Wednesday 29 February 2012

The ‘Pussy Pass’ – Can Even Be Played After Sentencing!

A young mum who giggled after leaving an innocent man fighting for his life has had her sentence cut following an appeal to the country's top judges.
Note that description – ‘young mum’. Conjures up quite a bucolic image, doesn’t it? The reality is somewhat different:
Michelle Roberts, 19, of Zulu Road, New Basford, admitted causing grievous bodily harm with intent after she and boyfriend Paul Creighton attacked 37-year-old Stuart Flynn.

Roberts, who also admitted producing cannabis and breaching a conditional discharge, was locked up for eight-and-a-half years at Nottingham Crown Court in September.

But senior judges cut her sentence to eight years after ruling that her detention terms should have run concurrently, rather than consecutively. She will be entitled to automatic release after serving four years.
If I had my way, there’d be no such thing as a concurrent sentence.

Why does she deserve leniency?
Roberts' lawyers claimed her sentences for the three offences should have been concurrent because she is young and had not been in custody before.
Translation: ‘Hasn’t been caught/got her pussy pass before appearing in court before…’
Mr Justice Maddison agreed, saying: "We do accept, given the length of the major sentence and the age of the appellant, that it would have been appropriate to impose the other sentences concurrently with each other and concurrent to the eight-year sentence."
I guess idiot Judge Maddison doesn’t have any teenage sons who might fall foul of this skank and the next man she hooks up with when she gets out…

Post Title Of The Month

...goes to Angry Exile:

Quote Of The Month

A double edition this month.

First off the blocks, Woman On A Raft on the subject of the Peter and Hazel Bull appeal:
"It is, and was, always about trying to force the public, and especially the orthodox Christians, to accept civil partnership as marriage, which is why Hall and Preddy went to Chymorvah and not Chymorgen."
And then NickM from 'Counting Cats...' extols the joys of computer gaming:
"Playing Civ was enormous fun because like every other computer game I had ever played which was good (and not utterly abstract) it was an opportunity for make believe to be real. I have shot down MiGs over the Yalu and nursed a crippled Sabre back to Kimpo and dead-sticked the landing (I imagine the virtual crew chief wasn’t happy with the state of the kite). I have driven racing cars and run body-parts across Downtown on Titan under withering fire from the Klamp-G gang. I have stormed the beaches of Normandy and I have not only seen attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion - I was the one who launched the missiles…"

Post Of The Month

Mark Wadsworth notes the unintended hilarity in this story about Hugh Fearnly-Whittingstall's misfortune.

Entitlement Writ Large…

In fact, writ very large:
A pregnant mum-of-nine said her family are all suffering ill health because of a damp and mouldy housing association home.
I can’t wait for the roll call….

*deep breath*

Here goes!
Iona Heaton, 43, partner Paul Brown, 45, and their children Kaiden, nine months, Zak, two, Keegan, three, Kian, four, Elle, six, Kain, seven, Jade, 16 and Shannon, 17…
Yikes! It's the Popular Culture full house!
…all share a four-bedroomed Twin Valley Home in Oozehead Lane, Blackburn.
‘Oozehead Lane’..? Seriously?
She said: “Twin Valley come out, and out again, but nobody does anything about the spring underneath, or about the damp problem.

“All the kids have asthma now, and we’re constantly back and forth to the doctors for antibiotics.

“I have to have five children sleeping in my bedroom with me because their rooms are so freezing and damp.

“Me and my partner argue all the time because it’s so stressful living in a house like this.

“Because nothing gets done, I’ve asked to move, but they say we can’t because they haven’t got a house big enough for all of us.”
And that’s the council’s fault, is it?
The family survive on metal polisher Paul’s £200 a week wage and total benefits of £575 a week.
Maybe that’s a clue to not breed yourself out of house and home?

But no. It’s ‘er ‘uman rights, innit?
Iona said: “I’m one of eight children and have always wanted a big family. I’ve told Paul we are stopping after this one, but he won’t have the snip so I’ll have to.
Definitely a man you should breed with, love. Quite a catch…
“My mum doesn’t speak to me because of all the children. If people don’t like it, then tough. That’s just their opinion.”
Except, it’s not. It’s their money.
Ian Rumsam, head of repairs at Twin Valley Homes, said: “Following an inspection this week, we have confirmed that the source of the problem is from a blocked drain in the privately rented property next door. As a goodwill gesture, to resolve the problem caused to our tenant, we have cleared the blocked drain and are tending to a blocked downspout at our tenant’s home.”
I think you’re trying to fix the wrong problematic downspout there, chum…

Tuesday 28 February 2012

Here We Go Again…

A clubber who claimed she was sexually assaulted after a night out has been cautioned after admitting she made it up.
Oh, just cautioned?
She claimed the assault happened after she went clubbing in McClusky’s in Kingston on Saturday, February 18, but she was arrested three days later after investigations failed to corroborate her story.

She then told police her claims were a fabrication.
Are they going to trot out the same old flannel as…

Why, yes. Yes, they are:
Detective Inspector Andy Gallagher said: “Many hours of police time were spent on this investigation, including on extensive CCTV viewing and witness inquiries.

“This took resources away from genuine inquiries with genuine victims. The victim was lucky to simply receive a caution for this appalling waste of police time as it was her first offence.

“We will continue to deal with any allegations of sexual crimes with sensitivity and speed and will always listen, but we will not tolerate false and time-wasting allegations and will pursue the people who make them.”
Just not too far or too fast, eh?
Anyone who makes up an allegation of rape could face a charge of perverting the course of justice, according to the Crown Prosecution Service. A lesser charge of wasting police time carries a maximum penalty of six months’ imprisonment and a £2,500 fine.
Yes, rather like the Lottery’s slogan ‘It Could Be You’, it probably won’t be though.

Naturally, the sisterhood are starting to get a bit jittery:
Yvonne Traynor of Rape Crisis South London warned the case would deter women who had been assaulted from coming forward.

She said: “
[False allegations] very, rarely happen.

do not want the public to think this is a common occurance.”
Surely the public can make up their own minds?

What are you suggesting, love? That no-one reports these cases, because it’s inconvenient for you?
She said police research showed the number of false reports across all crimes was 3 per cent and she was worried stories about false allegations might make jurors less likely to believe alleged victims.
You aren’t comparing like with like, there, though. It’s pretty easy to report a false rape, and less so when you report your car stolen, and the police check to see if you ever owned one in the first place…

And when you've got women happily inventing murder just to get a bit of attention and a boost to their career, I really don't think the public's going back to believing that women don't lie about rape, do you?

Getting Disenchanted With The Greens..?

Tenants should be stopped from buying council homes, according to council chiefs.

Brighton and Hove City Council’s minority Green administration believes selling more local authority properties will only deepen the housing crisis in the city.

The views, which the council says represents its 13,000 tenants and leaseholders, have been submitted to the Government as part of a national consultation on the right to buy scheme.
So, do they ‘represent their tenants’? Well…
lindi_lmf says...

Why shouldn't people here have the opportunity of buying their homes? They would be allowed a huge discount and where do the Greens expect the money to come from to build more social housing?

If tenants have worked hard, saved money and looked after their property, they should have the same chance as anybody else to be a home owner.
Quite so.

Oh, there’s plenty of agreement with the council, and the usual blaming of ‘this Tory government’ for everything, but there’s also encouraging signs that the bloom is well off the rose:
BeeJam says...

i'm getting
a bit fed up with these Greens. I've voted Green for the last 6 years or so but they are starting to really get my goat. I have an allotment - so they want to not just double but triple the amount i pay over three years. I am also saving to buy my BHCC council house but now they want to take that away from me too. It's not about RTB, it's about being able to keep enough of the money to build new homes. I'm not rich, but i work and am not on any benefits... - be careful Greens you are targeting the very people who put you where you are now.
Oh, dear….
lindi_lmf says...

What I find galling is that
the future leader of the Council, Jason Kitcat, had a very privileged public school education. Whether by assisted place or not, he had opportunies which are denied to many young people here.

Now he, and his party, want to draw up the ladder and deny the aspirational working class the chance of a good free school and chance to buy their home.
And the real reason for a goodly chunk of our ‘housing crisis’ gets a look in too:
ray ellerton says...

Right to Buy would be fine if the revenue raised from sales were re-invested in suitable council housing
for young LOCAL families, preferably those with a job....
I’ve a feeling the Greens are going to find themselves one-term winners.

Council Shenanigans...

A council in the Midlands insists it will press on with plans to develop a whole new village on green belt land near Pitsea – despite being warned it is unlikely to get planning permission.
Yes, I'll save you the trouble of firing up Google Earth; Pitsea is nowhere near the Midlands!
Nottinghamshire County Council wants to build as many as 1,300 homes on 120 acres of land at Little Chalvedon Hall, off Pound Lane.

The council paid £4.2million for the site a year ago as an investment for its pension fund.
Sounds like it invested it about as well as all those councils caught up in the Iceland debacle, doesn't it? As Mark Wadsworth points out, it works only if you can grant yourself planning permission.
The website suggests the development could include a small shopping centre, a primary school, a recreation ground and sports facilities.
And they just can't understand why Basildon are being so intransigent about it! Who wouldn't want such largesse?
Dave Newberry, director of Meridian Strategic Land, the company co-ordinating the plans for the council, said: “This is a perfect location for a strategic site of this size.

“North Benfleet does not yet have a centre as such, which this will bring. We want to engage with residents and the parish council on the plans.”
The residents don't seem to want to engage with you, though. They aren't all that chuffed about more development.
The proposals have already provoked a public row between Basildon Council and the Midlands county council.

Basildon Council leader Tony Ball and chief executive Bala Mahendran have written to their counterparts in Nottinghamshire, asking why Basildon Council was not consulted before the site was bought.

Mr Ball’s letter warned Basildon would allow no development on the site for at least 20 years under his council’s clearly-defined green belt policy...
Some people are going to be drawing a pension before they can build...
He added “It is not for Basildon to give up valuable green belt to fund another council’s pensions.

“It is also not good practice to risk a pension fund on speculation. Our position on protecting the green belt is quite clear.”
Perhaps the best suggestions for halting this come from the comments:
shallotman says...

Tell them we propose to site the new travellers site along side it.
resident3 says...

Can't believe they would waste time on money on this project.

Basildon Council have clearly stated their policy on Green Belt development.

The attempted DF development was declared illegal.

Can't see the difference between an individual buying Green Belt land and a County Council buying Green Belt land.

Notts CC are just speculating in the same way as DF illegals.

No better than chancers, betting with pension money in the hope of making a killing.
Indeed! I wonder what tack the 'Guardian' will take?

Labour Councillors Forget That Old People Vote…

…the young and the underclass, however, not so much:
Labour last night pledged to axe a council tax discount for “well-off” pensioners in Southampton to avert proposed hikes in the cost of care and services for the disabled.
And how do they plan to identify ‘well off’ pensioners?

Of course, it doesn’t really matter, since they haven’t got a hope in hell of getting in to implement it.
Opposition councillors urged ruling Tories to scrap the ten per cent discount, worth £1m, as Conservative council leaders agreed budget plans to axe 200 jobs to help save £14m.
It fell on deaf ears, as you might expect.
Labour, which aims to seize power at the Civic Centre in May elections, warned that proposed Tory cuts will fall disproportionately on the elderly and vulnerable.
So, taking away a rebate for those same ‘elderly’ (unless it was means tested) wouldn’t help, would it?
Group leader Councillor Richard Williams said: “In tough times like these, the better off should shoulder more of the challenges, not those with the least. That’s why we want to reallocate the £1m rich pensioners’ council tax discount to services that help many more elderly and vulnerable people.”
It’s just sound bites, isn’t it? You’ve no idea how many are actually ‘rich’ and it’d cost far more to identify them and administer this cut than you’d save.

And just what would you spend any savings on anyway?
Labour would also save the Mount Pleasant community language service, protect the street-cleaning budget and overturn a £90,000 cut in support to people suffering domestic violence, Cllr Williams said.
Great! I’m sure Great Auntie Doris will happily forgo her council tax rebate knowing it’s going to immigrants, the underclass and services that the council should never be cutting in the first place.

And I’m sure she’ll vote for you as a result.

Monday 27 February 2012

I Think John Bell Speaks For Us All…

Mr Bell spent 35 years living and working in the Far East as a director of the production of clothes for major high street stores such as H&M, Debenhams and Next, and received an OBE for his work in stamping out child labour in Bangladesh. He only returned to his home town of Bournemouth in the past four years, and was shocked to find he was not safe.

“I could be dead, just from sitting in my car in Poole Road,” he said.

“It was a shock to me to come back to Bournemouth and find it uncivilised for an elderly person to go out alone. I didn’t expect to find my home town full of crooks and criminals.”
Those who have spent their working lives abroad must dream of a return to the England they knew. How cruel to find it’s often even
less law-abiding than the places they recently left…
Bournemouth Crown Court heard last week that Bissett thought the car was a taxi, was “wholly apologetic” and had been so drunk he couldn’t remember the incident.

Clearly, though, not that apologetic:
Mr Bell still cannot lift up his arm and has to take prescribed painkillers just to be able to sleep at night.

But he is determined not to let the attack affect his life, and still goes out to collect his early morning paper.

However, he has spent thousands of pounds on carers and on a mobility scooter and has been told there will be no compensation from his attacker to help him cover those costs.
Mr Bell must be wondering whether it would have been better to stay in the Far East.

Perhaps Epping Council Read Scottish Newspapers?

A campaign has been launched for dogs to be kept on a leash near a children’s football club in the wake of an attack in which a six-year-old from the area was mauled by a bull terrier.

Roding Valley Recreation Ground in Rectory Lane, Loughton, is used by scores of dog walkers daily, but members of Shiners FC, that is based in the park, say that they often arrive on Saturday mornings to find the pitch covered in dog mess.
And the mess left behind is only half the problem:
Alf Fajardo, 53, who is the club’s chairman, said: “On Saturday a Staffordshire ran on to the pitch and attacked the ball. I asked the owner to put the dog on a leash and the amount of abuse I got back was unbelievable.

“It is a miracle one of the kids has not been attacked. If one of them tried to get the ball back the dog could have gone for them.”
Perhaps you should play baseball instead of football? I’m sure the bats would come in handy…
…the club has asked the dog warden at Epping Forest District Council to put up some signs requesting that walkers keep their pets on a lead but had been told that there were not enough resource patrol the area and ensure that people complied.
Or, as is rather more likely, they’ve seen the writing on the (Scottish) wall:
Litter wardens are to wear stab-proof vests after being attacked by dog owners who refuse to pick up their pets’ poo.

A spate of assaults and threats led Edinburgh City Council to issue the vests to staff responsible for handing out fines to offenders.
What the hell sort of society have we got now?

And When Was That..?

Andrew Bailey, mitigating, said Clark had shown remorse and was drunk at the time.
When he committed the burglary? Or when he 'showed remorse'?
Judge David Tremberg told Clark: "Community orders have failed to curb your offending."
Shocker, eh?

I Thought The Welsh Hobby Was Choral Singing..?

A family of eight desperate to move out of their tiny council house said they were shocked when the council suggested they “buy fewer toys” to make room.
Personally, I’d have suggested they buy more toys.

And play with them themselves, rather than with each other!
Christian Lorey, 30, and his 33-year-old partner Hayley Green said life is chaos with six children crammed into their three-bed home in Heol Cefni, Caemawr.
I suppose they could have reconsidered having some of those children then? But no, of course not. It’s their ‘uman right, look you…

OK, let’s take the roll call, shall we?
Corey aged 13, Lewis aged 12, Nikkisha aged ten, Morgan aged nine, McKenzie aged four and Mason aged two.
Hmmm, make’s you wonder about the gap between McKenzie and Morgan, doesn’t it? What was Mr Lorey doing rather than plowing Ms Green’s fertile field?
“The kids are fighting all the time because it is so cramped.

“They are getting no sleep because of it and waking up shattered.

“One of them is only two and he wakes everyone else up all the time.

“The house is so full it really isn’t comfortable.”
And who’s fault is that? Not the poor benighted taxpayers of Caemawr, I’ll be bound.
Swansea Council did not confirm or deny it had told the family not to buy any more toys.

But a spokesman said in a statement: “The housing service is aware of the family’s current housing need and their request to move to larger accommodation.

“But Mr Lorey is limiting his options because he has told us he only wants to move to a particular area of the city.

“We will continue to provide advice and assistance in order to achieve a positive outcome for Mr Lorey and his family.”
A couple of housebricks should do it for the ‘assistance’…
Mr Lorey confirmed the council had offered him another house, but he said this was still too small for six children.

He also said he did not want to move into a “worse area” of Swansea than the one in which he currently lives.
I’m not going to suggest that the mere fact of Mr Lorey moving into an area with his brood will automatically make it a worse area, dear me, no…

How can he afford this, you ask? Well, simples!
Mr Lorey suffers from depression and does not work. His partner is a housewife.
There you go! They aren’t paying – we all are!

Sunday 26 February 2012

No Surprise Here…

All advance tickets have been snapped up for talk by a celebrated academic
Oh? On what?
… who believes that the inequality symbolised by bankers’ bonuses is at the root of almost every social problem.
Ah. Well, yes, of course they were snapped up.

Who doesn’t want to be told that it’s all someone else’s fault, and they should be held responsible?
Professor Richard Wilkinson, of Colton, near Tadcaster, who has travelled around the world speaking about his theory, is due to deliver his talk Inequality: The Enemy Between Us’to a sell-out audience at Clements Hall in South Bank tomorrow.

The academic suggests that the greater the gap between the rich and poor in a developed society, the worse off its people are overall.

Countries with higher levels of inequality, such as the USA, Britain and Portugal, suffer from a higher level of social problems including teenage pregnancy, crime rates, drug addiction, reduced life expectancy, mental illness and obesity, which has a negative impact on everyone within society, irrespective of wealth.

Countries without such a significant gap between rich and poor, such as Japan, Norway and Sweden, have lower rates of such social problems.
And we’ll just totally ignore the vast difference in history, and in social and cultural mores, between those two groups of countries. They can’t possibly have anything to do with it, right?
Speaking about bankers’ bonuses, Prof Wilkinson said: “The reason why we have become so unequal is those at the top have run away from the rest of us. It’s the rich running ahead and I think it has to be stopped. We have to deal with tax evasion. We also have to have employee representatives on company boards, as happens in most of Europe.

“The bonus culture is a reflection of a complete lack of democracy. These people feel they can do what they like and we must make them accountable.”
Do we make everyone accountable, then, prof, or just The Bankers?

Do we make the people who take out loans with loansharks accountable? People who overspend on their credit cards? People who lie about their income to get a mortgage?
The retired professor, who currently has a visiting professorship at the University of York, is the co-author of The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better, along with Professor Kate Pickett, also of the University of York.
They have spoken around the world to audiences including religious groups, Government groups and charities.
Oh, I’m sure they have.

It’s Clearly Isn’t That Much Of A Hellhole…

A young offenders institution (YOI) has been criticised for its "extremely high" use of restraint on detainees.
By anyone we should pay any attention to whatsoever?
The Howard League for Penal Reform said there had been an almost nine-fold rise in restraint used in a year at Ashfield YOI.
Ah. Answered that question.
Where non-compliance was used as the reason for restraint, a small sample that was analysed backed up managers' assertions that it was used to prevent fights escalating between young people.
Isn’t that a good thing? It certainly seems to have been a concern of the bleeding hearts…
"In five of six months, failure to obey staff instructions was frequently recorded as the issue leading to the use of force," said Ms Crook.

"Only three years ago the institution recorded
more than 600 attacks on inmates in one year - the highest number of every jail, including adults, in the country.

"This jail has a history of failing children and the public."
Make up your mind, love! Either the guards go hands off and the inmates beat the living daylights out of each other, or they restrain the little darlings to stop them from beating the living daylights out of each other.

Which is it? Or would you rather they weren’t locked up at all? Probably.

But that’d put you at odds with…well, a lot of those inmates:
Staff at Ashfield said many boys did not want to be released when they came to the end of their sentences and some were not welcomed back by their families.

Ashfield's deputy director Gary Willding said: "We had one incident when a group of young people who had left Ashfield went straight to the car park, broke into staff cars and then waited to be arrested, just to get back within custody."

H/T: CJ Nerd via email

Spellcheck, People!


Proofread, People!

FFS! How many times..?

Sunday Funnies

Well, I'll drink to these!

Saturday 25 February 2012

The ‘It’s All The Fault Of The Government!’ Generation

Joe Paxton on the prospects for his generation
I'm 24, a bit of a geek, spend a bit too much time online, and in front of the Xbox. But mostly I look for work, like an ever-increasing proportion of everyone I knew from school, college and university.
Well, good for you! And good luck with it, I really mean that. Clearly, you'll need it.
Like most graduates, I'm in vast amounts of debt. I owe £18,000 (and rising) to the Student Loans Company, £3,000 to Halifax and £750 to HSBC. Despite this, I don't regret my degree course for a second (I have a BSc in genetics from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth).
So, what does vex you so much you've written a column for the 'Guardian', then?
No, my demons reside at the jobcentre.
Ah. I see where we're going now...
The Jobcentre has done nothing but hinder me in my search. When I was asked what qualifications I had, and I told them about my degree, Btecs, A-levels, AS-levels and GCSEs, they responded with "Are you sure? Have you got certificates to prove that?"
Well, yes. How strange. Why can't they just take your word for it, right? No-one else would expect to have to...

Oh. Wait. This guy would. And he's a scientist too!
To be patronised and looked down on didn't faze me, but what did was the suggestion by a personal adviser that I take my degree off my CV, saying it might be scaring employers.
Which is good advice, and might actually help you. Isn't that what you want?
Things degenerated when another adviser referred me to the "flexible new deal" programme. They made me attend a course at Pertemps People Development Group. This was a few rooms of rented-out office space with a projector, whiteboard and a few computers. My assignment was to complete a large black folder's worth of worksheets, with topics like "verbal and non-verbal communication" which was more or less sit up and smile, and interview techniques with innovative methods such as not swearing and wearing a shirt and tie.
That's not a problem with the system itself. There are, indeed, people who need help with that sort of thing, it's just that you've been mistakenly assumed to be one of them.
After this my adviser decided that work experience was all that mattered. This was despite the fact that I already had work experience. As a student I was a "team member" at McDonald's, "customer assistant" at Morrisons and even briefly worked for an online retailer, managing their website. This was all on my CV.
Again, not a fault of the system itself, but of the idiocy of the guy handling your case.
Why then did the "adviser" refer me to the mandatory work activity that is designed for young people who require "discipline" as they have "never had a job".
I don't know. Did you ask him?
I keep hearing claims that this scheme is voluntary. But I've got a form that uses the phrase "you must" three times, the phrase "you will" once and the word "mandatory" five times. I can't seem to find the word "voluntary".
Again, did you ask anyone to clarify? Isn't that what scientists do, they question seemingly contradictory data until they get an answer?

Right now, I think I'D like to check out your credentials too!
I was asked the other day by a friend, "Isn't this fair, though? I have to get up really early and slog away all day, why shouldn't you?" What he meant was, "I am made to suffer hardship. I want to see you suffer too." This is the start of bullying.
No. No, it's really not. No more than the Workfare programme is 'slavery'. You don't help your case with such overdramatisation.
The government is bullying the unemployed, and is inciting hate towards us. It's not my fault that there are no jobs. It's not my fault others have to work long hours for very little pay. It's the government's fault.
Yes, sweetie, it's the government's fault. Everything's the government's fault.
You should look to it for answers, instead of demanding them from us, the scapegoats. Ask why it signs off on its staff avoiding taxes, or on paying bankers huge salaries (and bonuses) of taxpayers' money.
Oh, wow! Wow...

I really hope you aren't using your real name, because if I were running an employment agency or a big HR recruitment company, your name would get noticed, all right. And not for a good reason...
I suspect, for my generation, there is no future. We were supposed to be the next set of great thinkers. What do you think we think about now? How to stay out of poverty. How to avoid being made a slave.
You're no slave. But you are a whiny little manchild who thinks the world should bow down before your greatness. Nothing wrong with that, we all feel that way when we're young. Usually, we grow out of it.

There's hope for you. Just.

H/T: ByrneToff via Twitter


…you get them when you toss a stone into a pool of water, and they spread to the furthest edges of it.

You also get them, it seems, when you lift a curtain on social services failings in one borough, and they affect all others:
A newborn baby was left in the care of his homeless, alcoholic mother, following a catalogue of failings by health and social services.

A serious case review into the death of the child, known only as Baby Robert, revealed the blunders by agencies involved in his care.
Because when a newborn dies in the care of an alcoholic homeless woman, you just know someone’s screwed up somewhere!
Baby Robert was just 34 days old when he died in Southend in 2009.

His lifeless body was found in bed with his mother, who had “consumed a large amount of alcohol the night before his death”.
How terribly unexpected…

But this time, the excuses are actually rather novel:
The review by the Local Children Safeguarding Board, headed by Southend Council, was carried out in 2010, but only came to the Echo’s attention after someone alerted the paper. At the time of Baby Robert’s death, Southend Council was said to have been swamped with additional work due to the publicity surrounding the death of Baby P in Haringey, North London.
Yes, it was ‘OMG! Check all our ducks are in a row!’ time as every social services department in the country scrambled to see if they had a potential Baby P lurking in their files.

And Southend did, but still seemingly missed it despite this additional pressure:
The review into the Southend case concluded the mother was known to social services, having been in and out of care herself. She had a history of alcohol abuse, self-harm, multiple pregnancies, terminations and criminal convictions.

While pregnant, she was deemed to have made herself intentionally homeless, so little was done to help the woman and her unborn child, beyond arranging short-term stays in hostels. This made it more difficult for health visitors to keep track of her.

The review found the mother suffered mental illness, as well as domestic and substance abuse. Even though these factors should have triggered a referral to social services, none was made.
And, just as in other cases, even when members of the public finally did the job these ‘expert professionals’ were paid to do, it was still too late:
The report said a witness, known to police, was said to have contacted social services three days before Baby Robert’s death, raising concerns.

The review concluded local health services had become too “desensitised” after dealing with high numbers of homeless patients affected by domestic violence, alcohol and drug abuse and mental health problems.

The summary said: “The high level of need made it even more difficult to identify the most vulnerable of these individuals, resulting in the mother’s unborn child’s needs being minimised.”

It said social services had focused too much on the homelessness of the mother, and added “other services had failed to recognise the safeguarding needs of Baby Robert”.
Yeah, yeah. Heard it all before. Are we ‘Learning lesso…’

Oh. Of course we are:
Southend Council has said improvements have been made since the tragedy. Bosses said there were many more referrals after the death of Baby P and many careworkers left the profession because of the case.

However, corporate director for children and learning, Sue Cook, said new measures have now been put in place to cope with increased demand.
And when they fail too, will you come up with a new excuse?
“We introduced new arrangements in the summer of 2010 to better cope with large fluctuations in demand.

“We have a very stable and committed workforce with a staff turnover rate of 3.6 per cent, which is extremely low for social work. We are very proud of our social workers.”
I can’t figure out why.

Yes, Suzanne, We Are Right To Be Disgusted…

Suzanne Moore on how we are becoming ‘disgusted by the poor’ (and how this is terrible of us, of course):
Poverty, we are often told, is not "actual", because people have TVs. This gradual erosion of empathy is the triumph of an economic climate in which everyone, addicted or not, is personally responsible for their own lack of achievement. Poor people are not simply people like us, but with less money: they are an entirely different species. Their poverty is a personal failing. They have let themselves go.
Some of them have. Or doesn’t personal responsibility count in Leftie BizzarroWorld?
Three years ago I was on a panel with Vince Cable at The Convention of Modern Liberty, when Cable was still reckoned a seer for predicting the recession. He said then that the financial crisis would mean civil liberties would be trampled on. But what stuck in my mind was a sentence he mumbled about the pre-conditions for fascism arising. Scaremongering? The emotional pre-condition is absolutely this punitive attitude to the weak and poor.
It’s always ‘fascism’ that’s the fear of the Left, isn’t it? We’ll just skip over Stalin and Pol Pot…
The answer to poverty, you see, lies with the poor themselves, be they drain-dwellers, Greeks, disabled people, or unemployed youth. We will give them bailouts, maybe charity, and lectures on becoming more entrepreneurial. The economy of empathy has crashed, and this putsch is insidious and individualised. No more cruel to be kind. We must be simply cruel.
Yes, we’re really, really cruel in the UK.

Look at how we treat the ‘less fortunate’:
The woman’s lawyer, Irena Sabic, told the High Court in London that she has a personality disorder, extreme paranoia and a history of self-harm and drug abuse.

Her needs were recognised by the council until last May when direct payments – which allowed her to live in a supported home – were withdrawn.

Ms Sabic said the council was ‘legally obliged’ to lay on a full care regime for the woman and disputed claims that she ‘requires no care services whatsoever’.
What she needs is not to be enabled any more, but no longer having an army of carers pander to her every whim and provide the opportunity and resources to continue with her unhealthy lifestyle.

If only we were ‘cruel’ (to be kind) but instead, it seems we are going to continue this farce:
In a preliminary ruling, Judge Stephen Males QC said the council was being unlawful and ordered it to arrange a temporary care regime to cater for the woman’s ‘immediate and urgent’ needs. This will be enforced until a full hearing of the case takes place in May.
And if she loses, will she have to pay back the money?


Well, Let’s See The CiF Crowd Argue Against This…

…after all, aren’t they always holding up Scandinavia as a paradise?
The first foreign company to run one of Britain's free schools has spoken about its plans to "teach to the highest standards and help students to become holistic, well managed, young individuals".

Internationella Engelska Skolen (IES) will manage the new Breckland free school in Brandon, Suffolk, from September.
This’ll be good!
The company, which was founded twenty years ago, runs 17 free schools in Sweden and teaches more than 11,000 students. A further 62,000 are on the waiting list to join.

IES says parents are attracted by its results and its emphasis on discipline combined with pastoral care.
Ah, discipline! And yet anyone’d have you believe that the free-and-easy Scandinavians don’t go in for all that. Well, anyone at CiF, anyway…
"We are passionate about education" said IES's chief executive Peter John Fyles.

"Our ethos is about working with young people and developing them to the best of their individual ability."

"All parents and students when they join must sign a social contract," said Mr Fyles.

"It tells them the rules and they sign off on them so if someone comes to school with a mobile phone, which we don't allow, we instantly call the parents and say: 'Why have you broken the contract you made?'

"We also teach good manners. All our students will say 'good morning sir' or 'madam', they will say 'thank you' if they receive something and they will clear their tables after lunch."
Oh, it gets better and better!
The company's founder, Barbara Bergström, said she and board members have recently been watching episodes of the documentary "Educating Essex" and were horrified at some of the behaviour which they saw.

She said: "How could parents ever allow their children to behave like that?"
A question everyone asked, Barbara.
Mr Fyles said: … "Our results and the sheer number of people who want to be with us shows we must be doing something right."
Indeed it does…

H/T: CJ Nerd via email


....or 'Firefighting' (in Swedish):
The Swedish fire service is looking to hire more personnel with a foreign background in order to…
Oh, here we go, let me guess ‘reflect social diversity’, or some such nonsense, right?
increase safety for fire fighters in big city areas, according to a report by Swedish broadcaster Sveriges Television (SVT)

OK, I wasn’t expecting that….
”At one point some kids were throwing rocks at us. I caught hold of a guy and spoke to him in his own language,” said Ilhan Demir of the South Stockholm fire service to SVT.

The diversity project is meant to widen recruitment, according to SVT, not in the least when it comes to attracting staff with a different background than the traditional Swedish.

It is hoped that it will overcome language barriers and increase security for fire personnel in the big city areas.

I just…
The project will cost 7.5 million kronor ($1.1 million) and will be funded by the European Social Fund (ESF). Part of the money will go to the South Stockholm (Södertörn) fire service.
In other words, the EU’s paying to try to overcome a problem of
its own making?
”We're about 300 on active call-out duty, of which only 18 are of a different background than Swedish. There needs to be more,” said Christer Flodfält, union representative for the fire service to SVT.

According to the broadcaster it has become more frequent that fire personnel are attacked with stones and other objects and it is hoped that the new initiative may bridge the gap between the fire fighters and the gangs of unruly kids.
How about ‘bridging that gap’ with criminal charges for the ‘unruly kids’ and maybe deportation back to their country of origin for the parents?

Meanwhile, in Malmo:
(Reuters) - A wave of execution-style shootings and a police station bombing in Sweden's third largest city have sparked fears that gangster violence is taking hold in a Nordic country widely seen as one of the world's safest places.

Only minutes into the new year, a 15-year-old was found with gunshots to his chest and one to his head outside an apartment block in one of Malmo's poorest and most troubled districts, where firefighters have occasionally sought police protection.

Eight killings have occurred across the city since a 36-year-old with links to organised crime was gunned down in a parking lot in May last year. The latest victim, a 48-year-old man, was found shot in a car at the end of January.
More vibrancy, it seems:
With a population of just 300,000, Malmo is one of Sweden's roughest cities, long a base for smugglers because of its proximity to Denmark, with which it has been connected by a bridge since July 2000.

Roughly 40 percent of Malmo's population are first- or second-generation immigrants and one in three is unemployed, compared with a national rate under nine percent.

Among young immigrants, the rate is nearly 40 percent.
Yes, well, if they raise their kids to throw stones at the fire engines that are coming to put out the fires in their slums, it’s not really any wonder, is it?
"I don't think murders will become more and more frequent in the near future, but there is nothing that indicates things will improve a bit longer-term," said Tobias Barkman, a crime reporter at regional daily Sydsvenska Dagbladet.

"Society has fallen behind - with regards to the police and to the social situation. It's hard to see any rays of hope."
Yes. It really is hard. No doubt should Swedish Police actually grow a set and decide to deal with it's out-of-control introduced population firmly, they can look forward to being vilified in the media in the same way our police are*:
Joanna said the family were very concerned about reports that George was a "crazed knifeman" from Ghana who was wielding a sword. She said they were also upset by reports of an anonymous Metropolitan Police spokesman saying that "a number of knives were recovered from the scene".

She added: "It is not clear to us or to the authorities what the truth is of what has occurred. We are very concerned about the accounts that are being put out in the media.

We don't recognise George in the descriptions contained in the press reports at all".
Sounds like a statement worked out with the help of ‘community leaders’ or those brave crusaders for justice (and a big payout) like Sophie Khan and her ilk, doesn't it?

And, right on cue:
Jules Carey of Tuckers Solicitors who is representing the family said it is less than a week since the IPCC published guidance on police communicating with the press and prohibited unattributed briefings. He said: "It appears that this guidance is already being ignored by the police".
Perhaps you'd be better off pointing out to your client that the national press has already printed large images of the scene showing - oooo, lookie here! - a knife lying in the street. And that it's better to keep one's mouth shut and be thought a fool, than open it and remove all doubt?

*H/T: commenter 'Serf' at Inspector Gadget's blog

Friday 24 February 2012

Why Do The Underclass Hide Behind Their Children?

Well, the answer’s obvious. Because it works….
When police visited the house, in Middlesbrough, they found it stinking of urine, with cat faeces on the floor and overflowing ashtrays, takeaway cartons, cans and drug items lying about - and a blood-stained duvet in the child’s bedroom.

However, despite the cruelty meted out to the child, the mother has been allowed to walk free from court today - for the sake of the child.
I also suspect a bit of ‘Pussy Pass’ in action here too:
The young girl’s mother and step-father were each given a one-year custodial sentence on Friday, but Judge Tony Briggs suspended the mother's sentence for two years with 18 months’ supervision, as the girl still wanted contact with her mother.
The stepfather was sent to detention.
Frankly, she’s more responsible than he is – she’s supposed to be a mother, for god’s sake! And it isn’t like this is a new situation, either:
She had a tragic history of having children removed from her care for neglect.

The victim stayed in her care despite the background because of significant improvements in the mother’s parenting skills.

Things went wrong with the arrival of the stepfather, who was once convicted of assaulting the mother - yet they are still together.

Sammy Booth, 14, said she was frightened of what would happen to her if Julie Cairns, 38, was locked up for leading officers on the 60mph pursuit.

The mother, who was four times the drink drive limit, drove up the wrong side of the road and sped across a mini-roundabout at 50mph in Dobcross, Oldham.

But her daughter wrote that Julie was 'loving, caring and always here for me' - and she escaped with just unpaid work.
Jesus! Never mind the people she could have killed!
Sammy, of Dobcross, near Oldham, Greater Manchester, also told the judge how her mum's drinking had affected her school work.

She added: 'I'm scared for my mum and I'm scared for myself, I worry what will happen if she's sent to prison. Where will I stay? What will happen to my pets? Will I be able to see my mum?'
Why don’t you ask your father these questions? Oh, of course. He’s not on the scene any more, is he?

Is there any shame on behalf of the mother, that she is apparently still viewed as ‘a brilliant mum’ by her daughter?
Julie, who pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, said: 'I must have been seeing red that night. At the time, I didn't know what was happening.

'Sammy is lovely. She's beautiful and she does everything she can for me. She has seen a better person in me. Drink is a poison and I'll never touch it again. I can't thank Sammy enough.'
Listen up, love. It’s not normal for your daughter of 14 to ‘do everything for you’, a grown woman. It should be the other way around!

Expect a rash of this, now the ‘Daily Mail’ has shown just how easily the judges can be swayed…

It’s ‘Just How They Do Things’…

Community leaders are appealing for calm after armed Turkish gangs clashed in
I’m guessing, not Turkey?

No. Not even that sprawling multicultural metropolis of London!
an East Riding town.
People watched in horror as gangs of men armed with sticks and batons staged running battles outside the Plaza Pizzeria in Swinefleet Road.

It followed similar battles between rival gangs in Scunthorpe.

Several men have been arrested and two are in hospital, including one who was deliberately run over.
Ah, vibrancy!

But we don’t want to make a fuss. Oh, no…
Goole councillor Pat O'Neill said: "From what I hear, the trouble was more of a personal matter rather than a cultural thing. I hope there won't be any more trouble and I'd like people to remain calm."
Oh, hell, well, if it was a personal thing, no worries, eh?
Incoming eastern Europeans have been able to find common bonds with indigenous people and there have been few problem, despite cultures being so different.

Mrs O'Neill said: "They are very well integrated. We have Russians, Latvians, Polish and Bulgarians. There aren't very many Turkish people, but we do have some.

"The problems we saw on Tuesday morning are how they deal with things in their own country. They've brought that culture across here. Eventually, they'll realise that's not how we do things."
How? It doesn’t seem as though anyone wants to be judgemental enough to make the bloody point to them!

No, Let’s Place Any Shame Where It Belongs, Shall We?

A homeless man who teaches other rough sleepers how to read said society should be ashamed at the number of people with literacy problems.
Really? And why is that? Are there not enough opportunities to learn? Are schools not free?
Matt Holgate, 41, has taught nine people under a new scheme run by Westminster council which pairs up illiterate people in hostels with a reading coach - either a fellow resident, a hostel worker or a volunteer.

The council, which wants to roll out the project across London, said 40 per cent of rough sleepers have literacy problems, making it harder for them to access benefits, housing, employment and training services.
Which came first, though, the homeless chicken or the illiterate egg? Which contributes to which?
Mr Holgate, who stays at the Salvation Army's Edward Alsop Court hostel in Westminster, said: "We are one of the top five developed countries in the world and it's pretty damn sad we are in this situation."
Yes, indeed it is. But the solution is entirely in their hands. There’s nothing for me or anyone else to feel ‘shame’ over, is there?
The council today urged more homeless people to take advantage of the reading scheme and called for more volunteers to join up, as Mayor Boris Johnson encouraged other London local authorities to adopt the programme.
Adopting the programme is all very well. But if homeless people aren’t taking advantage of it, that’s to their shame, isn’t it?

That’s The Trouble With Today’s Teenagers, No ‘Work’ Ethic…

...I mean, they won’t even travel for opportunities these days…
A teenager burgled his next-door neighbour after she asked his parents to keep an eye on her house while she was away.

A passing motorist spotted Daniel Peter Stannard and Alexander Luke Sandor as they raided the house and alerted police who caught Stannard at the scene, York Magistrates Court heard.
Both burglars were subject to conditional discharges at the time and admitted to a probation officer they took cannabis.

So, how did these poster boys for (dis)organised crime get caught?
… a passing motorist saw a burglar standing by an open bay window inside the victim’s darkened house at 8.15pm on January 5, and another man crouched outside.

“In a very public spirited way, she made contact with the police,” said Mr Ovenden.
Within minutes police arrived. Stannard tried to flee, but only got as far as the front garden.

Sorry Dad, I’ve gone in next door,” he called out as his father and others went out into the street to see him struggle in the police’s grasp.
Inside, officers found a television, DVD player, sat nav and other equipment had been unplugged and prepared for removal. Both burglars had taken off their shoes so they wouldn’t leave shoemarks, Mr Ovenden said. One window had been forced.
I think they call that ‘bang to rights’!
Stannard’s solicitor Lee-Anne Robins-Hicks said her client felt “acutely embarrassed” by what he had done.

“His parents have also suffered embarrassment over his actions,” she said.
Over the act itself, or the stupidity involved in crapping where you eat, so to speak?
Chris McGrogan, for Sandor, and Miss Robins-Hicks said the burglary had been opportunistic, as the two men had been having a cigarette outside, noticed an open window and decided to go inside. Both solicitors said the offence was out of character and their clients were remorseful.

Magistrates rejected defence claims that the house had not been targeted.
Well, yes. As well they might…

We’re looking at a custodial here, surely?
Both received a 20-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months on condition they do 100 hours of unpaid work and 12 months of supervision, and were ordered to pay £85 prosecution costs.

Left Wing Media Braced For Orgasm As Feared ‘White Backlash’ Materialises…

…or can be intimated and suggested by the media, anyway:
Gangs of youths have clashed with police after targeting a takeaway business in Greater Manchester.

Police were pelted with bricks and other missiles in Heywood, Rochdale, on Thursday evening as a takeaway was attacked and four vehicles damaged.

Eyewitnesses said about 200 youths were in Bridge Street and Market Street, prompting nearby businesses to shut.
Ahhh, YONA! And not the expected ones, either, as the Beeb coyly hints…
The disturbances coincide with the trial of 11 men from Rochdale accused of having sex with girls under the age of 16. They all deny the charges.
Gosh! Hold onto your hats! The media is almost at the point of no return!
Assistant Chief Constable Terry Sweeney said police were aware of "tensions in the borough" and that local people would be concerned following the trouble.

He said: "We will maintain and increase police presence in the coming weeks to keep up our reassurance. We ask that the community acts responsibly during this difficult time."

Earlier, he said a group of youths had "attacked a local business and clashed with police officers".

"A number of local businesses have closed of their own volition and we will continue to work closely with them," he added.
I can’t help but note the speed with which this noisy demo was shut down. Have the police learned from the London riots?

Or were they just expecting this, once the news about the Op Matrix trial broke?
A woman who called herself Kedge told the BBC she had been in the area at the time of the disturbances.

She said: "I went there to keep an eye on things. All the stuff that's happened, it's riled a lot of people. There's a lot of outrage, it could happen again."
How nice that you can’t be identified, eh? Maybe you should have chosen ‘Cassandra’ as a nom de guerre...
The EDL said on its official Twitter account that it had not been involved in the events in Heywood but praised the youths.

Police said they were monitoring social media sites.
Yes, I’ll bet the journalists are too.

And I’ll bet a lot of people in the legal profession are already planning to use this as the basis for yet more news blackouts on trials deemed ‘sensitive’…

H/T: Pavlov’s Cat via Twitter

Thursday 23 February 2012

And A Hearty ‘F**k You!’ To All Our Residents….

Olympic athletes from across the world will use areas of Mayesbrook Park to train in during the games this summer.

Sections of the park, in Lodge Avenue, will be closed to the public from July 16 to September 9 and athletes will be ferried to the site by half-hourly coaches.
Adding to the traffic congestion on that already-busy route, but hey, at least those B&D residents who couldn’t get tickets for the actual runandjumpandthrowandswimathon can at least see some practice instead.

Oh. Hang on…
But the public will not be able to watch the athletes training for security reasons, a council spokesman has said.
A representative from the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games said coaches could increase congestion but he did not believe it would be a significant problem.

Councillors voted unanimously in favour of the plans.
None of whom, I suspect, live anywhere near the park. So it won’t affect them.

But, as Raedwald points out, this is merely to be expected. This was never 'The People's Games', but always the feeding ground for the connected...

I Do Hope It Wasn't His 'Signing On' Hand....

Police have issued a stark warning after a young man suffered serious injuries to his hand when a firework exploded.

The 22-year-old is currently in Derriford Hospital where he is awaiting a full assessment of his injuries, which is understood to include the near loss of his thumb and one of his fingers.
Why so harsh, it could have been an accident after all...

Police have confirmed that they received reports at around 4.41pm on Thursday of "youths throwing fireworks" in Trevithick Road, Kings Tamerton, close to the Marine Academy Plymouth.

Police were told four males in their late teens were acting in an antisocial manner, shouting and hurling fireworks while children were still leaving the school

However, a few minutes later police were contacted by a lone rapid response paramedics who had been called to Kings Tamerton Road to treat a 22-year-old suffering severe injuries to his hand.
And they weren't called because the paramedic thought a crime had been committed, oh no:
The paramedic, from the South Western Ambulance Service, had called upon the assistance of police after being surrounded by a group of increasingly aggressive youths as he treated the injured man.

Meanwhile, in Leicester, Pavlov's Cat points to this oh-so-nearly-a-Darwin-Award-contender:
Father-of-two Michael Harper (36) suffered serious burns and has been left permanently disfigured by the blast, which happened at an electricity sub-station under a railway arch in Constitution Hill, Highfields, Leicester.
Sadly, as he's already bred, he's ineligible. But it does serve to prove there's no honour in (metal) thieves:
While he lay on the floor on fire, accomplice Richard Boyce (50) took his car keys and tried to drive off.
Recorder Michael Stephens told Harper: "You have suffered a punishment, it seems to me, already."
Not enough of one. Now he'll get to claim disability!

‘Roid Rage?

Leon Richards, 23, punched Pc Ben Willetts repeatedly in the face and hit him with a lead after the officer braked sharply to avoid hitting his attacker’s dog, which ran in front of his car, Wolverhampton Magistrates heard.
Yes, because if your dog is allowed to roam at will and almost gets run over, it’s clearly not your fault, is it? It must be the driver who didn’t simply run Rover over!
Prosecuting, Mrs Lauranne Middleton told the court the officer’s injuries included a suspected broken nose, cut lip, bruising and grazing. She said after the near-miss with the dog, the officer took off his seat belt and was about to get out when “the car door was opened and he was dragged out of the car by his clothing which was police issue t-shirt and jacket with a police logo”.

She added: “He was punched several times in the face and whipped by the defendant using the dog lead.”
He doesn’t deny the assault, just some of the details of it…
Defending, Mr Gregory Burke said Richards denied using the dog lead in a whipping motion but accepted the rest of the assault as described by the prosecution.
Yeah. Like that makes all the difference!

A clue to his bizarre behaviour, perhaps?
Richards was arrested on Thursday in Walsall. When police searched Richards’ house they found blood stains and pills used in body building. Richards pleaded guilty to possessing a Class C drug.
Magistrates weren’t touching this one:
Chairman of the bench Mr David Firman sent him to the city’s crown court for sentencing. Richards was remanded in custody to appear in court on March 2.
It’ll be interesting to see what he gets…

Why Was Nathan McLeod Freed On Bail To Murder?

A teenager guilty of stabbing a 15-year-old to death committed the murder just hours after appearing in court accused of attacking a gas man with a knife.
Incredibly, he got bail despite the unprovoked nature of the attack:
Earlier that day McLeod had appeared at Camberwell Youth Court accused of a violent attack on a gas man who had come to service the boiler. He was due to go out when the gas man arrived, and injured the technician using a bread knife and threw a brick at his van, the court was told.
McLeod was given an eight-month detention and training order for the attack.
At least the judge in this case decided not to let him remain anonymous:
After the verdict was given on Monday, Judge Gerald Gordon lifted a court order so that the teenager could be publicly named.
He’ll be sentenced for the killing in March along with several others.

One to watch…

Wednesday 22 February 2012

I Guess There’s Always Somebody Ready To Defend The Indefensible…

Two people living next door to Ainsley Duda claimed objects in their home used to vibrate due to the 'unbearable' level of noise which went on over a three-month period.

Duda pleaded guilty to harassment without violence against Patricia Dunlop and Terrence Austin between April 1 and July 2 last year at Congleton Road, Biddulph.
He sounds a charmless fellow:
Clare Moss, prosecuting, told North Staffordshire Magistrates' Court yesterday: "Police were called to the defendant's address on July 2 following reports of loud music coming from the property.

"As a police officer approached the door, the defendant shouted 'what do you want' to him out of a window.

"He became abusive and was asked to open the door by the policeman, but refused to do so.

"The police officer left but neighbours asked police to go back to the house later in the day, describing the noise as unbearable and saying it had been going on for three months.
So….that’s all it takes for the police to just leave? And do nothing until further reports are made?

Eventually, it seems, they did do their job:
He told police he didn't feel playing music was a form of harassment and that he played it for his own enjoyment, and didn't think he had the volume turned up too loud.
Yes, well, Ainsley, it’s not all about you, is it?

And it’s not just noise nuisance you’re up to either (is it ever?):
Duda, pictured, who now lives in High Street, Biddulph, was jailed for a total of 18 weeks after he also pleaded guilty to assaulting a traffic warden on July 2.

He also admitted producing and possessing cannabis on June 10 and possessing cocaine on the same date.
Nick Ryles, mitigating, told the court: "In the last year the defendant has developed a cocaine and alcohol addiction and has been using cannabis.

"Since these offences, he has taken steps to limit and reduce his drug intake.

"He pleaded guilty to harassment on the day of his trial because he didn't want to put the two people through the trauma of having to give evidence.

"He played music on numerous occasions far too loud and didn't take into consideration that he was in a terraced property where noise can travel through walls.

"It was committed at a time when he was going through a dark period in his life.

"He didn't consider the effects the music would have on his neighbours.

"He was being rather selfish but he didn't set out to upset his neighbours, and there have been no further complaints about him since these matters came to light."
Why, it sounds like he’s a poor, misunderstood little chap, doesn’t it?

In which case, why the need for this extra caveat?
As well as jailing Duda for 18 weeks, magistrates also imposed a restraining order on him, which prevents him from having direct or indirect contact with Miss Dunlop or Mr Austin for a period of three years.
Which, given he no longer lives there, tells you all you need to know, doesn’t it?

But there’s always one or two who see him as the real victim:
by RobT1983

“The bottom line is that this guy is not a bad guy. He's not dangerous and if any of you "lynch-mob" actually knew him and could see past the petty criminal acts, I guarantee you would find it hard not to like him.

There are far worse people on the streets of Biddulph, causing alot more damage and harm - but Ains is in the spot light? I seriously dont get it. I understand that what he did wasn't the best decision of his life but to be publicly humiliated when you have got REAL criminals roaming round with little or no attention focused on them, is telling me that something isnt right here.

Once again for the "lynch mob" - I do not condone what he has done, but i strongly oppose this form of public humiliation - especially when his crimes are as petty as they are in comparison to what goes on.”
At least that one was well written:
by vickyc01

“the lot u of u picking on some one on ere u don't even know or lived next door to makes me sick ,, u all picking on him off wot a news paper says -- they r makeing money off a good head line saying hes a junkie -- that is what sells papers ,, how can u all judge when u don't know the background of the story -- just what the papers say !!,, n saying gay boy ,, oxygen thief - n i hope he rots -- come on guys its music not murder pffftt its u small minded people make me sick !! were in 2012 not 1960 - im not having a go but don't judge people unless u know them n reasons why they play music loud -- i play myne none stop to block out listening 2 arguments - n people shouting ,, i think people should find out reasons of things b4 thety have any right to judge -- none of us r perfect -- so no1 should have any right judge any1 untill they know the truth .”
Got that? Good!

Is This What They Mean By 'Taking Ethics To The Next Level'..?

A legal battle to halt a Tesco superstore being built has been quashed, leaving a rival store with a bill for £10,000.
Ouch! And which store is this?
Tesco was given permission to build in Station Road on the border of Manningree and Lawford last July.

But rival chain the Co-operative Society, which is based in Riverside Avenue East in the town, lodged an application for a judicial review with the High Court, stating the permission was “unlawful” and “irrational”.
Ooooh! Surely not the sainted, oh-so-ethical and right-on Co-op..?
Co-op bosses said legal action would be taken if a list of demands were not met including that the application go back before the planning committee.
Fighting talk! I wonder if they submitted them on company stationery or just clipped letters out of the newspaper and glued them onto a sheet of A4 in the time-honoured tradition of all screen blackmailers?

Ultimately futile, though:
… the council argued the accusations were unfounded and opted not to hold round-table talks with both parties.
A judge has now refused the judicial review application on all of the ten points put forward.
Hah! Take that!
Carlo Guglielmi, Tendring’s planning boss, said: “I am so pleased with the decision. We have maintained all along that the application has gone through the democratic process.

”It is quite pitiful. The Co-op had three years to come up with objections, but waited until the last minute to do this, It was clutching at straws.

“We will be seeking costs. This is public money we are talking about.”
They've already been told to pay costs to Tesco....
The judge ordered the Co-op to pay £10,000 costs for Tesco, and advised Tendring Council to apply to the High Court for its costs.
So, are the Co-op licking their wounds and regretting that they ever tried to strong-arm the council? Reader, they are not:
However, the Co-op has vowed the fight will go on.

Roger Grosvenor, group general manager for trading for the East of England Co-operative Society, said: “While we were disappointed by the initial decision our application seeking leave to appeal was declined, we have instructed our legal advisors to ask for a review of the situation and put forward a renewal application.

“We believe the decision made and the processes used by Tendring Council were flawed and will continue seeking to overturn the decision.”
Let's remind ourselves of the 'values' of the Co-operative Society, shall we?
Like any business, we want to be a commercial success. However, even more important to us is the way that we do business, and the way that we use our profits. We believe that we should offer our customers both value and values. Which makes us a bit different.

Our members are our owners; they tell us what is important to them and we listen and act on it. It’s part of our model: as a consumer co-operative, we run our business for the benefit of our members. That means our members are involved in democratic decision-making...
Well, for a company that prides itself on ethics and democracy, I wonder what your shareholders will have to say about you gleefully flushing all that money down the toilet....

Who Steals A Dog?

A dog owner has hailed community spirit after her pet was returned less than 24 hours after being stolen from outside a shop.
Eh..? Is she sure it was stolen? Maybe it just ran off?
She mounted a huge operation in the village to get Cindy back, putting posters up in shop and pub windows and on lampposts and asking friends and families to join the search.

Fortunately, CCTV footage clearly showed a man peer into the shop before untying the dog and walking away with her.
Good grief! Who steals a…

The images prompted officers to visit local Traveller sites with the intention to execute search warrants.
Well, look on the bright side, at least they did indeed plan to do something! That’s not always been the case…
About 15 minutes later Cindy was seen walking home.
Gosh. What a coincidence. How’d they know, I wonder?
An 18-year-old man handed himself into police and was cautioned for the theft.
Ooooh! Harsh!

Still, she can count herself lucky that at least no violence was used:
The couple, both 20, went to the breeder's home in Ellistown, Coalville, in response to a Kennel Club advert offering two chihuahua pups for sale.

Posing as prospective buyers, their visit suddenly turned nasty when Caroline Wilsher tried to leave while holding both puppies, said Alan Murphy, prosecuting.

"The complainant became uneasy and got up to try and get the dogs back," said Mr Murphy.

"Amos Wilsher grabbed one puppy and threw it on the floor, causing it to land with such a thud the owner thought it was dead. He pushed her away and grabbed her by her hair and punched her four times.

"She was shocked and realised both defendants had run off with the remaining puppy.

"She suffered facial bruising, swelling and had a bald patch on her head."

The woman still has pain in an eye and numbness in her gums, the court heard.

She was traumatised by the attack, and now feels on edge and has difficulty sleeping.
The puppy thrown onto the tiled floor survived.
And there was a happy ending (of sorts):
Amos Wilsher and wife Caroline were due to be sentenced on Wednesday but the judge adjourned the hearing after an 11th-hour offer from the dock to return the missing chihuahua, worth £1,200.

The dog was then delivered to Wilsher's solicitor Paul Tubb, who handed the animal to the police for its safe return to the breeder from whom it was stolen.

On being told yesterday the healthy puppy was back with its owner, Judge Lynn Tayton QC jailed Wilsher for three years.
He’ll serve half. Or even less.
Wilsher and his wife, both of Good Friday Caravan Park, Heath Road, Coalville, claimed they did not anticipate violence would have been used.
Wilsher pleaded guilty to robbery. His wife admitted theft of the dog, because she was not involved in the attack.

Caroline Wilsher was given a 36-week detention sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered to do 200 hours of unpaid work.
Oh, for…

He’s not just a dog thief and violent, oh no:
Amos Wilsher further admitted driving while disqualified and without insurance on the same date.

He also pleaded guilty to theft of eight temporary traffic light batteries, worth £73 each, on August 12 last year.
*bangs head on desk*
Paul Tubb, mitigating for Amos Wilsher, said his client wanted the dog to pay off a drugs debt of £700 after receiving threats.

His life went out of control following the death of his aunt, who was more like a mother to him, said Mr Tubb.

"Returning the dog goes some way to suggest he wants to make amends," he said.
Not at the eleventh hour, it doesn’t!
Steven Newcombe, for the wife, said his client was led into criminality after marrying Amos Wilsher 12 months ago.
Yeah, I’m sure she didn’t realise what she was marrying into…