Judge ‘Strongly Rejects’ Enoch Burke’s Allegations Emailed to High Court

Judge Alex Owens said Burke’s behavior before the High Court on Tuesday, where he raised concerns about the discovery documents and the redactions therein, was “unacceptable”.

“I felt that Mr. Burke was treating me unfairly,” he said Friday morning. “It is necessary to call things by his name, one can be too polite with these things.”

Burke has not returned to the courtroom since Tuesday afternoon after Judge Alex Owens warned him that he could only return if he accepted the authority of the court in which he was appearing.

The judge has repeatedly ordered the legal team representing Wilson’s Hospital School to inform Mr. Burke that he can attend court under this condition and can otherwise view the proceedings online.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the court has not heard from Burke about how he intends to become involved in the case.

The case has proceeded without Mr. Burke or a legal representative of him being present, with witnesses called by the school without cross-examination.

Wilson’s Hospital School’s board of trustees and Mr Burke are in a dispute stemming from incidents that followed a request by the then head of the school last May to address a student with a new name and the pronoun “they”. .

Burke, an evangelical Christian, maintains that the case is about the freedom to express one’s religious beliefs.

On Friday morning, the judge indicated that the witnesses who were present because they had been called by Mr. Burke could withdraw, since he was not present to call them, and that the case had been closed.

The judge remarked that it was a “very unfortunate situation”.

School representatives were giving closing statements when the judge was told that Mr Burke had sent a “big, long” email, and proceedings were stayed to allow the email to be printed.

Judge Owens then read the email sent by Mr Burke, where he claimed he had been “unfairly banned” and made a request for digital audio of the proceedings.

He also reiterated concerns he had raised on Tuesday, stating that when he raised these issues in court “I was repeatedly laughed at” and “sneered and ridiculed by the judge.”

He also said that he had gone to the house of the chairman of the board of directors, John Rogers, the night before the case began.

The court heard that he went to his home at 10:50 pm on Monday to provide him with a summons and that Mr. Rogers’ wife refused to tell Mr. Burke where he was.

Mark Connaughton SC, representing Wilson’s Hospital School, rejected Mr Burke’s claim that Mr Rogers was trying to avoid a summons.

He said that he had already told the court days before that Mr. Rogers had been admitted to hospital and that this would affect his appearance as a witness on behalf of the school.

Connaughton said Burke’s email “does not lend credence”, except for a few paragraphs, to the detailed response given by his colleague Alex White SC to concerns raised by Burke on Tuesday, despite “the venomous manner” in the that they were bred.

Concluding the discussion over the email, Judge Owens said: “You can’t hope to win a football game by running away with the ball.”

He said the ball has been replaced and play continues, “if I can use that metaphor.”


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