Public must think we have all gone mad, says British judge left powerless to jail burglar who terrorised pregnant mother
A judge has hit out at sentencing guidelines which stopped him from jailing a burglar who terrorised a heavily pregnant mother. Recorder Shaun Smith said the public 'must think we've all gone mad or soft' as he let Dominic Wong walk free. Wong had admitted battering his way into Safa Moustafa's home and stealing cash while she cowered upstairs with her two-year-old daughter.
Trauma from her ordeal has left her a virtual prisoner in her own home, but Recorder Smith said he was powerless to put Wong behind bars because it was his first burglary offence. Instead he had to hand out a community service order. The judge said: 'This is sentencing by numbers. I want to send you to prison. The public want to see you go to prison. But I can't send you to prison because of the guidelines I have been given.'
Last night Mrs Moustafa's husband Ahmed, 31, a highways consultant, reacted with outrage. He said: 'We're the victims, but no one cares about us. The whole system is completely on its head. 'If a judge wants to send someone to prison but can't then what's the point of a judge in the first place?'
Jobless Wong forced his way into 28-year-old Mrs Moustafa's home in Loughborough, Leicestershire, on September 15 this year. She was seven months pregnant at the time. She and her daughter, who was not named, were upstairs and stayed hiding as Wong smashed his way through the front door before helping himself to money. When police arrived at the scene they discovered him lurking in the garden of the house next door, which he had also tried to break into.
In a victim impact statement read to Leicester Crown Court, Mrs Moustafa said: 'I'm now very nervous and anxious in my own home. I'm forever checking doors and windows and keep looking outside to see who's around. 'I can't even go into the garden unless my husband is here. I can't be alone in the house and have friends to sleep over.' Mrs Moustafa said her daughter had become 'nervous and clingy'. She added: 'Because of this man's actions, I hope the court sends him to prison to make him understand exactly how he has affected our lives.'
But James Weston, defending, said it was Wong's first offence and the starting point was a community sentence. The law recommends first-time burglars should be spared custody if the case can satisfy certain conditions. The sentence has to represent an effective punishment and should tackle problems such as an offender's drug addiction.
Wong, of Loughborough, who claimed he would 'turn back the clock' if he could, also admitted burgling the house next door. He was given a two-year community order with 240 hours of unpaid work and was made the subject of a six-month night-time curfew. He was also told to pay 350 pounds compensation to the mother.
Mr Moustafa said the sentence did not reflect the damage Wong had inflicted. He said: 'My wife and daughter have been mentally scarred. My wife could have had a miscarriage. 'She was screaming "I'm pregnant!", but he still kept hitting the door until he managed to get in. 'Would he have still got a community order if my wife had suffered a miscarriage? I can only assume so, if that's what these guidelines say.'
The case came as Justice Secretary Jack Straw attacked liberal justice groups who 'drive him nuts' by focusing on the 'needs' of offenders instead of punishment.
A Vote Against Homosexual Marriage is a Vote FOR Tolerance
by Frank Turek
Twenty years ago, a group of prominent homosexuals got together in Warrentown, Virginia to map out their plan to get homosexuality accepted by the general public. In the book that resulted from their meeting, they revealed a strategy that achieves its effect "without reference to facts, logic or proof . . . the person's beliefs can be altered whether he is conscious of the attack or not."
In other words, their strategy was pure propaganda. That propaganda campaign has many people today believing that denying same-sex marriage involves denying rights to a victimized minority. That belief could not be further from the truth. In fact, let me suggest what the same-sex marriage debate is not about.
It is not about equality or equal rights.
It is not about discrimination against a class of people.
It is not about denying homosexuals the ability to commit to one another.
It is not about love or private relationships.
It is not about bigotry or homophobia.
It is not about sexual orientation or being born a certain way.
It is not about race or the civil rights struggle.
It is not about interracial marriage.
It is not about heterosexuals and divorce.
It is not about the separation of church and state.
It is not even about religion.
"But that's all I hear about," you say. Of course, that's because the propaganda campaign continues to be successful. Those topics are all smokescreens designed to divert you. In fact, for homosexuals, this debate isn't even about marriage. As data from countries with same-sex marriage show, approximately 96 percent of homosexuals don't get married when they are given the opportunity. And those that do get "married" break up at a much higher rate than heterosexuals.
Since most homosexuals don't want to get married or stay married, then why are homosexual activists so adamant about government recognition of same-sex marriage? Because same-sex marriage will win them what they really want-validation and normalization. In other words, the activists want same-sex marriage because they understand that government-backed same-sex marriage will validate and normalize homosexuality throughout society.
The key point here is "government-backed." Homosexuals already can "marry" one another privately. There is just no government version of it. Nothing is stopping homosexuals from pledging themselves to one another in private same-sex marriage ceremonies. In fact, it is done all the time-there is an entire cottage industry for "gay" weddings.
But that's not enough for homosexual activists. What they want is government endorsement for their relationships. They know that such endorsement will make homosexuality and their behavior appear just as normal as heterosexuality. That's why the same-sex marriage movement has more to do with respect than rights.
Greg Koukl puts this very well: "Same-sex marriage is not about civil rights. It is about validation and social respect. It is a radical attempt at civil engineering using government muscle to strong-arm the people into accommodating a lifestyle many find deeply offensive, contrary to nature, socially destructive, and morally repugnant." Same-sex marriage advocate Andrew Sullivan understands this. He writes, "Including homosexuals within marriage would be a means of conferring the highest form of social approval imaginable."
This is the real reason homosexual activists are relentlessly pushing to get the government to endorse same-sex marriage. Most don't want to get "married," but they do want the social approval that same-sex marriage will win them.
Once they get that legal and social approval, no one disagreeing with them will be safe. Schools, businesses, churches, and charities will be bludgeoned with threats and lawsuits until they abandon their convictions and agree to promote what is pleasantly called "diversity." Ironically, the only view allowed by the coming diversity police is the narrow view that you must celebrate homosexuality. No other view will be tolerated.
In fact, this intolerance is already happening and will get worse if same-sex marriage spreads. A federal court recently denied parents the right to know when homosexuality was being discussed in their Massachusetts schools because gay marriage is now legal there. Also in Massachusetts, a Catholic adoption agency was forced to close its doors rather than provide children to homosexual couples as the state now demands. In New Jersey, a Christian ministry was investigated for refusing to conduct a same-sex ceremony. In California, a doctor was sued for refusing to artificially inseminate a lesbian. Several other examples of gay intolerance can be found here, and the unbelievable forced normalization of homosexuality in businesses, schools and charities throughout Massachusetts can be found here. (Click on that link if you really want to see how bad the intolerance can get.)
Moreover, as I've shown in Gay Marriage: Even Liberals Know It's Bad, government-backed same-sex marriage also will hurt our children, our health, our economy and our nation. Thankfully, voters still have the choice to not endorse intolerance and political correctness. The good people of California, Arizona and Florida can vote for tolerance this Election Day by confirming that marriage is only between one man and one woman.
British "health & safety" Nazis obliterate an ancient right for no good reason
They want to assert their ownership of what is not theirs. Power is what bureaucrats want and ownership gives power
If you go down to the woods today, forget about disguise - you'd better wear a hard hat and a hi-viz jacket. Dingly Dell has fallen to the elf 'n' safety nazis. For the past 12 years, retired builder Mike Kamp has been collecting firewood from the forest near his home at Betws-y-Coed, North Wales. It's a right enshrined in the Magna Carta of 1215, the template for democracies around the world. Free men down the centuries have been granted the liberty to gather dead wood from common land to fuel their stoves, repair their homes and make charcoal.
That was before the Forestry Commission came along and started demanding that anyone wanting to collect wood would need a licence to forage. Now it has imposed an outright ban, stating: 'This is an area where we are subject to increasing constraints in terms of health and safety. We have a duty of care to people in our wood.' Note the use of the possessive our wood. It isn't their wood. It's common land and it belongs to everyone.
As Mr Kamp said: 'They are claiming there are health and safety issues. But people have walked through the woods collecting firewood for hundreds of years without too many safety problems.' Precisely. I doubt there is one recorded incident of a firewood-related fatality in North Wales. This, as usual, is about bureaucrats justifying their own sad existence and protecting their backs in the event of someone turning their ankle in a rabbit hole, ringing Blame Direct, and suing for com-pensayshun.
It's the same warped thinking which led to plans for an open-air ice rink in Bath this Christmas being abandoned because council officials feared it could be a magnet for paedophiles. How sick do you have to be to reach that conclusion?
And a school in Colchester has banned children from bringing in broomsticks for Halloween in case they get hurt. In fairness, they were only following official advice on the NHS website: 'Be careful with witches' brooms made from sticks. If the sticks get dislodged, they are a choking hazard. These brooms should be labelled For Adult Use Only.'
You couldn't make it up. Where is it all going to end?
Apple Computer Co. Takes a Stand Against Gay-Marriage Ban in California
Company Announces Huge Donation to Defeat Proposition
Apple has joined Google in publicly opposing a California ballot initiative that would deny marriage rights to same-sex couples. The company announced last week that it would donate $100,000 to the No on Prop 8 campaign, which opposes a measure to ban gay marriage that California voters will consider a week from Tuesday, CNET reports. Google has also spoken out against the ballot measure.
"Apple was among the first California companies to offer equal rights and benefits to our employees' same-sex partners, and we strongly believe that a person's fundamental rights - including the right to marry - should not be affected by their sexual orientation," the company said in a statement posted to the Hot News section of its website, reports CNET writer Tom Krazit on a network blog,
"Apple views this as a civil rights issue, rather than just a political issue, and is therefore speaking out publicly against Proposition 8," the statement continued.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, OBAMA WATCH (2), EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.