Thursday, February 20, 2014
Teenager who blamed attacks on random strangers on being a 'young black male' spared jail
A teenager who attacked two strangers in just three days and blamed his behaviour on being a ‘young black male’ was spared jail today.
Shaqueil Samuels, 19, was one of three thugs who turned on night bus passenger Bronson Maisey, 39, after he told them to stop pressing the stop button.
The security officer was repeatedly punched and had to cling to a pole to prevent his assailants from dragging him onto the street.
Samuels, of Manor Park in East London, had jumped off the bus but got back on after seeing his friends Tesco employee Adebambo Karumwi, 18, and fitness instructor Roland Mubenga, 19, also from Manor Park, start the fight.
Mr Maisey lost a tooth and has had to have extensive dental work since the assault on the N25 night bus as it made its way towards Stratford, east London, in the early hours of December 30, 2012.
Just three days earlier Samuels repeatedly punched a passenger on a train going from Ilford to Liverpool Street just before it pulled in to Stratford, Snaresbrook Crown Court heard.
When he put his bag down next to 49-year-old Hamadi Nebili, the passenger looked up from his newspaper. Samuels stared at Mr Nebili and said: ‘Are you looking? Are you gay?’
He then unloaded a barrage of punches at the terrified passenger, leaving him with serious head wounds which required stitches.
In a letter to the court Mr Nebili said he now feels anxious every time he leaves his home while Mr Maisey said he has lost his confidence when out and about.
Judge Sarah Paneth said: ‘These were two serious assaults on public transport without provocation of justification.
‘I’ve been told and reject the notion that your actions (Samuels) were due to what you believed to be others’ perception of yourself as a young black male - you cannot be defended on circumstances that are habitual.
‘What you all did was conform to the stereotype you so despise and brought shame to the black community and to your families.
‘You all come from stable and supportive families but you do not deserve medals for travelling on public transport since the offence with no problems - millions of people do that every day.
‘It was a group attack on a lone person and you are all responsible. Look at it this way, I am sure the three of you would not have chosen to attack a young man with a group of friends. Mr Maisey was an easy target.
‘I had adjourned this sentencing to see your remorse and to see whether you were really willing to pay compensation.
‘I accept this was out of character as there is no evidence of this behaviour before or after these incidents. ‘All three of you have before and since been entirely law-abiding and a credit to your community and families.
‘I note that you are prepared to back that up by paying compensation and you are all still in your teens. The effect long term for you and for society are extremely important factors to consider.’
Judge Paneth sentenced Samuels to serve two years in prison, Mubenga to 12 months and Karumwi to 15 months.
All three sentences were suspended for two years with a condition of unpaid work. Samuels must do 200 hours while the other two defendants have to do 100 hours each.
Samuels must also pay Mr Nebili and Mr Maisey £500 each in compensation while Mubenga and Karumwi were ordered to pay Mr Maisey £500 each.
Judge Paneth added: ‘I make it clear the only reason you are all not going into custody today is that these incidents are extremely out of character and isolated.’
The three defendants were all friends and used to go to the same gym together, the court was told.
Samuels, who cares for his arthritis-suffering mother, is now said to feel ashamed by how he reacted to the situations.
Two 'petite' female police firearms officers set to receive £35,000 each because the guns were 'too big for their hands'
Pictured for the first time, Victoria Wheatley and Rachael Giles won a sex discrimination case on the grounds they could not reach the trigger.
Now the Mail can reveal the full extent of their claims, including how Miss Giles said she was ‘bullied, victimised and isolated’.
Both claimed their reputations were damaged because their unsuitable equipment - a Glock 17 - meant they received lower marks than men in firing range tests.
They also said protective gear was too big for their small heads and legs and they were too short for a wooden barricade used as a resting place for the firearms.
The barricade was built for an officer of average male height and only offered support for those much taller.
The Central London Employment Tribunal found the Civil Nuclear Constabulary (CNC) guilty of discrimination against the officers.
It is understood they are to receive £35,000 each, although the force plans to appeal.
The officers were based at different stations – Miss Wheatley, 39, with an armed unit which protects the Sellafield nuclear plant in Cumbria, and Miss Giles, 32, at Chapelcross, Scotland.
They were described as being ‘petite in stature’ and with ‘small hands’, but were ignored when they repeatedly asked for a smaller grip on their weapons, the tribunal heard.
Miss Giles said in a witness statement: ‘All this has led to extreme distress. The stress has caused significant problems to my health.’
Their solicitor, Binder Bansel, of Pattinson & Brewer, said that every officer joining at the rank of constable or sergeant is required to train to recognised standards as an authorised firearms officer and maintain the standard.
A cycle of annual training shoots tests their ability which they must undertake as part of their job.
Mr Bansel said: ‘Continued failure at these shoot days results in an unsatisfactory assessment, which could lead to the officer being dismissed.’
The tribunal dismissed any claims of victimisation.
Yesterday, a CNC spokesman said the force was planning to appeal - saying: ‘The judgement has been passed and the CNC has lost on the grounds of indirect sex discrimination, however any claims of victimisation were unanimously dismissed.
‘As a result of what was discussed in this case, the CNC can also state it will be conducting an equality impact assessment.
‘This is to ensure that the CNC remains committed to providing the right training and equipment, together with a commitment to equal opportunities.’
Miss Wheatley and Miss Giles were members of the Civil Nuclear Police Federation, which supported the claim.
The tribunal decision came after a number of extraordinary cases where police forces across the country have had to pay out thousands in compensation to officers due to injuries at work.
In December last year it emerged a police community support officer who injured her knee while investigating a burglary was awarded £4,000 in compensation.
Pauline Harrison, 53, was responding to a 999 call reporting a break-in at a derelict school when she fell over a 3ft-high wooden fence.
And in April last year, a policeman was paid £8,000 compensation after being bitten by fleas while at work.
The extraordinary injury claim was made after colleagues complained that their police station in Birmingham had become infested with the insects.
It was one of a number of workplace injury claims paid by West Midlands Police which had spent £900,000 settling cases made by more than 50 policemen in three years.
And WPC Kelly Jones triggered public outrage and criticism from her own chief constable last year for suing a burglary victim for £50,000 after tripping over a kerb.
Other claims include a police officer awarded £16,610 in compensation after he fell over a pile of blankets while chasing a suspect.
Appeal judge slams 'cut and paste' decision in family court which led to social workers taking baby from parents unjustly
Judges and social workers have been conspiring to remove children unjustly from their parents, a scathing High Court ruling said today.
It condemned family court judges for a ‘clandestine arrangement’ which meant that they simply rubber-stamped the demands of social workers without giving a fair hearing to the pleas of parents. Rulings by family judges were ‘cut and pasted’ from recommendations emailed to the court by social workers, the High Court found.
The secret dealings between council officials and local judges were revealed in a High Court appeal in which Mrs Justice Pauffley ordered that a mother be re-united with her baby.
The baby was taken by social workers following a court case described by Mrs Justice Pauffley as ‘profoundly alarming’.
The High Court judge warned that ‘the practices I have described are not confined to this area but are widespread across the country'.
She said of the case, which involved judges at an unnamed family court and social workers employed by an unnamed council: ‘It is difficult to view the justices as having been independent and impartial if, as happened here, they simply adopted the local authority’s analysis of what their findings and reasons might comprise.
‘Just because there may be tacit acceptance on the part of many professionals within the family justice system that the practice which operated here exists, that does not mean it is right. ‘It is patently wrong, must stop at once and never happen again.’
The order to end collusion between judges and social workers was endorsed yesterday by the most senior family judge, President of the Family Division Sir James Munby.
In a circular to lawyers, Sir James warned all judges and lawyers to ‘carefully consider’ the case and added that Mrs Justice Pauffley ‘had to deal with circumstances which I hope will never recur.’
The scandal over secret deals between judges and social workers is the latest upheaval in a year of growing controversy over the family courts, the closely-associated Court of Protection, and the way the public has been routinely prevented from knowing what goes on in them.
Last year the Daily Mail revealed that a judge at the Court of Protection had sent a woman to jail in secret after she refused to stop trying to remove her father from a care home where she believed his life was in danger. All information about the imprisonment of Wanda Maddocks was banned from publication until the Mail investigated the case.
In December the Court of Protection was discovered to have ordered behind closed doors that a pregnant Italian woman must undergo a compulsory caesarean operation. The mother, Alessandra Pacchieri, was later told by a family court judge, again in secret, that her baby would be taken for adoption in Essex.
The secrecy surrounding the two court systems is now being loosened on the instructions of Sir James, who has acted to prevent both clandestine imprisonment and the removal of children from foreign mothers by British judges.
The exposure of private arrangements between family judges and social workers was exposed following an appeal by a mother whose child was taken into care.
The 32-year-old mother, a longstanding drug and drink abuser with a history of domestic violence, had had seven previous children. Six are living with their two fathers and one is in the process of being adopted. When she became pregnant again, she was given a place in a unit run by a specialist family drugs and alcohol service.
Mrs Justice Pauffley said it was ‘plain’ that social workers took a decision in advance to remove her baby, who was born in October last year. They cited the mother’s bleak history.
Family judges first heard the case on 1 November. They were presented with an expert report on the mother, commissioned by social workers and prepared by chartered clinical psychologist Dr Celest Van Rooyen. The psychologist, who also gave ‘very strong and powerful’ evidence in person, said the baby was at risk of harm.
The judges declared that ‘the immediate risk of harm is such that his safety requires the continuing removal from his mother’s care. It is proportionate and in his best interests.’ At a second hearing a week later, the same judges said the baby should stay with foster parents because ‘he needs to form an attachment with his primary carers.’ Mrs Justice Pauffley criticised the handling of the case in blunt and uncompromising language.
She said the Van Rooyen report on the mother had been researched and written in a day and the psychologist had spoken neither to the mother nor the medical and psychological experts with whom she and the baby were living. Instead, Dr Van Rooyen had relied on documents and a phone call to a social worker.
Mrs Justice Pauffley said: ‘It surprises and alarms me that Dr Van Rooyen was asked, and was prepared, to provide a report during the course of a single working day, a terrifyingly tight timeframe, and on the basis of papers supplemented by a telephone conversation with a local authority professional who had never met the mother.
‘I struggle to understand how Dr Van Rooyen’s apparently firm opinions, adverse to the mother, could have been formed given the complete absence of any kind of discussion with her.’
The High court judge said the family court judges had not written their own ‘findings of fact and reasons’ - their ruling in the case. The entire document had instead been emailed to them by lawyers for the local council before the 1 November hearing.
A near-identical document was drawn up by the judges after the second hearing. Mrs Justice Pauffley said this was ‘the result, almost certainly of cutting and pasting.’ Mrs Justice Pauffley said this practice ‘has become the norm’ in local family courts.
She said she was ‘profoundly alarmed’ at the practice, which was widespread.
‘There was, apparently, an established but largely clandestine arrangement between the local authority and the court which, to my mind, has considerable repercussions for justice.’ Mrs Justice Pauffley added: ‘In public law proceedings the local authority is the applicant. It is not and should never be seen as the decision maker. That is the role of the court.
‘There is no room for confusion. Justice must be upheld. There is no scope for dilution of that fundamental concept.’
John Hemming, the Lib Dem MP who has campaigned against secrecy in the family courts, said: ‘I am pleased that the senior judges are acting to stop stitch ups and “clandestine” fixing of decisions in the lower courts.
‘What really matters, however, is getting independent evidence into the process rather than the opinion of local authority employees who are instructed in what to say by their management, who are instructed by government as to what outcomes they want.’
8 reasons why having kids is awesome
If you’re looking for some reproductive benefits, avoid parenting blogs. They’re not sales pitches for prospective parents, they’re therapy for anyone in the throes of tantrums and tears. But don’t worry; if you’d like to create a mini-you it’s not all excretions of bodily fluids. There are some brilliant upsides to this kid business:
1. Family parking
Revel in the moment when you find a vacant parent and child parking spot. Drive sideways into its cavernous space. Note that you’re so close to the supermarket you can practically start your fruit and veg shop from the driver’s seat. Pity the poor child- free folk who fought off a bad-tempered ute for the last available space on level 74 (warning: be prepared for zero sympathy from said child-free folk when your kids pull down a full shelf of tomato sauce and leave you stranded in a glass-ridden pool of red waste).
2. T2 Transit lanes
While we’re talking transport, you may think this isn’t quite in the spirit of commuter efficiencies, but there’s me, there’s the kid and there’s 25 kilometres of red highway with nary a vehicle in site. Adios my traffic jammed, solo-driving friends!
3. ZOMG! You’re Back!
You’ve had a shocking day at work. You return home, open the front door and a massive smile on chubby legs belts down the hallway to greet you. Short of being rescued from a 12-month hostage situation, no grown-up will ever by that pleased to see you. The small person throws their grateful self into your arms, and even sheds a few tears of joy at your return. Ha! Screw you horrible client, here’s empirical proof that I am in fact totally awesome.
Until kids get to an age where they can kick you in the shins for making them wear apricot-coloured tulle, dressing them up is great fun. Whether you have boys or girls, there is a whole host of clothing options completely incompatible with play but totally compatible with looking super cute. I know, treating your children like over-sized dolls is objectionable, but like I said you’ve only got a short window. Before long they’ll mount a rebellion in the form of flailing limbs and a determination to pair a moth eaten orange cardigan with purple satin pants.
5. Golden food
Adult life is one long boring round of healthy this and healthy that. Poached vegetables that taste like muddy fields and meat trimmed of all the bits that make it worth eating. And then kids arrive and choo choo! The tasty train chuffs back into flavour station. Once a month (or maybe once a week, who’s counting?) I make them hot chips, chicken nuggets and baked beans. It’s treat meal time and mummy and daddy (with an honourable waste-not-want-not ethos) hoover up the ample leftovers like the barely matured adults they are.
6. Kids’ TV
If I have to watch umpteen episodes of day-glo TV with insufferable moral finger wagging in lieu of an actual story then I at least deserve to appreciate the presenters’ abundant talents. Okay, cut to the chase. Mr Bloom is hot and a wild adventure with Andy is a pleasing proposition. You may find the objectification of kids’ TV presenters unsavoury, but just spend an hour or two with Jimmy Giggle and tell me Hoot isn’t on to a good thing.
7. The playground
It’s nigh on impossible to go to a playground as a grown-up without kids. I mean you can, but while you wait for your turn on the slippery dip, don’t be surprised if parents quickly gather up their young ones and herd them out the park while dialling triple zero. If you own a small child you can legitimately clamber over climbing frames and hide out in cubby houses. It’s brilliant and your kids will think you’re the funnest grown-up ever. That said, it is a bit tiresome when you have to give up the swing for the bawling toddler who’s taken umbrage at waiting 20 minutes for her go.
I don’t really know what the last one is called but it’s definitely the best. It’s the ache in your guts that tells you don’t want a baby you need one. It’s whatever weird hormone makes you feel all teary at the sight of a stranger’s newborn. It delivers cartwheels and sunshine at baby’s first smile and makes your heart pop with pride when your kids do nothing more than tie their shoelaces. In short, it turns you into a soggy-hearted sap with all the emotional fortitude of a love-stricken teenager.
It might be biology. It might be evolutionary necessity. It might be fairy dust for all we know, but it makes having kids incredible. There are no blog pieces about it because it’s hard to articulate and deeply personal. It’s some kind of magic and no matter how many 3 am wake up calls you’re subjected to, it guarantees you’ll emerge out the other side knowing parenthood is the best thing you’ve ever done ... and the best thing you ever will do.
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.