Sunday, December 22, 2013
Another multiculturalist in Britain
A man living on benefits used his landlord's bank details to pay for subscriptions to adult TV channels. Abdul Shahid has been jailed for three years, after carrying out a £192,000 fraud.
The 34-year-old set up a series of direct debits and used a national social housing firm's details to pay for them.
Unemployed Shahid was a tenant of Guinness Northern Counties Housing Association, which provides more than 60,000 homes across the country. He managed to get hold of the bank details of his landlords enabling him to start a string of direct debits. They paid for subscriptions to paid TV services, including adult channels.
He also used the bank details to pay off debts, his phone bill, as well as buying a range of goods from a catalogue.
In addition the fraudster managed to get his hands on the bank details of Telefonica, the Spanish telecommunications company which owns O2, and started paying his rent to Guinness Northern Counties through their account.
Shahid also posed as a door-to-door salesman for Sky television and BT, gathering cash payments from unsuspecting customers.
Many of the people he duped spoke little English and were left to find that within weeks their services had been switched off and Shahid was uncontactable, police said.
At Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court today Shahid admitted seven counts of fraud by false representation and one theft and he was sentenced to a total of three years in prison.
Pc Sarah Langley said: 'Shahid has effectively used these bank accounts as his own over a period of several months.
'He has been able to pay for goods and services worth tens of thousands of pounds and the cost to the businesses involved is considerable.
'His history of offending proves he is dishonest to the bone and he clearly has no qualms about ripping off unsuspecting people and organisations.
'This was a complex fraud and demonstrates that he is clearly an extremely intelligent person and it is just a shame he has channelled these talents into criminality.'
She may as well have wished us Happy Winterval!' Liberal MP who sent out Happy Holidays card faces backlash for 'marginalising' Christmas
Liberal Democrat MP Lorely Burt has provoked anger among her constituents after she omitted the word 'Christmas' from her annual card in favour of the message 'Happy Holidays'.
Residents accused the Liberal Democrat politician of being politically correct and unBritish, forcing Mrs Burt to issue an apology.
Constituent Aminah Mehboob said: 'I am shocked that she has employed an obviously American phrase, rather than a more British greeting.'
One pensioner told The Birmingham Mail: “I feel offended. In my 66 years of living in this country, it is the first time I’ve seen our traditional Christmas card abandoned. I wonder which tradition we will be losing next.”
Mrs Burt has apologised for her decision to wish local residents ‘Happy Holidays’ - a seasonal Christmas greeting preferred by Americans. She said: “I am sorry if my Christmas card offended anyone, and I look forward to continuing to fight for improved local services in the New Year. 'I have no hesitation in wishing all my constituents a very Merry Christmas.'
Resident Adam Higgs complained: ‘She may as well have wished her constituents a Merry Winterval since that is the name Birmingham City Council once used to seemingly marginalise use of the word Christmas.’
‘I would wish those who celebrate them a Happy Diwali, Hanukkah, Eid, Chinese New Year, to name a few celebrations, not Happy Holidays. Of course, unlike Lorely, I have no problem in wishing all a Merry Christmas,’ he said.
Julian Knight, the Conservative Solihull candidate said the card was a “nonsense” and that several people had contacted him to complain.
He said: ‘No one can be offended by being wished a Merry or Happy Christmas. It is a Christian festival and those of other faiths, welcome it as such.’
'This politically correct, treading on eggshells approach doesn't do anyone any favours. We should wish each other a Merry Christmas and be proud.'
British welfare controls rushed through: EU migrants will now have to wait three months before they can claim out-of-work handouts
EU migrants will have to wait for at least three months before they can claim any out-of-work benefits under emergency regulations to take effect from January 1, David Cameron will announce today.
The Prime Minister will say he understands the concerns of voters worried that incomers should not be allowed to take advantage of Britain’s benefits system and public services.
The Government has rushed to assemble a package of measures because Britain is required to lift temporary restrictions on the free movement of people from Romania and Bulgaria at the start of next year.
The new time limit on benefit claims had not been expected to be in place in time for January 1. But Mr Cameron will today confirm that regulations are being laid before Parliament to bring them in by that date.
Previously, EU migrants have been able to start claiming jobseeker’s allowance and other benefits within weeks of arriving – prompting concern that some people are arriving, signing on and only then looking for work.
‘The hard-working British public are rightly concerned that migrants do not come here to exploit our public services and our benefits system,’ Mr Cameron said.
‘As part of our long-term plan for the economy, we are taking direct action to fix the welfare and immigration systems so we end the “something for nothing culture” and deliver for people who play by the rules.
‘Accelerating the start of these new restrictions will make the UK a less attractive place for EU migrants who want to come here and try to live off the state. I want to send the clear message that while Britain is very much open for business, we will not welcome people who don’t want to contribute.’
Other measures already announced include cutting off benefits after six months for EU jobseekers with no employment prospect and stopping them from making housing benefit claims.
The Government is also toughening the so-called ‘habitual residence test’ to include a minimum earnings threshold, to check whether migrants are in proper employment.
There will also be a 12-month re-entry ban for people who have been removed for not working or being self-sufficient, and £20,000 fines for businesses found to be undercutting British workers by paying migrants less than the national minimum wage.
Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith announced last week that migrants will also be expected to demonstrate a ‘reasonable standard of English’ or be barred from claiming benefits. Migrants are to be tested on their language skills to determine whether they are likely to prove a barrier to them finding employment.
Yvette Cooper, Labour’s shadow home secretary, said: ‘Labour called for these benefit restrictions nine months ago. Yet David Cameron has left it until the very last minute to squeeze this change in. Why is the Government leaving everything until the last minute.’
The European Commission has objected to parts of the way Britain applies the habitual residence test, claiming it breaks the right to free movement across the EU and has started legal action.
'This is a case of compensation culture gone mad': Judge criticises claim that restaurant should have told a mother about the risk of using sugar dispenser when her daughter cut her finger
A senior judge has described a mother's attempt to sue a restaurant after her five-year-old daughter caught her finger in a sugar jar as 'compensation culture gone mad.'
Vanessa Behan took a High Court action over the incident, which happened when her daughter Robyn was nearly three years old in September 2011.
Ms Behan claimed her daughter suffered a laceration to the base of her right little finger and had to be taken to hospital. She said the company that runs the restaurant was liable for the injury.
The north Dublin woman began her legal battle in the Circuit Court earlier this year but lost her case in July when a judge ruled that 'common sense must prevail'.
She then took her case to the High Court. President of the High Court Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns yesterday dismissed the case.
The Irish Independent has reported how after hearing the details of the case, Judge Kearns said: 'Quite frankly, this is another case of compensation culture gone mad concerning an extraordinary suggestion that the restaurant should have warned Robyn's mother when she was being shown to a table that the sugar dispenser had a risk associated with it.'
Ms Behan now faces a legal bill of between €50,000 and €100,000 for her failed lawsuits in both courts.
The woman's barrister John Wilde-Crosbie argued the child was entitled to damages for 'personal injury, loss, damage and expense' incurred by the injuries caused to her daughter.
The court heard the little girl has suffered 'pain, general limitation of movement, loss, damage and a cosmetic deformity' and was left with a small scar on her finger.
The court heard the child got her finger stuck in the small hole in the top of the jar that allows sugar to be dispensed.
The containers are used as standard in the US-style 50s-themed diners. The High Court heard that Ms Behan had brought her daughter Robyn for a meal in the Blanchardstown shopping centre branch of Eddie Rocket's in west Dublin more than two years ago, only for the child's finger to become 'stuck in a defective and/or unprotected sugar jar on the table'.
After the child 'became distressed' because her finger was bleeding and stuck in the dispenser, staff came to her assistance but were unable to free her finger, the court heard.
The child was then brought to the emergency department of Temple Street Children's Hospital.
The fast-food business was accused of 'causing, permitting and/or allowing a defective sugar dispenser to be and to remain on the table' at which the girl was seated. In the court claim, Eddie Rocket's was also accused of failing to train staff adequately.
Sample sugar dispensers from the fast-food restaurant were examined by Judge Kearns, who also stepped down from the bench to examine the child's injured finger at one point during the hearing.
The five-year-old was brought up to the front of the court by her mother to meet the judge and display her injury.
Judge Kearns threw out the case after hearing expert evidence from both sides during a one-day hearing, saying: 'I am dismissing the case.'
The judge awarded costs in favour of Eddie Rocket's, saying: 'The defendant [Eddie Rocket's] has been brought into the Circuit Court and the High Court. They have had to defend this claim twice and it has been dismissed twice.'
Earlier, as the judge examined one of the dispensers, engineer Seán Walsh told the court: 'My view was this type of dispenser is unsuitable to an environment that markets at families.'
But under cross-examination, Hugh Mohan SC, for Eddie Rocket's Ireland Ltd, put it to Mr Walsh that if that logic is applied to restaurant utensils in general, then 'parents would have to eat with plastic knives and forks and with plastic plates'.
Mr Walsh argued the hole in the top of the jar presented a 'known hazard' for a child. To this, Mr Mohan said: 'Mr Walsh, what planet are you on? That, on no basis, could be perceived as a foreseeable risk, that utensil.'
Later, Mr Mohan agreed to withdraw the, 'what planet are you on?' remark, assuring the expert witness: 'I do respect your professionalism.'
Chartered engineer Ian Kavanagh told the court there are no regulations dealing with 'the design of sugar dispensers'.
In July, Ms Behan told the Circuit Court the lid of the sugar jar had been cutting into Robyn's right hand little finger 'like a blade'. However, Judge Jacqueline Linnane found there was no negligence on the part of the restaurant and rejected her case.
A stay had been placed on the resulting legal bill pending the High Court hearing.
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 and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.