View Full Version : Collective insanity and the perversion of English Law

17-08-2011, 08:20 PM
......Sentencing Blackshaw to four years in a young offenders institution, Judge Elgan Edwards QC said he had committed an "evil act". He said: "This happened at a time when collective insanity gripped the nation. Your conduct was quite disgraceful and the title of the message you posted on Facebook chills the blood...

.....The revelation that magistrates were advised by justices' clerks to disregard normal sentencing guidelines when dealing with riot-related cases alarmed a number of lawyers who warn it will trigger a spate of appeals.
.... a crown court judge, Andrew Gilbert QC, made clear why he was disregarding sentencing guidelines when he said "the offences of the night of 9 August ... takes them completely outside the usual context of criminality".
He added: "The principal purpose is that the courts should show that outbursts of criminal behaviour like this will be and must be met with sentences longer than they would be if the offences had been committed in isolation. For those reasons, I consider that the sentencing guidelines for specific offences are of much less weight in the context of the current case, and can properly be departed from."
The Ministry of Justice's latest estimate, at midday on Tuesday, shows the courts have dealt with 1,277 alleged offenders of whom more than 700 have been remanded in custody. Two-thirds of the cases were in London.
By midday on Monday, 115 people had been convicted; more than three-quarters of those were adults. About 21% of those appearing before the courts have been juveniles. The proportion of alleged youth offenders was higher in Nottingham, Birmingham and Manchester. An MoJ spokesperson said: "Everyone involved with the courts and prison service has put in a huge effort to make that possible and that work will continue."
But doubts are now being expressed about the fairness of some sentences. For example, one student has been jailed for six months for stealing a bottle of water from a supermarket.
Sally Ireland, policy director of the law reform organisation Justice, said: "The circumstances of public disorder should be treated as an aggravating factor and one would expect that to push up sentences by a degree, but not by as far as some of the cases we have seen.
"Some instances are completely out of all proportion. There will be a flurry of appeals although, by the time they have been heard, those sentences may already have been served.
" There's a question about this advice [from justices' clerks] and whether it should have been issued at all. We would expect them to be giving advice [to magistrates] in individual cases rather than following a general directive."
Rakesh Bhasin, a solicitor partner at the law firm Steel & Shamash, which represents some of those charged following the riots, said some reported sentences seemed to be "disproportionate".
Paul Mendelle QC, a former chairman of the Criminal Bar Association, said: "The idea that the rulebook goes out the window strikes me as inherently unjust. It sets all manner of alarm bells ringing. Guidelines are not tramlines. There are guidelines and they take account of aggravating and mitigating circumstances.
"There have been rulings following the Bradford riots and Israeli embassy demonstrations that said which sort of guidelines should be followed. I don't see why [magistrates] should be told to disregard these."
The judiciary and the MoJ have denied that they were involved in circulating the advice to justices' clerk last week.


And collective insanity grips the nation still

C. Flower
17-08-2011, 08:25 PM
And collective insanity grips the nation still

And utter foolishness. There will be successful appeals, and the divide in the country will deepen.

Cases of very young people being jailed for standing in the street "thinking about looting" go beyond any bounds of recognisable justice.


The rep pf the Young Tories for every kind of hooliganism and vandalism is of course legendary.

17-08-2011, 09:09 PM
Anyone remember Judge Jeffreys (Stuart era)?....'twas ever thus.

Transportation to the US, and then Australia? Newgate jail? Collected works of Charles Dickens?

'tis deja vu all over again...;):rolleyes:

18-08-2011, 02:15 AM
And utter foolishness. There will be successful appeals ....

Without question.

Sam Lord
18-08-2011, 04:37 AM
The cops in Vancouver are now on the defensive because I month after the Vancouver riots there has still not been a single charge laid.


Could this cop really be saying what he appears to be saying:

Staff Sgt. Lee Patterson, who has served as a police officer in both Britain and Canada, said at the press conference that the two situations are entirely different because British police have many more legal powers in terms of laying charges, and England's court processing is different.

Patterson said while Vancouver's riot broke out spontaneously and was a gathering of sports spectators, in Britian, it was a social injustice march that sparked the ruckus.

Though both events involved youth, Patterson said most in Vancouver were from "financially stable backgrounds."

wtf :confused: