Wednesday, April 22, 2015
A dry cleaner in his fifties has been banned from using the Tube during rush hours after targeting a young woman and rubbing his crotch and pot belly on her bottom.
Mohammed Tahir, 53, of Leytonstone, east London, got off his train at Mile End and picked a target on the platform - a 'confident and articulate' professional in her 20s, a court heard. He then followed her onto a Central line service and stood as close to her as he could.
Tahir sidled up to the victim and pretended to accidentally slide his hand across her thigh as she stood with other passengers in the busy carriage on a hot summer’s day.
Unable to leave the packed train, she tried to change position and lean as far away as possible to escape his advances. But Tahir moved even closer and began rubbing his crotch and pot belly against her thigh and bottom.
His behaviour was so obvious that it had attracted the attention of undercover police officers who were watching his every move.
Eventually, the horrified young woman managed to attract the attention of one of them and Tahir was arrested, finally putting an end to the nightmare ordeal.
Detectives later discovered that Tahir was charged with two similar offences in 2003 only to be cleared after the prosecution file failed to arrive in court in time.
At the Old Bailey, Judge Rebecca Poulet QC said that the experience was clearly very 'frightening and shocking' for the victim, who cried while giving evidence, despite seeming very confident and self-assured.
He was convicted of sexual assault after a two-day trial at the Old Bailey, but the judge decided not to jail Tahir in the hope that he can tackle his problems under the supervision of Probation officers - despite saying 'there must be a custodial sentence'.
Tahir was given a six-month prison sentence suspended for two years, a 12-month supervision order, told to complete to do 150 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay an £80 victim surcharge.
The judge also prohibited him from travelling on the Tube or entering any London Underground station between 7am and 10am and 4pm and 8pm for five years.
The judge told Tahir: ‘Your purpose in getting off was not because you were hot as you claimed but in order to look for a suitable young woman and to follow her on to the train for your activities.
‘That is exactly what you did. So blatant was your conduct that no less than three undercover police officers saw you doing it and saw you looking at young women.
‘You spotted [the victim] and followed her on to the Central Line train. It was fairly crowded and she stood centrally in the area near the double doors holding the rail with her right hand.
‘When the train moved off she felt something brush her left side. She looked down and saw your hand by her side in a somewhat unnatural position and it made her uncomfortable.
‘She moved to get away from you, still thinking the touching might be accidental. When the train moved again you came closer, pushing your stomach up against her and then your crotch.
‘She leaned as far as she could in order to move herself away from you but you moved with her, pressing up against her. You pressed your crotch on her thigh and buttock. She could feel you pressed firmly against her buttock.
‘Despite being a confident and articulate and fair witness she cried giving evidence and the experience was clearly frightening and shocking for her.
‘In my view there must be a custodial sentence. You were in grave peril of going immediately to prison. I want to impose a sentence that will prevent you from behaving like this ever again and the public is best served by suspending this sentence.’
Is Sexual Orientation a Choice?
libertyPresidential candidate Marco Rubio says, “I believe that sexual preference is something that people are born with,” but goes on to say, “I don’t believe same-sex marriage is a constitutional right.” Let’s consider both of these ideas from a political perspective.
First, whether people choose their sexual orientation or are born with it is irrelevant from a political perspective. As long as people’s actions are not violating the rights of others, their choices about sexual partners and any other personal matters should be of no concern to the government. So, I’ll criticize Rubio for making this statement, not because he’s right or wrong, but rather because as a political candidate he should have said that whether people are born with their sexual preferences should have no bearing on politics or government.
Second, and following from the first point, government should treat people as individuals rather than as members of a group (even group sizes as small as two), so government should not be involved in determining whether people are married at all. Rubio says the determination of who can be married should be left to the states, but really, it should be left to those people and whatever other groups they choose to belong to (such as a church) to decide.
But, the federal government does recognize marriage, in its tax laws among other things. Married people are treated differently from single people for tax purposes. The same-sex marriage question then becomes whether people should be able to choose their family units for tax purposes, or whether the government should exclude certain arrangements. Based on the principle of protecting individual rights, I would argue that individuals should be able to choose their significant others for tax purposes, regardless of gender. So once again, I’m siding against Rubio on this.
This would be a non-issue if people were treated as individuals by government. That’s the point I’d like to see Rubio make.
Civil unions offer the same tax treatment as marriage
Rev. Graham: Holocaust Could Reoccur -- Antisemitism on Rise From Muslim Immigrants
"Have we learned anything from history?" asked Rev. Graham in an Apr. 16 post on Facebook.
"Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day, set aside for the world to never forget the 6 million Jews who were slaughtered by the Nazis," said Rev. Graham. Could the holocaust be repeated? I'm afraid so."
"Anti-Semitism is at the highest levels since the late 1930s," he said. "This is coming from the influx of Muslim immigrants to Europe, the United States, and other Western countries over the past few decades, and they are bringing their hatred of Jews -- and Christians -- with them."
"This is a poison," said Rev. Graham. "Muslims have been on TV in Europe spouting 'Hitler should have finished the job!' Have we learned anything from history?"
In a later Facebook post, also on April 16, the reverend wrote, "It seems as though America’s current policies toward Iran might be enabling the rebirth of the Persian Empire. This could threaten the entire Middle East, from Europe to the borders of India, and is a direct threat to the national security of Israel.
"Prime Minister Netanyahu says the Iran nuclear deal shows that the world hasn’t learned from the Holocaust."
In January of this year, USA Today reported that Jews have been fleeing France in droves for the last few years, many of them moving to Israel. The reason? Ever-increasing anti-Semitism in France and Europe overall, largely coming from Muslim immigrants.
An estimated 22,000 Jews are calculated to have left France for Israel between 2012 and 2015.
"French Jews are leaving for two main reasons: because they don't feel welcome, and because they don't feel safe," said USA Today. "They don't feel welcome because a rising tide of anti-Semitism has poisoned the atmosphere in France over the past couple of decades. It's not so much the old anti-Semitism of the pre-War variety as a new anti-Semitism brought on by a wave of Muslim immigration, though the two have reinforced one another."
"And they don't feel safe because of attacks on Jews," said the newspaper. "As the Chief Rabbi of France,Haim Korsia, notes, it's not just last week's attacks on a Kosher deli and on the Charlie Hebdo news weekly: 'Jews have been killed and there were the shootings in Toulouse and in Brussels. In general, Jews feel vulnerable in our society. The Jews who were murdered were targeted specifically because they were Jewish.'"
In addition to fleeing to Israel, many Jews are "leaving for Britain, America and Canada," said USA Today.
Rape and the men whose lives are wrecked by lies: Suspects must be kept anonymous until conviction
Now if there’s one area of modern manhood that demands a serious rethink by those who run our country —– above even health, fatherhood and male suicide, which remain fiercely frontline issues — it’s the human right to be innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Currently, under British legislation, any man can be accused of rape and named, even before the police bring charges.
This might be acceptable if every allegation were legitimate, but, sadly, they are not. Hence my fervent belief that pre-conviction anonymity is crucial for preserving the credibility of our justice system.
The stories of men who’ve been falsely accused make harrowing reading.
In June 2014 trainee barrister Rhiannon Brooker — yes, a legal professional — was jailed for three years after falsely accusing her former boyfriend Paul Fensome of rape and assault. He was held in custody for 36 days, including time on a secure wing after rumours that he was a paedophile. He has since received £38,000 in compensation.
In April 2012 Kirsty Sowden, a former John Lewis shop assistant, was jailed for crying rape over a fully consensual encounter with a man she’d met online. He was arrested at his workplace and detained in a cell, wasting 376 hours of police time.
The reason? She felt guilty for cheating on her long-term boyfriend.
Shortly after this, 20-year-old York student Hannah Byron was spared jail after falsely accusing her ex-boyfriend of rape in revenge for breaking up with her.
Capping them all, 22-year-old Elizabeth Jones of Southampton was jailed in 2013 after a decade-long string of false allegations — but only after making her 11th completely untrue accusation of rape. Her final victim was targeted because she ‘didn’t like him’.
Despite these cases there’s a belief that men deserve the stain of rape stigma, guilty or not, simply because they are male.
Julie Bindel, feminist writer and co-founder of the group Justice For Women, once said that ‘a fair number of celebrities ... have been accused of rape in the past and do not seem to have suffered longer-term. To say that an accusation ruins lives is perhaps a sweeping generalisation’.
Likewise, writing in the New Statesman, the social commentator Willard Foxton sneered that ‘the fashionable thing to do on being cleared of rape these days is to walk free from the courtroom or police station and loudly issue a public statement calling for those accused of rape to be granted anonymity by the courts because of your “ordeal” ’.
Perhaps these two should speak to Reg Traviss, the former boyfriend of the late Amy Winehouse, who suffered a fictitious claim of rape in December 2012. He was acquitted, but only after his character had been publicly assassinated.
Southwark Crown Court in London heard that his accuser was ‘so drunk she couldn’t stand up or walk’. CCTV footage secured by Traviss’s brother (not the police) proved otherwise.
Then there’s Peter Bacon. In 2009, a jury cleared him of rape in just 45 minutes after he had been falsely accused by a woman with whom he had a one-night stand. The nightmare was so bad he changed his name and left the country. And yet, in spite of all this, nothing has been learned.
Oxford University students are some of the most privileged young people in Britain. But Ben Sullivan, president of the Oxford Union debating society, didn’t enjoy any exemption when he was arrested at 6am one day in May last year and detained in a police cell.
For months he endured public suspicion before police confirmed he wouldn’t face a single charge. Yet he still had to pay £15,000 in legal fees and have his life marred.
Sarah Pine, vice president for women at Oxford University’s student union, spearheaded a campaign against Sullivan, even before the accusations were fully considered by police. She called on scheduled guest speakers to boycott his debates and for him to resign.
Interpol Secretary General Ronald Noble, the U.S. political analyst Norman Finkelstein and even David Mepham, UK Director of Human Rights Watch, agreed to her request. Only Jennifer Perry, an expert on the internet and cyber-crime, resisted — and later spoke of how she felt ‘threatened’ and ‘intimidated’ by Pine’s gender-driven agenda.
At the time Pine said: ‘This is not about denying the legal process of being innocent until proven guilty ... In any other profession if someone was arrested for rape and attempted rape, they would stand down while the investigation was ongoing.’
After his ordeal, Sullivan told reporters: ‘In cases like mine, everyone should have the right to anonymity. The police and Crown Prosecution Service should then be able to go to a judge and ask for the anonymity to be waived, if they need it.’
Originally, the law agreed. In 1976, the Labour government introduced rape trial anonymity for both the alleged victim and the accused. But in 1988, guidelines were relaxed to help police investigations.
At the time, the way information was disseminated was far less powerful than now. There were no gossip websites, no mobile phones with cameras, no social networking sites.
Today, the landscape is different. And — once again — the law should change to reflect this, because a not guilty verdict is no longer enough to repair the damage caused by weeks of daily speculation and viral gossip across the globe.
Labour peer Lord Corbett, who introduced the 1976 law, argued this until his death in 2012. ‘Rape is a uniquely serious offence,’ he said in 2002. ‘Acquittal is not enough to clear a man in the eyes of his family, community or workplace...’
Maura McGowan, deputy High Court judge and chairman of the Bar Council, agrees. ‘Until they [defendants] have been proven to have done something as awful as this [a sex crime], there is a strong argument in cases of this sort — because they carry such stigma — to maintain the defendant’s anonymity until he is convicted,’ she told the BBC’s Radio 5 Live.
Take, finally, the case of Linsey Attridge. To stop her boyfriend leaving her, the 31-year-old claimed two men broke into her home and committed rape while he was away playing football. She then spent three days trawling social networking sites to find users she could ‘identify’ as responsible. The men she chose were detained by police.
Two months later, Attridge confessed that it was a lie — but only received 200 hours of unpaid community service as punishment.
Not one rape charity has ever come forward to denounce the culture of false allegations — which surely betrays the real victims of rape more than pre-conviction anonymity ever could.
Sadly, it’s not just the women who falsely claim to be victims of rape who breach our trust, but women in positions of power, too.
In 2010, an official inquiry report led by Baroness Stern — a prison reform campaigner — ordered Harriet Harman to stop misleading the public about rape statistics. For years she’d been pumping out misinformation that only 6 per cent of rapists are brought to justice, but the 6 per cent figure relates to reported cases.
The conviction rate for those actually charged with rape is nearly two out of three.
A few weeks after Ben Sullivan’s charges were dropped, I bumped into him in Central London — minutes after stumbling across MP Nigel Evans (who was similarly accused — then acquitted — of rape. At the end of his trial in April last year, the former Commons Deputy Speaker spoke of his ‘11 months of hell’ after a jury took less than six hours to acquit him of sex offences against seven men.)
I wonder if women like Harman or Bindel have ever seen men so ashen, so exhausted and so utterly violated by a system that’s shaped by radical Marxist-based theories from the Seventies. I doubt it.
Mutual anonymity would serve everybody, helping victims as well as conserving fair trials. It would deter anyone from making false claims out of spite and, conversely, could make testifying easier for those who have come forward. Identifying the accused often inadvertently identifies the victim, which adds immense pressure for them.
This is also the view of the majority. In a poll on the Guardian website, 71 per cent of readers supported pre-conviction anonymity. A similar survey by MailOnline showed 67 per cent of readers feel the same.
The consensus is clear: in a world of grey areas, consent is always black and white — but the protection of anonymity must be too.
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.