Nine schoolboys are facing years behind bars for a 'punishment' gang-rape on a 14-year-old girl who had 'disrespected' the gang's leader.Seems like an open and shut case to me. Throw the book at them! But wait:
The boys were aged as young as 13 when they took it in turns to attack their victim.Hmm, I wonder where this is leading…?
One youth told the victim, now 16: 'I can't help you now, I'm with my boys.'Ahhh, it’s their ‘culture’, we mustn’t be too hard on them…
An order prohibits publishing the identities of the youths, who are all members of a gang called the Kingshold Boys.Best we not see what kind of ‘children’ these are. After all, the wrong inferences might be drawn…
Judge Wendy Joseph QC said: 'One of the things I think is so sad about this case is I'm absolutely sure that she was telling the truth when she said that (one of you) said you could not help her because you were with your boys now.You can almost hear the ‘…unfortunately’ that she wisely leaves off the end of that sentence, can’t you?
'Essentially it wasn't about you setting out to do what you did, it was about you setting out to stick with your mates. You have each been convicted of a terrible series of crimes and the only sentence I can pass will be one of custody.'
Judge Joseph ordered pre-sentence reports, adding: 'They are very young - I want to know what's been going on in their backgrounds.'Ah, the pre-trial report! The saviour of many an inclined-to-be-lenient judge or magistrate.
By the time the panoply of social workers, youth liaison officers, probation officers and child psychologists assigned to these wastes of oxygen have finished their magnum opuses, Judge Wendy will probably haul the victim back to the stand and criticise her for not being more understanding and forgiving of them due to their ‘terrible upbringing’…
Let’s take a closer look at Judge Wendy.
She doesn’t seem too concerned about knife crime or contempt for the justice system:
Langston was yesterday found guilty of contempt but Judge Wendy Joseph QC bailed him to reappear at Snaresbrook crown court for sentencing on December 8.Not really all that concerned with protecting the public, or even her colleagues then…
She said: "There is always the risk he will end up hurting someone really badly or even kill them and spend the rest of his life in prison."
Langston, who had been drinking heavily before coming into court, even reportedly threatened to punch his own barrister Claire Harden after she went down to the cells to visit him.
And in her former role of defence, she secured the release of a former PE teacher who abused boys with behavioural problems because he’d since become ‘a good husband’:
Representing him, Wendy Joseph QC said more time had passed since the allegations than Figes had been alive when they occurred, and added that he was now a good husband to his wife, Helen.Fair enough, Wendy. What’s a few abused boys, after such a long time, eh? Best we just all forget about it…
She said: "The passage of time since 1973-1974 is not far short of 30 years. His behaviour in that time bears him some credit, perhaps more than anything else in his life."
Bus she obviously now feels keenly for those who are wronged by the justice system – as long as they are the ones in the dock, that is:
A judge has said sorry to a man who stabbed three police officers during a drink and drug-fuelled rampage.In other words, he only stabs coppers when he’s had too much to drink or taken too many drugs, so why worry so much…?
As violent Jonathan Eade, 20, stood in the dock at Snaresbrook Crown Court, Wendy Joseph QC took the surprising step of apologising for the length of time it would take to prepare pre-sentence psychiatric reports.
Ms Joseph said: “I know how frustrating this (delay) is. I’m not going to pretend that you won’t receive a long prison sentence but it could be a determinate or non-determinate sentence and so there’s a difficulty here and we must get this right.
Ms Joseph added: “On the face of it (Eade) would appear to be very dangerous, but the other side of the coin is that all his violence tends to be directed towards particular sorts of people, and that may be easier to control than widespread violence that explodes everywhere.
Ladies and gentlemen, the English ‘progressive’ judge in its full winter plumage. A frequent visitor to our courts, though it lives far from the crime-ridden and unsafe inner cities.
Not so rare a bird now as it once was. Some might say there’s a link there….