Wednesday, December 09, 2015
Gang of multiculturalists attacked strangers with a baseball bat ‘for the pleasure of doing so’
A judge sentenced a gang of baseball bat wielding teenage thugs to more than 40 years in prison after accusing them of carrying out a sickening crime spree for 'pleasure'.
Judge William Kennedy handed extended sentences of detention, ranging between eight and 10 years, to Yusuf Akram, 18, Usamah Aftab, 18, Mohammed Ali, 18, Thamid Zaman, 17 and Hamzah Jawyd, 17, at Snaresbrook Crown Court.
The group roamed the streets of east London looking for lone men to attack and struck each of their victims to the back of the head with a baseball bat, before kicking and punching them.
After targeting the men the group then stole phones, cash cards and Oyster cards.
All the defendants admitted conspiracy to rob and Judge Kennedy said they would have received sentences of up to 20 years had they been adults at the time of committing the offence.
He also branded the robberies as 'almost incidental' to the extreme violence used.
He said: 'Whilst by your pleas of guilty you admit a conspiracy to rob, the reality is that this was primarily a conspiracy to cause extremely severe and potentially fatal injuries to innocent members of the public. 'The robbery after the infliction of such injury was almost incidental.
'To go out with a baseball bat demonstrates a settled preparedness to seriously wound.
'Its use before any demands are made of victims clearly demonstrates a pre-planned determination to cause dreadful injury for no other reason than the pleasure of doing so.'
The victims of the crime spree were left with life-changing injuries including brain injuries, a broken neck and extensive facial fractures.
The career of pilot Arfath Miah was left in tatters after the attack caused him to be suspended from flying for three years and he also still requires a frame to walk.
The callous and vicious gang, who smirked, hugged and shook hands with each other before leaving the dock, hit across two days.
Mohammed Munshi was battered to the ground and left with acute haemorrhage to the left side of his brain, in Harold Road, Forest Gate, on March 7.
The following night, at around 10pm, another victim was beaten with a bat in Hatherley Gardens, East Ham, and his iPhone was taken.
Just 40 minutes later, a man was attacked from behind for his cash, Oyster card and mobile phone.
He suffered a fractured skull and a brain haemorrhage.
Aftab sent a congratulatory message to Jawyd the day after and later offered the stolen phone for sale.
On March 9, another victim was savagely attacked in Blenheim Road, East Ham.
He heard the youths counting down 'three, two, one' before they hit him over the head with the bat leaving a 4cm gash to the back of his head.
The gang then made their way to Henniker Gardens and attacked Essen Mohammed for his wallet and mobile phone.
Two hours later pilot Mr Miah was knocked unconscious and left with a fractured skull.
A seventh robbery took place the following evening, after Mohammed Khan was approached by the group and asked for directions.
Akram drew the bat from under his clothing and struck the man from behind and beat him repeatedly while he lay unconscious and defenceless on the floor.
Mr Mohammed sustained extensive facial fractures, a fractured skull and bleeding requiring hospitalisation for a month and is still having his speech capacity rebuilt.
The last robbery took place less than an hour later in Stone Road, Manor Park, where the man was left with a fractured neck, extensive skull and facial fractures along with brain injuries.
Akram and Zaman made off with the man's phone, cash card, money and Oyster card while the victim also lost his job as a chef when he was unable to work.
Judge Kennedy said there was no need for the gang to use violence as the number of them involved would be enough to intimidate victims into handing over their belongings.
He said: 'The use of a baseball bat before the taking of relatively minor items of personal property clearly shows an intention to commit more serious harm than such street robbery would ordinarily have involved.
'It is likely that the sheer force of numbers of you defendants would have been sufficient to persuade each of these victims to hand over his property without the need for any violence at all.
'Whilst you may not at this moment regard yourselves as fortunate, your good fortune is that none of these people that you injured so seriously, fracturing skulls and facial bones, died.
'Both actually and figuratively, you went with the blood of one victim on your hands to inflict similar injuries upon the next.'
Jawyd, was jailed for eight years, Aftab was handed a 10-year sentence and Akram was sentenced to eight years in prison, all come from Plaistow, London. Zaman, from Beckton, was jailed for eight and a half years and Ali, from Forest Gate, was jailed for nine years. All of the defendants except Ali were given a two-year extension to their sentences for dangerousness.
Detective chief inspector Jamie Piscopo, of the Homicide and Major Crime Command, said: 'These were serious acts of violence and a clear example of a gang going on the rampage.
I honestly believe they would have continued and eventually killed someone if they had not been apprehended. One victim pretended to be dead in a desperate attempt to get the gang to cease their unrelenting attack.
'The custodial sentences handed down today have removed five very dangerous individuals from society.'
I wouldn't want him round for dinner, but boxer Tyson Fury SHOULDN'T be banned by the BBC for his offensive views
By Dominic Lawson
The BBC's Sports Personality of the Year is a baffling competition.
Its winners are all great sports champions in their field. But the 'personality' bit is less obvious. Nigel Mansell (twice); Nick Faldo; and — only last year — Lewis Hamilton. Do these men have memorable personalities? Would anyone find them the least bit interesting, once conversation strayed from Formula One or golf?
Perhaps I am doing all these outwardly dull men an injustice. Sometimes the apparently bland sportsman can turn out to be amusing and intelligent — such as 1988's winner, the snooker player Steve Davis.
But, in general, the top sports stars have (necessarily) been so intensely focused from an early age on their specific and intensely competitive physical pursuit that they have become quite confined characters.
But this year, one of those shortlisted by the BBC panel has a genuinely startling and unconfined personality.
Tyson Fury, who just over a week ago became the first British boxer since Lennox Lewis to win the world heavyweight championship, is a manic character of natural intelligence (though completely uneducated) and highly articulate.
Unfortunately — as it might now seem for the BBC — Fury gave an interview with The Mail on Sunday's Oliver Holt just before he won his title from Ukraine's Wladimir Klitschko, in which he was all too articulate about his religious beliefs.
Fury explained: 'There are only three things that need to be accomplished before the Devil comes home. One of them is homosexuality being legal in countries, one of them is abortion and the other is paedophilia . . . This is a free world we live in, and an evil world. People can say, oh you're against abortions and you're against paedophilia, you're against homosexuality . . . but my faith and my culture is based on the Bible. If I follow that and that tells me it's wrong, then it's wrong for me.'
As a result of this, a petition has been launched to remove Fury's name from the BBC shortlist, which now has more than 50,000 signatories.
Alice Arnold, a former BBC newsreader and wife of the sports presenter Clare Balding, joined this call and, referring to Fury's winning his title on the same day Andy Murray brought the Davis Cup home, declared: 'Two British victories. One by a consummate professional and gentleman, the other a homophobic idiot. I know who I'm cheering.'
There is, indeed, something deeply offensive in Fury's apparently drawing moral equivalence between adult same-sex relationships and sex with children.
But Fury was not proposing that politicians take action against gay people, still less was he condoning or fomenting violence against them.
He was merely repeating the fundamentalist Christian preaching he must have picked up at whichever Bible class he attends: that unless mankind turns away from what it sees as the paths of wickedness, the world will be taken over by the Devil.
It is, by the way, the kind of preaching you can still hear within the established Anglican Communion, albeit in Africa rather than this country. Fifty years ago, these would have been views commonly expressed here; this caused enormous torment to gay people who were told that their natural desires were intrinsically evil — and as a result hated themselves for no good reason. In my view, the acceptance of homosexuality is one of the great social advances of our time.
Yet we also live — allegedly — in a country that believes in freedom of speech (short of exhorting the public to acts of violence). So the idea that Fury should be punished for his stated beliefs is also abhorrent. Freedom of speech only to echo the established view on something, is not freedom of speech at all: freedom of speech means the freedom to offend those of a different view.
Look at it, if you will, from Tyson Fury's point of view. He comes from what is known now as the 'Irish traveller community'. While this community is regarded as primitive by modern society, its practices and beliefs would have seemed completely orthodox 50 or so years ago.
So, for example, he and his wife were 'introduced' by his Aunt Theresa. They went out on chaste family-authorised dates — no kisses or cuddling. And, as Mrs Fury told the Mirror last week: 'Even after we got engaged, Tyson would sleep in a caravan at my parents' home, while I slept in the house. We didn't sleep together until after we got married. That is the travellers' way.'
She added that, after her husband had won his fight against Klitschko (to the amazement of almost every pundit, even though Fury had won all his previous bouts): 'When we got back to the hotel, we both got on our knees by the bed and said our prayers and thanked God.' And neither of them touched a drop of alcohol.
There is, admittedly, a crude side to the 6ft 9in new heavyweight champion of the world. He has said that woman's 'best place is to be in the kitchen or on her back'.
He recently observed of his rival for the Sports Personality of the Year, the Olympic champion Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'She slaps up good. When she's got a dress on she looks quite fit.'
These are not the sort of remarks that would make Fury a congenial guest at a middle-class dinner party. But why should he be? He's a professional boxer, up for Sports Personality of the Year, not auditioning for a regular slot on BBC Radio 4's Thought For Today.
Anyway, I don't think Tyson Fury has any desire to enter polite society.
After winning the WBA, IBF and WBO belts (plus £4 million in prize money), he decided against flying home from Dusseldorf in a private jet and, instead, drove to Rotterdam to take the ferry to Hull.
He is, in other words, as far removed as one can imagine from the PR-obsessed, homogenised, ineffably bland world of your standard modern-day sports star.
If Fury were any of those things, Oliver Holt would never have got that extraordinary interview. There would have been at least two PR men present, one to turn off the journalist's tape recorder, the other to tell Fury that he should change the subject immediately.
So, of course, the BBC should not kick Tyson Fury off the list of Sports Personality of the Year candidates. And those viewers who think his offensive views on homosexuality outweigh any of his sporting achievements can vote accordingly.
They could even vote once again for the Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton. Wake me up when that's over.
Jason Benham’s Son Worries: ‘Daddy, Please Stop Talking About Jesus – I Don’t Want Someone to Kill You’
In a tweet posted on Sunday, Jason Benham said his 11-year-old son was concerned that expressing one’s belief in Jesus Christ could put one in danger.
“So my 11 yr old says, ‘daddy, please stop talking about Jesus - I don't want someone to kill you.’ Yes, it's time for that conversation,” Benham tweeted.
Benham and his twin brother, David, are real estate developers and outspoken Christians, who regularly share their views on social media platforms.
The brothers first gained national recognition for being tapped by HGTV to host the “Flip it Forward” show focused on their real estate dealings, but the cable network canceled the show after a liberal media outlet reported that they are opposed to same-sex marriage and abortion.
On their website, benhambrothers.com, their take on the show’s cancellation is expressed in a banner across a photo of the brothers and their families playing tug-a-war.
“If our faith cost us a television show then so be it,” the banner states.
Pig's head left near University of Western Australia mosque
No reflection heard on how this compares with the chopping off of human heads that Muslims do regularly
A Muslim student has described the "frightening" experience of finding a pig's head near a mosque at a Western Australian university just before his traditional midday prayer.
University of WA PhD candidate Majdi Fal was working in his office on Sunday morning before taking a lunchtime break, he told Radio 6PR on Monday.
He then went to complete his regular prayers around 12.40pm and stopped at the bathroom first.
The University of Western Australia's Perth campus.
The University of Western Australia's Perth campus. Photo: Bohdan Warchomij
He had taken off his glasses, so when he first saw stains on the floor he thought they might be dirt. He then realised they were blood, and thought for a moment it was human blood.
Then, inside the traditional Turkish toilet, he saw the pig's head, surrounded by more dried blood.
Mr Fal said it was a "frightening" experience and he believed it to be a message to Islam as a minority group.
He said the toilet was in a central location and well used by all kinds of students, but was clearly the closest toilet to the prayer room.
He said though similar incidents had happened in Perth before, he thought for this to happen at a university was "alarming", given UWA was a place of education and diversity, with many minority groups co-existing peacefully.
Mr Fal, who has lived around the world before coming to Australia and never before personally encountered prejudice, said he hoped people could learn to ask more questions and talk about their beliefs and concerns.
We come to a university to seek knowledge and understand others," he said. "We need commonality, rather than difference."
He said he was confident investigators would do their best to find the perpetrator.
The incident prompted an immediate social media response in response to Mr Fal's Facebook post saying he believed tensions in the community were "escalating".
In a statement, the UWA Guild condemned the incident and said it was investigating the "unprecedented display of Islamophobia".
"Acts like this are designed only to incite religious and racial hatred," it said.
A UWA spokesman said university management was saddened by the "deplorable act".
"It is concerning that people using the UWA Muslim prayer room have been targeted this way," he said.
"The matter has been reported to police. We would like to reinforce that UWA strives to support a culturally inclusive and tolerant campus community and the University will offer help and support to our Muslim students at this time."
WA Police spokeswoman Susan Usher noted that the incident was in a public toilet and cautioned against leaping to conclusions.
She said police were making inquiries and until they had more facts, could not confirm the motivation behind the incident.
On Saturday night, a joint Muslim-Christian meeting was held in Perth to discuss "tough issues" facing both societies.
It was the second such meeting in recent weeks, with representatives of various faiths also coming together for a Perth prayer vigil in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Beirut and Paris.
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.