THE man accused of crimes including setting fire to UCAN has told a court there is a ‘bigger picture’ behind his case.

Delivering his closing speech at the six-week trial at Chester Crown Court, Philip Day – who has chosen to represent himself – told the jury he was not guilty of two counts of stalking, arson at UCAN in February 2018, and arson and burglary at a house in Essex.

Day, 56, also reminded jurors that it was up to the prosecution to prove the case against him, and that any perception they had of him did not play into that.

He said: “You may not like me, or think I am a nutcase and foolish, but you can’t convict me on that basis.

“The saying goes there is no smoke without fire, but you have to be sure who started that fire.”

He added: “One thing I do know is that evil is very present in the world, but often it’s hard to see where it is. It can be hidden just below the surface.

“Clearly there is a much bigger picture going on about the events that have happened. We just don’t know what that bigger picture is. Clearly, evil is still in the world.”

Day added that there were ‘too many unanswered questions’, pointing to a lack of forensic or eyewitness evidence at the fires. He also said that his campaign against UCAN had been within the law and did not amount to harassment or threatening behaviour

He said: “There was no focus on safeguarding [children at the school], only on safeguarding the school’s reputation.

“Everything by the appropriate channels failed. Only when the school failed to take the information and the police failed to take action was I forced to go public. What would you do?”

In cross-examination prior to the speech, Mark Connor, for the prosecution, challenged Day on his earlier comments that he ‘couldn’t be sure’ that a teacher had sexually abused a student.

It was this alleged incident which prompted a Facebook campaign against the school, the teacher – who cannot be named – headteacher Cath Green, and police and other bodies which he accused of covering up the issue.

Mr Connor said: “At any stage did you just stop and think ‘what if I am wrong about this?’

Day replied that it would be ‘absolutely impossible for me to have it wrong’ based on the information he had received.

When asked whether he may have been obsessed with the campaign, Day said it had been conducted in his spare time and that he ‘would consider protecting children and exposing paedophiles to be a healthy obsession’.

Mr Connor added: “You haven’t criticised the police and accused them of protecting a paedophile ring at the school. During cross-examination, did you put to them that they were involved in a cover up to protect paedophiles?

“You didn’t say it during this trial because there is not a shred of evidence that demonstrates your distorted conspiracy theory.”

Day said: “Sometimes it’s very difficult to distinguish between fact and fiction.”

Mr Connor added: “You add two and two together to get five. You distorted the truth. You do it time and time again.”

Day, of Saltash Close in Runcorn, denies all charges. The trial continues.