Thursday, 7 February 2013

How The Courts Protect Officers



There are a number of blogs out there highlighting the failure of the justice system to punish criminals and I won't make a habit of joining them. This case though just highlights how our justice system fails to protect anyone including those charged with upholding the law.

Two police officers intervened when five thugs were threatening a doorman. The thugs turned on the police and assaulted them both causing significant injuries. Three of the five were convicted of affray and one of assault after a week long trial.

Philip Rawlings was sentenced to 46 weeks in prison suspended for 2 years. David Rawlings and Michael Pulford were sentenced to 36 weeks in prison suspended for 2 years.

This is what the sentencing guidelines have to say regarding the offence of affray.

'Custody is the starting point in their sentencing decision but there is power to reduce the sentence by up to 1/3 for an early guilty plea, which may mean that custody can be avoided by the offender co-operating at the earliest stages. As an alternative to custody, the sentence may be a community punishment e.g. community service, which is served in the community.'
These three didn't plead guilty and because the attack was on police officers there were aggravating factors that should have meant an immediate prison sentence.

Our ineffective justice system will argue that the three received a prison sentence but the court chose to suspend it. A suspended sentence means no penalty. A suspended sentence means if you commit another offence within the 2 year period of its suspension you might have to serve the sentence.

Many years ago I was sucker punched in the cells by an offender. I had a black eye and four stitches in my eyebrow as a result. The offender pleaded guilty to ABH and was sentenced to 3 months imprisonment suspended for two years. A year later he was charged and convicted with ABH. He was fined £150 for that assault and the suspended sentence was not invoked.

Our justice system is so focused on reducing the prison population in order to save money it is of no deterrent effect at all. It is rewarding offenders and failing to protect the vast majority who uphold and obey the law.

29 comments:

  1. Sorry Lex,laptop malfunction.

    We are societies punchbags and I can't see that situation changing anytime soon.

    PS where are the usual trolls? The internet must be down in the nut-house.

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  2. "It is rewarding offenders and failing to protect the vast majority who uphold and obey the law."

    Lawyers reap bonanza harvests from our crazed judicial system. His interests have been hoisted high above the perceived necessity to 'protect the vast majority'.

    We are held in a grip which exploits the fears dividing State and citizen. And nobody should express surprise when criminal lawyers are intent on minimizing 'down time' for their recidivist clients.

    It is a helpless observation of major and minor parasites, the latter drawing free sustenance from a Nation host without actually killing it.

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  3. Yes and no melv. Years ago criminal lawyers had a moral code that would only allow them to defend someone to a certain level. Beyond that level they would encourage, if not demand, a guilty plea.

    Like our politicians, banks, corporate leaders Etc. criminal lawyers moral codes have completely disappeared in the frenzy to make money at all costs. To gain and retain 'clients' and bleed the legal aid system dry.

    Parliament is full of lawyers and there is self interest in allowing lawyers to be gluttons at the trough. It is the CPS, sentencing guidelines and completely ineffective deterrents in our system that allows persistent offenders to use the revolving door of justice over and over again whilst their lawyers stuff their wallets.

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  4. what a terribly sad account.

    why the insanity of a system so perverted in the cause to assist the offender and to punish the innocent. or even its own agents!

    I would assume that if I were to strike an officer I would be in a strict prison for several years.

    It would be just deserts.

    actually if I struck ANYONE I would expect a custodial sentence.

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  5. HOW ONE COURT PROTECTED POLICE OFFICERS:

    'A police officer who orchestrated a £10 million cigarette smuggling operation will pay back just £1, despite making £90,000 from the scam.
    PC Thompson, who led a racket importing cigarettes, drove a Porsche and lived in a five-bedroom home. In Newcastle Crown Court, prosecutors tried to claw back some of his £2 million criminal gains.
    PC Thompson told the judge he was penniless, despite making at least £90,000 from his crimes. The judge then made an order requiring the defendant to pay £1 under the Proceeds of Crime Act. (quiet police sniggering from gallery)
    Police colleague Anthony Lamb, who pocketed at least £5,000, must pay back 90p plus VAT. (police guffaws)

    David Lister, who pocketed £45,000, was by an amazing coincidence was also said to be lacking any available assets....and so must also pay just £1. (hysterical police laughter)
    It was said that these police officers used their knowledge of the legal system to evade millions of pounds of duty, producing letterheads and fake email addresses to hijack around 16 businesses in the North East as a front to hide the scam from the authorities.'

    'Fine' examples of court protection, lex?

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  6. I see you have been reading the Daily Mail again melv.

    You are off topic though. This comment would be better placed on the post entitled More on Failing Justice

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  7. Unlike,let's say the theft of a lawnmower,this seems a victim-less crime Melvin.But I bet you got very excited when you read it though?

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  8. Good evening, WC Jaded.

    I see that 'victimless crime' is no contradiction in terms to the semi-literate, my dear. How right you were never to have exhausted your brain with ojectivism and libertarianism.
    Never stand accused of being intellectually over-ambitious, Jaded. Return to your radiator and try a small reading aloud exercise.

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  9. Have I spotted a spelling mistake Melvin? Hang your head in shame and stop being so intellectually over-ambitious.
    Glad to see the word radiator has made in back in your post,I was missing it.

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  10. Melv,
    You are aware it was a POCA hearing?
    For the actual fraud Thompson, Lamb and Lister received sentences of 6, 5 and 2 years (with Thompson and Lister receiving maximum discounts for guilty pleas).

    Tang0

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  11. Tang0,
    POCA being applicable to cash related illegal transactions and forfeiture of such gains; quite so - and I thank you for an intelligent query.

    The credibility of the scheme was seriously undermined by the court's failure to make punitive examples of law enforcement officers who, in positions of trust which they abused and conspired, criminally applied their insider knowledge to profit through malfeasance....and then escape sanctions which would have been ruthlessly imposed upon 'ordinary' criminals.

    I was obliged to support lex in his topic highlighting how our justice system even fails to protect the rest of us from miscreants charged with upholding the law.



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  12. Melv,
    POCA isn't punitive per se - it is based on recoverable assets and estimations of criminal gain.
    If you haven't got any assets then there isn't a lot the court can do.

    The " sanctions which would have been ruthlessly imposed upon 'ordinary' criminals." were the jail sentences I highlighted.
    Pretty hefty for first time fraud offenders - no doubt due to the fact they were police officers.

    Tang0

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  13. I don't blame you for overlooking a court option to impose property sales/charges on the portfolios of criminal compatriots; the judge having already done so, Tang0. Exacerbating the problem is manifest in the reflex actions of your digits to misrepresent service vices.

    Such points of view as you have expressed, are established traits of hypocrisy and contempt which feature prominently in our self-serving police.

    Mitigating criminal colleague behaviour is thus widely entrenched in police conduct. I must remind you of thousands of police holding a second job or running a business (many with resultant conflicts of interest) to the detriment of their office. So it is that the Gadgetistas are dismissive of their general reputation for corruption, lying and manipulation. An attitude reducing an already pathetic public service to its best defence position as excuse-maker.

    Falling down fastest are those abetted by poor management to thieve paid time from their first job. How grateful they must be to lax supervision and a government even more experienced in the business of stealing and lying. For no private employer can maintain wages for deplorable services unless they are topped with stolen cash.

    Yet there appears to be some honour among thieves. The uniformed criminal escapes much punishment and there is now now doubting an entitlement to keep all his swag.

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  14. melv, this is where you are losing the plot.
    The officers involved in criminal and corrupt behaviour have been sacked and sent to prison. You won't find any police officers who have a problem with that. Good riddance.
    The only difference is that those police officers have, quite rightly, received a stiff deterrent sentence, something which other (non police) criminals never get, the retail riots excepting.
    You are getting your knickers in a twist because they had no assets seized. Perhaps they had spent it all? I don't know, but they haven't been treated any differently to any other criminal.
    What police officers do get annoyed about is the fact that many commentators assume police officers guilt the second any spurious allegation is made. Evidence and trial don't come into it where police officers are concerned.

    Your comments regards second jobs come from the Mail again. A very poor read. The Policing Minister, Damien Green, has announced that officers with second jobs must declare them as he is concerned that officers second jobs are conflicting with their role as a police officer.
    This is the biggest non story ever. Police officers already have to declare second jobs. You are not allowed a second job without the written consent of the Chief Constable. If there is any possible conflict then permission will be refused. Refusal is a regular occurrence.

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  15. Tango,Melvin wants police officers to be hung drawn and quartered for even minor offences.I think he may even be editing the Daily Mail from his secure unit.
    First time offenders would not have got such long sentences for these crimes had they not been police.He doesn't realise how soft the courts are on repeat criminals.
    I sighed about the second-job story rearing it's ugly head again.It must come out at least every month.
    Read between the lines gentle readers-why are so many police getting second jobs?
    Jaded

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  16. Melv,
    I don't blame you for overlooking a court option to impose property sales/charges on the portfolios of criminal compatriots; the judge having already done so, Tang0.

    I am not aware of anything being overlooked in these proceedings. Perhaps you could explain what recoverable assets have been?

    Exacerbating the problem is manifest in the reflex actions of your digits to misrepresent service vices.

    Such points of view as you have expressed, are established traits of hypocrisy and contempt which feature prominently in our self-serving police.


    I'm not sure what points of view you are objecting to - other than your misunderstanding of the court process they were subject to. I had hoped my comment might enlighten rather than exacerbate.

    Mitigating criminal colleague behaviour is thus widely entrenched in police conduct.

    I'm not clear how explaining the POCA proceeding acts as mitigating behaviour. I intended it to clarify poor Mail journalism.

    I must remind you of thousands of police holding a second job or running a business (many with resultant conflicts of interest) to the detriment of their office.

    I am not sure how you leap from having a second job to "many conflicts of interest". I won't try to explain the process involved in the declaration of a second job/business interest for fear of being further accused of exacerbating some perceived wrong. Suffice it to say that these second jobs include such "business interests" as kids football teams, running youth organisations and Territorial Army commitments.

    So it is that the Gadgetistas are dismissive of their general reputation for corruption, lying and manipulation. An attitude reducing an already pathetic public service to its best defence position as excuse-maker.

    I'll leave Gadget to speak for his blog, on his blog.

    Falling down fastest are those abetted by poor management to thieve paid time from their first job. How grateful they must be to lax supervision and a government even more experienced in the business of stealing and lying. For no private employer can maintain wages for deplorable services unless they are topped with stolen cash.

    Again, I fear an explanation of the process of both authorisation of, and participation in, a second job would be entirely wasted. You seem happy to draw conclusions that clearly are based on no knowledge whatsoever.

    Yet there appears to be some honour among thieves. The uniformed criminal escapes much punishment and there is now now doubting an entitlement to keep all his swag.

    Punishment is via a criminal sentence. I would be more than happy for them to have all their assets seized via POCA. It is interesting that you appear to assume I think any differently. However as I initially explained - no assets mean nothing to seize.

    Tang0

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  17. Hello, Tang0

    I regret time is rather limited this evening. I am happy to observe your newly found contentment in committing so much of your day to police blogs - perhaps without the hindrance of close supervision or indeed, the distractions of secondary/tertiary employment.

    Hi, lex.

    I trust ruffled feathers are now settled. Ensuring my sincerity as a police critic is never in doubt, is my adoption of the old 'Baker's dozen' principle.

    A pleasant evening to all. Cheers!

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  18. Dear Melv,
    Somewhat confused by your criticism of my "prolific" posting. 3 posts (now 4) over 2 days. Even police officers have time off.
    I look forward to your response to my previous post, perhaps when you have had an opportunity to learn something about subjects which you appear happy to criticise from a position of ignorance (or worse informed by the Daily Mail!).

    Tang0

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  19. melv, you will never ruffle my feathers.

    For a brief moment you seemed to have wanted to get involved in sensible debate. Unfortunately you have now reverted to type. Type being someone who spouts anti police drivel with little or no comprehension of the facts. When your lack of understanding is highlighted you then spout incomprehensible drivel and suggest 'I am considerably more clever than you.'

    You should not then be surprised that you are subject to ridicule and contempt.

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  20. A very good evening, lex.

    You are far more clever than I. Permit me to dispel the slightest doubt of it by taking refuge in naiveté. I accept without reservation your heated insistence that I believe your feathers were not ruffled. Needless to say, you can rely upon honest gullibility.

    And speaking of fools, most are aware that only the absolute truth appears on a police blog. Following WC Jaded's announcement on Inspector Gadget's blog of her 'middal-clas,educatid' credentials, I was content to conclude she belonged to a unique social strata and was probably more clever than both of us.

    I hope this clears any awkward misunderstandings and it may be an opportune moment to request that future ridicule and contempt is confined to short, comprehensible phrases of quality. Thank you.

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  21. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  22. Melv,
    In mimicry of your propensity (demonstrated above) to draw conclusions from things unwritten, your graceful apology is dutifully accepted.

    Tang0

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  23. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  24. Gents, I know he asked for ridicule and contempt to be brief but he did also mention quality.

    I too accept your apology melv and look forward to some sensible debate in the future.

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  25. That a few malleable police principles are preferable to none at all, should not be denied a little support.

    Removal of offensive comments submitted by cowardly, coarse, police colleagues, is inconsistent with your oft repeated tenet of preserving citizen posts 'just so members of the public can see what we have to put up with' (sic).

    Yet life is a compromise. Are you descending halfway to Gadget level or going all the way, lex?

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  26. Melvin,I have noticed that you are continually spelling the words "middle" and "educated" and attributing the mistakes to myself.Has your tin-foil hat been slipping?
    Once again I ask you (pointlessly) how come you are such an expert on police matters? By the way reading the Daily Mail every day or getting stopped once a year by Huddersfields finest (this yer car mate?) doesn't count.
    Sorry for the late reply,had a busy day at my second job,or was it my third?
    PS Calling me WC instead of PC is one of the funniest jokes i've ever heard.
    Jaded.

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  27. melv, I have removed at least one of your posts and a number of Rehills.

    I have said many times that I allow comments from anyone and I think it is useful for members of the public to see what sort of pwople we have to deal with in our day to day duties.

    I have removed two comments on this post as they are simply abusive. You assume they are from plebian police; I don't know if they were or not. One of the posts was from 'MOP' so this suggests it was not and that at least one member of the public has got the measure of you.

    I will remove comments that may amount to a criminal offence or which are libellous or simply abusive.

    I continue to welcome sensible debate but find this lacking in the average Daily Mail reader.

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  28. "I continue to welcome sensible debate but find this lacking in the average Daily Mail reader."

    I am in awe of your deductive powers, lex. I shudder to think what conclusions you draw from my love of Wagner and Bocklin.

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  29. I'm a modern sort of chap melv. Your private life is your own business.....;)

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