Saturday, August 27, 2011

Justice for all

To see how far the British justice system has gone down the pan, one just needs to look at this (above). Stephens stole jogging bottoms, T-shirts and shorts of an unknown monetary value from the Adidas store on New Street on August 8. Judge Inman told Stephens he had reduced his sentence because he handed himself in and also because he entered an early guilty plea.

Now compare and contrast that with the fate of filth like Andrew Laycock, at 58 a retired former council head of legal services (who will have sought the imprisonment of many Council Tax defaulters in his time). He walks free with a suspended sentence, having been given "credit for his plea" of guilty to possessing more than 5,700 indecent images and 17 counts of making indecent images of children.

Not that Birmingham is any stranger to such cases, having allowed this slime to go free. In total police discovered Grewal had downloaded 4,521 indecent pictures and 12 videos. About four percent of the images, involving children aged between seven and 13, were of the most serious kind

He was sentenced to a three-year community order and ordered to go on the sex offender's register for five years. Judge Michael Cullum told Grewal: "You have been involved in the receipt of images of the most vile and depraved nature". He said that the photos and movies, some of very young children, had been stored on two computers and that Grewal had also transferred some of them on to CD.

However he said what had saved him from going to prison was the fact that the offences had happened such a long time ago and the fact that he had pleaded guilty.

Being a judge also seems to help (above), who escapes with a 12-month community rehabilitation order after admitting twelve counts related to 75 pictures of naked and semi-clad boys aged between eight and 14 that he had downloaded from the internet.

It is interesting to see that so many judges quite clearly believe that child pornography is of considerably less importance than ripping off the odd corporate, especially when councillors are involved, hence former Lambeth councillor Toren Smith (above) getting a suspended sentence despite being found with 93,549 still images, and 777 videos – eleven of which were level five, the most serious and degrading kind.

Ex-mayors also get a break when it comes to downloading pornographic images of girls, as in Stewart Brown (above), who had indulged himself in this vice, being caught in possession of pictures, with some of the girls as young as three.

Brown had been a town councillor for more than twelve years and had represented the Calder Valley on Calderdale Council between 1996 and 2000. He had been Mayor of Hebden Royd in 2006. A retired senior environmental health officer, he had been standing for the Elland ward of Calderdale Council on the Labour ticket and, as part of his current election manifesto, has pledged to restore pride in Hebden Bridge.

In fact, the judges seem so keen to let council child pornographers off the hook that they let them go even when they plead not guilty, as here with Mabon Dane, charged with 16 counts of making indecent images of children. Said Judge David Goodin giving the ex-councillor a three-year supervision order: "There is no doubt that you have an unhealthy interest in young children."

The court heard that during an interview for his pre-sentence report Dane had continued to deny he had committed the offences and refused to answer a number of questions put to him by the probation officer, most of them about his childhood. "That is a concern as is your arrogance, there is no other word for it, with the preparing of the pre-sentence report," added Goodin.

Another one who walks free is a former council officer, admits how he would look at adult porn and "possibly also children". Michael Wallbank, prosecuting, told how when experts examined his equipment they found 13 indecent child pornography videos, each about five minutes long.

Yet Judge Brown sentences Carter to a three-year community order with supervision and orders him to attend the Sex Offenders' Programme run from Northumbria.

As the evidence builds, one can easily aver, the justice system takes looting far more seriously than child pornography. Thus, even as Manchester looters were being banged up, Judge Jonathan Geake was falling over himself to release primary school teacher, 39-year-old Matthew Scott Catherall (above).

Even (or perhaps especially) when the pornographer is found in the heart of the establishment, the judges rush to let them off, giving Eaton classics teacher Ian McAuslan, 58, nine months' imprisonment, suspended for two years.

Ordering him to be placed on the Sex Offenders' Register for seven years, Judge Christopher Critchlow said: "You have a fine record as a teacher and were clearly devoted to your profession. I give you the full credit for that long service and all that you have done in that career. It's a tragedy for you and all who know you that your career should end this way."

Certainly, and unlike looters, it seems that teachers have little to fear from the justice system. When Philip Scott admitted 10 counts of making and possessing indecent images of children, as well as two counts of possessing extreme pornographic images involving adult women, Judge Gareth Hawkesworth stopped short of sending him to jail. Instead, he handed him an eight-month suspended sentence and ordered him to sign the sex offenders register for 10 years.

Judges, it seems, simply cannot go too far in extending their sympathy and understanding to child pornographers. Even when ex-head Hugh Simon Evers is caught after downloading nearly 400 pictures and videos of underage girls – including children as young as three being sexually abused and images of girls as young as seven being raped, Judge William Wood gives him a break and suspends his sentence.

"Like anyone who has climbed high in a well-respected profession", said the honourable judge, "you have many good qualities which stand you in good stead, and result in my having to read the good reports from what people think of the way you have conducted your life, the benefit you have given to your society in various ways as a parent, and husband, and in the course of your profession".

Having worked for the BBC is not a handicap either, hence the fate of Martyn Smith, 44. Handing down an eight-month suspended prison sentence, Judge Andrew Goymer said some of the material was "quite unspeakable... and repulsive in the extreme. It involves serious sexual activity by adults with very young children indeed and any decent person would be appalled by it".

He added: "Whenever these indecent images are downloaded... somewhere in the world a child is being violated and abused in sometimes the most horrific ways in order to produce these images to satisfy the market there is in them. And that market is generated by people like you".

And, if the BBC gives you a free pass, so does being a vicar (above). Stone was found guilty of 16 specimen charges of making indecent photographs after his computer had been found to contain around 600 illegal pictures of children. Yet he walks free.

And then, of course, there is this excrement, the former Liberal Democrat councillor Christopher John Basson, who walks free from Westminster Magistrates' Court, despite stealing £12,000 from the State in fraudulently obtained incapacity benefits, while receiving nearly £26,000 in member's allowances from Camden Council. But, at least, he's only after the money.

If there is a logic here, it is difficult to see it ... other than it paying to wear a suit and have council connections, or a white-collar job. But, if kids on the streets don't take the system seriously, or give it any respect, you can hardly blame them. This is "The Man's justice", where kiddie-fiddlers roam the streets and looters go to jail. It stinks.