder that he remanded me in custody for medical reports, and remarked that I really ought to see a doctor.
I agree, that's not surprising. But that certainly doesn't explain your actions after said court case. I'll get onto those shortly.
As soon as I realized (in fact within half an hour) that the police had attempted to ‘frame me’ by entering a plea of guilty, I immediately changed my plea and decided to fight the case. Unfortunately, this was too late to prevent newspapers from picking up the story, whose reporters had been present in court, and apparently been granted free licence to ‘quote the police evidence’. (Please remember, my own evidence had not even been heard at this stage.) Subsequently, I became known as a ‘vampire hunter’ by the press, and this label has somehow always ‘stuck’.
It would be fine to blame the media for your association to the vampire hunter tag...were it not for your own collaboration to this label.

As proof, I cite your television interview with Laurence Picethly for 24 Hours (October 15, 1970). Picethly asks you, "Have you seen this vampire?" And your response? "I have seen it, yes. I saw it last February, and saw it on two occasions."

Footage from the same interview shows you removing a cross and stake from your belt and stalking about the cemetery. Indeed, the voiceover says, "On August the seventeenth, Allan Farrant decided to pay a midnight visit to the cemetery to combat the vampire once and for all." (note: this is one of the false names you were known by)

So here we have you claiming to witness a vampire. And reconstructing a vampire hunt for television. Couple that with your arrest, in possession of a stake, and then we have your "vigil" with Barrie Simmons for "Midnight Date with Highgate's Vampire" (Evening News, October 16, 1970), in which you...yep...stalked about Highgate Cemetery with a stake and a makeshift cross.

And even as late as 2003, you collaborated with Rob Milne for a book called, wait for it, Return of the Vampire Hunter: An Exclusive Interview with Reclusive Vampire Hunter, David Farrant.

So, I ask you David, could this label have stuck due to your own co-operation?
In reality, after entering a plea of not guilty, I was given bail and went back to court determined to fight the case. It was adjourned twice more (on the second occasion it was heard by Magistrate Christopher Lea!) but finally heard on September 30th 1970. I informed the court that the police evidence had been untrue, that the stake had not been intended to ‘force open’ any coffins, and that in any event it was just as akin to ‘hunt vampires’ (which was the essence of the charge) as it was for some to spend small fortunes hunting out the Loch Ness Monster.
Strange that you would defend the notion of hunting for vampires as akin to people spending money looking for the Loch Ness Monster. Indeed, this connection is attributed to your legal representative, Mr Jeffrey Bays.

The point is, why would you want to defend the connection, if you weren't actually hunting vampires in the first place? Especially as you continued to give demos of vampire-hunting only a couple of weeks after this trial?
When he had heard all the evidence, the magistrate (D. J. Purcell again), stated that he was quite satisfied that my intention had not been to damage or open coffins. Had he though otherwise, he added, he would have treated the matter much more seriously by issuing a custodial sentence. He also added at the end, that in any event, the cemetery was not even an ‘enclosed area’ in the strict legal sense.
I see that not only was he satisfied with your testimony, but he also let you off on a technicality.

So, again, why did you go ahead and conduct vampire hunting vigils after your case was dismissed?
I was formally acquitted, the court having not believed the original police evidence.

End of story really, everyone, it is only some people with seemingly desperate intentions who try to make the facts seem otherwise.
The police evidence, from what you have cited thus far, was declaring your intent to hunt vampires...nothing about graveyard desecration. Not much damage you could do with a cross and wooden stake after all. Unless, of course, you encountered a vampire...

Lastly, with that case dismissed, how exactly did you get put in the clink for graveyard desecration a scant two years later?

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