Friday, April 08, 2011
Don't be nasty to criminals! Knife thug walks free because British judge was rude to him
A thug has walked free from court after his conviction for knife possession was overturned because the trial judge was ‘rude’ to him. Koenya Tedjame-Mortty, 32, had been found guilty by a jury after being caught by police driving around London armed with knives.
But in a decision that has caused outrage, judges at the Court of Appeal quashed the conviction on the basis that the judge in his case was ‘rude, harsh and sarcastic’, leaving the villain too ‘unsettled’ to give ‘credible evidence’ in his own defence.
During his trial at Kingston Crown Court last year, Judge Fergus Mitchell reprimanded the career criminal for intimidating a boy doing work experience at the hearing.
The judge told him to ‘shut his mouth and listen’, asking him how dare he speak to the boy, who had complained of being accosted outside court and being stared at in an ‘unpleasant and threatening manner’.
The circuit judge, who summoned the defendant before him to investigate a possible contempt of court, also threatened to revoke his bail shortly before he was called to give evidence in his defence.
At the end of a short trial, the thug was found guilty of two counts of possession of a bladed article after the jury heard he had been driving the car with a kitchen knife and a craft knife in the back.
He was handed a seven-month suspended sentence and ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid community work on November 19. But Tedjame-Mortty immediately appealed, saying the exchange with the judge had left him feeling ‘anxious and shaken’.
This week, three Court of Appeal judges agreed with him, saying they could not rule out the possibility the ‘quality’ of his evidence was affected by Judge Mitchell’s ‘wholly inappropriate’ intervention. 'We do not think that we can safely exclude the possibility that he may have given his evidence less credibly than he would have done if the judge had dealt with the matter appropriately. 'There is no reason why a reprimand in a measured tone at the end of the day would not have been sufficient.
'We do not want this judgment to be regarded as requiring judges to treat defendants with kid gloves before they give evidence. 'The difference in this case is that the quality of the defendant's evidence could have been affected by the conduct on the part of the judge, which was wholly inappropriate'
Mr Justice Keith castigated Judge Mitchell for raising his voice, using an ‘unpleasant tone’ and being ‘rude, harsh and sarcastic’ to the serial offender, who has a string of convictions for drink-driving, among other offences.
The landmark ruling has appalled MPs and former home secretaries who fear it will set a dangerous precedent, forcing the judiciary to ‘bow and scrape to career criminals’.
Last night there were mounting calls for the extraordinary decision to be reversed at the Supreme Court after appeal judges rejected requests by the Crown Prosecution Service for a re-trial.
The perverse case comes on the back of a contentious declaration this week by leading Appeal Court justices who said victims of crime should have no say over what happens to criminals, as some just want revenge.
Yesterday former home secretary David Blunkett said the decision sent an alarming message about attitudes to knife crime. He told the Daily Mail: ‘It is astonishing that the appeal judges did not agree to a mistrial, which would have allowed the case to be re-heard, rather than overturning the conviction.
‘Whatever the harsh treatment by the original judge, the defendant clearly had a case to answer and in the interests of justice and, in particular, the avoidance of the wrong sort of messages getting out on carrying knives, the Crown Prosecution Service was right to ask for the trial to be re-run. ‘The public do begin to wonder whose side the law is on.’
David Green, of think-tank Civitas, said the case had set a dangerous precedent for the judiciary. ‘It’s accepted that judges have to have a judicial temperament. They have to manage the proceedings and if someone is intimidating a young boy, it’s their duty to say something about it.’
The £650m apology: Forget Britain's own ailing education system, that's what Britain's giving to Pakistani schools
David Cameron vowed to hand hundreds of millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money plus vital military secrets to Pakistan yesterday to make amends for offending the Muslim nation last year. The Prime Minister pledged to invest £650million in Pakistani schools at a time when the education budget at home is being cut.
Britain is also to give highly sensitive military technology to combat roadside bombs to the Pakistani security services, which are widely blamed for funding and arming the Taliban.
In a huge gamble with the lives of British troops in Afghanistan, Mr Cameron agreed to spend millions more on a centre of excellence for the country’s soldiers and spies near Peshawar, a hotbed of militancy.
The gesture came after Mr Cameron sparked a diplomatic rift last year when he accused the country of ‘looking both ways’ on terrorism.
The technology deal sparked fears that the Pakistani intelligence service, the ISI, would hand details to the Taliban, enabling them to build more effective improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
The huge cash injection for schools by the Department for International Development will make Pakistan the UK’s biggest recipient of overseas aid.
It is designed to get four million children into the classroom – 17million currently get no schooling. Pakistan spends just 1.5 per cent of its national income on schools but is placing billion-pound orders for six Chinese submarines and 36 fighter aircraft.
The UK will have no control of the curriculum in schools receiving funding, meaning taxpayers could see their money pumped into madrassas peddling extremism.
Mr Cameron defended the payments, saying it was ‘in our interest’ to help Pakistan. He said: ‘If Pakistan is a success we’ll have a good friend to trade and invest and deal with. ‘If we fail we’ll have all the problems of migration, of extremism, problems that we don’t want to see. So it’s in our interest that Pakistan succeeds.’
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani said he believed a ‘root cause’ of terrorism was illiteracy.
But Tory MP Philip Davies said: ‘Particularly at the moment when we’ve got no money, there’s absolutely no justification for increasing the amounts that we give to other countries. ‘That is especially the case with countries that can afford to spend billions on defence. If they can afford submarines they can afford to educate their own people. ‘We need to concern ourselves with our own schools because countries around the world are overtaking us in educational attainment.’
In a speech to university students, Mr Cameron vowed to get over the ‘tensions’ sparked by his comments last year and create a ‘new start’ in relations with Pakistan. But he also said Pakistan had to raise taxes and stamp out corruption to justify British generosity. ‘Understandably, the British people want to know every penny we spend is going to the right places.
‘I need to convince them that it is. But my job is made more difficult when people in Britain look at Pakistan, a country that receives millions of pounds of our aid money, and see weaknesses in terms of government capacity and waste.’
Mr Cameron, who was accompanied on his one-day visit by Tory party chairman Baroness Warsi, who is of Pakistani origin, ducked questions about whether he could guarantee that the ISI will not hand the anti-IED technology to the Taliban.
NC: Duke lacrosse accuser arrested in boyfriend’s stabbing
This is the woman that a mass of Duke U professors immediately believed and supported. Why? Because of her known good character? No because she is black. Sheer racism, in other words
The woman who accused three Duke University lacrosse players of rape five years ago was arrested Sunday, suspected of stabbing her boyfriend, police said. Officers responding to a call early Sunday about a stabbing at an apartment in Durham, North Carolina, found a 46-year-old man who had been stabbed in the torso, police said. He was taken to Duke University Hospital for treatment of serious injuries.
Officers later arrested the man's girlfriend, Crystal Mangum, 32, at a nearby apartment. She was charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, inflicting serious injury, police said. Mangum was placed in the Durham County Jail without bond.
Officers said the stabbing occurred during an argument at the couple's shared apartment.
In March 2006, Mangum claimed to have been sexually assaulted by three players on the Duke lacrosse team while performing as a stripper for a team party. North Carolina's attorney general later found no credible evidence that the attacks ever occurred and the charges were dropped.
The scandal, however, forced the cancellation of the men's lacrosse season that year and the resignation of team coach Mike Pressler. It also led to widespread criticism of Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong, who was later disbarred for his handling of the case.
Mangum was arrested in February 2010 on attempted murder charges after a fight with her then-boyfriend. She was also accused of arson, identity theft and resisting arrest, among other charges.
CNN affiliate WTVD-TV reported the arrest happened after she set fire to a pile of the boyfriend's clothes while her children were at home.
In a June 2010 interview with the station, Mangum said her boyfriend had attacked her, and that her involvement in the Duke lacrosse case had influenced police handling of the case. "I do feel that I am being unjustly treated because of preconceived notions about my character in the media," Mangum said at the time.
In December, a jury found Mangum guilty of child abuse in the case but could not agree on a first-degree felony arson charge, which could have resulted in a seven-year sentence, WTVD reported.
Walter E. Williams
The terms affirmative action, equal representation, preferential treatment and quotas just don't sell well. The intellectual elite and their media, government and corporate enthusiasts have come up with diversity, a seemingly benign term that's a cover for racially discriminatory policy. They call for college campuses, corporate offices and government agencies to "look like America."
Part of looking like America means if blacks are 13 percent of the population, they should be 13 percent of college students and professors, corporate managers and government employees. Behind this vision of justice is the silly notion that but for the fact of discrimination, we'd be distributed equally by race across incomes, education, occupations and other outcomes. There is absolutely no evidence that statistical proportionality is the norm anywhere on Earth; however, much of our thinking, laws and public policy is based upon proportionality being the norm. Let's look at some racial differences whilst thinking about their causes and possible remedies.
While 13 percent of our population, blacks are 80 percent of professional basketball players and 65 percent of professional football players and are the highest paid players in both sports. By contrast, blacks are only 2 percent of NHL's professional ice hockey players. There is no racial diversity in basketball, football and ice hockey. They come nowhere close to "looking like America."
Even in terms of sports achievement, racial diversity is absent. Four out of the five highest career home-run hitters were black. Since blacks entered the major leagues, of the eight times more than 100 bases were stolen in a season, all were by blacks.
The U.S. Department of Justice recently ordered Dayton, Ohio's police department to lower its written exam passing scores so as to have more blacks on its police force. What should Attorney General Eric Holder do about the lack of diversity in sports? Why don't the intellectual elite protest? Could it be that the owners of these multi-billion-dollar professional basketball, football and baseball teams are pro-black while those of the NHL and major industries are racists unwilling to put blacks in highly paid positions?
There's one ethnic diversity issue completely swept under the rug. Jewish Americans are less than 3 percent of our population and only two-tenths of 1 percent of the world's population. Yet between 1901 and 2010, Jews were 35 percent of American Nobel Laureate winners and 22 percent of the world's.
If the diversity gang sees underrepresentation as "probative" of racial discrimination, what do they propose we do about overrepresentation? Because if one race is overrepresented, it might mean they're taking away what rightfully belongs to another race.
There are other representation issues to which we might give some attention with an eye to corrective public policy. Asians routinely get the highest scores on the math portion of the SAT while blacks get the lowest. Men are 50 percent of the population and so are women; yet men are struck by lightning six times as often as women. The population statistics for South Dakota, Iowa, Maine, Montana and Vermont show that not even 1 percent of their populations is black. On the other hand, in states such as Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi, blacks are overrepresented in terms of their percentages in the general population.
There are many international examples of disproportionality. For example, during the 1960s, the Chinese minority in Malaysia received more university degrees than the Malay majority -- including 400 engineering degrees compared with four for the Malays, even though Malays dominate the country politically. In Brazil's state of Sao Paulo, more than two-thirds of the potatoes and 90 percent of the tomatoes produced were produced by people of Japanese ancestry.
The bottom line is there no evidence anywhere that but for discrimination, people would be divided according to their percentages in the population in any activity. Diversity is an elitist term used to give respectability to acts and policy that would otherwise be deemed as racism.
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, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here or 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.