Friday, May 14, 2010
Britain's tradition of false rape claims now starts at age 8
An eight-year-old girl who claimed to have been raped by two 10-year-old boys told a court today that the attack never happened.
She said that she had told the story because she was worried about getting into trouble with her mother for being a “tiny bit naughty”. She also feared that she would not be given sweets if her mother knew that the three of them had been showing each other their genitals.
The prosecution claims that the boys raped the girl last October in a park in Hayes, West London, after taking her to a block of flats and holding her captive in a bin shed.
Giving evidence via a video link to the Old Bailey, the girl said during cross-examination that neither boy had dragged her to a secluded spot, pulled down her underwear or raped her. Instead she agreed with Linda Strudwick, defending the older boy, that she feared getting in trouble and so told her mother that they had pulled down her underwear, rather than that she had done so herself. She agreed that she had wanted to be with the boys in the bin shed because they were having fun and giggling.
The girl, sitting in an annexe to the court, sometimes patted her hands together, stroked her hair or drank from a bottle of blackcurrant juice as she gave evidence. Ms Strudwick asked: “You told your mum that the boys took your knickers down because you didn’t want your mum to know that you had been naughty. Is that right?” The girl replied: “Yes.” She then agreed that she had not been “dragged” anywhere and had not been raped by either boy.
Asked whether she had wanted to be with the boys, she replied: “I kind of did.” Asked what she was worried about, she said: “No sweeties.”
Ms Strudwick asked whether she had been naughty and she said “only a tiny bit” but she could not remember how.
Earlier, the child was taken on a virtual tour of her estate through a series of computer graphics. She identified the third floor stairwell, bin sheds and park where the prosecution claim she was sexually attacked. She agreed that her bruising and scratches could have been caused when one of the boys helped her over a fence into the park.
She yawned occasionally and often replied that she could not remember the exact details of what had happened.
At the start of her evidence she was asked questions designed to put her at her ease. She smiled as she said that she did not like school, in part because she sat next to a “naughty boy”. She had recently had a hearing aid fitted and occasionally got “muddled up” over what she heard.
After she had finished her evidence the judge, Mr Justice Saunders, noted that she appeared exhausted and thanked her, adding: “No one is suggesting you have done anything wrong. I am the judge. I know when people have done something wrong. You have not done anything wrong. Remember that.”
The two boys, one of whom is now 11, watched proceedings from the well of the court sitting between their mothers and solicitors. Neither the barristers nor the judge wore gowns or wigs.
The jury of six men and six women heard that the girl was taken to hospital with stomach pains but did not have any injuries to her genitals. She did have a number of scratches and grazes.
Both boys deny rape and attempted rape.
Pathetic British health and safety regulations again
You can't blame the shop. Prosecutions for trivial breaches of such rules do happen
A teenager was refused a repair kit for a punctured bicycle tyre - because the shop's staff feared he might sniff the glue inside. Daniel Cottrell was shopping with his father in a pound store when he was refused the set, which included a 5ml glue stick.
The keen cyclist, who is two months shy of his 18th birthday, was told by the assistant at the 99p Store in Greywell Shopping Centre he could not buy it because he was under 18 and the glue stick contained solvents. The student and his father, Simon, were left stunned as they had previously bought repair kits at bike retailers with no questions asked.
Daniel, from Havant, Hampshire, said: 'I was a bit disappointed because I really needed it to fix my back tyre. 'I'd only had the bike about a week when I rode over a nail and got a quick puncture. 'My bike is my main mode of transport, so I was really annoyed. I do about 20 miles a week and cycle to college and to meet my friends. 'I was really hopeful of getting back on the road when dad took me to the 99p Store but was disappointed when the lady refused to serve me.
'I only wanted to repair my bike and had no intention of sniffing anything. I can't imagine the 5ml that came in the pack would do very much. 'My dad was next to me and asked if he could buy it for me but she wouldn't even let him pay for it.' The student uses his bike daily to cycle to college where he is undertaking a course in motorcycle maintenance.
Mr Cottrell, 41, said: 'I could understand if he was buying a knife, but for a patch and repair kit? It's laughable.' The repair set from the 99p Store included a couple of patches, a piece of chalk, a multipurpose spanner, a piece of sandpaper and 5ml of glue.
Under the Intoxicating Substances (Supply) Act 1985, it is an offence to sell any intoxicating substances to a person under the age of 18, such as solvent-based glues, aerosols, dry cleaning fluid, correction fluid and marker pens. But only where the shopkeeper may reasonably believe the product will be used for intoxication.
Hussain Lalani, of 99p Stores, said staff were acting within the rules. 'This product does contain a solvent, a glue, which is an age-restricted product,' he said. 'There's a risk that kids could inhale that product,' he said. 'I am sorry if any offence was caused.'
The leader of Hampshire County Council, Councillor Ken Thornber, said: 'Our Trading Standards would support the retailer's view if the young person was unaccompanied, but with a responsible parent to hand, perhaps common sense should prevail in such circumstances.' [When councils often show no common sense, it is a bit rich to ask it of a retailer]
Last secret court in Britain forced to open doors
A severely disabled piano virtuoso has made legal history after the country’s last remaining secret court was opened for the first time. The Court of Protection, which controls the future of adults incapable of managing their own affairs, appointed the family of Derek Paravicini to look after his welfare and commercial future yesterday.
Mr Paravicini, 30, who is thought be the most advanced autistic musical savant in the country, is blind and suffers from a learning disability. Before yesterday’s court decision the Official Solicitor from the Ministry of Justice had been appointed to look after his affairs, rather than his divorced parents, Nicolas Paravicini and Mary Ann Parker Bowles, the former sister-in-law of the Duchess of Cornwall.
Through Mr Paravicini’s case, media organisations, including The Times, had challenged the secrecy of the Court of Protection. After the partial opening-up last year of the Family Court it was the sole remaining court where hearings were automatically secret. Since being set up in 2007, it has taken control of more than £2.3billion of assets.
Last November Mr Justice Hedley overruled objections from the Government that allowing the media to attend the court’s hearings would be a breach of Mr Paravicini’s right to privacy.
At yesterday’s hearing Mr Justice Hedley called Mr Paravicini a “man of remarkable accomplishment, a musical prodigy”. He said that details of Mr Paravicini’s life were already in the public domain and the “interests of the public and media are legitimately engaged”.
Giving evidence, the pianist’s father, a 72-year-old retired private banker, said: “Derek’s life is his music. He is very disabled. He expresses himself, fulfils himself through music.”
Mr Justice Hedley paid tribute to the family’s commitment to Mr Paravicini’s welfare and said that their “independence in the teeth of the ambition of others” would work in their son’s interests. He said that they had already prevented him appearing at an event with political overtones and stopped him appearing on a well-known television show because of misgivings.
Appointing Mr Paravicini’s parents and sister, Elizabeth, 40, as “deputies” responsible for looking after the pianist’s affairs, Mr Justice Hedley said: “They have satisfied me that they were able to withstand the pressures that may come to develop Derek’s commercial career at a pace greater than is actually good for him.”
Lawyers representing Mr Paravicini had opposed opening up of the Court of Protection, arguing that the media were interested in his private affairs, rather than matters genuinely in the public interest.
The Court of Protection was created under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 to deal with the affairs of those who lack the capacity to make their own decisions. Officials from the Office of the Public Guardian are appointed if people do not have a living will or lasting power of attorney handing control of their assets over to family or friends.
Problems often arise, however, when someone without a living will becomes suddenly and unexpectedly mentally impaired. Relatives must then apply to the court and to the Office of the Public Guardian for it to be decided whether they are fit to run that person’s affairs.
In its first 18 months of operation the court received 3,000 complaints.
Another violent Muslim kills woman
Being a female in a Muslim family is a big risk -- even in America
A QUEENS man was sentenced today to 15-years-to-life for killing his wife by stabbing her more than 250 times and then allegedly eating her lungs and drinking her blood, all in front of their four-year-old daughter.
Mohammad Solaiman was sentenced today for the gruesome murder of his wife Shahida Sultanna in their Jamaica, Queens, New York home in December 2007.
Their four-year-old daughter was in the next room at the time of the incident and witnessed the bloody aftermath.
Ms Sultanna's sister, Ferdousi Begum, shuddered and bawled in court todday as she begged Solaiman to explain why he killed his wife. "He took out her liver and her lungs and he ate it," Ms Begum wailed. "He drank her blood. Her daughter told me that."
Solaiman's lawyer John Scarpa "categorically" denied the allegation that Solaiman feasted on his wife's remains. "He may have killed his wife but he didn't turn into a cannibal," Mr Scarpa said.
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.
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