The decision to prosecute the operator of Lynn’s pedestrian ferry for refusing to leave his boat during last year’s tidal surge is in the public interest, a court has been told.
A review hearing in the case against Steve Kingston was held at West Norfolk Magistrates’ Court in Lynn yesterday. A further review will now take place next month to decide if the matter should finally come to trial.
Mr Kingston, 62, of Bankside, West Lynn, has already pleaded not guilty to a charge of obstructing or resisting police officers on December 5 last year, the night that West Norfolk’s coastline was battered by a huge tidal surge.
His solicitor, Ian Graham, submitted a written argument against the decision to prosecute to the court at yesterday’s hearing.
But Giles Beaumount, prosecuting, said the decision to continue with the case had been made because of the evidence gathered against Mr Kingston and as it was felt to be in the public interest to prosecute.
Referring to the alleged incident itself, he said: “He was on board a boat. He refused to leave when asked to do so and he was arrested on suspicion of a likelihood of a breach of the peace.”
When asked if it was in the public interest to continue the prosecution, he added: “The case has been looked at on a number of occasions already, so it’s not as if it hasn’t been looked at.”
However, Mr Beaumont also requested that an additional pre-trial review hearing should be held.
That request was granted, meaning there will now be a further hearing at the Lynn court on April 17 to decide whether the case should proceed. A provisional trial date has already been set for May 28.
Mr Kingston, who was accompanied by his wife, Gail, during the short hearing, remains on bail