Tuesday 3 December 2013

There’s Obsession, And Then, There’s Obsession

…and some obsessions, it seems, are more tolerated than others.
Ross Straker’s beloved Alsatian-Rottweiler cross Wookie went missing from his Hever Lane home in April 2009. Since then Mr Straker, a shooting instructor, has made a series of Freedom of Information requests hoping to discover the truth about what happened to his three-year-old pet. He even enlisted the help of a private detective as well as contacting MP Sir John Stanley.
He has, indeed, gone the extra mile for his pet. A touching story of devotion, or…something else?
But this week, Judge Robin Callender Smith told Mr Straker his campaign had become “obsessive, disproportionate and excessive” .
Something that no judge would ever dare say about any other campaigns based on even shakier evidence than this one. Because it seems Mr Straker doesn’t believe his dog was lost. He believes it was stolen.
Mr Straker’s focus fixed on “conspiracy theories” involving the Metropolitan Police Service and Kent Police.
Clearly, a step too far for our justice system:
The judge, sitting on a Tribunal for Information Rights in London, said Mr Straker had become convinced the dog – for which he offered a £2,000 reward – was stolen by an ex-girlfriend, whose father he believes is employed by the Met Police.
He said: “The appellant believes there has been some kind of conspiracy over a four-year period involving his dog, Wookie, and, determined to uncover what may have happened within the Metropolitan Police Service and what has happened to his pet, he wrote to and telephoned the Metropolitan Police Service as well as other organisations on multiple occasions.”
 How very dare he contact those who, ummm, work for the public. Don't they?
He said Mr Straker had levelled accusations of “serious dishonesty” against the police, claiming numerous officers had lied to him.
Gosh! And that's so unprecedented. Incidentally, WoaR draws our attention to an update on that long-running case...
Mr Straker’s appeal in his latest request for information was dismissed.
On the basis that...well, read for yourself:
The judge said: “The tribunal accepts the loss of a dearly-loved dog – and the search for how and what may have happened to it – is something that can properly engage a bereaved owner in a completely legitimate series of enquiries. Those enquiries, however, need to be proportionate to the aim to be achieved – finding out what happened to his dog.
And...is it for anyone other than Mr Straker to determine what is proportional?
“In this case the tribunal finds the appellant has lost his sense of proportion in a quest that has now gone on for more than three years. His focus has become disproportionately and inappropriately fixed on wrong-doing and conspiracy theories.”
But sometimes, they turn out to have a grain of truth, do they not?
He added the requests had “reached the point of vexatiousness”
Strange. So many other cases don't get a similar chiding from the bench....


Anonymous said...

Once again you have linked unrelated stories to "prove" an anti-police story.
It would be easy to prove if his ex-girlfriends dad is employed by the Met.
So Kent police, the Met and Battersea dogs home are all in on it to keep a dog hidden,and now a Judge? Dear oh dear,must try harder.

Anonymous said...

Whilst sharing most your concerns about the dreadful state of policing in the UK I think this man has been summed up perfectly accurately.

I also acknowledge that there are, have been, still will be many cases of concern such as those you link to and the death of Daniel Morgan (the PI in Sydenham) for example.

Just because someone 'works' for the police doesn't mean they can access all sources of information and become a master criminal or even a clever dog-knapper.

The detection and conviction rate for staff who abuse Data Protection and other laws is very high. Clearly this bloke lost the plot and became like all the others who used to write on both side of tracing paper in spidery green ink or use a portable typewriter with a missing 'O'

"... Battersea Dogs and Cat’s Home and Longcross Kennels were also part of Mr Straker’s conspiracy theories.
The judge dismissed Mr Straker’s appeal against the Information Commissioner’s decision to refuse his latest request for information, in which he asked for photographic evidence of dead dogs found at Longcross Kennels in September 2009. The Metropolitan Police Service had told him that it had no such photographic evidence..."

Bonkers! Like MTG.

Bucko said...

Sounds like there may be a bit more to this. Conspiracy theorists can be complete wack jobs when they get an idea in their heads.

MTG said...

"Bonkers! Like MTG."

Bravely spoken, Anonymous. And bonkers I most certainly am.

However unlike you, I understand the loss, denial and depression experienced by decent owners when a pet passes. How sane you are to treat your animals with a dispassion reserved to worn furniture. Mr Straker and his pet were sufficiently fortunate to have each other and one was ever destined to be devastated without the other.

No doubt Mr Straker was bonkers when he levelled accusations of serious dishonesty against the Met police...claiming numerous officers had lied to him. I mean, where would this young man get such a preposterous idea, PC Anon?

Anonymous said...

MTG....I rest my case. Now off to see Nurse Ratched with you.

JuliaM said...

"It would be easy to prove if his ex-girlfriends dad is employed by the Met."

I'm not sure I see anywhere that that's disputed...

"The detection and conviction rate for staff who abuse Data Protection and other laws is very high."

In cases where it's been proven, yes. But first, someone has to investigate, don't they?

" I mean, where would this young man get such a preposterous idea, PC Anon?"

Where indeed...?

Anonymous said...

Ah it all makes sense now. I can imagine a young Melvin mourning the loss of a beloved goldfish,reporting his suspicions to the village bobby and getting rebuffed.He then swore revenge on everyone of us by publishing pointless rants on the internet.Descending further and further into madness....

Anonymous said...

Trust me on this...don't give up the day job, Jaded. Take things easy and try dropping into your local.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 17.43-what are you on about?

Anonymous said...

There really must be a shortage of tin foil up in MTG-Land.

MTG said...

Hard times reduce us to poultry netting and philosophical acceptance of the lightening risks, Jaded.

Anonymous said...

Yup...definite shortage c'mon Melvin, meds time. Largactyl first - big, big dose.

MTG said...

It's not my problem, Ranter...only my alter egos suffer anxiety attacks.

Now you take care of those feet stumps this Winter. Warmth and mobility are the watchwords.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to Mr Straker's actions Longcross kennels was raided by the RSPCA dog fighting unit and since then the kennel has been shut down! Also mr Straker was happy to take this matter to the high court,since then the Director of prosecutions for England and Wales has dismissed the tribunal and relinquished all fees put on to him by the Met police. CLEARLY MR STRAKERS EVIDENCE SPEAKS VOLUMES!!!
Many Congratulations are in order.