Evening Echo Friday 13th December 2013
Call Centre “Arsonist” Objects To Own Defence
A 32 year-old Bristol man has objected in court to his own defence counsel, after being called “troubled and sensitive”.
Stuart Regan, 31, is charged with arson and criminal damage, after a fire at the call centre office where he had been employed.
Mr Regan is alleged to have left a trail of petrol to the main entrance of the building and lit it with a cigarette, after finishing work on the last day of his temporary job.
At Bristol Crown Court today, the jury heard that Mr Regan, 36, was “quiet”, and a “loner”, who did not associate with colleagues and refused to participate in fundraising and other team-building exercises during his time at the central offices of marketing consultants [NAME REMOVED ON LEGAL ADVICE].
Prosecution witness Darren Cullen, when asked “Did Mr Regan associate at all with other members of staff?” replied “No, not at all – he wouldn’t even join in on Comic Relief. We did a fancy dress day to raise money, but he just turned up in his usual clothes”. Mr Cullen went on to describe Mr Regan as “sullen and angry”.
Counsel for the prosecution, Alan Reeve, told the jury: “We have outlined a profile of an anti-social, misanthropic man, who finally acted out his frustrations by endangering his colleagues and the public, starting a blaze in the foyer of the building.”
Counsel for the defense, Claire Moodey, described Mr Regan as “troubled and sensitive”, and indicated his previous good character and lack of criminal record.
In an extraordinary outburst, the defendant shouted “Objection! I’m not troubled, it was just a horrible place to work!” Having been warned by the judge, Justice Culkin, that he would be charged with Contempt, Regan sat down, but later objected again when his defence counsel attempted to link his alleged action with his personal life, saying to Ms Moodey, “You shouldn’t be allowed to be a solicitor if you haven’t even read 'The Outsider'.”
The trial continues.
The Dependant Monday 16th December 2013
Outsider On Trial
A Bristol man has berated his defense solicitor in court for not having read the Albert Camus novel The Outsider. Objecting to her claim that he was “deeply troubled and over-sensitive”, Stuart Regan, from Somerset, is reported to have shouted out “You haven’t even read The Outsider!”
During the arson trial at Bristol Crown Court, Regan, 29, objected to his solicitor’s attempt to link his alleged actions with his recent personal circumstances. The defendant faces a custodial sentence for allegedly starting a fire at his place of work, a call centre in central Bristol.
Mr Reagan had sat impassively as colleagues described him as “anti-social” and “angry”. However, when solicitor Clare Modey, explaining his mental state at the time of the crime, said her client was “troubled”, Regan called out “I’m not troubled, it was a terrible job”. The defendant later berated her for not being aware of the 1950s existentialist classic, in which a man on trial for murder refuses to use his mother’s death to plead leniency from the judge.