POLICE say they were powerless to stop a man from climbing onto the rooftop of a Cornwall MP’s office and staging a protest – because he didn’t commit an offence.
Officers were called to Sheryll Murray’s Liskeard office on Monday after Stop the War on Dads campaigner, Peter McMurdie, started protesting on the MP’s roof.
But the police quickly left the scene and allowed Mr McMurdie to continue his protests against a “corrupt” family legal system until he decided to come down from the politician’s roof in the afternoon.
A Devon and Cornwall Police spokesman said officers respect the right to peaceful protest.
“While he may have been trespassing on the property, this is a civil matter,” the spokesman explained.
“If this is not aggravated in any way, then no criminal offence is committed.
“If he chose to stay on the roof, that is a matter for the man.
“No criminal offence was committed.”
Mr McMurdie, a wildlife photographer and father-of-two from Looe, told The Herald he met Sheryll Murray in December last year to discuss the “injustice” of the family legal system.
But after being told a letter would be sent to Children’s Minister Edward Timson expressing Pete’s concerns, the frustrated protester decided to take matters into his own hands – by storming her office and staging a protest.
In a video Peter posted on his Facebook page, he said he hadn’t seen his teenage children for three-and-a-half years.
“I had a meeting with my MP, Sheryll Murray in December 2015 where I explained to her I have physical evidence of crimes committed by public servants to abuse fathers and their children.
“All she could manage was a letter to the Children’s Minister Edward Timson, a family law barrister.
“Our children are being abused for profit in these courts which are held in secret with strict reporting rules.
“Sheryll Murray is quite happy to talk about pot holes, but will not speak out about the abuse our children are suffering.”
The frustrated campaigner kept friends and family up to date on the day of his protest by posting regular pictures and statuses on his Facebook page.
He praised the “polite and courteous” efforts of the police officers who attended and extended his thanks to those that supplied him with hot drinks and biscuits.
Sheryll Murray, however, described Peter’s protest as “dangerous.”
“Whilst I am sympathetic to the plight of fathers who wish to have access to their children, individual cases should be dealt with through the legal system,” she said.
“What my constituent has done is dangerous and puts himself at risk. It is clearly not a sensible way of proceeding and I worry that he is hurting his own case.”
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