35 – Ball Park View

Fig. 151 – Joe Tallant at the cordon in Rectory Place.
Fig. 151 – Joe Tallant at the cordon in Rectory Place.

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It has to be said that when one keeps looking at the Woolwich footage over again, the sense one gets it that it’s the same people one is looking at. What is meant by this statement is that the footage seems to show a closed system. The crowd in it is small, and you begin to recognise everyone in it. There doesn’t seem to be a flow of humanity through the scene. Yes, there are some very famous moments when people walk past Adebolajo and this gives the impression of movement of people – but before they do that, those people hung about in the scene for a long time before they went walking into celluloid history. In fact, the investigator Chris Spivey has shown good evidence regarding who these people are – and in the light of that surprising information, the movement they create is not at all organic. But we don’t need to go that far. We can just study the footage to see that it looks very much as if Artillery Place was sealed off.

Fig. 152 – the cordon in Rectory Place.
Fig. 152 – the cordon in Rectory Place.

This should not come as a surprise – we know from the Metropolitan Police’s own statements that a police cordon was in place by 14:30 (stated time); in actual fact, they said that the first police were on scene within 9 minutes of the first 999 calls at 14:20. One witness in particular – and we’ll get to him directly – reported a cordon. It would be really helpful to know where this was.

There is a TV interview with an eye-witness by the name of Joe Tallant, and this film shows that a police line had been set up down Rectory Place. Granted, this moment in time was after the event, but let’s assume that this would have been the same cordon that was originally set up. Incidentally, Joe Tallant became infamous in Rigby-lore because of how film later emerged that appeared to show him taking part in an EDL rally that was held in Woolwich later on the very same day. Moreover, Tallant would say some remarkable things in the interview from which the still in Fig. 151 is taken. Back to the immediate point, in that still we can see Joe standing in front of the police line in Rectory Place. We can get a better idea of where that line was in the picture in Fig. 152 which shows a tape cutting across Rectory Place behind the turn-in for the primary school. This location is quite a way along Rectory Place – the turn-in seen in the image is for a road called Mulgrave Road. The fact of a cordon seems to be confirmed by Graham Wilders. He reported the following:

And then I went down to speak to the 2 police officer’s down in Rectory Place and they said they were waiting for the Trojan team. Well as I’ve started walk up the police officer who was coming up behind me screamed for me to get indoors and as he’s screamed for me to get indoors all I heard is bang, bang … bang, bang and I thought like I’ve screamed at my wife get that you know
sort of down here.

We will see that Wilders reports seeing the children returning to school through the short cut from John Wilson Street that goes along a path between Elliston House and garages on Rectory Place. From where we can extrapolate Wilders’ house to be at the time, this would involve going north into Rectory Place – down when spoken in term of a road that isn’t a hill is usually referring to moving away from a junction – the same can be applied to rivers moving away from their mouths.

Fig. 153 – the cordon at the end of the B210 at the junction with Frances Street.
Fig. 153 – the cordon at the end of the B210 at the junction with Frances Street.

Another piece of information about the likely whereabouts of this cordon comes in the form of an image that appeared on the Newsshopper[1] website at around 7pm on the evening of 22nd May. It showed a police line located right at the western end of Artillery Place (see Fig. 153). Yet another is from a TV interview with Graham Wilders.

He seems to be standing in front of an alley way in Charles Grinling Walk , and behind him is a police line presumably for pedestrians so that they can’t gain access to Rectory Place by foot across this housing estate. It’s a good bet that Wilders is also standing at a police line too. There is a moment in the film that suggests it – the policeman who is obviously guarding the barrier comes through the alley and then returns accompanied with a boy who has obviously been allowed to cross the line to get home.

There is more information to be garnered from Graham Wilders about this cordon. He reported that he saw a policeman wrestling with a passer-by who wanted to go about his normal business. This is what appeared in the MailOnline regarding the subject:

Witness Graham Wilders today described a confrontation between a passer-by and a policeman who had arrived at the scene.

He said the pair fought in the street because the officer said he must wait for the armed response team to arrive and disarm the suspects.

‘He was mouthing off to the police officer, asking why the police were not doing anything,’ Mr Wilders said.

‘The police officer was fighting him.

‘I said “F****** go up there and take the gun off him”.

‘He then turned and went into his block of flats.’

Covered in blood and wielding a gun: Moment police shoot armed men ‘after they murdered soldier Lee Rigby on streets of Woolwich’[2]; Martin Robinson et al; 03 December 2013.

Fig. 154 – Wilders, by alley way.
Fig. 154 – Wilders, by alley way.

With the picture that all this information creates, the author would hazard a guess that there was also a cordon across the end of the appendage of Rectory Place which abuts the green area – this would be the white bar in Fig. 155. This would mean that when the police cordon was fully operational, it would seal off the area around Artillery Place from the north and south (which is completely occupied by the barracks) by road. The image of Adebowale and Kennet suggests that police are also in Wellington Place directing traffic away from Artillery Place. Whatever is going on to the east in terms of precise locations of police lines, one thing is for sure, and that is after a while, no traffic comes up Artillery Place from that direction. As for pedestrians, if they are within the cordon on the western side, they can’t get beyond what had become the no-go area at the junction of Artillery Place and Rectory Place – this is denoted by the white box in Fig. 155. There is no going from west to east or vice versa either on foot or by car for that matter. Seemingly, one can only access the area by foot from the east – the area shaded with striped lines in Fig. 155 show from whence this can be done. Now, very interestingly, if a pedestrian comes from this direction, he or she cannot progress into the hinterland via Charles Grinling Wak, but funnels onto the green at the foot of Artillery Place. A pedestrian here cannot go any further west. As for the people already in the parts of Charles Grinling Walk and Rectory Place, and indeed the tower block, that are all within the cordon, Graham Wilders’ story suggests that there is a degree of control from police regarding their free movement.

Fig. 155 –how the area is blocked off from the north, south and west, and controlled at the east.
Fig. 155 –how the area is blocked off from the north, south and west, and controlled at the east (as always, click to enlarge).

At this stage, this information is very useful in terms of reinforcing some basic observations we can make about the crowd in Artillery Place by watching the footage.  We’ll begin with some definitions. Essentially, there were two crowds assembled in Artillery Place that day. One populated two sides of the road at top of Artillery Place, and the other pretty much populated the green at the bottom. We start with the top crowd – and there is a very curious moment caught on the Woolwich footage regarding the behaviour of some of the people in it. Adebolajo is being filmed as he pontificates by the Number 53 bus. The crowd standing on the corner of the barrack’s entrance road are visible in the background. For the most part during this instalment, they are looking at something that is otherwise blocked from view behind the white truck. This is very mysterious. Not a few hundred feet down the road is a man who has supposedly just butchered a soldier of the British Army. These people are merely civilians, lots of them women, and Adebolajo has just crossed the road to their side, thus demonstrating that he won’t stay in a zone as far as these people know.

Fig. 156 – the top crowd forgets about Adebolajo.
Fig. 156 – the top crowd forgets about Adebolajo.

That being the case, it’s amazing that everyone on this corner have forgotten he was there. What is going on that would distract all these people like this? Whatever it is, should it override watchfulness for a threat to life and limb? The answer should be no. I would argue that something is happening that requires the crowd to give it its full attention. I would argue that it was receiving instruction. What this instruction might be is of course unknown but it has to be noted that when the armed response police arrived, this kerbside of people did not resemble those at the bottom who ducked, ran and made themselves scarce. There are before and after images of the people on this kerb, and they have not felt compelled to move out of harm’s way.

The other thing we can say about this crowd is the way is is, for the most part, disassembled very quietly. Most travel down the Artillery Place, and some are conducted by what looks like a plain clothes police officer (we’ll get to him). Indeed, it appears as if this fellow actually deposits some of this crowd on to the Number 53 bus – it isn’t exactly clear if this is the case, and again, we’ll look at it closer in another chapter to come. If it is indeed the case, it perhaps indicates that members of this crowd were part of the theatre.

Fig. 157 – the Air Ambulance landing in the junction.
Fig. 157 – the Air Ambulance landing in the junction.

That section of this crowd that gathers on the shop side of the road is a little bit smaller than the one opposite. This crowd lines the front of the shop, and although it has its own unique faces and figures, some of them pop up in the crowd on the barracks’ side. In fact, there is a lot of travel between the two sides; that’s why we consider all the people at the top of Artillery Place to be in the same crowd. It’s also why the shop side should be thought of as the “wings” of this particular theatre. The reason for this comment will become clearer as we examine the individual characters.

So, the western end of Artillery Place has a crowd that remains cool when the heavy drama starts, is probably being coached, is controlled quietly, and takes part in the events – although as we will see, there are rogue elements in it for plausibility. Things are very different at the other end. The other crowd is probably a little bit bigger than its opposite number. We should notice that the farthest it gets up the road is no further than the wall that lines the green – some individuals are a little closer to the Tigra than that, but we’ll get to them later. Significantly, this crowd was made to retreat all the way to the green by the time the armed police arrive. In fact, in the Sun footage, when the gun shots sound, these people are right at the back of the green against John Wilson North. In the Mirror footage, they cannot be seen at all in their previous positions on the pavement as per the Adebowale-Kennet photo. In the CCTV footage from the council camera, there is no sign of anyone expect the mysterious man in black – who was previously mingling in this crowd.

We do get a close look at this crowd, however, in the footage taken from the bus – the Bus Footage. When the paramedics arrive they are are largely still standing at the rear of the green – some have wandered forward to video and photograph the goings-on. However, when the regular police arrive, all of these people are shooed back completely off of the green, and quite a commotion is caused. The police are quite aggressive, and some of the public start to remonstrate with them. It turns out that the green becomes part of the crime scene, and it is cordoned off. Lots of people who had been standing on the green are then found on John Wilson North behind a police line that cuts off the junction (in order for a helicopter to land, as can be seen in Fig. 156). Presumably, there is no traffic in this image because these other roads into the junction have finally been shut down by this time. So, the bottom crowd takes a long time to disperse and needs to be bullied by police in order to get it to move. This should be noted in stark contrast to the crowd at the top of Artillery Place who, some of them, are individually escorted by plain clothes police.

One gets the feeling that the bottom crowd is definitely real, and has been admitted to the theatre in order to have a real reaction to what they are seeing. The presence of the crowd, and its natural reaction, would give the situation to an observer of any footage of the incident a sense that it was organic and not artifice. It fits in with what we have discovered about the cordon. The green would be the focal point for people coming into the area. While the top of Artillery Place was evidently strictly controlled, the bottom was bottlenecked so that innocent by-standers could congregate and witness the event. However, there is one little mystery in the context of this arrangement of people, and it is to do with how was this crowd made to retreat down the road before the shoot out? Perhaps we should take more notice of something that Tina Nimmo said in her testimony about how she had taken it upon herself to control the crowd at the bottom of Artillery Place.

Fig. 158 – "bumper clock" at 11-o-clock
Fig. 158 – “bumper clock” at 11-o-clock

Fig. 159 – bumper clock at 8-o-clock.
Fig. 159 – “bumper clock” at 8-o-clock.

Fig. 160 – "bumper clock" at 6-o-clock.
Fig. 160 – “bumper clock” at 6-o-clock.

Before we move on, there needs to be an explanation of a tool that we can use to help track the comings and goings of the people in the crowd. The object in question is a piece of debris that was torn off the crashed Tigra. This debris is a former piece of bumper. It is an elongated component with a dog leg in it. It looks like the letter L. This piece of debris starts off pointing in one direction, but moves around to point in other directions as Adebolajo accidently kicks it. In fact, Adebolajo kicks it twice as he passes, so we can divide the period of the waiting phase into 3 sections according to this “bumper-clock”. In the first stage the long arm of the debris points to the bus. In the second stage the long arm of the debris points back at the wall at an angle with the kerb. In the last stage the long arm of the debris is perpendicular with the direction of the pavement. If we imagine this thing spinning around the face of a clock, imagine that 12 o clock points directly into the road, therefore its positions as just stated could be called 11-o-clock, 8-o-clock, and 6-o-clock. We don’t know the exact durations of these periods.

Finally, a note to the reader to not expect a summarising conclusion in this part of the book – it’s been decided that some of the information here requires conclusions from the reader him or herself. It will be enough for it to be drawn to the reader’s attention just the once without the author belabouring the point. In this way we’ll make sure that we avoid publically stating anything that can be deemed as defamatory by people who know the justice system in the UK is corrupt enough to convict innocent people on a pack of lies.

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[1] http://www.newsshopper.co.uk/news/10436107.Police_called_to_Woolwich__shooting____live_updates/

[2] http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2517389/Moment-police-shoot-men-murdered-soldier-Lee-Rigby-Woolwich.html