Thursday 28 February 2013

Hardly Surprising?

An historic castle suffered irreparable damage at the hands of mindless teenage vandals who targeted ancient walls and threw a medieval relic down a well, a court heard yesterday.
Two Polish youths living in the UK showed no concern for the rich 2,500 year history of the Scarborough Castle site when they carried out their ‘soul destroying attack.’
Well...yes! Does anyone think two British youths would have been any different?
The judge said youths were invading the ancient English Heritage tourist attraction ‘on almost a nightly basis’ and he warned yobs could face jail for damaging the nation’s ancient monuments in future.
If that's really true, perhaps English Heritage should spend some of their loot on proper security rather than bizarre and confusing listing decisions?

Post Title Of The Month

The Landlady has a fine way with words, does she not?

Quote Of The Month

The incomparable Leg-Iron:
There are rumours that the Catholic church was involved with paedo rings (it is, it seems, the One Ring to Fiddle with Them All) and it’s also rumoured that the current Pope found out about it and said ‘Sod this for a game of Onward Christian Soldiers, I’m off’. Meanwhile, one of his Bishops has called for priests to be allowed to marry. That’s a good idea. If they have a wife they might not be so attracted to the choir. They won’t have to diddle the parishioner’s kids, they’ll have their own at home.

Post Of The Month

A tie this month.

From 'Protein Wisdom', a look at the baffling cult that seems to spring up from time to time around police killers, and what this means for society.

From 'Hog Day Afternoon', the Vicki Pryce jury questions laid bare.

Say What..?

He told the court that Smith had owned Staffordshire bull terriers for many years without incident.
Oh. Well, that accident is something that could happen to anyo…

Hang on a minute!
Smith – who has a previous conviction under the Dangerous Dogs Act – pleaded guilty to being the owner of a dog which was dangerously out of control in High Street in May last year.

Wednesday 27 February 2013

Risk Assessments...

The Royal Mail is refusing to make deliveries to 90 homes on a housing estate - because of one 'aggressive' dog.
That lives at all of them?!?

And why is 'aggressive' in inverted commas. Just tell us how many attacks there have been, how many people have been bitten.

Oh. Hang on. The answer's none, isn't it?
Residents in Salford have been sent a letter warning them their post has been temporarily suspended for health and safety reasons after two postmen were confronted by the animal.
One of the men allegedly had to defend himself with his postbag - which was damaged in the attack. Neither of the postmen were bitten.
Hmmm. How did they deliver that letter, I wonder?
The canine culprit is a dog named Jarvis who lives with owner Victoria Ludlow, 36, and her cat called Brian.
She was not available for comment.
Today one neighbour of Miss Ludlow said: 'This all seems like an over-reaction.
'Jarvis is a great dog who is often let out onto the drive way and he runs through the broken down fence into the park next door but he never harms anyone - he just doesn't like postmen that's all.
'He is always plays with the kids on the park and they don't get scared by him despite him being a big dog and as far I'm aware no-one else gets threatened by him.
'He's a great dog - it's just that he seems to have an intense hatred of postmen.'We've lived here a year and only spoken to her maybe four times. She keeps herself to herself but we have no trouble from her or the dog. If he barks at us we tell him to get down and he does every time.'
Other neighbours disagree, or maybe just lack the Barbara Woodhouse touch, claiming the dog has chased them too. But no-one who has been bitten by the hound can be found...
The Royal Mail said it was working with the dog's owner to find a solution. The mail boycott has divided the estate.
Tony Lee, 33, said: 'I don't know the owner but I've never had any trouble from that dog. It's blatantly obvious to me that they only need to stop deliveries at the address where the dog is, not all these homes.'
Well, you'd think so, wouldn't you? But it seems there's absolutely no risk to the postmen from you or any of the other residents if they stop your mail, so you'll always lose out when they do that risk assessment.

Perhaps it's not just the dog that needs to be brought to heel?

Vera Baird And Harriet Harman Should Have Been In The Dock Alongside Her...

Jones' latest victim was arrested and quizzed for nine hours before being released without charge because CCTV footage disproved her claims she was forcibly taken to a property and raped.
They had an argument and she was angry with him, so decided to make her eleventh fabricated allegation of rape, police said.
And yet, despite knowing that Jones had made 10 false accusations of rape, the police dutifully treated the eleventh as if it had been made by a doe-eyed virgin, instead of a serial false accuser who only someone in dire need of a Specsaver's appointment could possibly get it up for!

Reproduced without comment...
Ms Rickham said: 'There is a history of her making false allegations of this nature and this is the 11th incident.
'Police had to take her allegation seriously and carried out an appropriate investigation.
And why?

Well, because of the prevailing feminist 'wisdom' that women don't make these things up, except when they do, and if they do, they need help rather than to be taken out to the back of the court and shot.
DC Blanche felt that this was the 'final straw' for the 22-year-old woman, adding: 'After the previous ten false allegations, Judge Hope felt that it was the final straw and had no choice but to sentence her to 16 months in prison.
'The evidence in the case was so conclusive as the CCTV images were so clear.
'I imagine that with the previous allegations the evidence hasn't been there.
'We encourage all victims to come forward, but sadly Elizabeth was one of the people that was not telling the truth.'
You imagine..?

H/T: SalaciousSully, MisanthropeGirl & MrWizbit via Twitter

Well, He Led 'A Blameless Life' Up To A Point...

Remember this one? Well, you won’t be surprised at the sentence, will you?
A car dealer, who recruited a gang to viciously beat up two mechanics because his vehicle wasn’t resprayed in time, has been ordered to pay £1,000 compensation and £1,400 court costs.
A judge did not jail father-of-three Mohammed Mazar as he had led a ‘blameless life’ and had family responsibilities.
A ‘blameless life’ apart from that one little indiscretion
Sentencing, Recorder Robert Crawford said: “Thankfully, the injuries sustained were not as serious as they could have been. In my judgement, this was a serious business. You set out to recruit a group to beat these men up.
“That’s totally unacceptable behaviour and behaviour which, in my judgement, crosses the custody threshold.
But, Recorder Crawford added: “You have led a blameless life for many years, are in work and have serious family responsibilities.
“That just tips the balance to save you from immediate imprisonment.”
So it crosses the custody threshold, but it doesn't. And we are mocking the Vicky Pryce jury?

Mitigation must have been awesome?
Michael Bridge, for Mazar, told the sentencing hearing his behaviour was out of character. He continued: “Generally speaking, he is a man who has a positive role within his own community and the wider community.
“He provides much-needed support to family members who are ill.”
Oh. I guess not.

But since I match that description too, it’s nice to know for April, when my service & MOT is due…

Tuesday 26 February 2013

Another Day, Another 'Care In The Community' Success!

Former Broadmoor patient Peter Johnson is back in a secure psychiatric unit after attacking a woman with a hammer in her garden.
The pensioner hit Amanda Higgs on the head twice and her husband Michael in the face before Mrs Higgs grabbed the weapon from him.
Pensioner..? Yes. Peter Johnson is 71...
When approached by police he told them: "I need to speak to you about an incident. I've just hit two people over the head with a hammer."
But this time, they'll keep him behind secure walls, right?
On the recommendation of two psychiatrists, the judge also made a restriction order under which Johnson will be detained in a secure psychiatric unit 'without limit of time'.
Why do I not feel reassured?

Special Treatment And ID Chipping! What More Could You Ask For?

Last week, the government announced that every dog owner in England would have to microchip their animal from 2016 under plans intended to cut a rise in strays.
Chief executive of the (Guide Dogs For The Blind) association Richard Leaman said: "Compulsory micro chipping promotes responsible dog ownership and gives the police an effective tool to identify a dog's owner and hold them responsible for their dog's behaviour."
Alun Gwernan-Jones, from the association, said: "Many of our dogs have had to retire early following dog attacks.
"We believe that asking the police to treat dog attacks on assistance dogs as seriously as they would do if a dog attacked a human would really help concentrate dog owners' minds on keeping their pets under proper control when out in public."
Really? It's a familiar refrain, it seems, though based on...well, absolutely no evidence.

Just as we did for the previous dog attack story, let's take a look at the circumstances, shall we?
Guide dog owner Robert Boon's Labrador, Wag, was attacked by a Staffordshire bull terrier in Torbay.
Mr Boon said the terrier was out of control and he felt its teeth slide along his hand as it went to attack his dog.
"I saw the Staffie run towards my dog, heading straight towards her head," he said.
Mr Boon pulled Wag out of the way and ended up in the middle of Abbey Road in Torquay.
He was helped back onto the pavement by passers-by.
Mr Boon said the two men retrieved their Staffordshire bull terrier and left laughing at what had happened.
Does anything about that say 'owners whose mind would be concentrated by more legislation' to you? Because it certainly doesn't to me.

And as for 'treated as seriously as attacks on humans', well, it is to laugh. Hollowly.

Try This In A National Park & The Rangers Will Lock You Up!

As 'The American Spectator' points out!
A homeless centre says it is being overwhelmed with people needing food because their benefits have been temporarily stopped.
The Storehouse in Coleman Street is feeding more than 200 people a day and instead of just providing one or two bags to those in need it has become a sole source of food for many.
Well, who could have predicted that? You hand out free food, and you get people flocking to you. It’s a mystery!
The increase is being blamed on Government benefit reforms which have seen people “sanctioned” for not trying hard enough to get a job. People are asked to fill in forms and provide evidence of job hunts and if they fall short of the criteria, benefits are stopped for several weeks.
A sensible precaution, surely? What could be wrong with expecting people to justify their need for these benefits?
John Williams who helps run the Storehouse said many who can’t cope with the forms are being left destitute.
Can’t cope with the forms? But… wouldn't they have had to ‘cope with forms’ in order to get the benefits in the first place, as a commenter points out?

Monday 25 February 2013

Stop Making It 'Difficult For The Police'..!

So says Chandra Babu, vice chairman of the Asian Resource Centre.

And how are people 'making it difficult for the police'? Why, simple!

They have nice things! People steal them! The police then have to do what we pay them to do, and find the robbers!

Oh, it's all too much!
Asians are making themselves "targets" for robbers and burglars by wearing "excessive" jewellery in public and leaving it unsecured at home, a community leader has warned.
Chandra Babu, vice chairman of the Asian Resource Centre, told the Advertiser that "one chain" is enough but wearing more was "making it very difficult for the police".
Oh, thanks for that crime advice, Chandra, but the police are way, way ahead of you!

Though you should know that they've attempted to row back from this particular message, when aimed specifically at your 'community' in the past, so you might want to check that they are OK with you letting the Bombay cat out of the bag, eh?
"It's difficult because a crime is a crime. There should be no excuse for it, but Asian people need to be educated. They need to be more careful."
There IS no excuse for it. So stop trying to make one.

Still, I'd better go see if any 'community leader' for my community is giving out such handy advice, maybe telling me what sort of electronic device is 'enough' for me to use in public, so as not to tempt thieves. I mean, the latest iPhone is obviously too much, but an old Nokia? I should be safe with that, right? And it should be 'enough' for me.


Why Didn't He Just Write A Letter Of Confession and Apology?

A pub landlord who said he fought off four muggers while holding fish and chips has been fined for lying to officers, police said.
John Wood, 37, said he was stabbed with a screwdriver near Frank's fish and chip shop in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire. He was fined £80 for wasting police time, Cambridgeshire Police said.
Seems a bit harsh.
A teenager who put a man through two months of torment by falsely accusing him of rape has been spared jail.
Sophie Hooper, 19, told police she had been forced to have sex against her will with a man she had only just met in the pub.
But two months later her conscience got the better of her and she wrote a letter to the police confessing she had lied about the allegations.
He added that Hooper had just come out of a difficult period of adolescence and her mental health was far from robust.
And she's just 'become a mum'. Lovely!

Meanwhile, a story that - for me, at least - had the unmistakable aroma of poisson from the very start looks as though it might be unravelling:
Police are investigating a theory that the Victoria's Secret worker who suffered horrific acid burns to her face may have inflicted the injuries on herself.
Miss Oni said she is 'really upset' about the allegation. Her family have accused the police of not doing enough to catch the true perpetrator and wasting time by instead focusing on a 'crazy' line of enquiry.
Our very own Tawana Brawley?

It Looks Like There's A Place In Newham For Violence And Intolerance After All...

A Newham Council spokesperson added: “Newham Council was concerned that this event could result in serious disorder.
“The Mayor and Councillors sent a clear message that there is no place in Newham for violence and intolerance. We are therefore pleased that the pub’s management cancelled the booking.”
The booking being? Well, a music venue. Of allegedly ‘racist’ bands.
A band called ‘IC1’ were initially withdrawn from the line up but staff confirmed this morning the entire event has been called off after its premises was targeted by vandals last night.
Oh. I see. That sounds a lot like ‘violence and intolerance’ to me.

And yet Newham Council aren’t demanding that the event go ahead to prove that it should never triumph. 

So, I can only assume that Newham Council is just fine with intolerance and violence as long as it serves a cause they support…

Sunday 24 February 2013

Well, Chris, Asda Built One. And They Didn't Come...

Chris Paine welcomes the news that more charging points for electric cars will soon be built:
It is great to see the UK joining the US and a few other countries by investing in private and public car-charging points. The amount is still minimal compared with the $100m invested by the US in the EV Project back in 2009, but £11m over two years shows leadership and will pay dividends for years to come.
Will it?
For some critics, of course, it's a handout. They don't see the roads teaming with electric cars yet, so why build charging points? What they fail to see is that the charger/electric car question is the classic chicken and egg issue that even petrol cars faced 100 years ago. Back then, people didn't want cars until they knew there were fuelling stations. And likewise, nascent oil companies didn't want to build petrol stations until people had cars. It took years for "market forces" to sort it all out and in the meantime most people were content with horses. The difference in 2012 is that we don't have time to wait. National defence, oil price volatility and climate change issues are deadly serious. Smart leaders are making sure electric cars are given a true chance to succeed.
But Chris, I know where there's two electric charging points. They are at my local Asda, and have been for nearly two years. I've visited it at the weekend, on weekdays off, in the morning, in the afternoon, at night.

And the number of electric cars I've seen plugged in? Zero. Zilch. A bit fat no.

It's a pattern repeated time and time again. When will you realise people don't want electric cars?

Or, to use another avian simile, when are you going to pull your head out of the sand? Or out of your arse, for that matter...

Social Mores In Song...

Going into the Sixties:


Women passively sit at home, waiting for their man to earn the cash to take them out.

Oh, how patriarchal! Surely, things must change? And for the better?

Going into the mid-whatever we're calling this decade:


Women now convinced vandalism is the best thing since kitten heels, if your man done you wrong.

Thanks, feminism. Thanks a bunch!

You Know, I'm Sure Spell-Check Would Have Caught This...

...if, you know, we had anyone working in journalism who could use it.

Sunday Funnies...

Hurry up and build starships, boffins - I want to visit Sagittarius B2! For,, of course.

Saturday 23 February 2013

A 'Breastapo Backlash' Or Just Fed Up With Demands From Parents?

It looks as though the gravy train has hit the buffers for the entitled breeders:
Staff at a baby-weighing clinic in Thamesmead barred a mum from warming her 8-week-old son's bottle due to "health and safety" fears, it has been claimed.
Oh noes! 'elf n' safety gawn mad, innit?
The mum-of-five said...
...when she first arrived for the centre's baby weighing clinic, she was given a waiting number of 13, meaning a wait of at least half an hour.
She said: "My son was due a bottle around 1.30pm so at 1.20pm so I asked a member of staff if I could warm his bottle.
"At first I was told to wait and the staff member would find somewhere. Then after five minutes when my son became very impatient I asked again to which I was told 'No, I'm sorry we can't warm bottles due to health and safety'.
"I then asked what could possibly be so dangerous about warming a bottle in a microwave for 30 seconds?
"I was treated as if my request was totally unreasonable and shown absolutely no compassion."
 Gosh! That's so unprecedented, isn't it, for the NHS?
The 35-year-old said her son was unable to keep cold milk down and so she was forced to take him home again and come back later.
She said: "Could you imagine if a first time mum experienced that who didn't live so close? It's just dreadful.
"To me it's just like going into KFC and they've got no chicken."
Errr, well, no. The purpose of KFC is to sell fried chicken. The purpose of a mother & baby clinic isn't to pander to your desires and whims of your child, but to weigh the damned thing!

As a commenter (comments are generally unsympathetic) points out:
"How about taking responsibility and accountability for your own baby and not think the world should revolve around you because you have had a baby."
It seems people are generally fed up with the demands of these people - the Southend 'Echo' had to close comments on a similar story, so unsympathetic were they to the bleats of the outraged party!

Angry Exile on Twitter points to a possible 'Breastapo Backlash' but I wonder if it's a bit more than that...

Come On, Progressives, Make Up Your Minds Which Rules You Want To Play By!

Police officers allegedly ripped a wig from a transgender woman's head and emptied the contents of her handbag onto the street.
Video footage has emerged of officers holding down Jose Dos Santos, 49, as they arrested her on Soho's Wardour Street for a public order offence.
And..? So...?

Isn't that what we expect the police to do with drunken, violent, abusive and non-cooperative women? Or even men who think they are women?
Gay Star News spoke to two people who claim to have witnessed the incident.
Ah. And they are, of course, a totally impartial publication?

Well, they should be, anyway, actually. Aren't we always being scolded by the progressives that 'transgender ≠ gay', after all?

So one wonders just what dog they have in this fight, so to speak...
They said: “The victim then had her wig ripped from her head, her handbag and purse literally emptied out on the road, so her personal belongings were damaged and scattered around her.
In further allegations they added: “Police officers mocked her for her dress and having feminine items in her handbag shouting at her: ‘You're not normal. We'll let you get you up in a few minutes but you need to act like a normal human being.’”
And that's immediately assumed to be a slur on the status of transgender rather than on the 'behaving like a drunken violent slut' status, but, really, can one not imagine police saying a similar thing on other arrests of this type?
A police officer is heard to say: “If you keep putting your legs up I'm going to keep standing on them. Just relax”.
Which is something you'll hear on many videos and police fly-on-the-wall documentaries. It's not a tactic they reserve for transgender cases.

So, which is it - get treated just like everyone else, or get treated as 'special and different'? Because that way, it seems, lies madness...

Tell Me, Mark...

...are you still puzzled about this today? If you ever were puzzled, of course  and asking a genuine question. I like others, have my doubts.

It seems the capital isn't such a welcoming place any more, except to work in, of course. And not just for those unable to handle themselves, either:
Mr Kyei-Baffour was on leave and had been out drinking with three friends, the Old Bailey heard. His group tried to chat up some women outside the Cape Bar opposite Wood Street police station, one of whom was Jasmine Nassif, 21, girlfriend of 22-year-old Ismail Francis.
Prosecutor Christopher Hehir said that as Francis made it clear he did not like the group talking to his girlfriend, five other men became involved and police intervened and moved people along.
The soldier and his friends went back to their BMW but as they drove off they passed Francis and Nassif getting into their Vauxhall Astra. Words and gestures were exchanged and Mr Kyei-Baffour and his friends got out of their car, the court heard.
The other men involved in the initial exchange stopped the two cabs they were riding in so they could join the attack.
Nassif took a baseball bat from the Astra boot and handed it to Francis who used it to attack Mr Kyei-Baffour and his friends, the court heard. Nassif was also seen hurling a bottle from the boot.
Mr Kyei-Baffour, who was stabbed early in the attack, was also hit with the baseball bat by Colin Mbagwu, 27, as he got back into his car.
The two minicabs from Addison Lee waited as the violence unfolded in Gresham Street. One of the drivers was told to leave and when he refused he was asked: “Do you want to get stabbed too?”
Lovely, I'm sure you'll agree?
City of London Police Commander Wayne Chance said: “We will not tolerate this kind of violent behaviour.
“Anyone coming to the City of London with the intention of being violent should know that they will be dealt with so that those wishing to enjoy the vibrant nightlife in the City can do so without fear.”
Ummm, yes. I think, though, that's becoming a little too vibrant for some, if you know what I mean, and I think you do.

So it's no wonder people are moving out into the relatively safer suburbs.

Oh! Wait...
A father had a piece of flesh bitten from his hand by a man who jumped the queue in a chip shop.
Shane, 25, who is too frightened to give his surname, spoke of his ordeal in an appeal for witnesses to help track down his attacker.
“We were waiting to be served and this bloke came in and pushed in front of my girlfriend,” he said. “She said, ‘Excuse me, you jumped the queue.’ I just thought that he would be a gentleman, like any normal person, and say, ‘Sorry, you go first’.
“But he got really aggressive really quickly. I asked him not to speak to her like that, but he pushed me over, sat on top of me and bit the top of my finger off and then a chunk out of the palm of my hand. It was unbelievably painful.”
The man then dragged Shane outside the Station Fish and Kebab Bar in South Street, Romford, and into the crowded street, where no one came to help him.
He said: “He was still on top of me and in the struggle my hand was in the road and a bus ran over it. He was some sort of animal.”
The 10-minute attack ended when the man fled, apparently on a bus, laughing and waving.
Hmmm. An animal..?
Police appealed for witnesses to the attack at 2.10am on Saturday, February 2 by a black man who was six feet tall.
Ah. I see. Well, when the courts catch up with him, I'm sure his peers will lay down some punishment from the jury box. Or not...

And by the way, where do you think Mark Easton lives?

Friday 22 February 2013

"The Lavatory Now Standing At Platform Four..."

Hundreds of commuters were left waiting on the platform after the mysterious discovery of a pool of liquid behind the locked door of the train's driver cab.
The driver is said to have announced to passengers that someone had urinated on his chair.
Which means, of course, the immediate cancellation of the train!

'elf n' safety, innit?
Stephen Hull, who was waiting for the train, tweeted: "My delayed train home cancelled cos somebody p****d in driver's seat.
"They took the entire train away cos the driver complained. Hundreds of people stuck at Victoria." Mr Hull said he had seen a puddle of urine in the driver's cab.
Southern said they were investigating the incident but could not confirm that the suspect liquid was urine.
I think Southern Railways are taking the p...

I'm So Glad England Has Strict Gun Laws!

A sex offender armed himself with a shotgun and drove more than 30 miles to shoot out the windows of a terrified family.
Two days earlier, Adrian Thorsby, 49, had been granted bail prior to being sentenced for a sex attack on a girl.
Bail! FFS! They hand that out for pretty much anything these days, don't they?
Prosecutor David Hall told Hull Crown Court: "It seems that rumour and gossip and reports of the case spread around Hull.
"There were reports of him being a paedophile. He was unhappy about this."
You know how not to be reported as a paedophile, Mr Thorsby? Well, to start with, you could not be convicted of a sex attack on a 6-year-old child...

Still, armed with this new knowledge, the justice system will, I'm sure, deal with him appropriately.
Thorsby was jailed for four and a half years for possessing a shotgun with intent to cause fear of violence.
Oh. Maybe not.

Just What Is The Point?

The court heard that on January 19, Mr Parton saw his bicyclewhich he thought he had lostpropped up against a tree outside McDonald's on Scunthorpe's High Street.
Oh, happy days! How had it come to be there?

Well, it had been stolen. And - of course  - confronted with his crime, the thief responded in the usual fashion - brazen it out:
Prosecutor Debbie Gibson told the court Mr Parton confronted Bentley about the bike and was told he had owned it for around a year.
"Bentley became vocal towards him," said Miss Gibson. "He got off the bike and got hold of Mr Parton and a scuffle broke out.
"This gave Bentley's girlfriend the chance to ride off on the bike, but she fell off."

Oh, of course, the thief is already well known to the justice system and under a curfew. A lot of good that did, eh?

Mitigation should be interesting...
In mitigation, Simon Davies said: "The bike has been retrieved without any damage."
Bentley's existing 7pm to 7am curfew order was extended until May 27. He must pay £125 costs and a £60 victim surcharge.
Because it was working so well at keeping him out of trouble!

Thursday 21 February 2013

Gosh, Who Could Possibly Disagree? screams the headline in the 'This Is Staffordshire' online newspaper. Let's see, shall we?

Feckless mother? Check!
...a serious case review into Ashley's death on January 27 last year has been published by Stoke-on-Trent Safeguarding Children Board.
It has revealed how Ms Knox had fled from Sandwell back to her native Stoke-on-Trent to escape an abusive relationship.
Ashley had been 'born into a household where 'escalating domestic abuse' had taken place and he witnessed some of the violence firsthand.
Complacent authorities? Check!
But Jackie Carnell, independent chairman of the safeguarding board, said: "After moving back to Stoke-on-Trent, everyone assumed that the risk was removed.
"The father had a court order not to contact the family."
Casual partner? Check!
Months later, Ms Knox started another relationship after getting in touch with Hepburn, of Fenpark Road, Fenton, who she knew from school, through Facebook.
With a criminal record? Check!
Hepburn, who was jailed for 30 months in 2002 for an arson attack...
Use of casual partner as free babysitting service? Check!
Scott Hepburn had been left alone with little Ashley Johnson when he 'flipped' because the 18-month-old youngster would not stop crying.
Yeah. No-one could have predicted this.

Are You Sure You've Quite Got The Hang Of This 'Mitigation' Lark?

Andrew Bailey, mitigating, said it was a 'nasty' incident and Lowe's behaviour was 'every parent's nightmare.'
Well, yes indeed, being punched in the stomach (while pregnant) by a complete stranger who is engaged in a broad daylight tug-of-war with you with your 11-month old baby as the rope is pretty nasty, isn't it?

But aren't you supposed to be minimising the defendant's behaviour?
'He presents a risk and that needs to be reduced,' said Mr Bailey.
Wow! Have we found a defence brief with a conscience?
Court heard that he had shown remorse and suffered from mental health difficulties, including schizophrenia.
Lowe had worked as a street cleaner, but had to leave that job because of taunts and abuse from children.
And had presumably been left to his own devices by the mental health authorities?

Well, he's the prison system's problem now. That'll help, won't it?
Jailing Lowe for two years, Judge David Tremberg said: 'It's every parent's nightmare to have a stranger try to abduct their child, particularly in a case like this when it was a young woman who was on her own and 17 weeks' pregnant, and against whom you used some violence.
'Let this be a lesson to you and let this be the last time you ever appear before a criminal court.'
He's 68 - what are the odds?

A Bit Careless?

Police shot a 48-year-old man with a Taser gun after he threatened to use petrol to blow up his home.
Don't they worry about sparks?
Father-of-two Carl Mountford barricaded himself in to a bedroom after accusing his wife of 29 years of having an affair.
And was the weeping lady of the house waiting for police to resolve the matter?
It later emerged that his wife Adele Tunstall – who was out playing bingo at the time of the siege – was not having an affair.
It really is just like 'Jeremy Kyle', isn't it?
Now the couple's marriage is 'back on track' – although Mrs Tunstall has warned her hubby to stay off alcohol.
I'm shocked, shocked, to find alcohol was involved... Comment of the month, though:
by defjamrcsThursday, February 14 2013, 1:39PM
“I'm glad they worked things out and this has a happy ending. It would have been a shame to throw away such a wonderful relationship over a very small silly misunderstanding involving drink, petrol, a machete and armed police.
It's a warm Valentine's Day story from fegg Hayes”

Wednesday 20 February 2013

Art For Art's Sake: Unknown

A fair few years ago, I think it was back in 2007/8, I took myself and a couple of friends to the RHS Orchid Show and, wanting to make a whole day of it, someone suggested we do the exhibition of Aztec art that was on at the time in the afternoon.

Liking Aztec design, I agreed, and after the Orchid Show and lunch, we all trooped off to whatever museum or arthouse it was - I think it might have been the Royal Academy. Wherever it was, we presented an interesting problem for the cloakroom attendants, who had to figure out what to do with not just our coats, but with the carriers bags of orchid plants we all had!

Inside, it was very crowded, very warm, and most of the art and sculpture was as expected, beautiful and strange.

And then I made the acquaintance of this gentleman:

Mictlantecuhtli, god of the underworld. Lord Death, an important figure in Aliette de Bodard's excellent series of historical/fantasy novels, which I read much later. A huge clay figure, sculpted with impressive attention to detail and anatomy (of which, of course, the Aztecs had a very detailed knowledge), thousands of years ago by people who didn't even have the wheel, and utterly absorbing.

I must have spent nearly 20 minutes just gazing at this one piece along. Truly, the 2D image doesn't do him justice...

I suppose I must lack the refined sensibilities of the Samizdata folks, or Philip Hensher, who took some time out from whinging about gay issues to hold his nose and proclaim a similar exhibition to be akin to a display of Hitler's daubings.

Yes, the Aztecs were 'bloodthirsty' and 'cruel' by 21st century standards (though I wonder how they'd view germ warfare and the atom bomb?) but art and creativity should stand alone and above such squeamishness and revisionism.

Next month: Rousseau

A 'Lack Of Diligence'..?

Maybe. But hardly solely on the part of the police...
Georgina Beevers, 37, was discovered by officers at the house in Bredbury, Stockport, at 8.17am on January 30 last year.
Her young son had answered the door to police, who found Georgina on the living room sofa.
Her mother, Sheila, had raised the alarm at 6.44pm the previous evening – telling the 999 operator Georgina’s partner had been ‘battling to stop her taking an overdose’.
He left shortly after warning Mrs Beevers.
Well, he's a prince, isn't he? She's good enough to sleep with, but not worth persevering with. So he leaves a young lad alone with a supposedly-suicidal woman and dumps the problem on her mum.

So, what about mum? Why didn't she do anything? Maybe she lives too far away?
Sheila, 65, of Hindsford Close, Wythenshawe...
 Oh. Maybe not. It's all of nine miles...
...was unable to drive to her daughter’s home as she was on strong medication and made a series of frantic calls to police and social services on the night of the tragedy.
Couldn't she have got a neighbour to drive her? Or a taxi? Maybe she isn't familiar with taxis?
“I had told them my daughter had threatened suicide yet there was no line of communication. If I’d have known they weren't going to go round I’d have ordered a taxi and gone myself.
Oh, right  Clearly, she is familiar with taxis. She just thinks that, having plonked the problem in the hands of the state and its minions, it's up to them to go do something about the suicidal daughter with the four-year-old kid...
The IPCC probe found the 999 call handler had correctly recognised the incident as Grade 1 – requiring an emergency response. But two minutes later a radio operator asked for it to be downgraded to Grade 2 – a decision that was sanctioned by a supervisor at 6.49pm.
A Grade 2 call still requires police attendance within an hour. But an ongoing armed robbery and a missing person meant no officer was assigned until 9.25pm.
The IPCC found the police constable given the job had read 11 of the 12 pages in two minutes – but not the final page. He knocked on the door around an hour later but left when he got no response, suggesting another officer should go round in the morning.
He later claimed not to have seen a section of the notes on Georgina’s suicide risk.
Hmmm. Why did the son not answer the door that time?

But whatever. It's clearly all entirely the fault of the poor bloody police, and not the selfish act of an attention seeking woman and the lackadaisical response of her nearest and dearest...

Or You Could Just Accept That Your Wants Don't Trump Property Rights?

Mrs Daintree has now started a petition called 'Fill That Gap' which she is hoping will show public support.
Posters have been put up in the local church and shop in support of the campaign.
She added that one option was to bend the boardwalk around the private area of land but that it reached so far out the shingle might not be strong enough to support it that far down the beach.
 Well, you're at an impasse then. The council don't own the land, and the people that do own it don't want to sell. So what do you expect to solve with a petition?

What does the council have to say? Given it committed public money to this without properly investigating the circumstances?
'The Council remains committed to finding a solution to the problem of the gap.
'Options to close the gap are currently being investigated and it is the intention to bring the details of these options back to Councillors for a decision in the next month or two.
'We are aware that there remains strong feeling among the community about the need to close the gap in the Boardwalk, and to potentially extend the Boardwalk at a later date.'
 Really? Or is it just one person, enabled by all the usual agitators? Comments are illuminating:
I live in one of the houses in your photographs of Shoreham Beach and am in possession of the facts. I rarely see disabled people using the boardwalk but see lots of children on cycles, scooters etc using it. To say that this is a facility for the disabled is to exaggerate the benefit to disabled people. If I were disabled or pushing a disabled person in a wheelchair, I would much rather go half a mile down the road to Widewater where there is a lovely footpath bounded by a cycle lane which is off a much higher standard than this boardwalk. As this footpath and cycle path stretches along the beach all the way to Goring (which must be at least five miles away) disabled people are certainly not prevented from enjoying our lovely beaches. This petition is merely an attempt to intimidate the elderly owners of the house to permit Adur District Council who knew that they did not own the land before building works commenced to build the boardwalk, to agree terms with them.
- Sam , Brighton, 05/2/2013 21:06
As a local resident in possession of the full facts behind this fiasco, I can advise that Adur council tried to buy this land from the owners as recently as 2005, without success. In 2011 without consulting the residents West Sussex CC registered the land. Convenient for Adur, who then proceeded to build the boardwalk without planning permission or consulting residents. The land registry subsequently overturned WSCCs bogus attempt to register the land when the real owners produced their deeds. This article along with Adur DC, SBRA, FSOB are now trying to bully residents in submission.This is not acceptable and really hope they fail. We've arrived at this laughable position because the Council tried do something behind closed doors, without planning and consultation . It's quite clear to me who is in the wrong.
- Beachman , Shoreham by Sea, United Kingdom, 05/2/2013 13:57
It's quite clear to me too. And it's not the owners of the land..

You Couldn't Make It Up...

A DIY enthusiast said to have accidentally chopped off his big toe went out and stole a saw after he was released from hospital, a court heard.

I just...
Dad-of-two Martin Roy Blenkinsopp, 40, had cut through the bone of his toe with an angle grinder.
He then ‘taped it back on’ himself and sat in the house for two days because he had a ‘morbid fear’ of hospitals.
Not, sadly, a morbid fear of courts:
The defendant had a criminal record and had just completed a suspended sentence, the court heard.
Shocker, eh?

Tuesday 19 February 2013

And It Was All Going Swimmingly Too!

Geoff Raw, strategic director for Brighton and Hove City Council, admitted: “This is a very regrettable situation. Unfortunately we have lost some fish in the course of the urgent repair works to the park and pond.
We thought we had made good plans and preparations for temporarily storing the fish on-site in specially-insulated skips which were specifically chosen as they are hard to vandalise."
So...what went wrong?
“However, freezing weather meant we couldn't refresh the water regularly without causing an ice hazard on the path and cycle track nearby."
“We have been in contact with the RSPCA to review what happened and have learnt some valuable lessons for the future."
Of course you have...

Whitewashing Literature...

...the pretty market town where Enid Blyton lived is now divided – over a festival celebrating her life.
Organisers are planning a week of activities in honour of the writer, who died in 1968 aged 71, and want to install a plaque to mark the spot where her home once stood.
And there's a problem with that?
However, other locals are fighting to block the event on the grounds that much of the author’s work was ‘racist and offensive’.
Ah. Guardian readers, I suspect?
Anthony Mealing, 63, who is trying to stop the event going ahead, said: 'My grandmother, Annie Grigg, taught at a school near here where they had rather racist Enid Blyton stories issued free by the author to all the pupils in the 1950s.
'The moral of one of the stories is: Don’t leave any money around if there are any black children about as they will steal it.
'She was anti-Semitic and very racist. People don’t believe me because she is too high an icon, but she was.''s really only one local? At least, only one that the 'Mail' has been able to find.

He has his supporters on the internet, of course, but they aren't necessarily villages, now are they?
...a supporter of Mr Mealing wrote: 'For years there have been persistent rumours, based on recollections by some now elderly folk, that Enid B wasn’t a very nice lady.
'One of her daughters also had a lot to say, criticising her too. Two TV documentaries about her also cast doubt about her character.'
Isn't it setting one's criteria for literature a wee bit high, that one can only read and enjoy books written by people who have lived the lives of ascetics, and whose relatives never have anything bad to say about them?

Luckily, our state broadcaster doesn't go in for such nonsense, eh?

Both Parties Could Have Avoided It, Though...

Councillor Lesley Kelly, cabinet member with responsibility for public protection at Havering Council, said: "This was an avoidable accident and I am pleased that the shopping centre are going to make the escalator safe.
"We will take action where public safety is at risk."
And do you feel that public protection in Havering is best served by ensuring that, no matter how negligent people are, accidents that then happen to them are not only someone else's fault, but someone else's money will then be confiscated from them as well?
A statement from Savills read: "On October 8, 2009, a 12-year-old boy suffered personal injuries after falling from the outside of the escalator located within the complex. The boy had been holding on to the handrail of the escalator and riding up its outer side as part of a game of dare.
"Security personnel were quickly on the scene and he was taken to hospital by ambulance.
"Following the incident, proceedings were brought against SCL by the London Borough of Havering.
"It was alleged that the company had failed to take sufficient measures to prevent access by children to the outside of the escalator.
"The allegations were denied on the grounds that the company did not have a duty to protect against risks arising from the deliberate misuse of the escalator and reasonably practicable steps had been taken to ensure the safety of those using the escalator, to include a deflector shield which the boy deliberately navigated around.
"There was no question that the escalator was perfectly safe when used sensibly and properly by members of the public.
"SCL has a great deal of sympathy for the boy's injuries, however, the judgment comes as a huge disappointment given the company's excellent health and safety record and the unusual circumstances of this case.
"SCL is lodging an appeal against the decision."
I hope they win.

Monday 18 February 2013

No, Ivan. No, It Wouldn't...

Would it, really? Let's look at the circumstances, shall we?
A few weeks ago Taxi and I were out on our regular early evening stroll in Shoreditch Park when a Staffordshire bull terrier ran towards us.
In a split second we sensed danger but I wasn’t close enough to grab my dog in time. Taxi’s eyes widened as the bull terrier leapt on him, sinking its teeth into his neck and causing him to let out a pained, terrified squeal.
I immediately seized the attacker and tried to pull it off my poor dog. “Oi, you,” came a drunken shout from 10 feet away.
“F***ing leave my dog alone.”
The bull terrier now had its snarling jaws clamped around my fingers. I managed to whip my hand away, scoop up Taxi and sidestep the salivating mutt.
“And keep your poof dog away from mine,” the drunk raged on. His eyes were red, his body swaying like he was on the deck of a boat.
I recognised him instantly from the local council estate. He’s often seen lurching around the park with his Staffy. It’s not the first time they've intimidated Taxi or me and I’ve heard similar tales from other dog-walkers.
Yes, that's just the sort of person who'd trot along to the Post Office to immediately slap some beer vouchers down on the counter a few scant seconds after the ink was dry on the legislation, isn't it?
Dog licences existed in Britain until 1987 (and are still in force today in Northern Ireland). They cost 37p and were seen as a tax on dog ownership that no one took seriously. But if they cost £20-£30, with discounts for pensioners and people with disabilities, it could help raise more than £100 million.
And just how much would it cost to administer and enforce, you utter, utter moron?

Mystery Horses...

There was some horsing around in Basildon on Friday morning as four foals were caught trotting near to Sainsburys.
Police were alerted to the horses presence at 7.25am after they had been seen walking along Cricketers Way, Eastmayne.
It is thought that two of the animals were adult horses and two were younger foals, although it remains a mystery where they came from.
A young horse has been put down after is was found abandoned in a childrens’ play area.
The animal was discovered by police and RSPCA officers in Cranfield Park, Wickford, last Monday, suffering from a deep wound to its right hind leg.
An equine veterinary surgeon concluded the injury was so serious that the animal should be put down on welfare grounds.
Hard to figure out where they are coming from, isn't it?

Are They That Easy To Interfere With..?

If so, I think we should be told:
Rebecca Gallanagh used nail glue to spell out her name in fake diamonds on the ankle tag which was meant to ensure she kept her curfew.
Tacky, chavvy, indeed. But affecting the device?
The company argued in court that Gallaghan had 'compromised the integrity' of the device with her diamanté design.
Ummm... I don't think so. Not do their own employees:
When staff from Serco Home Affairs fitted the tag they told her she would be allowed to decorate it however she wanted, she claims.
'The lady who fitted the item said she saw a girl from My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding who had blinged her tag, and she said I could do that,' Gallanagh said.
'I saw pictures of it online and checked the leaflet, and nowhere did it say I couldn't decorate it.'
Well, quite! Who would be stupid enough to believe they...

Oh. Right:
Magistrates agreed, telling the defendant she had committed a 'very serious offence' and slapping her with a £55 fine, along with £85 court costs and a £20 victim support surcharge.
Good grief! No-one comes out of this one looking good, do they?

Sunday 17 February 2013

Seems A Bit Harsh...

...I'm sure there are other towns that could do with such a clear-out, mind you.

Maybe I Misjudged Billy Bragg...

...when I thought the Berk of Barking moved his family to mono-cultural Dorset to escape the vibrancy of the multicultural society he promotes at every turn.

Maybe he had a far more prosaic - or personal - reason for the move?

Sunday Funnies...

Yes, there's a malady people call 'The Jumping Frenchmen of Maine'. God. I love the Internet!

Saturday 16 February 2013

The English Equivalent Of...

...the American 'Hey, buddy, hold my beer and watch this!':

It was the last day of the insurance cover Grace had on the car and just the week before he had been offered a place with the police, the court was told.
That offer was rescinded following his conviction.
Just as well!

The judge had some harsh words for the legal profession, too:
Addressing the court, the judge attacked legal firms who told clients not to answer police questions.
He said: 'He knew he was driving too fast, he knew he had caused the death but he made no comment in interview.'
'He was not well served by anybody who was advising him in the police station to go 'no comment'. I make no bones about it.'
He read part of a letter from Rory Scarlett's parents, Felix and Laura, in which they said: 'Pleading not guilty was a foolish and wasteful exercise, doomed from the outset.'
'Any professionals responsible for advising him to plead not guilty should hang their heads in shame. They have probably made the situation worse for him.'
You expect shame from lawyers?

Why Is One Acceptable, And The Other Not?

I follow a lot of police Tweeters. Some are worthwhile, informative, and occasionally funny.

And then...there's Surrey Police, who mostly use it for inane PR fluff and 'public awareness' campaigns.

Like this:

Nice, eh? 'If you've got nice things and you flaunt them in public, well, of course some poor disadvantaged soul is going to be tempted beyond endurance, and who's fault is that, then, eh?' it seems to be saying.

So why is it utterly, utterly unthinkable that they would ever Tweet this?

I mean, really, what's the difference?

Urban Pest Species: Is It Time For A Cull After All?

I've been wrestling with this question all week. My natural instincts say 'No'.

It would be hugely expensive, would likely do no good as more would simply move in to claim the empty territory and the bleeding hearts would be everywhere in the media trying to drum up sympathy.

But...well, you look at the facts and it's hard not to see the writing on the wall:

Yes, I'm afraid we are going to have to bite the bullet, and start culling the urban chav.

Friday 15 February 2013

Oh, I'm So Delighted My Taxes Go To Support People Like This!

A twenty-stone thug broke a man’s collar-bone by squashing him following an argument in a pub.
Michael Eldin, of St Lawrence Avenue, Snaith, was told that by kneeling on electrician Daniel Watson with his bulky frame, he could legally have been considered to have used a weapon.
Not, one would assume, a concealed one?
Ian Philips, for Eldin, said his client had a partner and two children, but suffered ill-health and survived on benefits, and because of his thrombosis, was unable to complete a community punishment.
Survived? I'd say he's doing more than just bloody surviving! It's clear he's not living a hand to-mouth existence, is it?

Well, not in the usual meaning of the word, anyway.
Judge John Dowse told Eldin: “Twenty stones of you coming to rest on the complainant caused him a broken collar bone.
“I can imagine the court of appeal would regard this as using a weapon. I accept in this instance the offence was out of character. Nevertheless, violence of this sort, must be punished.
Well, what did you give him?
Eldin was given a four-month suspended prison sentence and ordered to pay £200 compensation.

The Courage Of Your Convictions..?

A teenager was last week excluded from a Meopham school after a teacher accused him of performing a Nazi salute in class.

Could've been worse...
Fourteen-year-old Ben Hayward is said to have made the hand gesture while clicking his heels and saying ‘Heil Hitler’at Meopham School, in Wrotham Road.
But Ben, who denies using the phrase and clicking his heels, says he was unaware he was being ‘racist’ when he stretched out his left arm to imitate his teacher, who was using her hand to signal for the class to be quiet.
Following the incident in November last year, Ben was punished with a two-hour after school detention. However Ben and his parents refused to accept the punishment and demanded a meeting with the school in a bid to have the incident thoroughly investigated.
 Well, OK, that's their right.
His father Scott Hayward told News Shopper: "We asked the school to talk to the teacher as we thought she may have misjudged the incident as racist.
"At most it could have been seen as undermining her authority...
 Aha! Oh, you don't think that would have been enough?
...but definitely not racist.
"If investigated properly with witness statements from the other 20 or so children there, it would show the teacher was mistaken."
Hmmm, I think the police have better things to do, frankly.

But wait! There's been a development!
Although the detention was postponed, headteacher Matthew Munro contacted the Haywards in January to say Ben must serve the punishment but the school was prepared to no longer describe the incident as racist.
The 41-year-old added: "We refused as we said all along we wouldn't accept a change of accusation, especially after accusing our son of racism without further investigation and causing so much upset to all our family."
Stranger and stranger! What does the school have to say for itself?
Meopham School headteacher Matthew Munro said: "The standard procedure when students have an after school detention is if they miss it twice they will have a day of internal exclusion in our internal exclusion unit.
"We had discussions with Mr and Mrs Hayward and we did agree we wouldn't categorise it as a racist incident but that it would be a serious incident and the punishment would stand."
 Hang on, why aren't you categorising it as 'racist'? I thought the modern guidebook was quite clear on this?
"A racist incident is defined by perception of other people rather than the intention of the person who committed it and this is the point we tried to make.
"The fact remains a teacher took great exception and perceived the incident as racist.
Well, that's it then, under modern definition of the terms, the charge stands, no question.
"However, as I said this was a point we were willing to re-categorise and that is where we left it."
So ... having claimed it's up to the receiver to set the category, you are now backtracking? How come?

Could it be that you don't really want to push this too far?

"This Isn't Just Any Shoplifter..."

"...this is a Marks and Spencer shoplifter!"
Mr Robertson said MacLean was arrested at the Marks & Spencer customer services desk after her trips in and out of the store raised suspicions of staff monitoring its CCTV.
She wanted a coat for her own use, stole one the wrong size and went back to get another of the right size. One “bobbled” when she washed it, so she took it back as defective. All the coats had been recovered.
Now that's chutzpah!
She sighed with relief in the dock as magistrates suspended a16-week prison sentence for a year on condition she undertakes 12 months’ supervision and goes on a rehabilitation course to tackle her binge drinking.
Who is going to do something to tackle the obvious binge drinking on the bench? Something must explain these bonkers sentences, surely?

Thursday 14 February 2013

He Did 'Have Another Side', Then, Judge?

...trouble is, it was just as bad:
Diallo Allen, 18, was allowed to walk free despite mugging three teenagers after Judge Lesley Newton heard he turned to crime after his affluent parents were forced to move to a council estate.
Judge Newton said she believed there was ‘another side’ to the violent mugger and gave him a suspended sentence.
And he walked the straight and narrow (as far as we know) for....three whole days!
But three days later Allen smashed his way into a home while the owners were on holiday. He was caught after traces of his blood were found on a door and window frames.
Allen is now due to appear before Judge Newton again, after yesterday pleading guilty to burgling the house with intent to steal.
I guess it's not just the mugger who gets a second chance to do the right thing, then?

But tell me more about the circumstances of his family's fall from grace?
Manchester Crown Court was told how he had fallen into bad company after his ‘high-achieving’ family moved a mile-and-a-half from a ‘middle-class’ area to the Nell Lane council estate, in Chorlton.
Allen’s mother, Deanne Blake, had worked for Manchester council for 18 years as a social worker before launching her own private consultancy.
His father Garfield Allen, who is separated from Miss Blake, was made redundant from his job as a theatre director due to funding cuts in the arts.
Oh dear! *stifles manic laughter*

Sorry, No Sympathy, And I'm Not Listening...

A Blackburn‘lifeline’ charity has said it is down to its last few months’ rent.
 Oh noes! A 'lifeline' charity? Gosh! What do they do?
Blackburn Lighthouse, a sympathy listening service, features a team of volunteers who fear their services are in danger.
The team, which provide a sympathetic ear to people who have no one else to talk to, said it can only pay for their base for another two months.
Founders Kathleen Barlow and Susan Haresceugh have helped hundreds of people over the past three years.
 I.... Ummm....
“I set this up because when I was diagnosed with epilepsy there was no one to talk to about it. I didn’t need anything else except someone who was willing to listen.”
Maybe it's me but....don't we have a service like this already? A national one? Named after something Biblical...?

Hmmm. It's on the tip of my tongue. If only I had someone to talk to about it...

But ID Chips Are The Answer!

“This has had a huge affect (sic) on Greg and my mum.
Greg served as a guide dog for years and he didn't deserve this to happen to him and all we wanted was justice for him and that hasn't happened.
The owner hasn’t even apologised to us and wasn’t even fined. Instead the Guide Dogs charity that rely on donations to keep going had to pay Greg’s vets bills which were around £1,400.”
Gosh, another lax sentence on the guilty party. How surprising!
Jo Cottam who was forced to pull the dog off her partially sighted mum’s faithful companion, Greg, had been told the bulldog’s owner could face having the animal destroyed.
But Howard George Thomas Smith, 38, of Surrey Street, Balby, who admitted being the owner of a dog which was dangerous and not kept under proper control, was instead handed a more lenient sentence.
He was ordered by Doncaster magistrates to keep his American bulldog Buster on a lead at all times, muzzled at all times and is only allowed out in public between 10pm and midnight.
Useless as a chocolate fireguard...

Wednesday 13 February 2013

A Likely Story!

A dad who strangled his pet dog to death and dumped the body in a wheelie bin has been cleared of animal cruelty.
Wh..? How can this be? you ask.

Well, turn the lamps down low, set a roaring fire in the hearth, and hearken to a thrilling tale of a man's desperate battle for survival against the untamed savagery of...a year-old Staffordshire terrier?
Bolton, who is a full-time carer for his wife, told the court it was the only humane method of killing available at the time. He said: "She was ferocious, jumping up and lunging at my face and throat, and snapping at my hands and wrists. She was foaming at the mouth and baring her teeth."
Oh, no! *clutches cushion*
"She was a medium sized-dog with an awful lot of strength and power. I knew there was a very real threat to my family's safety. It was very traumatic."
*swoon* How brave!
The court heard Bolton, who also has three other dogs, acquired Nellie from a neighbour who was concerned about its vicious behaviour.
Ummm.... Hang on!
Bolton had agreed to take her for a trial period, but after two weeks, noticed her acting aggressively towards his other dogs and growling at his children. He later found out the former rescue dog was not supposed to have been re-homed with a family with children.
So...instead of passing it back to the rescue home, this chap palms it off on his neighbour?
Concerned for the safety of his family, Bolton decided to have her euthanased.
Whew! What a sensible ma...

Oh. Wait.
He said he sought advice from agencies including the police, the city council, the PDSA and the RSPCA, but claimed they refused to help.
He also said he phoned several veterinary practices in Canterbury, but claimed each of them refused to offer payment plans to help Bolton meet the high cost of putting Nellie to sleep.
Riiiiight. He didn't want 'help' at all. He wanted someone else to pay! 
He said: "I was quite upset that there was no help available. I got to a point of desperation. I had a dangerous dog in the house that I was pretty much being forced to keep."
Umm, no. It's not that expensive. They weren't asking for the soul of your first born child, after all!
Bolton told the court he kept Nellie in a large cage for the majority of the time, but on the day she died, she had broken free and started attacking his other dogs.
Addressing the bench, Bolton said: "It was probably one of the most unpleasant experiences of my life.
"I'm not proud of what I did. Never would I have done it under any other circumstances. But if I was in the same situation again, I would do it again to cease the threat to my family."
You just wouldn't pay any money to avoid that threat...
Prosecuting for the RSPCA, Elizabeth Spence said Bolton could have avoided the situation by refusing to take in a dog known to be aggressive, and suggested Nellie's suffering was unnecessary.
Well, who couldn't agree with that?
Magistrates deliberated for more than two hours, before reaching a verdict of not guilty.
Chairman of the bench David Ellerby said: "Mr Bolton was under sustained attack, was desperate and reasonably believed that strangulation was the most humane method available at the time to protect himself and his family.
"We accept there was suffering to the dog, but we find this could not have been avoided or reduced at the time, and was therefore necessary."
 In other words: "We believe this total pack of old fanny we are told by this man who doesn't work, has three dogs already, took in a fourth and didn't fancy forking out for the costs of having it destroyed. Also, we think the Tooth Fairy exists, and that man who leaves presents at the foot of our beds comes from the North Pole"
Speaking after the verdict, Bolton told the Canterbury Times: "I'm very relieved. I've always had dogs and I support the Staffordshire Bull Terrier breed in particular.
"But I'm here today because there was no help available to me in that situation. The different agencies need to look into cases like this and perhaps re-think their protocols."
Well, I certainly agree there - I think they should, when they get calls like this one, turn up and put the dog to sleep.

Followed by the owner.

A Comment On The Quality Of Public Services?

An unemployed man dumped 10kgs of dog poo in his local job centre after they refused to hand over his dole money because he was 10 minutes late to sign on.
Clearly, he dressed up for court.

Calm down, ladies! 

Hard to see why he hasn't been snapped up by an employer, eh?

Oh, For Fox Sake! It's Getting Ridiculous!

Following on from the highly dodgy story of the baby 'mauled by killer fox' affair, which I think is currently on it's third iteration of where the baby was (could be fourth by the time this posts), one of our few remaining pubs feels compelled to hide away a tame fox due to one whinging moron.

Then we have this utter nonsense:
Patients and staff are being warned to be on their guard after reports of a fox on the loose outside a maternity unit.
Officials at Wythenshawe Hospital have put up a sign at their main entrance, asking people to be vigilant.
Because a fox is deadly, deadly, do you hear me!? Whereas an NHS hospital, well...
A spokesman for the hospital said that humane traps were currently being set for the fox – and they did not believe that any mums or babies were at risk.
“The fox has not entered any of the internal buildings and we are working with a pest control company who catch foxes using a baited cage and release them a number of miles away.”
Oh, well, that'll please the farmers, won't it?

Update: And now the family have the nerve to whine that 'online trolls' are pointing out the discrepancies in their story below the line! Truly, you couldn't make it up...

H/T: AllyFogg via Twitter and Geoff Orr via email

Tuesday 12 February 2013

All Talk, No Action...

Hurrah! At last. So, what are they doing?
Nickie Aiken, the council’s cabinet member for community protection, said his death showed the need to tackle drug-related violence — a relatively new phenomenon in Pimlico.
Yes, yes, so what are you doing?
“Obviously this has really focused our minds even more and there’s definitely a will now to really push through,” she added.
OK, Nicki, we get that. It's a shame it took a death. Presumably you were just sitting on your hand before?

But I can't see any proposals. What are you doing?
“We’ve been stepping up our campaign since the autumn, but have intensified the outreach work now even more so. We’re confident we can get to grips with the problem but we can’t do this on our own — we need to get together with the parents and the community.”
And hunt down the savage little scum, slaughter them in the street & hang their bodies from Pimlico lampstandards, yes?

Or just hold lots of useless meetings with very nice tea and biscuits, glossy pamphlets and stuffed full of council wonks all earnestly agreeing 'something must be done' while they check their watches to ensure they aren't late for the train that will take them back to suburbia?
Ms Aiken said: “I very quickly realised we had a growing gang issue. I was very concerned about people living on our estates living in fear. Why should a mother sit at home waiting for her 15-year-old son to come home safely from youth club? Why should a mother of a toddler have to put up with 15-year-olds outside the window smoking skunk?”
Well, mainly it's because people like you don't have to live in the slums your barmy policies and useless ideas about 'fixing things' create, so they've no real will to fix it.

Does that answer your questions?

Oh, The Usual Excuses...

In interview, Mr Bates, 46, claimed he didn't have much to do with the dog, but accepted he was partly responsible.
He also revealed that Lulu had been limping for at least a month.
Mrs Bates accepted that she was primarily responsible for the dog’s welfare and told how Lulu’s leg had started swelling a couple of months earlier.
She claimed that transport problems, a lack of money and the knowledge that Lulu was likely to be put down had deterred her from calling a vet.
Until the poor beast was literally howling in agony, whereupon they suddenly decided to call...the RSPCA! Not the PDSA, or the other animal charities that help out genuine cases of people unable to afford veterinary care...
Bob Topping, defending both Mr and Mrs Bates, claimed they did not want to cause unnecessary harm to the dog. He said both Mr and Mrs Bates were “remorseful, ashamed, embarrassed and upset”.
Yes. Aren't they always?
The couple pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to an animal and magistrates handed both defendants suspended eight-week jail sentences and banned them from owning any animals for 10 years. Mr Bates must also complete a six-week curfew and Mrs Bates 80 hours of unpaid work. Both must also pay £700 each in costs.
Anyone want to bet where that money will be coming from?