This case just keeps dragging on. It’s about David McConaghie, the creationist preacher and Northern Ireland political operative who was arrested in connection with the discovery of a hidden camera found in the loo of Democratic Unionist Party member David Simpson’s constituency office.
From the first time we reported this, two years ago — see Creationist Suspected of Bathroom Voyeurism — to the long-awaited filing of actual criminal charges (David McConaghie Is Charged With Voyeurism), to McConaghie’s first appearance in court a couple of months ago (David McConaghie Appears in Court), we’ve been waiting for the actual trial to begin.
As we reported in our last post, at McConaghie’s recent court appearance the judge granted an eight week continuance. That time has run, so we’ve been expecting the trial to start any day now, but we have some disappointing news.
In the News Letter, located in Belfast, the oldest English-language newspaper in the world still in publication, we read Voyeurism case against MP’s former advisor adjourned again. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:
The voyeurism case against a former church minister and advisor to an MP has been adjourned for eight weeks.
Why the additional delay? We still don’t know whether McConaghie is actually guilty of the perverted conduct of which he’s been accused, but we’ve been eagerly following this case because it seems to us that this kind of thing provides a unique insight into the minds of creationists. We’ve reported about several other cases that seem to support our hypothesis, but this case is the biggie. Ah well, back to the news story:
A prosecuting lawyer told Craigavon Magistrates’ Court the PPS [the Public Prosecution Service for Northern Ireland] had received the police file of the investigation into the alleged activities of 49-year-old David McConaghie.
That should be routine stuff. It doesn’t explain the reason for another eight week delay. Let’s read on:
Initially charged last September, the PPS had asked for a two-month adjournment at that stage, granted them after it was described by the judge as a “complicated case.”
How complicated can it be? Was it McConaghie’s camera or not? If it were his, did he plant it in the loo? We’ve seen other cases like this. The camera usually has pics of the defendant himself aiming the device to make sure it’s functioning properly — for the intended purpose. And the, ah, fruits of the clandestine device are often found stored on the defendant’s computer. It shouldn’t have been terribly difficult to search for that kind of evidence here. If it exists, it’s already in the police file, and the prosecutors have had it for at least two months. They shouldn’t need yet another two months to put their case together. The story continues:
On Wednesday District Judge Paul Copeland granted a similar extension to January and released McConaghie on continuing bail.
No reason is given. Here’s more:
As part of his bail conditions McConaghie is barred from contacting any staff member at the DUP advice office in Portadown and from owning or possessing any mobile phone or other device “capable of making video recordings”.
We already knew that. Does the story have any other news? No, it doesn’t. So all we can do is repeat our usual advice: Avoid using the bathrooms in any creationist location — that includes creationist politicians, creationist “think tanks,” creation museums and theme parks, and the church buildings of creationist denominations.
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