Friday, June 29, 2012
Muslim pair who laughed as they raped woman they 'came across' in British town centre have sentences CUT because they are not 'dangerous'
Two men who laughed during a horrific 'gang rape' of a drunken woman have had their sentences slashed after three senior judges ruled they were not 'dangerous'.
Rezgar Nouri, 27, of Preston, and Mohammed Ibrahim, 24, of London, were jailed indeterminately after being convicted of assaulting the 24-year-old in Preston last June.
Sitting at the Court of Appeal, Lord Justice Hooper, Mr Justice Silber and Mr Justice Hamblen heard how the men 'came across' the woman before taking her to a flat where Ibrahim pinned her down while another man raped her.
After that, Ibrahim raped her before Nouri 'grabbed' her and 'dragged' her into a bedroom where he raped her, judges were told.
But today, despite the evidence, they ruled at the Royal Courts of Justice there was 'insufficient evidence' that Nouri and Ibrahim should be defined as 'dangerous'.
They said Judge Anthony Russell QC had been wrong to decide that 'imprisonment for public protection' was necessary and hand down a jail sentence which gave the men no automatic right of release.
They allowed the men's appeal against the imposition of an indeterminate sentence and instead handed each a 12-year term.
The court earlier heard how the woman had become separated from friends - when she was 'quite drunk' - in the early hours after visiting a number of bars and clubs, the court heard.
The judges were told that she 'came across' Nouri, Ibrahim and a third man in the town centre and went to Nouri's nearby flat with them. Her next recollection was of waking up naked with the three men nearby before the horrific ordeal began.
When it was over the woman left the flat before realising that she had left her phone behind. She was allowed back in. Nouri then pinned her down and raped her again before 'pushing' her out of the flat, judges heard. Judges said the woman was found in a 'very distressed state' shortly after she left the flat and police were called.
Mr Justice Hamblen said that before 'imprisonment for the public protection' could be imposed, courts had to be satisfied that there was a 'significant risk' to the public of serious harm through the 'commission of further specified offences'.
He added: 'There was insufficient evidence to justify the finding of dangerousness made and an imprisonment for public protection should not therefore have been imposed.' Both men admitted rape at Preston Crown Court in November 2011.
Historian David Starkey branded a 'racist' and a 'bigot' after saying Rochdale sex gang had values 'entrenched in foothills of the Punjab'
Truth is no defence, apparently
Historian David Starkey has once again provoked controversy after speaking out about the Rochdale child exploitation ring who raped vulnerable teenage girls.
The broadcaster was branded a 'racist' and a 'bigot' following a heated exchange with a journalist yesterday at a panel event at Wellington college in Berkshire.
He incensed audience member journalist Laurie Penny, when he said the sex gang, who were jailed last month for grooming white girls for sex, had values 'that were 'entrenched in foothills of the Punjab or whatever it is.' He added that the gang needed to be 'inculcated in the British ways of doing things.'
Miss Penny, 25, who writes for the New Statesman, later joined him on a panel discussing Britishness and accused Mr Starkey of 'playing xenophobia and national prejudice for laughs.'
As she spoke the audience shouted 'keep going, keep going' as she moved on to speaking about about his tax status.
Once she had sat down, the historian walked over to her, jabbed his finger in the columnist's face and declared 'I will not be lectured to by a jumped-up public school girl like you.'
As Miss Penny continued speaking, Claire Fox, director of the Institute of Ideas think tank stood up and told the journalist who has written for The Independent and the Guardian, that she was a disgrace to both women and the left.
The Sunday Times reported that following the heated exchange, Tim Novia, the chaplain of Wellington college took to the stage to prevent the situation escalating, following by Miss Penny's boyfriend James Brown.
On her Twitter page, Laurie Penny @PennyRed later wrote: 'When you call a racist a racist, you get attacked. I don't care. I wasn't going to let him stand there being a bigot without calling it out. Because ultimately, David Starkey is a troll, and that's what trolls do.'
Last month, days after the men were convicted, Mr Starkey declared that the Rochdale sex gang were 'acting within their cultural norm.'
He has also made several comments in the past which have courted controversy. After the riots last summer on Newsnight he blamed ‘black culture’ for the trouble and claimed that parts of Enoch Powell's 'rivers of blood' speech had been right.
The British historian's comments led to around 700 complaints to the BBC, while Labour leader Ed Miliband branded the remarks 'disgusting and outrageous'.
The interview was later cleared by the TV watchdog.
Miss Penny last made headlines two months ago when she was saved from oncoming traffic by Hollywood heartthrob Ryan Gosling and tweeted about it on her Twitter page.
House of Lords reform: Nick Clegg's crazy plan is a pay day for has-beens and never-wozzers
Lib Dem proposals for elected 'senators’ will give the Upper House the upper hand, sighs Boris Johnson
Oh, for heaven’s sake. Look at the state of the world, and the sheer urgency of the issues we should be discussing here in this rare and sacred columnar space. The eurozone continues its slow dance of death, British troops are being killed in Afghanistan, trade union militants are triggering strikes with a minority of their members – and I have to write about the proposed Clegg reform of the House of Lords!
Of all the subjects that crowd my teeming brain, this is not the one that I would normally choose. I could be singing a hymn of praise for my old chum Gove and his brilliant new Gove-levels (and bring back the S-level, while you are at it, Michael). I could have loaded up my surface-to-air batteries and discharged them against the crackpot plan to force the poor people of west London to cope with tens of thousands more eardrum-jangling, kerosene-belching flights into Heathrow.
We could now be discussing Ed Miliband’s hopeless and intellectually dishonest speech about immigration; or how you can cut taxes and raise more money from rich people like Jimmy Carr. I could have given you my theory about the phenomenal success of this new porn novel called Fifty Shades of Grey, and the challenge it poses to us feeble members of the male sex, and the general conclusions we are obliged to draw about the chronic and appalling human interest in bondage, submission and government all round.
Any of these themes is potentially more juicy and more relevant to our lives – and yet I have no choice. I must tell you about these blasted reforms of the Lords, because I have just been made aware of some of the details, and the blood runs cold. An absolute disaster impends. It really seems to be the case that the Coalition (actually the Lib Dems) wants to push on with a system of elected “senators” – 300 of them – to replace the present Upper House. These people will apparently draw a full parliamentary salary, they will have all the usual researchers and correspondence units, and they will luxuriate in power for a full and unchallengeable 15-year term! The whole thing will cost about half a billion pounds over five years, according to the Labour peer Lord Lipsey.
It is all completely unnecessary. Somehow, time and custom has produced a House of Lords that works. Their lordships are a vast, gentle and liver-spotted repository of wisdom. When you listen to their debates, it is transparent that they are not sharp-elbowed creatures. They betray no particular anxiety to make their name or to suck up to the whips. They may take the odd power nap and they may not all be in the first flush of youth. But they seem, on the whole, to have the interests of the country at heart.
The Upper House has soldiers and airmen and scholars and lawyers and scientists and film directors and heaven knows what – many of whom would not dream of seeking election on a party-political ticket. Week in, week out they beaver away, revising and improving the legislative Horlicks that they get from the Commons; doing nothing much, as the old analysis has it, and doing it rather well.
They have tended for a long time to be more representative of society than the Commons – there are more people from ethnic minorities, there are more women, more disabled people. It is probably true that there are more bishops in the Lords than there are in the population at large, but who cares? There’s nothing like a bishop or two to add a touch of class and restraint to a revising chamber. They still have a few of the less obviously inbred hereditaries, in a gesture not just to the ancient roots of the institution but also to the fundamentally different nature of the Lords. It is crucial to the success of the Upper House that it is somehow at a distance from party-political machines, and above all that it is at one remove from the electorate.
Now the Lib Dems are proposing that voters should have a new type of politico – a “senator” – with his or her own direct mandate and constituency. This will be confusing for the voters, who will be wondering whether they should be writing to their local councillor, their MP, their Euro-MP or their senator; and it will be even worse for the egos of these bozos. Consider for a second who is likely to seek election to the Lords/Senate. People who have never made it to Parliament; people who have been flung out of Parliament; has-beens; never-wozzers; people who can see the opportunity to avenge their rejections by finding an alternative route to power. Once ensconced in the Lords they will remain there for three solid parliamentary terms, swanking, swaggering and using the headed stationery for their shopping lists.
Suddenly, the politically thrusting characters of this country will work out an alternative career structure, a new way of achieving ministerial office. And if they decide to take on their green-benched colleagues in the Lower House, as they inevitably will, who will be able to shut them up? A direct mandate is a powerful thing. Look here, mate, a senator will be able to say to a poor old MP, you were elected by 70,000 people. I have 570,000 people in my constituency – and I don’t have to worry about them kicking me out. The whole beauty and balance of the present system would be wrecked. We accept the idea that the Lords is the “Upper House” only because the Commons – being elected – has the real primacy and the real democratic legitimacy. These reforms would undermine that primacy, and the status of MPs – already bashed by the expenses business – would become positively Lilliputian.
The Prime Minister was completely right when he said that reform of the House of Lords was something the government should consider in its third term. This plan is a bunch of tidy-minded Lib Dem nonsense. It would create a new, grandiose, expensive and unnecessary class of political hack. It would turn Parliament into a chronic feud between two types of elected representative. Clegg’s scheme needs to be liquidated, vaporised and generally terminated with extreme prejudice.
America the non-racist country
by Jeff Jacoby
I HAVE A DREAM, said Martin Luther King in 1963, that someday "on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood." King was a prodigious dreamer, but even he might have found it hard to imagine that thousands of those listening to him that day would live to see a black pastor elected -- unanimously and enthusiastically -- to lead the Southern Baptist Convention.
The Rev. Fred Luter Jr. after his election as president of the Southern Baptist Convention, a denomination with its roots in slavery
It was in Georgia before the Civil War that the Southern Baptist Convention had been born, in large part to ensure that black and white would never sit down together, at the table of brotherhood or anywhere else. Beginning in 1845 as a breakaway from the anti-slavery Baptist churches in the North, the Southern Baptist Convention would grow into the nation's foremost Protestant denomination -- and one of its most racist.
Well into the second half of the 20th century, Southern Baptist preachers defended Jim Crow and preached white supremacy. In a notorious 1956 address, the renowned Dallas pastor W.A. Criswell condemned the Supreme Court's ruling in Brown v. Board of Education as "idiocy," "foolishness," and "a denial of all that we believe in." After he was elected SBC president in 1968 Criswell renounced segregation. But most Southern Baptist churches remained all-white, and it wasn't until 1995 that the denomination publicly resolved to "unwaveringly denounce racism, in all its forms, as deplorable sin" and to "apologize to all African-Americans for condoning and/or perpetuating individual and systemic racism in our lifetime."
Last week, a gifted and charismatic black minister from New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward, the Rev. Fred Luter Jr., was chosen by acclamation to lead the Southern Baptist Convention. Luter is not the first African-American to head a largely white Christian denomination in the United States -- the Rev. Geoffrey Black has been president of the United Church of Christ since 2009, for example -- but he is the first to head a church that was founded in support of African bondage and white racism.
To borrow an analogy suggested by Luke Hill, a blogger for the Catholic journal Commonweal, imagine that the First Vatican Council had solemnly pronounced Slavs inferior human beings condemned by God to lives of servitude. Then imagine such a Catholic Church, with its long history of anti-Slavic bigotry, electing Karol Wojtyla as the first Polish pope. That is roughly what the Southern Baptist Convention has done in elevating Luter to its presidency. A renowned Southern Baptist theologian describes Luter's election, with good reason, as "the most significant event to happen in our history since our formation."
It is certainly a big deal for Baptists. But for most Americans, what could be more unexceptional than the disappearance of racism as a significant bar to black achievement?
We live at a time, after all, when a black president lives in the White House and a black justice sits on the Supreme Court. When the success of black supermodels and Fortune 500 CEOs is taken for granted. When celebrity magazines and websites routinely chronicle the lives of black athletes, entertainers, and movie stars. America today is nothing like it was in 1963, when King could only dream of black civil equality and the death of Jim Crow. The pervasive racism he confronted is primarily a historical memory now, while King himself is in the American pantheon.
Yet there are still those who insist that America is steeped in white racism -- who even now can look at American public life and see anti-black animus everywhere.
"Over the course of the Obama presidency," writes The Atlantic's senior editor Ta-Nehisi Coates, "I have become convinced that no single force exerts a greater pull on his presidency than white racism." He has no intention of putting away the race card. "I can only stop talking about racism when it ceases to be a significant force in our politics."
Ah, but racism has ceased to be a significant force in our politics, as it has ceased to be a significant force in American life generally. Racist comments can occasionally be heard, of course, and there are always exploiters of white guilt to milk them. But as thousands of delegates to the Southern Baptist Convention's annual meeting, emotionally cheering their new black president, have just demonstrated afresh, America's racist past is dead and gone.
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. 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.