Friday, June 28, 2013
Another multicultural episode in Britain
A man who bludgeoned his wife to death with an ornamental elephant was yesterday jailed for life. Devendra Singh, 33, will serve at least 16 years in prison after he was convicted of murdering his 41-year-old wife Charlotte Smith.
He repeatedly ‘smashed and shattered’ her skull after she demanded a divorce, using force described by a pathologist as ‘beyond the scale’.
After the attack Singh left the body lying on the lounge floor. He then threw evidence – including the 4lb wooden elephant – over their garden fence into a field before fleeing the home near Leek, Staffordshire.
Stafford Crown Court heard Singh travelled to London, but put his wife’s SIM card into his phone so he could pose as her, sending reassuring text messages to her family and friends.
However her family discovered her body three days after she was killed last September.
Singh later handed himself in to police and admitted killing his wife, but denied murder on the basis that he suffered a ‘loss of control’.
During the five-day trial pathologist Olaf Biedrzycki said Miss Smith’s injuries were among the worst he had seen during his 20-year career.
He told the jury: ‘There were an awful lot of fractures to the front of the skull, and I could feel a lot of fractures to the face. The degree of force used to inflict the injuries is of an extreme nature.
‘It is one of the most severe head injury cases I have come across.’
Detective Inspector Glyn Pattinson, who led the inquiry for Staffordshire Police, said: ‘There is no doubt that Singh’s attack was brutal and sustained.’
Miss Smith, who worked as a health and safety manager, met Singh during a family holiday to Goa in 2008. They decided to get married in December 2010 and, after waiting for a visa, Singh moved from India to the UK.
When he struggled to find work, the Smith family even opened a shop in the town centre for him to run.
But prosecutors said by last summer the relationship was failing, and Singh had become prone to heavy drinking and aggression.
Miss Smith, who was known as Charlie, told work colleagues her husband had grabbed her around the neck during an argument just four months before she died.
Speaking after the sentencing, her parents, Irene Cork and Peter Smith, said: ‘No matter what length of sentence is served to him nothing will compensate for our loss.
‘Some years from now he will leave prison and be free to continue with his life. For Charlie there is nothing. ‘Losing Charlie will continue to affect us for the rest of our lives.'
Black racism in Britain
A toddler has been left with a broken collar bone after he and his mother were attacked in broad daylight because the little boy appeared to be mixed race.
The two-year-old was tipped out of his pushchair and injured when a black man started hurling racist abuse and then went for his 30-year-old mother at Highams Park railway station in east London.
Police fear the suspect was attacking the unnamed woman, who is also black, because the child had lighter coloured skin and may have been mixed race.
As the mother tried to get off the train the apparent racist grabbed her by the hair, dragging her to the ground and knocking over the pushchair, badly hurting the toddler.
The woman and her son were first approached by the man at Walthamstow Central Station, east London, at around 3.03pm on Sunday June 23, and as they boarded the 2.47pm Liverpool Street to Chingford train.
Investigating officer Detective Constable Gerry Hughes said: 'When the train arrived at Highams Park station, the victim left the train with her pushchair. She was assaulted by the man, who pulled her hair, dragging her to the ground along with the pushchair. The man then made off from the scene.
'The victim was left understandably shocked but uninjured. Her son was taken to hospital where he was diagnosed with a fractured collar bone. He was later discharged from hospital.
'This was an unspeakable attack on a mother and son, and we are determined to find the man responsible. I'd urge anyone who has any information into the incident, or recognises the man pictured, to come forward and assist officers in this investigation.'
A full search of the area was conducted but the man could not be found and British Transport Police have now released CCTV images of an apparent black male they wish to speak to in connection with the incident.
A British Transport Police spokesperson said: 'We know it was a racist attack because of what the mother reported the man as saying. He was commenting on the colour of the child's skin which he was saying was slightly lighter in colour that the mother's.'
Anyone with information is asked to call 0800 40 50 40 quotin
The fate of a whistleblower in Britain
Julie Bailey, who helped expose the horrific neglect at Stafford Hospital which cost up to 1,400 lives, says ‘vipers’ have victimised her ever since she set up Cure the NHS.
She started the pressure group in her own cafe following the death of her mother at the hospital. But yesterday she handed over the keys to the business, having agreed a cut-price sale on eBay.
‘People have been coming into the cafe shouting that nothing happened at Stafford, that I am lying and there were no unnecessary deaths,’ she said last night.
‘I have been run out of town by small minded people, leaving my home, my livelihood and my friends because a few misinformed local political activists have fuelled a hate campaign based on lies.
'This is a classic case of shooting the messenger.’
She said the final straw was the ‘desecration of my mum’s grave’ that continued for six weeks.
The 50-year-old mother of two says her troubles began in 2009 when a Healthcare Commission report into the failings at Mid Staffordshire NHS put the future of its casualty department under threat.
She became a hate figure after local party activist Rolfe Pearce posted a video on YouTube in which a man signing a Labour petition to save the unit expresses a hope that Miss Bailey would die.
The video, which provoked a torrent of hateful emails and telephone calls, was posted by Mr Pearce in a personal capacity and was later taken down. The 49-year-old said the comments were tongue in in cheek.
Miss Bailey’s plight became worse when another Labour party activist claimed she had said at a public meeting: ‘Let’s shut the hospital, let’s sack all the staff’. That demand, the activist, Diana Smith, said, was ‘met by loud cheers from her band of followers’.
This year the campaign against her took a sinister turn when the grave of Miss Bailey’s mother, Bella, who was 86 when she died at the hospital after ‘being dropped’ by a nurse, was vandalised.
This was followed by a postcard saying: ‘Thank you for closing Stafford hospital, Ha, Ha, Ha, you better now spend more time watching your mother’s grave.’
Last month, emergency call handler Roy Guest, 54, was sacked by West Midlands ambulance service after comments appeared online about a wish for Miss Bailey to suffer ‘a life-threatening illness’.
Miss Bailey said residents have been boycotting her café, reducing takings to as little as £40 a day.
She is moving out of her rented home in Stafford this weekend, initially to live in a static caravan at an undisclosed location.
She sold the café for £14,000 and now plans to devote more time to turning Cure the NHS into a national charity.
Miss Bailey told last month how damage had been caused to her mother’s grave over a six-week period.
Speaking at the time, she said: ‘The momentum seems to be growing when I go out onto the streets of Stafford. People come up to me and say “It’s not true, you were lying. You brought shame on the town and nobody died”.
‘It just drains the strength from you and you’re back grieving again. But the one thing I do say is, “Have you read any investigations? Did you go to the inquiry?’’’
Last night, Mrs Smith, who was a volunteer assistant to David Kidney, the former Labour MP for Stafford, stood by her blog post and accused Miss Bailey of forgetting what she had said at the public meeting in 2009. She said: ‘I have notes of what Julie said and witnesses who also heard her comment.’
Mrs Smith, who is involved in the Support Stafford Hospital campaign which organised a march through the town attended by 30,000 people in April, said: ‘Barely anybody will have read that blog until its contents were picked up and disseminated by Cure the NHS members and supporters.’
Cheryl Porter, one of the founders of the Support Stafford Hospital campaign, insisted: ‘We have had absolutely nothing to do with any of the problems Julie Bailey has faced.
‘We condemn the abuse Julie Bailey has received – the desecration of her mother’s grave, the abusive emails and phone calls. But these incidents are nothing to do with us. ‘We were set up as a campaign group fighting against night-time plans to close the accident and emergency department at the hospital, two years ago.
'We are thankful for what Julie and Cure the NHS have done in exposing what went on at the hospital. But we are now one of the top 20 hospitals in the country for safety and Julie is part of the reason why. ‘We simply want to secure the long-term future of acute services at Stafford. We all need to work together to achieve this.’
She said it was sad that Miss Bailey had felt compelled to leave her home town.
In February Sir Robert Francis QC published his final report into Mid Staffordshire which said the trust had put corporate self-interest ahead of patients.
The public inquiry cost £13million.
The British woman who accused a stranger she found on Facebook of rape - and how it ruined her victim's life
False rape allegations are rife in Britain
Given everything he has been through, one wonders how Philip McDonald can even bring himself to look at Facebook. True, he’s hyper-conscious about his security settings, but then, so would you be if you’d endured what he has over the past two years.
For Philip, a polite and quietly spoken 26-year-old father-of-one, was plucked out of the blue by a total stranger who spotted his picture on the social networking site and decided to falsely accuse him of rape.
In an act of inexplicable viciousness, 31-year-old fantasist Linsey Attridge chanced upon a photograph of Philip and his then 14-year-old brother James and used it to back up a story she’d concocted. She’d done it, apparently, in order to win some sympathy with her boyfriend, when she feared his affections were waning.
It led to Philip, a wholly innocent chef, being harassed in the street and shunned at the school gates. He is still fighting, two years later, to salvage his battered reputation.
Philip, speaking for the first time to the Mail, still struggles to articulate the true horror of what happened to him.
‘It’s frightening,’ he says. ‘We have no idea why she picked on us.’
It is Philip’s partner Kelly Fraser, 27, who describes their experience.
‘It was like our lives were a deck of cards and someone just threw the whole lot up in the air and that was our lives for two years,’ she says. ‘We have only just started to pick up the pieces now.’
It was only two weeks ago that Linsey, a single mother, appeared at Aberdeen Sheriff Court, where she admitted a charge of wasting police time. And her punishment for a callous deceit that besmirched the names of two innocent young men? A risible 200 hours of community service and a social services supervision order.
Neither she, nor the police, have apologised to Philip or James.
The story has led many to ask, quite rightfully, how this could have happened. ‘You couldn’t make it up,’ is the general summary.
Well, it appears you could — if you’re Linsey Attridge, that is.
Philip describes himself as an ordinary ‘family guy’. He has a six-year-old daughter Erin and another baby on the way, and has never been in trouble with the law. In fact, he has even applied to join the police force twice because he ‘likes helping people’.
He manages a rueful smile as he looks at the photograph that started it all: a close-up of the two brothers, the younger boy’s arm slung companionably over Philip’s shoulder, both staring directly at the camera. Two years ago, it was his profile photograph — the first image people see when visiting his Facebook page.
‘It was taken at a party,’ he says. ‘It was a wedding thing at my mum’s neighbour’s house.’
He had no inkling — and who would — that one night in August 2011, Attridge, sitting at her laptop, barely a mile away on the outskirts of Aberdeen, would alight on that photograph, as she trawled Facebook, looking for faces to fit a story that was in its entirety a figment of her imagination.
She’d claimed two men had broken into the home she shared with her boyfriend Nick Smith while he was away playing football.
The men, she said, subjected her to a brutal attack — she even punched herself in the face and ripped her clothing to make her tale more credible.
When, a few days later, two plain clothes police officers walked into the city centre cafe where Philip worked, he assumed they wanted some breakfast.
‘Then they shouted: “Philip McDonald”, and I said: “Yeah, that’s me,” and they said: “It’s CID, we want to speak to you”,’ he recalls.
Philip, totally unaware that he was in any trouble, was unperturbed. It was only when the detectives said there was an investigation that also involved his brother and that they needed to go to the police station that he began to panic.
‘They told me stuff in the car about the allegation of rape. I was completely shocked and burst into tears.’
Unknown to Philip, his brother, a student at a residential school for teenagers with behavioural problems, had been taken in handcuffs from his mother’s home half an hour earlier.
He recalls how frightened he was during the five hours in which he was questioned, fingerprinted and swabbed for DNA.
‘My life is clear, I’ve had no dealings with the police whatsoever,’ he says. ‘I was just panicking, panicking . . .
‘It was when they mentioned that it was such-and-such a day that I calmed down. I told them I was putting my daughter to sleep at that time. I had an alibi. Kelly’s family were there and everyone vouched for me, saying: “He was putting his daughter to bed.”
‘They finally released me at about half past two in the afternoon and said: “We will get back in touch with you.”
Kelly, who was alerted to the brothers’ arrest by their mother, picks up the story. ‘I just felt utterly sick when I heard what the allegation was. No one can know how that feels unless they have been there.
‘When something like that happens, your mind goes into overtime, you don’t know what to believe. He could have lost his job, his family.
‘It’s a good job I’ve been with Philip for so long and not just a few months. I just knew he wouldn’t have done that.’
Philip and Kelly, who met at school and started their family aged 18, wish they knew why a blonde-haired stranger they had never met — indeed they’ve still only seen her in photographs — dropped such a grenade into their lives.
It took two months for the fiction she had concocted to fall apart, during which time Linsey submitted herself to the rigours of forensic investigation — intimate physical examinations, tests for sexually transmitted diseases, the kind of scrutiny that women who have genuinely been raped endure because they want justice.
Throughout this process, Linsey sobbed, shook with fright and even made herself sick to hoodwink the female friend supporting her through her ‘ordeal’.
Out in the real world, Philip’s ordeal was much worse: ‘He got harassed in the street; even in the school grounds parents were looking him up and down,’ remembers Kelly. ‘It was just horrible. I’m sure people were looking at me thinking “What is she still doing with him?” ’
The whispering at the gates of their daughter’s school became so unbearable that they withdrew her, moving her to another school where the pupils and parents knew nothing of Philip’s arrest.
‘We could tell what people were thinking by the way they were looking at us,’ says Kelly.
‘That’s why we ended up putting her in another school. That was hard.’
‘Why would you do something like that? How many lives has she ruined? I wonder if she realises that it was a little girl’s life she ruined, too?’
They are not alone. In a different part of the city, kickboxing instructor Nick Smith, 32, gives a disbelieving shake of his head as he recalls how he was taken in by his ex-girlfriend Linsey, who spent more than a year living under his roof while he supported her and her daughter.
‘I look back and see so many things and think: “What an idiot”,’ he says.
‘The things she put me through, the things she put those guys through. They didn’t deserve that. No one deserves that. There are very few people she didn’t convince.’
Strangely, it was through Facebook that Nick first met Linsey, who grew up in Grangemouth, near Falkirk, with her mother Marion, a seamstress, and father Alexander, a window cleaner.
The family were Jehovah’s Witnesses and Nick wonders whether her strict religious upbringing shaped the woman Linsey became.
‘When she left the faith, she told me her family stopped speaking to her for a time, but that may not even be true. I’ve met them and they are all nice people.’
Linsey married financial advisor Gary Attridge in 2008 in a civil ceremony, with her sister Julie as bridesmaid. This was followed by a rainy honeymoon in Malta.
A daughter, Emily, swiftly followed. But by 2010, the marriage was on the rocks and she found Nick online, perhaps attracted by photographs of a good-looking, fit young man. She left Grangemouth and moved to be with Nick in Aberdeen.
By the summer of 2011, that relationship was also in pieces. Linsey, says Nick, had sex with a friend of his in his home, while he lay sleeping upstairs.
The couple separated after Linsey confessed, but Nick allowed Linsey and her daughter to stay in his home to give the child some stability. ‘We were two people living in a house for the sake of a young girl who needed stability. I had formed a strong bond with Emily, to the point where it was me she came to if she hurt herself. She even called me Daddy.’
It was against this backdrop that the fiction began. Linsey was desperate to save her relationship and pretended she’d been attacked, presumably to garner sympathy from Nick. Little of the saga was revealed in court, but the Mail has learned that Linsey heaped lie upon lie.
She didn’t immediately claim rape, first saying that she’d been attacked, and only embellishing her tale — to garner more sympathy perhaps — a few days later.
Next she claimed that Nick’s friends, transport manager Raymond Henderson and his wife Tanya, and their two daughters aged eight and six, who supported her through her apparent ordeal, were going to be targeted by the ‘bad men’.
There were reports, presumably generated by Linsey, that men matching the description of the ‘rapists’ had been seen near the Hendersons’ home and they were forced to move into a hotel, on police advice, for their safety for a week.
Meanwhile, it was a terrified Tanya Henderson who listened to Linsey as she sobbed. It was also Tanya who accompanied her to the subsequent medical examination.
‘They actually had to stop the medical a few times,’ says Tanya with disgust. ‘She felt faint, she went to be sick . . . the things she put herself through. We went and got a pregnancy test, tests for Hepatitis C, Aids. The woman deserves an Oscar, she was such a good actress.’
By the time the pack of lies fell apart in October 2011, all concerned had begun to suspect Linsey’s tale. But no one dared question the account of a woman who claimed she had been raped.
After all, as Tanya says: ‘Who makes that up?’
In the end, it was when Linsey again harmed herself and attempted to lay the blame at Nick’s door that the lies came crashing down. She could no longer sustain the fiction and the police were called.
Philip was back in the cafe, working, when the police came calling again. ‘All they said was: “You’re in the clear.” No apology. Nothing.’
Philip and Kelly are not the only ones left reeling by the web of deceit Linsey Attridge wove around their lives.
Linsey’s former friends Tanya and Ray are still understandably furious at how they were taken in. ‘I was livid and just talking about it now, I feel angry at the pain she has caused, at what she has done to my family, to Nick, to two guys. So many lives have been affected,’ says Ray.
‘Those poor guys were innocent, and they will have to live with the stigma that she attached to them for the rest of their lives,’ adds Tanya.
And what, you might ask, of Linsey Attridge? The young mother is back living in Grangemouth, 130 miles south of the scene of her deceit. A man answered the door when the Mail visited her flat and insisted she would not be commenting.
Meanwhile, her mother Marion Black, on her way to collect Linsey’s daughter from nursery school, said: ‘There are two sides to every story and it is not true, what has been written. Linsey has been very upset, this has been a humiliation for her.’
In their modest flat back in Aberdeen, where they are doing their very best to look after their daughter and prepare for a new baby, Philip McDonald and Kelly Fraser are remarkably composed considering all they have been through.
‘I think it actually made us stronger, believe it or not,’ says Kelly. ‘We had to be strong for Erin. We have to get on with our lives. But talking like this is something Philip needed to do, he needed to get this off his chest, so that people know he and James are innocent.’
Philip, not a man who angers easily, is resigned to the fact that the apology he would like will probably never come.
‘People like that should be locked up and taught to respect other people and their families,’ he says. ‘Why is she allowed to walk away? If she’s done this to me and my brother, how many other people are there that she’s made up lies about?’
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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