Wednesday, 22 December 2010

No, It Really Isn't A Good Year For British 'Justice'

Two robbers who were jailed for the brutal murder of a Colchester man have had their minimum jail terms reduced.
New evidence? Well, no. The facts of the case are pretty clear:
Graham Reeve, 55, was beaten, tied up and strangled at his flat in Charles Pell Road in July last year as his robbers tried to get him to tell them his bank card PIN.

In May, after being convicted of murder at Chelmsford Crown Court, Jon Richard Williams, 23, and Danny Howsego, 37, were jailed for at least 32 years each.
Some might say that wasn't long enough. But they don't get elevated to judgehood, clearly.
But, after an appeal by their lawyers, Lord Justice Thomas, Mr Justice Silber and Mrs Justice Sharp, sitting at London’s Court of Appeal, said the terms were too long and cut them to 29 years.

Lord Justice Thomas said the case was different from those in which victims were truly tortured by their attackers, wielding weapons, cutting off body parts and burning with cigarettes.
Wait, what?

We are constantly told that having the prison cell lights on for too long, the air con turned down too low, a barking dog (safely leashed) at your feet or a threat to release your name to your former terrorist chums is 'torture', according to the lawyers dealing with the extraordinary rendition cases at Gitmo.

So how, in the name of all that's holy, could being tied to a chair and beaten not be torture?

Well, the reasoning is...interesting. Let's hear from the panel:
Lord Justice Thomas said: “It is unfortunate that, in today’s society, these courts see what one might properly describe as torture, of the kind people would be more accustomed to seeing in the cinema or in history books.

“This is not that case. Although it is clear he was subjected, over a period of time, to a number of blows and was tied up, he was not tortured in the sense we have described.

“Secondly, it seems to us that, although it is true they must have sat down and planned to kill him to prevent detection, nonetheless this was not a premeditated murder in the sense of having been carefully planned ahead of time.”
Unless you cut bits off people, it's not torture. Are you listening, interrogators at Gitmo?

And if you decide to kill someone on the spur of the moment because you realise the consequences of letting them live after you've tortu - sorry, after you've applied 'forceful persuasion', that's not premeditated enough, so we'll take three years off your tariff...

Still, don't worry! The State isn't about to take risks with any more innocent lives:
Neither will be released after serving their minimum terms unless they can convince the Parole Board they are no longer a public danger.
Whew! That's all right th...

Oh:
He idolised Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe and repeatedly admitted his horrific bloodlust to psychiatrists, yet he was not locked up to protect the public because he was seen as ‘bad’ rather than ‘mentally ill’.

He even told a probation officer he would kill when he reached his 30s – and he did.

10 comments:

Lynne said...

Well at least Ken Clarke isn't taking an interest in letting them off lightly...yet.

Bucko said...

For a three year reduction on a 32 year sentance, I wouldn't have bothered.
They will probably be out long before that anyway, ragardless.

His definition of torture seems largely irrelevant. Tying up a 55 year old man in his home to get his pin number must be pretty terrifying, even if they didnt lay a hand on him.


Maybe the judge should be tortured to varying degrees, to see if he changes his mind.

allcoppedout said...

The guy who obviously had no intent to injure Robin Hood airport gets charged and convicted, yet these dangerous nutters never seem to be until they kill of maim someone. Get your mobile phone nicked and expect your mum to do more about it than the cops, for whatever reason. I'd like to know quite why the CJS now expects anyone to hold the faith.

RAB said...

Well now we know, spur of the moment killings are the way to go!

How much discount would I get if I offed a roomful? 9 or 10 say?

That's three years off for each... Hey looks like I'd be out shortly after sentencing!

The logic of this decision is just so so Bollocks! No wonder I left the law in the 80s, I could see where we were headed even then, sigh.

Brian, follower of Deornoth said...

Lord Justice Thomas had better watch his step. Anyone could tie him to a chair an beat seven shades of shit out of him and there isn't a jury in the land that would convict.

Pavlov's Cat said...

I've always had a problem with the British law definition of murder.

It always has to involve some degree of premeditation, as in a'plan'

Spur of the moment 'planning' apparently doesn't count as in this case.

I am sick and tired of hearing how someone went out with a knife 'to defend themselves' stabbed someone, who then died and it being regarded as 'unfortunate' and an 'accident'

You went out equiped with a weapon that you knew could take someones life, you knew that, yes you were unlucky they died.

but you're a fucking murderer in my book, it's clearly premeditated.

JuliaM said...

"Well at least Ken Clarke isn't taking an interest in letting them off lightly...yet."

He's been unaccountably quiet since his little outburst, hasn't he? I wonder if iDave had a few words...

"Maybe the judge should be tortured to varying degrees, to see if he changes his mind."

The queue to carry that out would rival the one at St Pancras for the Eurostar!

"I'd like to know quite why the CJS now expects anyone to hold the faith."

Me too.

JuliaM said...

"Well now we know, spur of the moment killings are the way to go!"

Absolutely!

"Lord Justice Thomas had better watch his step. Anyone could tie him to a chair an beat seven shades of shit out of him and there isn't a jury in the land that would convict."

:D

"You went out equiped with a weapon that you knew could take someones life, you knew that, yes you were unlucky they died."

Yes, we were supposed to be getting longer sentences for knife-carrying, on just that basis.

Didn't work out, did it?

PT said...

We all know that countries with the word "Democratic" in their official name, aren't.
So often, it seems, our senior judges' titles display similar irony.

Rob said...

"Secondly, it seems to us that, although it is true they must have sat down and planned to kill him to prevent detection, nonetheless this was not a premeditated murder in the sense of having been carefully planned ahead of time.”

Does anyone else see that the second bit completely contradicts the first? They sat down and planned to kill him, but this isn't premedidated murder in the sense that it wasn't carefully planned?

"m'Lord, I plead clemency because my clients' planning wasn't done to the appropriate ISO standard. They also do not have "investors in people accreditation". I beg that you let them go"