Thursday, July 11, 2013
More multiculturalism in Britain
A young mother turned detective to get her violent boyfriend jailed after he avoided prison by faking a glowing reference.
Gemma Jarman, 24, was angry when Jesse Fleischer, 38, was let off with a suspended sentence despite admitting beating her up in front of their toddler daughter at the home they shared in Southampton.
Miss Jarman had seen how the judge at Winchester Crown Court had been impressed by a character reference from a hotel her boyfriend had worked at - a reference she knew was fake.
The intensive care nurse had suffered a fractured cheekbone and broken tooth in the attack, which left her and her daughter Freya, now two, 'living in fear'.
She told police that Fleischer had not worked at the Marwell Hotel in Colden Common, Hampshire, for two months, and went on to prove that the letter was a forgery.
Miss Jarman said: 'I was in court when they read out the reference and I knew straight away it wasn’t right - he wasn’t working there any more. 'He had been sacked on the day he battered me, and wrote the reference himself saying he was an amazing citizen.
'He wrote that if he went to jail we would lose a great citizen of society and that he should be dealt with in society and not go to prison.
'I’ve seen the letter since, and it’s all spelt wrong, there’s no grammar, and it’s signed off ‘Thank you’.
'Jesse simply brought this faked letter in on plain A4 on the day and handed it over - I was absolutely disgusted that he was allowed to walk away a free man the first time, I couldn’t believe it.'
Miss Jarman found out no-one at the hotel had written or signed the letter and told the police. She said: 'I went to the police and the officer I spoke to said: "That’s not right, I’m going to fight for this". 'They managed to get statements saying the hotel staff didn’t support Jesse in any way. 'That was lucky for me, because otherwise I would still be sitting here scared out of my wits.'
Winchester Crown Court had heard how Fleischer ‘completely lost it’ when Miss Jarman tried to break up with him on March 13.
Miss Jarman said: 'He begged me to stay but I couldn’t take it any more.
'He pulled me by my hair and pushed me onto the sofa and punched me about 12 times. 'I was up against the wall, trying to get away from him, when he picked up a statue from the mantelpiece and started swinging it around.
'I went to get a cloth from the kitchen for my face and he started saying that if he couldn’t have us, his family, then nobody could.
'Freya was crying, but he only shouted "Shut up, shut up, stop being stupid".
'It was a terrifying attack and one which he subjected me to in front of our daughter, who was just 22 months old. 'He terrified my daughter and me. We have been living in fear ever since, looking over our shoulders, fearing what he might do next.
'I just couldn’t let him get away with it. I am just relieved he is finally behind bars and can live my life now - I have been living in fear for the last five months.'
Fleischer, who had pleaded guilty to causing actual bodily harm and possessing cannabis with intent to supply in May, was brought back to court.
The same judge, Recorder Michael Parroy QC, sentenced Fleischer to two years and four months in prison after he admitted perverting the course of justice.
The judge told Fleischer he would have been locked up in the first place without the complimentary reference that he had faked.
Miss Jarman said: 'The whole episode has been traumatising. I didn’t leave the house for the two months after Jesse attacked me because I was so in fear of him. 'When I moved to a different town to get away, he followed me, and I have a panic alarm fitted in my house in case he came here to hurt us again.
'I have only just managed to get Freya back into a routine and sleeping in her own bed again, for ages she wouldn’t step away from my side.
'I am so glad that he’s been put away at last.'
Surviving Asiana 214 was no miracle
Asiana Flight 214 crash-landed at San Francisco International Airport on Saturday, killing two people and injuring more than 180 other passengers.
Two. More than 99 percent of the 307 people aboard that airplane survived the crash.
I am not alone among the people who are in awe of that statistic, which was years in the making by aircraft designers, pilots and the National Transportation Safety Board.
"Just two of the 307 people aboard Asiana Flight 214 died in the fiery wreck on the runway," wrote Susanna Schrobsdorff in Time magazine.
Schrobsdorff said there had not been a jumbo jet crash landing in the United States since 2001.
Engineers always point out that there is no such thing as an accident. At least one thing happens along the way to create a collision.
On Saturday, pilot error may be to blame, but I will let the experts at the transportation board determine that. This is one federal agency that indeed saves lives.
Viewing photographs of that wreckage, I realize how horrifying that afternoon was. But members of the flight crew kept their heads and calmly evacuated all but two passengers to safety.
I also tip my hat to the men and women who designed and built and maintained that aircraft. "Thirty years of design improvements have made a huge difference in the ability to get everyone off the plane in less than two minutes," Larry Rooney told Time magazine.
Rooney, a veteran pilot and National Transportation Safety Board-trained accident investigator, is executive vice president of the Coalition of Airline Pilots Association.
Emergency crews also showed their training, which also was based on years of lessons learned in similar airplane crashes with a greater number of casualties.
Pilot training also saved lives. Readers may remember Chesley Burnett "Sully" Sullenberger III, the pilot and safety expert who landed US Airways Flight 1549 on the Hudson River on Jan. 15, 2009, with a loss of none of the 155 people aboard.
He correctly credited decades of aviation safety work by many people and agencies for that perfect landing. For example, the aircraft remained afloat long enough for rescue crews to whisk away the passengers and crew members.
Sullenberger shared with CBS News his observations about the San Francisco airport on Saturday.
"In fact, the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) classified it as a special airport, along with other airports worldwide that involve mountainous terrain or other special challenges.
"It is surrounded by water, and of course water is a featureless terrain where depth perception can sometimes be difficult. There are shifting winds, low visibilities, so there are several things that make it special, plus high terrain just past it."
And yet pilots land dozens of planes carrying thousands of passengers at that airport each day without incident.
When the United States hockey team bested the Soviet Union in the 1980 Olympics, announcer Al Michaels asked, "Do you believe in miracles?" I don't believe in miracles. I believe in hard work.
That 305 of the 307 people aboard survived the crash of Asiana Flight 214 was remarkable, but it was no miracle.
Over the decades, people built better planes, better airports, better emergency operations and better training of pilots and flight crews. Together, they made surviving such a crash survivable.
Thank God for all those wonderful people who worked to make that outcome possible.
Dozens of Britain's worst killers set to launch bids for freedom after European Court of Human Rights rules we DON'T have the right lock them up for life
Justice Secretary Chris Grayling today launched a furious attack on European judges who ruled Britain's most notorious murderers could not be told to die in jail because it breaches their human rights.
The Tory minister said the original authors of the Human Rights Convention 'would be turning in their graves' at the ruling which means dozens of killers could launch bids for freedom.
Judges in Strasbourg ruled locking up murderers without any prospect of being released was unlawful.
The extraordinary legal challenge was brought by murderer Jeremy Bamber and two other killers, Douglas Vinter and Peter Moore, who claim that condemning them to spend the rest of their lives behind bars without a review is cruel, inhuman and degrading.
Downing Street said that David Cameron was 'very, very disappointed' at the ruling. 'He profoundly disagrees with the court's ruling. He is a strong supporter of whole life tariffs,; the Prime Minister's official spokesman said.
Judges at the European Court of Human Rights disagreed with the killers in January, but the Strasbourg-based court's Grand Chamber agreed to hear a further appeal and today backed the murderers' legal bid.
By 16 to one votes, the judges ruled that giving murderers no hope of being released was in breach of their human rights.
The ruling puts the UK government on a collision course with judges in Strasbourg, with ministers adamant that life sentences must be available to British courts.
Mr Grayling said: 'The British people will find this ruling intensely frustrating and hard to understand.
'What the court is saying is that a judge can no longer tell the most appalling criminals that they will never be released.
'I think the people who wrote the original Human Rights Convention would be turning in their graves at this ruling. 'I profoundly disagree with the court and this simply reinforces my determination to curtail the role of the Court of Human Rights in the UK.'
Home Secretary Theresa May also expressed her 'dismay' at the decision. She told the Commons: 'I think not only members of this House but the public will be dismayed at the decision that has come from the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights today in relation to whether or not it is possible for life to generally mean life.
'And it is also, I have to say, a surprising decision given that last year we saw a number of cases where the European court had decided in extradition cases that it was possible to extradite on the basis of potential life sentence without parole. So this is on the contrary to the decision they seem to have taken last year.'
Inmates responsible for some of Britain's most gruesome and depraved murders had been told they will never be released.
They include Moors murderer Ian Brady, who killed five children with Myra Hundley in the 1960s, Steve Wright, dubbed the Suffolk Strangler after killing five prostitutes in Ipswich, and Dennis Nilsen, who killed 15 men and boys from 1978 to 1983.
The Grand Chamber found that for a life sentence to remain compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights there had to be both a possibility of release and a possibility of review.
It raises the prospect of around 50 convicted killers told they will die behind bars now having the chance to challenge their sentence.
However, the panel of 17 judges added: 'In finding a violation in this case, however, the court did not intend to give the applicants any prospect of imminent release.'
In their ruling, the judges said it was up to the national authorities to decide when the review of sentences should take place. However existing rules mean a review would have to take place after the murderer has spent 25 years behind bars.
Under current UK law, whole-life tariff prisoners will almost certainly never be released from prison as their offences are deemed to be so serious.
They can be freed only by the Justice Secretary, who can give discretion on compassionate grounds when the prisoner is terminally ill or seriously incapacitated.
The appeal was brought before the Grand Chamber by Vinter, who stabbed his wife in 2008. Vinter was released from prison after serving nine years for the 1995 murder of work colleague Carl Edon, 22 - but just three years later he stabbed his wife Anne White four times and strangled her, and was given a whole-life order.
Sadiq Khan, Labour’s shadow justice secretary, said: 'Those who brought the case were found guilty of some of the most heinous crimes possible and maintaining the public's safety has to be our number one priority.
'We will need to study this long ruling from the European Court of Human Rights in detail. Labour changed the law to ensure life means life for the most serious horrific and violent crimes and it is crucial for public safety that we maintain this power.'
The ECHR ruled earlier this year that condemning people to die in jail was not ‘grossly disproportionate’. The Court held by four votes to three on January 17 that there had been no violation of Article Three of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Prisons minister Jeremy Wright said in December: 'As long as we are ministers in the Department, its policy will remain that whole-life tariffs should be available.'
Today's ruling comes after Mrs May voiced her frustrations with the European courts in the House of Commons in the wake of the lengthy and costly fight to boot radical cleric Abu Qatada out of the country.
Mrs May said something had to be done to address the 'crazy interpretation of our human rights laws' to prevent similar battles from happening again - and placed much of the blame on decisions made by the European Court of Human Rights.
She told the Commons yesterday: 'I have made clear my view that in the end the Human Rights Act must be scrapped.
'We must also consider our relationship with the European Court very carefully, and I believe that all options - including withdrawing from the Convention altogether - should remain on the table.'
Earlier this year, Mrs May vowed to give all cop killers a minimum whole-life jail term - a pledge thrown into disarray in light of the ECHR's ruling.
The current starting point for anyone convicted of the murder of a police officer in the line of duty is 30 years. But the Government proposed that this should be increased to a life sentence without parole.
There have been 12 direct killings of police officers in the course of duty since 2000 - including the murder of PCs Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes by Sean Cregan in Greater Manchester last year.
British internet troll who threatened to murder 200 US schoolchildren in Facebook message is jailed for two years
A hostile loser and a coward -- a classic bully
An internet troll whose 'grossly offensive' Facebook postings included threats to kill 200 US children has been jailed for more than two years after a judge heard how he spread terror in local schools.
Reece Elliott, 24, left abusive comments on tribute pages set up for two teenagers who died in car accidents.
But when he was challenged he sent more nasty messages directly to pupils living in Warren County, Tennessee, in February.
After a deputy sheriff contacted him to say he would shut the page down, curly-haired Elliott sparked a security crackdown at local schools by threatening to shoot 200 children.
With sensitivities heightened in the US following the Newtown shooting which saw 20 children and six adults killed in an elementary school, hundreds saw Elliott's message and almost 3,000 pupils missed classes the next day, Newcastle Crown Court heard.
Tennessee police began investigating, along with the FBI and Homeland Security.
Elliott, from South Shields, South Tyneside, contacted his solicitor and walked into his local police station to admit what he had done when he realised the outcry he had caused.
At a previous hearing he admitted one count of making threats to kill and eight Communications Act offences.
Prosecutor Bridie Smurthwaite said Elliott left 'grossly offensive' messages to two tribute sites.
On one for a teenage girl killed by a drink driver, he wrote: 'F****** fat c*** deserves to die.'
And on another for a teenager who died in a car crash, he said: 'Hip, hip, horray, he is dead motherf******. Huge brain injuries. Stupid motherf****** b****. I hope you rot in hell.'
When Elliott's fake Facebook profile received a friend request from a local deputy sheriff, the officer was branded a 'paedo'.
After the lawman said he would shut down Elliott's page, the father-of-one went online again, with severe consequences for him.
He wrote on the teenage girl's tribute page: 'My father has three guns. I'm planning on killing him first and putting his body in the dumpster. 'Then I'm taking the motor and I'm going in fast.
'I'm gonna kill hopefully at least 200 before I kill myself. So you want to tell the deputy, I'm on my way.'
Because it was posted on the site's public wall, many hundreds of people probably saw it, the court heard.
School officials were swamped with calls and texts from concerned staff, parents and pupils so security was stepped up, with only restricted access to sites.
Nevertheless, 2,908 out of 6,654 pupils, or 44 per cent of the register, missed classes at schools in the county the next day.
One girl, now 16 and whose identity cannot be reported, received a private message from Elliott which said: 'You have been chosen tomorrow at school to receive one of my bullets.' She replied: 'Screw off dude.'
Elliott said: 'The doctors will have to unscrew the bullet from your skull b****.'
The girl then offered to pray for her abuser, saying: 'Wow, you need serious help.'
She told police afterwards: 'I think it should be taken very seriously, even though he was miles and miles away in another country, I was still scared and I didn't want to come to school even after they caught him.'
After his arrest, Elliott said he was an internet troll, the purpose of which was to provoke arguments and reaction.
Miss Smurthwaite said he told officers 'it was a massive mistake'.
Elliott has 17 convictions for 28 offences, including at the age of 16 an attempted robbery on a bookmakers when he was armed with an axe, and a racially aggravated public order offence in a pizza shop.
John Wilkinson, defending said Elliott was described by a psychiatrist as emotionally immature and impulsive. 'As he says himself "It's time I finally grew up and started to act like an adult",' Mr Wilkinson told the court.
Mr Wilkinson said Elliott could not explain his behaviour, which the defendant said was 'idiotic, childish and pathetic'.
Elliott bowed his head and wept as Judge James Goss QC, the Recorder of Newcastle, passed a two years and four month sentence.
He told Elliott: 'During the first week in February this year, with what seems to be no more than self-indulgent nastiness, you posted a series of grossly offensive comments on Facebook.'
Outside court, Detective Chief Inspector Ged Noble, who led the investigation, said officers were about to arrest Elliott when he walked into the police station.
The FBI contacted colleagues in England after discovering that the threats were coming from the North East.
He said: 'Police officers were about to go to the identified address when we were notified by a local solicitor that Reece Elliott wanted to hand himself in.'
Mr Noble continued: 'Investigating reports of criminal behaviour on social network sites has its challenges but we have staff who are trained in navigating these systems and identifying who the offenders are.
'New guidelines on dealing with people who post offensive messages using social media have been released by the Director of Public Prosecutions and we will continue to work closely with the Crown Prosecution Service to take action against those who cross the line from their right to free speech to committing criminal offences.'
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. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.