Sunday, 5 September 2010

Violence BY the police as serious as violence TO the police

It is absolutely right that the law deals harshly with violence and assaults upon police officers. The Police are ourselves in uniform, and an attack upon a policeman is an attack upon the rule of law itself, an attack upon the order and mores of our society, and an attack upon every lawful one of us. Those who attack the police find themselves in the Crown Court charged with indictable offences and facing long prison sentences, and this is right and proper.

But we grant policemen very substantial powers which we deny to ourselves, and their privilege in the exercise of those powers must be always and absolutely above reproach. The shocking and brutal violence used by Mark Andrews on a helpless woman has quite rightly seen him charged with a criminal offence, but I can't be alone in wondering at the corrupt reasoning that has led the CPS to present the case in a Magistrate's Court, where maximum sentences are just six months imprisonment.

Violence by the police is every bit as serious as violence to the police, and must be dealt with equally; indictable offences heard by a jury in the Crown Court with powers of long sentences held by the judge. You can bet your last dollar that had Pamela Somerville been filmed doing to Mark Andrews what he did to her, she would be facing a sentence of at least two years.

I shall be looking for some explanation of this anomalous treatment - on the face of it, it stinks.


Anonymous said...

1. Do the Magistrates not have the option of sending the case "upstairs" to the Crown Court if they think that their sentencing powers are inadequate? I know they used to be able to do it, but I haven't kept up with NuLabour's trashing of the criminal justice system.

2. If one is arrested, Nightjack had some advice for decent people. Alas, a national newspaper outed him as a DC in Lancashire and he was faced with a decision something similar to the highwayman of old: "your blog or your job". So his blog has gone, vanished. For some reason, the print to pdf command ignored all his styling, but the content is still there.

Robert said...

They can also get away with shooting innocent unarmed Brazilians.

talwin said...

At least CPS this time don't seem to have weakly hidden behind 'insufficient evidence', 'not in the public interest' or 'unlikely to get a conviction'.

An appearance at magistrates' court and a conviction might be considered a result.

Fifth Column Enterprises said...

Common Purpose.

To borrow a quote by Gerry Adams "They haven't gone away you know".

Elby the Beserk said...

Far greater chance of getting off with it at the Mag's. My stepdaughter was unlawfully arrested, and convicted on a Section 4. On appeal, the same evidence that was used to convict her was used to declare her Not Guilty; the judge noted that it seems that the Magistrates who convicted her had no knowledge of the law.

So, he has a fare better chance of getting off with it at the Mag's, and the CPS have now a history of trying to make it easy for coppers who abuse the law.

What a sorry state.

I would say that the legal and judicial systems in the UK are no longer fit for purpose. Indeed, my experience of it, small as it is, is that it is corrupt, and that if you know the right people (such as a local judge) you will get whatever you want of it.

Gordon the Fence Post Tortoise said...

Nauseating NewsQuest as usual tries to limit the damage - and block comments.

It's worth noting that the magistrates court used is 60 miles away in another county - meanwhile a stupid local teenager who didn't shoot anybody with an air pistol ends up in Crown Court looking at a custodial.

This is the force that distinguished itself in the Hayley Richards case. They did their level best to re-write the story there and obfuscate and protect the guilty.

By the way - the new Police Station in the County Town of Wiltshire (Trowbridge) doesn't actually have a single cell....

Anonymous said...

Oh dear

Every case starts life in a magistrates court - even murder

Some offences can only be tried before mags (Summary) and some only in Crown Court (Indictable)

Most are Either-way and can be tried in either,

The accused can elect crown court if he wishes, or the mags can send the case to crown. Most stay in the mags court - around 95%

The mags can find the accused guilty and then send him to crown for sentence if they feel their powers are insufficient. Very unusual - the belief being that a judge will be unlikely to sentence any more onorously.

This was I believe the PC,s 1st offence so most unlikely to end in a custodial sentence.

As always with these stories everyone has a view on the sentence but invariably without the disadvantage of having to listen to the evidence.

Raedwald said...

6 months imprisonment - must be some sort of result. Perhaps he'll get to share a cell with Dizai.