Woman who filmed trio in crown court said she was doing it to protect herself

A woman took video footage of a witness and two of his family in a court waiting area, but claimed she was doing what police had told her to do, a court heard.

Wednesday, 26th April 2017, 1:51 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 6:52 pm
A woman appeared in court after she was caught filming three men inside a court building who she claimed she felt "intimidated "by

Naheed Akhtar appeared before Burnley magistrates after she filmed the trio on her mobile phone inside the town's crown court building.

She said she didn't know what she had done was illegal and would never have done it if she had.

Akhtar claimed her brother, who was on trial at the crown court at the time, had been subjected to false allegations and police had told her to record evidence. She said she had started filming when she felt very intimidated as two " rather large men" were staring at her.

Akhtar was stopped after a few seconds by an usher.

The hearing was told 37-year-old Akhtar was said to be traumatised after she ended up being arrested and handcuffed by six police officers at the court the day after.

Her solicitor told the magistrates: "It's a bit ironic the police tell her to do something and then six police officers come and arrest her and put her before the court."

The defendant, of Carleton Street, Nelson, admitted taking video in a criminal court. She was given a six month conditional discharge and was told to pay £30 costs and a £20 victim surcharge. The defendant had no previous convictions.

Prosecutor Miss Parveen Akhtar said in interview, the defendant said she saw the person with two of his relatives and started to record them. They began to shout abuse at her.

Mr John Rusius, defending Akhtar, said her brother had had a great number of what he would describe as false allegations made against him, adding: "He was in court as a defendant and maintained it was a false allegation.

"He was found not guilty."

Mr Rusius told the hearing the police had told them they must produce evidence by recording it.

He said: " She was with her brother in the waiting room. She realised she was being stared at by two members of his family, two rather large gentlemen.

"She felt very intimidated, she moved away and still felt intimidated.

At that point, she did what the police had told her to do and took her phone out and started recording. "

The solicitor said Akhtar's brother told his barrister his sister had been intimidated and he told the judge who called in the three people and gave them a warning in court.

Mr Rusius continued: " The following day the was trial continuing and police decided it required six officers to come into court and arrest this young lady.

"They handcuffed her and they took her to the police station. They had her phone.

"She fully accepted what she had done. She didn't realise she was doing anything wrong and she expresses remorse.

"It was to protect her from what was happening to her."