Sunday, June 23, 2013
Today's "British" multiculturalist
Hissan Dar -- a Muslim name, probably Pakistani
NatWest cashier defrauded learning difficulties couple of £110,000 and spent nearly half of it on roulette machines and horses
A gambling-addicted bank cashier who stole £110,000 from the account of a couple with learning difficulties was jailed for three-and-a-half years today.
NatWest worker Hissan Dar, 26, persuaded Stephen and Frances West to give him their cash card after promising to protect them from fraud. Dar then took money from the couple, who he had advised for years, when they received a £200,000 inheritance from Mr West's mother.
Dar, who had worked for the bank for ten years and earned a £26,000 salary, told them he was paying their bills, managing their cash and paying into a funeral plan for them.
Instead he spent £36,000 on roulette machines and bets on horse racing at a Ladbrokes store yards from the branch he was working at in Richmond, southwest London.
Dar also made cash withdrawals totalling £68,000 and £3,000 of credit card purchases, as well as applying for thousands of pounds of loans.
He was finally caught when other cashiers noticed suspicious activity on the West's account.
When he was arrested, he tried to claim the Wests had blown the money themselves on an extravagant lifestyle.
He later admitted fraud and was jailed at the Old Bailey for what Judge Timothy Pontius described as a 'deliberate and mean-minded' scam.
Judge Pontius said: 'You deliberately targeted the account and therefore the very modest income of a thoroughly decent couple who had reposed a high degree of trust in your handling of their financial affairs.
'They relied on your professional acumen and advice to a significant degree given their learning difficulties and obvious lack of familiarity with the complexities of managing an account in a time of fiscal constraint and uncertainty.'
The Wests have been refunded by NatWest and the judge said the bank should be commended for this.
But he added: 'That financial loss is perhaps less significant to them than the undoubtedly shocking effect upon them of learning that the man in whom they had so completely placed their trust over a period of years had disgracefully abused that trust to such an extent.'
The court heard Mrs West, in her 50s, had learning difficulties and poor eyesight, while Mr West, in his 60s, also had 'below average' intelligence. Both worked part-time in a poppy factory.
Prosecutor Juliet Oliver said: 'They are physically quite frail as well. 'But Mr and Mrs West have always endeavoured to live as an independent couple as best they can, although they do receive support in the community.
'Their main aim is to try and avoid being thought of as stupid. 'They believed bank employees were not only trustworthy but able to assist them in organising their financial affairs.'
Their trust was shattered on June 29 last year when they went to NatWest to withdraw money.
'They explained they needed more than the £200 cash Mr Dar had allowed them to cover the period he was away on holiday,' said Ms Oliver. 'They didn't have their cash card as Mr Dar held them, he said to protect them from fraud.
'Staff did a check and saw £300 had been withdrawn earlier that day through an ATM.
'There was a pattern of recent withdrawals in sums of hundreds of pounds. 'When asked, the Wests said it was probably Hissan. They refused to believe anything could be amiss with their accounts. 'Such was their trust that they actually telephoned him that evening.'
Further investigation showed huge amounts of money had gone missing since March 2011, with a large chunk spent on gambling.
Mr West said he had only ever bet £5 on a horse race and £4 on the Eurovision song contest.
When he was arrested, Dar claimed the Wests had spent the money themselves, telling police they ate out at restaurants three times a day. He later owned up, but claimed he had been trying to support his family after his father was laid off.
Facebook and Twitter trolls will avoid prosecution in Britain if they apologise -- as new rules impose a 'high threshold' for court action
Some sense at last, it would seem
Twitter and Facebook users posting offensive messages online must pass a 'high threshold' before they are prosecuted, new official guidance has said.
The Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer QC, has published final guidelines for prosecutors on the approach they should take in cases involving social media posts.
Mr Starmer said the guidelines, which have been finalised today after a three-month consultation, seek to address the 'potential chilling effect' that might arise from high numbers of prosecutions in cases in which a communication might be considered grossly offensive.
The changes come after the May 2010 conviction of Paul Chambers for joking on Twitter about blowing up Robin Hood Airport in South Yorkshire.
His conviction for sending a 'menacing' tweet drew widespread condemnation and was eventually quashed on appeal in the High Court in July.
In addition, prosecutors must recognise the right to 'freedom of expression' and only proceed with a prosecution when a communication is 'more than offensive, shocking or disturbing, even if distasteful or painful to those subjected to it'.
Mr Starmer said: 'Millions of communications are sent via social media every day, and prosecutors must be equipped to deal appropriately and consistently with cases arising from the growing use of these new ways of communicating.
'When I published the interim guidelines on prosecuting cases involving social media, I aimed to strike the right balance between freedom of expression and the need to uphold the criminal law.
'Encouragingly, the public consultation showed there is wide support for the overall approach set out in the guidelines, which state there should be a high threshold for prosecution in cases involving communications which may be considered grossly offensive, indecent, obscene or false.'
The guidelines make the distinction between communications that should be prosecuted, such as those that amount to a credible threat of violence, a targeted campaign of harassment against an individual or which breach court orders, and those communications which may be considered grossly offensive, to which the high threshold must apply.
Another Twitter post that sparked a legal battle was written by speaker's wife Sally Bercow, who had to pay costs thought to total more than £100,000 for libelling a Tory peer on Twitter.
She lost a High Court battle with Lord McAlpine over a tweet suggesting he was a child sex offender. Mrs Bercow had to pay after the court decided the message was libellous. The tweet – sent to her 56,000 online followers on November 4 last year – said: ‘Why is Lord McAlpine trending? *Innocent face*’
She wrote it just two days after the BBC’s Newsnight programme wrongly implicated the former Conservative Party treasurer in allegations of abuse at a Welsh children’s home in the 1970s and 1980s.
In February 2012 two teenage friends who racially abused Newcastle striker Sammy Ameobi on Twitter were given final warnings by police. The 17-year-olds were arrested in November after the up-and-coming 19-year-old forward was called a 'n****r'.
Welsh pub in New York FINED for race discrimination after advertising for bar staff with ‘knowledge of British culture’
The owner of a Welsh bar in New York has been fined £1,600 for race discrimination after trying to hire staff with a 'knowledge of British culture'.
Ex-pat Michael Colbert, 54, was hauled up in front of a human rights commission after advertising for new staff with an interest in Britain.
The landlord placed a job advert for the Longbow - the only Welsh pub in the Big Apple - looking for bar tenders with a knowledge of the UK.
But he was accused of discrimination with the city's authorities claiming he is being unfair to workers of different nationalities. Michael and his American wife Jennifer couple had been due to take their case to court.
But they agreed in a pre-trial conference to pay a fine of $2,500 (£1,600) issued by New York City's Commission of Human Rights.
Part of the agreement also stipulates that the couple and their staff have to undergo anti-discrimination training within the next 120 days. In a statement the couple said: Free speech is not so free after all it seems'.
Michael said: 'We advertised for someone with a knowledge of Britain and Wales, the culture and the differences we have. We are looking for people with a certain skill set who will create the right atmosphere for people walking in. To create that nuanced Welsh thing within the pub. But somewhere along the writing of the advert we fell a foul of the authorities.'
Michael is an ex-carpenter who moved to New York from Wrexham, North Wales, more than 20 years ago. He married his American wife and opened the bar in the Brooklyn area of the city.
The bar is popular with tourists and ex-pats, they have a Welsh rugby shirt behind the bar, serve curry and chips and show the Premier League. The vacancy at the bar has now been filled by a 'football mad' Irish woman.
But the couple added they were looking forward to getting on with running the pub.
'We are grateful for all the support we have received, locally, nationally and internationally,' they said in a statement.
Jennifer said: 'We are New York's only Welsh pub a fact that we are very proud of and we get thousands of Welsh visitors every year. We're introducing everybody to Welsh culture and telling them all about Wales.'
'So it is imperative that our staff understand British culture. We are not looking to discriminate against anyone based on their culture but Brits have their own culture - we are not the same as Americans.
'And just because we all speak English doesn't mean Americans and Brits are interchangeable.'
The couple's legal problems started when they posted an advert on website Craigslist looking for new staff. The job description read: 'Energetic and enthusiastic men and women with an appreciation of craft beer, good food, whisky and real football (a.k.a. soccer). 'Being British definitely works in your favour - Bring an ex-pat or lived in the UK - also a plus.'
It also said staff should know why Liverpool vs Everton is an important match, and that the Old Firm refers to a match between Celtic and Rangers and not a law company.
Cliff Mulqueen, general counsel of the New York City Commission of Human Rights, said: 'There's an argument that someone who works in a Chinese restaurant, for example, may need to speak Chinese in order to communicate with their co-workers.
But there's a difference between saying you have to speak Chinese and saying you have to be Chinese. The point is that they posted an ad that is discriminatory because she is expressing a preference for one group of people over another.'
New York City's human rights commissioner Patricia Gatling said it would not be illegal to 'demand a knowledge of the food, spirit or culture that conforms to your business model.'
She said: 'But you cannot give a preference to anyone from a particular country. It is our hope they understand that discrimination in this city is illegal and at the end of the day violators will pay.' [Pompous twit!]
European Lesbians in Canada complain about wedding present, wanted money
How totally un-English. Very poor form. Social concerns discarded in exchange for a focus on their genital organs?
A war of words between a pair of disgruntled brides and two guests who brought them a 'cheap and embarrassing' gift, has sparked a debate over wedding etiquette.
Kathy Mason from Hamilton, Ontario, and her boyfriend, who wished to remain anonymous, decided to create a food hamper for their friends' same-sex marriage and packed it with a mix of 'fun' treats including pasta, olive oil, croutons, biscuits, Marshmallow Fluff and Sour Patch Kids.
They attached a carefully worded card to the parcel which read: 'Enjoy . . . Life is delicious.'
However, the European newlyweds were less than impressed with the gesture and contacted the couple the next day via text message to ask if they had the receipt so they could get the money back instead.
An insulted Ms Mason decided to reveal the ensuing back-and-forth exchanges to The Hamilton Spectator in a bid to prove that what she and her partner had done was 'thoughtful and not out of place.'
In the conversation trail, conducted via text and Facebook, the unnamed brides argued that it cost $200 to have Ms Mason and her plus one at their big day.
Apparently Ms Mason was one of only two invitees who didn't gift at least $150 cash - the other gave a present in addition to money.
'You ate steak, chicken, booze, and a beautiful venue . . . If anything you should be embarrassed for being so cheap and embarrassing,' the brides said in one message.
The bitchy spat, published on The Hamilton Spectator's site on June 11, has attracted widespread interest.
One commentator named Vince sided with the brides, agreeing that dollars would have been more appropriate.
And Louise Fox, a Toronto-based etiquette coach who has appeared on shows including Slice TV's Rich Bride, Poor Bride, says even requesting the receipt was out of order.
She suggests the just-wed couple should have 'offered the basket to family, friends or a food bank, then written a thank-you note that focused on the thought behind the act of gift-giving.'
An infuriated Ms Mason then told the happy couple 'you should never host a party that you cannot afford, or expect your guests to pay for it.'
But the angry brides did little to settle her temper. 'Weddings are to make money for your future. Not to pay for peoples meals,' they said.
Speaking to The Hamilton Spectator after the incident the brides, who are of Italian and Croatian descent, put it down to cultural differences.
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, 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.