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Strange Justice



"JUSTICE", FROM THE CRAZY TO THE DEEPLY DISTURBING The thinking behind this blog is really simple: The guilty should be prevented from reoffending and the innocent should not be convicted -- not very complex but often not achieved. The spotlight is



Updated: 2017-10-24T21:02:50.473+10:00

 



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2016-11-24T19:44:00.535+10:00



FINIS

OK.  I have had enough.  The sorts of injustices I have documented here sicken me -- but I have grown tired of being sickened.

One theme that has occurred over and over in what I read is the vicious circle between black and cop behaviour.  There is no doubt that blacks are often harshly treated by police and are railroaded into jail on flimsy evidence.  Some whites get similar treatment but it is rare.

So why does it happen?  Why do blacks cop so much bad treatment?  It is perfectly clear why.  Blacks are hostile to the police so the cops are hostile to blacks.  It's tit for tat.  No doubt some people will argue that the cops started it and blacks are simply retaliating but I don't think that is so.  It is very commonly reported that blacks resist arrest, sometimes very vigorously.  Many blacks do not "go quietly".  And that is a big problem to the police.  It makes them wary of blacks and resentful towards them.  They tend to "take it out" on all blacks.

And getting to the cause of the vicious circle does matter.  If it is the cops at fault, better training and supervision could presumably break the vicious circle.  But does anyone believe that will happen?  Many times when police are found to have over-reacted, stern measures have been taken within the police force concerned to prevent abuses but to what effect?  Usually none, as far as I can see.

But if black behavior is at the root of the vicious circle, how could we change that?  Blacks are clearly far more lawless than whites and cops are always going to be aware of that.  So I see little hope of improvement.  Cops are always going to be quite reasonably on hairtrigger alert when approaching a black and that trigger will sometimes be inappropriately pulled through no fault of either party.  Making cops fearful and nervous of you is seldom going to end well even when neither party has ill intent.

And when a cop has got a difficult black coralled he is going to be careless about the guilt or innocence of the alleged offender.  "He's sure to have done something" will be the thinking. So his guilt or innocence of the particular offence will be of little interest.  And it is true that most of the blacks eventually exonerated did have some criminal record at the time of the arrest.  So indifference to guilt or innocence of the offence on trial can be understood, even if it is not ideal

Through reading many years of many cases, that is my conclusion about what usually happens in miscarriages of justice.  I don't foresee much change.  The constant recurrence of the same old pattern is what tells me that nothing would be gained by my continuing this blog.  Future years are going to be much the same as past years. Nothing will really be new.




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2016-11-22T20:39:59.500+10:00



Review set for compensation after wrongful conviction

A Mississippi man could get more than $100,000 in state compensation because he spent time in prison for a wrongful conviction.

The state Supreme Court has upheld a Court of Appeals ruling that ordered a Coahoma County circuit judge to re-examine the case of Jamar Moore, a former pizza delivery man from Clarksdale.

Moore is seeking compensation after he was imprisoned for possessing painkilling hydrocodone pills without a prescription — a felony. He was sentenced to 16 years and spent more than 2 ½ years in jail.

However, court records state that after his conviction, Moore located a crime lab report stating the pills were a different chemical mix that made possession a misdemeanor, not a felony.

A circuit judge vacated Moore’s felony conviction and Moore was released from prison. However, a judge in 2015 denied his request for compensation. In April 2016, the state Court of Appeals told the judge to reconsider the case. Supreme Court justices upheld that ruling Thursday.

“The circuit court reasoned that Moore was not innocent — he was just convicted of the wrong crime,” the Court of Appeals wrote. “We conclude, however, that the statutory provision refers to innocence of all felonies for which the claimant has been indicted, convicted and incarcerated. There is no dispute that Moore’s conduct did not constitute a felony.”

A 2009 state law says if a judge finds a person was wrongfully convicted, the judge must award $50,000 for each year the person was imprisoned after indictment, with a cap of $500,000.

Court records show Moore was arrested in 2008 after one of his co-workers at a pizza business told police that Moore had two ounces of marijuana; the co-worker was a confidential informant for the Clarksdale Police Department.

Original report here





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2016-11-21T09:38:01.562+10:00

Top surgeon who was jailed alongside murderers is finally cleared of killing a patient Evidence covered up‘If you treated animals the way we treat prisoners on their way to jail, animal rights groups would be incensed. And this was only the beginning.’Consultant surgeon David Sellu is describing the worst day of his life – November 5, 2013 – when he was transported to Belmarsh in London, one of Britain’s toughest high-security jails, to start a two-and-a-half-year sentence for killing a patient in his care.His exemplary 40-year career, his professional and social standing, his family’s financial security – all were wiped out by the Old Bailey jury’s verdict that Mr Sellu was guilty of gross negligence manslaughter in causing the death of James Hughes, 66.Last week, 16 months after this newspaper exposed how vital evidence that might have cleared Mr Sellu was hidden from his trial, the Court of Appeal quashed his conviction.But the damage is done. His career is in tatters. His reputation ruined. And the ‘totally degrading’ trauma of being locked up 22 hours a day in a jail containing rapists and murderers has taken a heavy toll.His story is a shocking indictment of the ‘blame culture’ afflicting Britain’s hospitals, which is seeing increasing numbers of healthcare workers thrown to the legal wolves – with potentially devastating consequences for patients. It also chillingly illustrates how easy it is for a public-spirited professional to find himself on the wrong side of the law.‘I feel no jubilation, only a little relief,’ says Mr Sellu, 69, speaking exclusively to The Mail on Sunday at his West London home. Courteous and softly spoken as he recalls his long ordeal, he shudders, occasionally rubbing his eyes to hide his tears.‘I still can’t sleep properly. I’m on beta-blockers to stop my heart racing. And I feel like a pariah. I’ve had to cope with headlines that called me “Doctor Death” and “Killer Surgeon”. That doesn’t go away. The Crown Prosecution Service knows they made a hash of this case. My hope now is that they will think twice before trying to criminalise others working in healthcare.’Mr Sellu’s journey to the top of Britain’s medical profession began in a poor village in Sierra Leone. He is the eldest of ten children, born to rice-farmer parents who had no education. His chance came when his slightly wealthier aunt, who lived in Bo, the nearest town, offered to pay for him to go to school there and put him up.‘It was an excellent school and I got good grades. Eventually, I won a national scholarship to study in England,’ Mr Sellu says. He entered Manchester University medical school in 1968.Once he qualified, his progress was assured. He took up successive posts in Manchester, London and Southampton. In 1981, he married Catherine, an intensive care nurse he met at Hammersmith Hospital in London. The couple have four children.Mr Sellu’s reputation as a meticulous, unflappable surgeon steadily grew, and in 1993 he was headhunted to become an NHS colorectal consultant at Ealing Hospital. Later he also worked part-time at the private hospital where Mr Hughes died – the Clementine Churchill in Harrow, owned by healthcare giant BMI. He has also spent months as a volunteer surgeon in the country of his birth.When the police started investigating Mr Sellu, they combed through his record, searching for evidence that the death rate among his patients was abnormally high. There was none, and many colleagues gave glowing testimonials about his skill and experience.Mr Sellu first saw Mr Hughes – a building firm boss from Northern Ireland – on February 11, 2010. Five days earlier, Mr Hughes had been given a replacement knee, but had developed worsening pain in his abdomen. Mr Sellu agreed to see him as a favour to the surgeon who did the knee op – largely because, at a private hospital at night, there was no one else, other than the more junior resident medical officer. The junior doctor thought Mr H[...]



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2016-11-20T09:18:01.819+10:00

"A policewoman tried to destroy my life - and they've let her off scot-free": Torment of mother whose jealous PC friend fabricated claim that she had sex with 14-year-old boyFiona Miller and her family had just finished a home-cooked roast chicken dinner when there was a knock at the door. There on the step stood a policeman, his face grave.This was never going to be good news, anyone could see that. But no one, least of all 38-year-old mum Fiona, could have predicted what came next.'The officer politely informed me that he was there on a welfare visit, to check on my three-year-old son,' she says. 'There had been some serious allegations of neglect, bordering on abuse.'Anyone glancing across the kitchen where Fiona's partner, Steven, was stacking the dishwasher while their happy, healthy little boy, Tommy, played nearby that evening in January this year would have seen nothing untoward about the family, who live in a neat, semi-detached home in Ormesby, Cleveland.Yet Fiona was terrified — so terrified, it was all she could do to stop herself grabbing Tommy and running. Someone was out to get her, and for the first time she feared this someone might actually have the power to see the job through.For Fiona's accuser and tormentor was a serving policewoman — PC Kelly Jarvis, a former mounted officer and riding companion of Fiona's, a woman so twisted with hatred and jealousy that she would stop at nothing to see her former friend's reputation destroyed.'I really started to panic at that point. All sorts of horrible thoughts started going through my mind. Would I be believed over a police officer? Are they all in on this together? And most terrifying of all, was I going to lose my little boy?'If these allegations had come from a member of the public, I wouldn't have been too concerned — but as they were from a police officer, I knew they would be taken seriously. 'She had power. It came with her job. In the end her lies would be found out, but how long could that take?'Tommy might be in care for months while they investigated. The prospect of not seeing my little boy again made me more afraid than I've ever been of anything in my life.'Fiona and Steven managed to keep their cool and eventually, satisfied that Tommy was in no immediate danger, the officer left.In the morning, after a sleepless night, Fiona dropped Tommy off at nursery en route to her part-time job as a veterinary receptionist. Alone in the car, she broke down for the first time. 'I sat and sobbed, gagging for air and shaking. I knew there was a real risk of losing Tommy. I couldn't let that happen.'Without another thought, she phoned Cleveland Police Station to lodge a formal complaint against PC Jarvis.This week, Jarvis quit in disgrace, but shockingly won't face further action after an investigation by her own force unearthed a level of abuse of police powers quite Orwellian in its magnitude, and with disturbing implications for how Britain is policed today.For the PC, it emerged, was able to use her work computer to enter an 'intelligence log' on the Police National Computer against the woman she hated so much, fabricating a totally plausible and unquestioned record in her name.Nothing, it appeared, was too low for her. Not only had she made false reports to the NSPCC, accusing Fiona of everything from domestic violence to leaving her son alone in the car while she went to the pub with friends — all of which was investigated and dismissed by social services — but she had also recorded 'evidence' of Fiona having had a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old boy when she was 25, a wholly malicious lie.Fiona was only made aware of this when the disciplinary report into the PC was revealed this week.Nevertheless, Fiona was still shocked at the level of spite: 'I was sickened, but it was all part of her vindictive campaign against me. She had told so many lies, yet still I was more worried about Tommy being put into care than anything else.'But what could have sparked su[...]



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2016-11-19T01:15:12.502+10:00



Arizona Police Officer Punches Woman in the Face During Arrest

People who have to be evicted are problem people so the cop was presumably contemptuous of the woman but he should not have taken the law into his own hands.  She probably had it coming, though

A POLICE officer in Arizona is now on administrative leave after a video surfaced online showing him punching a woman in the face.

The Flagstaff Police Department learned of the video on Wednesday, according to The New York Post. It shows Officer Jeff Bonar punching an unidentified woman during an arrest earlier in the day, Sergeant Cory Runge said in a statement to the Arizona Republic.

“Our agency is very concerned by what is depicted in this video,” Sgt Runge said. “We are immediately initiating an internal investigation into this incident.”

The seven-minute video, which has been shared more than 1700 times since Wednesday’s incident, shows the woman arguing with two officers, claiming that she does not have an active warrant.

“You cannot arrest me! I know my laws,” the woman yells. “You cannot arrest me until I know that I have a warrant. I need to hear it.”

Someone off-camera then tells the woman that she should let the officers “run her name” to verify she no longer has an active warrant for her arrest.

One of the officers — apparently Bonar — then tells her to “stop resisting” before Bonar throws a right cross to her face.

“Hey, you can’t hit a girl like that!,” the man shooting the video says. He then confirms that he caught the entire incident on video. “Hey, what the f**k?”

The woman, who is referred to as Marissa throughout the video, is seen crying, holding her face before she is eventually led into a squad car. Bonar also threatened to use his Taser if she resisted further.

Jimmy Sedillo said the woman in the video is his girlfriend, the Arizona Republic reported. He said they received an eviction a week earlier and were due to vacate the home on Wednesday.

Mr Sedillo said Bonar and other authorities were watching the couple leave and lock up the home, but Bonar identified the woman as she left the house as having a warrant out for her arrest.

“She had a warrant a few weeks ago,” Mr Sedillo told the newspaper. “He still assumed she had a warrant.”

Mr Sedillo, along with his two children, mother, niece and brother-in-law, then watched as his girlfriend got tackled. Mr Sedillo’s brother-in-law, Danny Paredes, caught the melee on video and later shared it on Facebook.

Original report here








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2016-11-18T01:27:00.137+10:00

George Mason University and its goonsGeorge Mason University is showing disturbing signs of embracing a totalitarian impulse, even though it is supported by the taxpayers of Virginia.  Consider that its admissions director, Andrew Bunting, did something astonishing: publicly called supporters of traditional marriage and of Donald Trump “worthless trash"Not content with insulting and chasing conservatives out of consideration for admission to GMU, the university, through its police department, is now threatening a conservative political activist with five years in prison for putting up posters using library paste.  Oleg Atbashian, proprietor of the satirical site The People’s Cube, sends us this account of his arrest by GMU police while hanging posters criticizing Students for Justice in Palestine, a hate group aimed at the destruction of Israel.I'm not easily scared. Back in my Soviet dissident days, when I was collecting signatures in defense of Andrei Sakharov, I was screamed at, threatened, and lectured by the KGB and Communist functionaries. What I never imagined was that in the United States, the land of the free, I would not only be subjected to similar treatment, but go to jail for my political activism, which never happened to me even in the USSR.Progressivism and its main tool, political correctness, are absurd and dehumanizing not just in theory; its physical implementation is also rather dreadful and painful, as I personally experienced yesterday, being turned from an activist artist into inmate #2076524 in Fairfax County jail, with aching bruises on my wrists from excessively tight handcuffs, and the prospect of spending five years in prison as a convicted felon.This was supposed to be a two-day poster campaign, to counteract the George Mason University hosting an official national conference for Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), which is an anti-Semitic organization with well-documented ties to Hamas - a terrorist group whose stated goal is to exterminate the Jews. The GMU poster campaign was conceived by the David Horowitz Freedom Center.My part in it was to create provocative artwork for the posters and to hang them around the GMU campus, as well as to distribute flyers in order to raise awareness among the students, faculty, and the administration about the true meaning of their support for the SJP conference.On the first day, my friend and I placed a few stickers on walls, poles, and signs around the GMU campus. We also placed paper flyers inside and outside the university buildings. We had decided to hang the larger posters on the following night, right before the start of the SJP conference.Arriving at the campus in the evening, we noticed a large police presence everywhere, including the campus Starbucks. From what we overheard at the tables, the police were on the lookout for people posting "disturbing" flyers. At one point we considered canceling our mission due to this higher risk, but then decided to hang a few posters in new locations, in order to get the message out more effectively.We only had time to hang three large posters when, at about 4am, our car was pulled over by a GMU PD cruiser with flashing lights. As we found out later, they already had a description of our rental KIA Optima. Officer M.J. Guston and his female partner, Officer Daniels, requested to see our drivers' licenses, which they took away. Then they inquired if we had any weapons and proceeded with the visual search, noticing our bucket with mixed wheat paste and some rolled posters on the back seat, covered with towels.The police officers took pictures of the contents of our car and retrieved some of the loose fliers from the floor as evidence. They claimed that since we were covering the posters and flyers with towels, we intended to conceal our wrongdoing. We explained that the towels were needed to wipe our hands, to prevent the bucket from spilling, and to stop the[...]



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2016-11-17T06:02:01.747+10:00

For specialists, the poor’s legal cases can be cash cowsThere’s little dispute that public defenders in Massachusetts are overworked and underpaid. They carry heavy caseloads, yet their $45,000 starting salaries are among the lowest in the country.Private lawyers who do public defense work face a similar plight: Until recently, many of them were waiting to be compensated for last year’s bills after the state ran out of money to pay them.For one group of people, however, working on these legal cases can be a cash cow.Some private-practice psychiatrists and psychologists are being paid several hundred thousand dollars a year by the state’s public defender agency, the Committee for Public Counsel Services, to provide expert opinions and trial testimony. Many of them also hold down other jobs.The agency’s spending on mental health experts has risen 44 percent since 2011, to $6 million last year, even though its annual budget grew just under 9 percent during that time. In certain types of cases, CPCS spending on experts has increased between 55 and 60 percent.At least six mental health professionals earned more than $1 million each from CPCS over a seven-year period, and one of them made that amount in just four years, according to state payroll data. One Harvard Medical School psychiatrist made $452,000 from CPCS in a single year.To critics, this amounts to a lucrative, taxpayer-funded system in which private-sector mental health professionals collect handsome government paychecks while public defenders are perpetually shortchanged.“If we have limited budget resources and they’re paying their lawyers so little, I don’t see why they’re paying private psychiatrists nearly a half-million dollars,” said Lynn attorney Thomas Schiavoni, who specializes in mental health law and frequently handles cases opposite public defenders. “It’s like a spigot has been turned on, and the process is being misused and abused.”The director of CPCS’s mental health litigation unit, Mark Larsen, acknowledged that some psychiatrists and psychologists are “making a good living out of” public defense cases. But he defended the expense, saying CPCS pays them below-market rates and requires their services to adequately represent its clients.“I find it quite surprising that someone would think what we are paying for someone’s defense is exorbitant,” Larsen said. “What do the critics want us to do that doesn’t deprive our clients of their constitutional and statutory rights?”Detractors argue that CPCS could save money by putting psychiatrists and psychologists on staff, but the agency said it doubts that would result in cost savings after factoring in benefits and overhead. It also said experts would not be considered independent if they were employed by the state.Public defenders can request that their clients be evaluated by so-called independent medical evaluators. The private psychiatrists and psychologists who provide those evaluations, as well as expert trial testimony, are paid an hourly rate by CPCS: $150 to $225 an hour for psychiatrists, and $100 to $180 an hour for psychologists.Among the highest-paid, according to a Globe review of state payroll data: Fabian M. Saleh, a psychiatry professor at Harvard Medical School who made $452,445 from CPCS in 2013; Mark N. Rudolph, a Middleboro psychiatrist who has earned about $300,000 annually from CPCS over the past four years; and Leonard A. Bard, a Needham psychologist who has taken home around $230,000 a year from CPCS since 2010.Saleh, who also runs a private practice in Cambridge, did not respond to requests for comment. His 2013 earnings from CPCS would be the equivalent of between 1,900 and 3,000 hours of work.Reached by the Globe, Rudolph, who also has a part-time clinical practice at McLean Hospital in Belmont, estimated he works 30 to 35 hours weekly for CPCS.“CPCS attorneys have a really[...]



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2016-11-16T01:42:02.224+10:00

Judge orders Making A Murderer 'accomplice' Brendan Dassey released after 10 years in prisonA federal judge on Monday ordered Making a Murderer’s Brendan Dassey released from prison.The Wisconsin man, now 27, was serving a life sentence for the 2005 murder and sexual assault of Teresa Halbach after confessing as a sixteen-year-old.In August, U.S. Magistrate Judge William Duffin ruled that police tricked the intellectually disabled teenager into describing how he supposedly helped rape, stab, shoot and dismember Halbach on his uncle Steven Avery’s orders.And he has now ordered Dassey be released while prosecutors appeal that ruling.Dassey has until noon Tuesday to provide the address of where he plans to live and his lawyer said he hopes to have him out by Thanksgiving.But hours after the decision to release Dassey, the Wisconsin Attorney General said he would file an emergency motion to block Dassey's release. Dassey's supposed confession to the murder of Theresa Halbach was one of the most shocking moments of the December 2015 documentary Making a Murderer.Halbach was killed on Halloween 2005, after she visited the Avery family's salvage yard in Manitowoc County. Investigators allege Avery lured her there by asking her to take photos of a minivan.Viewers saw police officers apparently coerce Dassey - the teenager with an IQ of 70 - into confessing to the murder of Halbach along with his uncle Steven Avery.The documentary also heavily suggested that Avery was framed for the murder by police officers with a grudge.In freeing Dassey, Magistrate Judge William Duffin held that investigators made specific promises of leniency to Dassey and that no 'fair-minded jurists could disagree.'He cited one investigator's comment early in the interview that 'you don't have to worry about things,' plus repeated comments like 'it's OK' and that they already knew what happened.Dassey was memorably shown complaining in the documentary that he would miss Wrestlemania after his confession.Dassey was sentenced to life in prison in 2007 after his arrest in March 2016. Court documents describe him as a slow learner who had poor grades and has difficulty understanding language and speaking. Avery was convicted in a separate trial and was also sentenced to life in prison. He's pursuing his own appeal.Dassey has been in jail since March 2006. He's pictured above being led to the Manitowoc County Courthouse on April 16, 2007Dassey's Attorney Steve Drizin, would not say where Dassey plans to live and said he had not spoken yet with Dassey.'That's what I'm focused on right now, getting him home, getting him with his family and then helping him to re-integrate back into society while his appeal plays out,' Drizin said.Dassey's brother Brad also issued a statement, saying, according to Channel3000.com: 'My brother is one step closer to the freedom he DESREVES! My heart is pumping beyond belief and I'm extremely ecstatic to hear he'll finally get a taste of freedom until things are completely resolved. Despite what people say, I love and care about my brother, Brendan. I always have and always will.'Dassey will also be barred from obtaining firearms or controlled substances and has been ordered not to have contact with Halbach's family, or Avery.Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel said in a statement Monday that he will file that motion with the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. A federal judge ordered Dassey released while prosecutors appeal a ruling that overturned Dassey's conviction in the 2005 slaying of photographer Teresa Halbach.U.S. Magistrate Judge William Duffin ruled in August that investigators tricked Dassey into confessing he helped Avery with the crime. The state has appealed that ruling.Avery's lawyer Kathleen Zellner had earlier tweeted that Dassey would be released today, but then deleted it.Original report here[...]



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2016-11-15T08:20:12.011+10:00



An innocent man ruined by the London police

Embattled Metropolitan Police commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe is due to meet former Tory MP Harvey Proctor tomorrow.

Proctor was wrongly accused of child rape and murder in the Westminster VIP paedophile ring inquiry, and Hogan-Howe is finally making a long overdue apology in person.

After 15 police officers raided his cottage last year on the Duke of Rutland’s estate at Belvoir Castle in Leicestershire, Proctor lost his position as the duke’s private secretary as well as the grace-and-favour cottage that went with it.

The officers’ only evidence was spurious claims from a witness called ‘Nick’, who has been exposed as a fantasist and is now facing calls to be prosecuted.

‘I lost my job and my home,’ Proctor told me yesterday. ‘It has been devastating, and unrepairable. I have received death threats and am destitute. I have no money.’

He has been relying on friends, first staying with some in Spain and now living with others in Britain. An appeal has been set up on a JustGiving page by his friends in the Tory Party.

‘If there were any justice, the Metropolitan Police ought to be paying compensation for the trauma they have put this innocent man through. Hopefully, they will. But until they do, it’s up to others to help Harvey through some very difficult months,’ reads a statement on the appeal’s page.

Hogan-Howe, who is quitting next February, seven months early, should hang his head in shame.

Original report here





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2016-11-14T03:50:01.076+10:00




Australia: Excessive force systemic at Ballarat

Ballarat police who stripped a drunk, off-duty officer half naked while she was in custody and kicked and stomped on the vulnerable woman could be charged over the incident.

The January 2015 matter was been directed to the Director of Public Prosecutions after Victoria's anti-corruption watchdog found it was just one example of excessive force at the Ballarat station outlined in a report tabled in state parliament on Thursday.

IBAC commissioner Stephen O'Bryan QC made four recommendations, including human rights training for officers.

He also suggested the government should consider decriminalising public drunkenness, bringing it into line with every state but Queensland.

Both the government and Victoria Police have baulked at the prospect of decriminalising public drunkenness, saying the laws are there to protect the community and the drunk person themselves.

But acting deputy commissioner Luke Cornelius said Victoria Police would accept the four recommendations and were waiting on the DPP to decide whether charges should be laid.

"It is clear to us that our high standards and expectations in treating citizens with dignity and respect certainly fell short," Mr Cornelius told reporters.

The inquiry was launched after IBAC received CCTV footage from Victoria Police showing the 51-year-old woman being kicked, dragged, stripped and stomped on in police cells.

The officers involved did not know at the time that the woman, who had been arrested for public drunkenness, was a serving police officer on leave for medical reasons.

The woman at the centre of an investigation into shocking police brutality allegations is planning to sue the force. © Ten News The woman at the centre of an investigation into shocking police brutality allegations is planning to sue the force. At IBAC hearings in Ballarat in May, one of the officers involved denied kicking the drunk woman and insisted she only "touched" her with her foot to calm her down and another said the struggle ensued when the woman tried to escape the cell.

All officers involved have returned to work on reduced workloads.

The inquiry also investigated three other complaints of excessive use of force at Ballarat by one officer who later received a promotion to the rank of sergeant.

The officer dragged a woman into an interview room in 2010 and held two women in a choke hold when they refused to leave the station in 2009 - actions which he later admitted to IBAC were "entirely inappropriate".

The public hearings were told Ballarat station attracted more than three times the average number of assault complaints against officers.

Police Minister Lisa Neville said a line had definitely been crossed at Ballarat.

"There is no room in Victoria Police for these sorts of behaviours," she said.

Original report here





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2016-11-13T07:45:02.401+10:00



Australian police officer who pulled gun on couple in outback awaits magistrate's ruling

A Brisbane magistrate has reserved his decision in the case of a police officer who pulled a gun on a couple for speeding along an outback Queensland highway in May last year.

Senior Constable Stephen Flanagan was charged with assault and deprivation of liberty after the couple lodged a complaint over the ordeal.

Flanagan's own dash-cam recorded most of the incident, where he is seen honking at the driver, before getting out of the car and pointing his pistol while swearing at the couple.

He is then filmed handcuffing the driver on the side of the highway, before issuing him with a speeding ticket.

The summary trial began yesterday and heard from three witnesses including Flanagan, driver Lee Povey and his partner Anna Lisa Cruse.

'Put you ******* hands in the air'

Mr Povey told the court he was confused at why a police car was following him without any lights and sirens.

He said when he eventually pulled over, he saw the police officer walking towards his vehicle window pointing a pistol and swearing.

"First up, he said, 'Put your ******* hands up in the air,'" Mr Povey said.

Mr Povey said he could feel the gun being pushed into his back while he was being handcuffed outside the car, a claim Flanagan told the court was unlikely.

Several videos of the incident were tendered to the court, including Flanagan's dash-cam and a recording Ms Cruse made on her smartphone.

Officer not a rogue lunatic: defence

In his final submissions, Flanagan's defence lawyer Stephen Zillman said the officer thought the car was stolen and the driver may have had a firearm, so he acted quickly.

"From what we've seen and heard on video, it's clear, he was very, very, highly stressed," he said. "It's not the case of some rogue lunatic police officer simply pulling pistols out, pulling them at someone who's been speeding."

The matter has been adjourned until December 7 and Flanagan's bail has been extended.

Original report here





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2016-11-12T07:46:00.162+10:00

Hostility to the police bears fruitAs killings surge, Chicago police solve fewer homicidesAfter April Campbell’s 16-year-old son was shot to death in May about four blocks from their home, she took it upon herself to help police find the killer.Campbell, 49, disabled with a spinal injury, grabbed her walker and went door to door on the city’s South Side trying to piece together a motive and gather evidence.She found witnesses and urged them to talk to police. She collected Facebook posts by people who seemed to claim credit for his killing. She tracked down a shop owner who had a security camera that might have recorded her son’s killer.Campbell shared what she had found with detectives and then began calling to see whether they had followed up on the leads.“I called back, no answer. I called back, he’s on vacation. I called back, he wasn’t in. I called back, he’s out in the field,” Campbell said. “It’s just, nothing. Nothing, you know?” Rosemary Palmer-Gant, holding a photo of her son, William Tristen Palmer, near where he was fatally shot, says she turned over information about his alleged killer to Chicago police, but the case remains unsolved. (Joshua Lott/For the Washington Post)The death of Campbell’s only son, Randall Young, is part of Chicago’s growing body count of unsolved homicides. The city is on pace to have one of its deadliest years in two decades, and some residents blame police for perpetuating the violence by leaving killers on the streets.Last year, Chicago police cleared homicides at one-third the rate they did 25 years ago — a time when they faced twice as many killings, according to a Washington Post analysis of police data obtained through a public records request.The department has gone from having one of the best clearance rates nationwide to one of the worst.In Chicago, police consider a homicide cleared for one of two reasons: a suspect has been charged, or the killer has been identified but cannot be prosecuted, which includes cases­­ in which the suspect is dead or witnesses refuse to cooperate.In 1991, Chicago police solved about 80 percent of all homicides in the city, compared with about 62 percent by police nationwide, according to data from the FBI and Chicago police. Since then, the national rate has remained fairly constant, but Chicago’s dropped below 26 percent last year, the worst clearance rate for police in any large city in the country, The Post analysis shows.“Everything has just gone south in Chicago,” said Thomas Hargrove, founder of the Murder Accountability Project, a ­Washington-based nonprofit group that tracks unsolved homicides nationwide. “Everything has hit Chicago harder. Their murder rate is higher than other cities, and their failure to solve those murders is much worse.”In the past 25 years, there have been more than 16,000 people killed in Chicago, reinforcing the city’s reputation as one of the nation’s most violent. In 1991, amid the scourge of crack cocaine, police logged 929 homicides and reported clearing 741 of those cases.After peaking in the early 1990s, homicides in Chicago fell steadily each year for the next decade, and during much of the 2000s, the city saw fewer than 500 homicides a year. But the past two years have seen a surge in killings. As of Wednesday, 626 people had been killed this year in Chicago.With each passing year, more killings have gone unsolved. As of August, Chicago police had cleared just 1 in 5 of the city’s homicides in 2016, The Post analysis shows. If homicide clearances continue their current downward trend, Chicago detectives would be solving just 1 in 10 killings citywide by 2023.Chicago police and city officials did not dispute The Post’s findings.But they said multiple factor[...]



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2016-11-11T07:47:08.708+10:00

Now put VIP abuse 'fantasist' in the dockAs damning report blasts gullible police's 43 blunders in their Operation Midland inquiry, accused ex-MP calls for 'victim' who sparked it to be prosecutedThe suspected fantasist who triggered Scotland Yard's disastrous VIP child sex abuse inquiry is facing prosecution.Detectives are probing whether the man known only as 'Nick' should be charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice.His baseless claims about sex abuse and murder involving an Establishment paedophile ring led to the Yard's bungled Operation Midland.The £2.5million inquiry led to raids on the homes of D-Day veteran Lord Bramall, the late former home secretary Leon Brittan and ex-Tory MP Harvey Proctor.Last night Mr Proctor, who was falsely accused of rape and murder, described Nick as a fantasist, adding: 'I have called for him to be prosecuted on a number of occasions and I do so again.'Yesterday, a report by a retired High Court judge savaged the Metropolitan Police Service for giving credence to Nick's wild allegations.Sir Richard Henriques identified no fewer than 43 separate blunders and said it was time for police to stop automatically believing the accounts of alleged victims.Nick's baseless claims about sex abuse and murder involving an Establishment paedophile ring led to the Yard's bungled Operation Midland. The £2.5m inquiry led to raids on the homes of D-Day veteran Lord Bramall (left), the late ex-home secretary Leon Brittan and ex-Tory MP Harvey Proctor (right)In a series of dramatic developments yesterday:    Five Scotland Yard officers were referred to the police watchdog for potential breaches of professional standards;    Met chief Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe issued a grovelling apology for the bungled inquiry – but escaped any personal blame for the failings;    It emerged that the vast majority of the 400 complaints to wider inquiries lacked merit;    One prison inmate made allegations against 40 people, including celebrities, and all were false;    Scotland Yard faced claims of a cover-up after publishing only 84 pages of Sir Richard's report.The existence of the inquiry into Nick was revealed following the publication of Sir Richard's report into the Midland fiasco yesterday.The suspected fantasist had claimed that a string of politicians and military figures murdered three children and abused others at depraved sex parties.The claims were initially described by senior officers as 'credible and true'. Nick, who could not be contacted last night, was also interviewed by the BBC.Detectives are expected to interview him under caution and examine his computer, mobile phone records and his previous statements.Last night Scotland Yard confirmed Northumbria Police was investigating an attempt to pervert the course of justice.In a barely disguised attack on a now defunct investigative website called Exaro, Sir Richard's report highlighted how their journalists fatally undermined the police inquiry.He said they drove Nick around London looking for 'scenes of abuse' and showed him photos of possible suspects.The retired judge said this 'unwelcome intrusion' should spur policymakers to consider statutory regulation of investigative journalism.'Had a prosecution resulted from the investigation, very considerable difficulty would have resulted in identification procedures sufficient to render convictions possible,' he said.Daniel Janner QC, whose late father, the Labour peer Lord Greville Janner was falsely accused by Nick, said: 'I am pleased to hear that Nick is being investigated by the police for attempting to pervert the course of justice.'Mr Proctor added: 'I hope the Home Office will look at these matters carefully and [...]



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2016-11-10T01:13:11.611+10:00

Murky past of Australian cop Damian Goodfellow, and the criminal who went on to kill A senior NSW police officer who played a key role in a botched drug case that resulted in a violent criminal being released to roam the streets has been convicted of assault, drink driving and has twice survived recommendations he be fired.Despite an assault conviction for the drunken bashing of an off-duty colleague at a cricket international, then being arrested at gunpoint for fleeing a breath test and crashing a police car, Damian Goodfellow has climbed through the police ranks to become one of Sydney's most prominent crime managers.A Fairfax Media probe has placed him at the heart of two recent significant investigations that resulted in a drug sting that left four police officers claiming they were wrongly persecuted, and the release of a criminal who was facing serious drugs charges:    "As acting crime manager at Kings Cross local area command in 2011, Detective Inspector Goodfellow filed a report to the agency's Professional Standards Command that later resulted in a string of drug charges being inexplicably dropped against a violent criminal named Wayne Edward Jones. A year later, the Nomad Outlaw Motorcycle gang member, who was operating an illegal prostitution racket in Kings Cross, tortured and strangled to death a mother of four.    As the current crime manager at Newtown, Inspector Goodfellow was one of three senior police from the station who, based on "strong supposition", recommended a "covert investigation" be launched against the only openly gay male officers within the command, targeting illicit drug use. After combing through their private lives for six months, the operation found no evidence of wrongdoing. The Anti-Discrimination Board of NSW has since "accepted for investigation" four individual complaints of employment-based "homosexuality discrimination" against the force"In 1999, Inspector Goodfellow was one of two police personnel who were recommended be sacked after they repeatedly punched a third off-duty officer during a drunken brawl at a one-day cricket international at the SCG.Magistrate Kevin Flack recorded convictions and fined each of the officers $400 plus $52 court costs.The then police commissioner Peter Ryan gave Inspector Goodfellow a second chance.But in 2002, he was convicted again, this time of drink driving, after an erratic attempt to skip a breath test resulted in him crashing an unmarked patrol car.While Mr Ryan lost his patience and issued a dismissal notice, Inspector Goodfellow received another reprieve from incoming commissioner Ken Moroney who, 18 months earlier, had delivered a heart-warming speech at the detective's wedding to fellow officer Carlee Mahoney, the daughter of then assistant commissioner Reg Mahoney.Police sources who spoke to Fairfax Media at the time expressed dismay that other officers, with no such ties, had been sacked for far less.Mr Moroney responded by saying his confidence in any officer was relevant to them acknowledging their mistakes and their continued good behaviour."Leniency extended once is rarely extended twice," he said.Inspector Goodfellow was in the headlines again 12 months later as was one of four off-duty officers who were hospitalised following a punch up inside a Kings Cross strip club.While he was the least injured, Inspector Goodfellow had been knocked unconscious."There's no suggestion they made it known they were police officers," said former Kings Cross commander Dave Darcy, who added it was irrelevant they were from the force."It could just as well have been any group of young people who happened to be visiting a strip club."While more than 10 years have passed since thos[...]



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2016-11-09T04:59:06.609+10:00

How I had to fight for 20 years to get my rapist jailed: Mother-of-two who was raped eight times in her own home was forced to BEG police to pursue her attackerLynda Donnelly produces notes scribbled on the packaging of the Boots No. 7 foundation she wore in the days when appearance mattered to her.‘Rang Crimewatch at 9ish, March 31. Told police would ring me. Rang back three times. 11.40pm: no joy. April 1, rang police complaints. Lady gave me chief of police Paul Stephenson’s number . . .’ And so on.It is one of many bits of paper in a file Lynda began to compile on the day the ‘happiest years’ of her life abruptly ended: July 22, 1996 — the date Lynda was brutally raped in her South-East London home.Her terrifying ordeal — the full details of which are too disturbing to reveal in a family newspaper — lasted for several hours as her two young children slept in adjoining bedrooms.Suffice to say, the injuries she sustained were so appalling she was unable to see her five-year-old daughter or four-year-old-son for six weeks for fear of distressing them.‘I thought about killing myself but I couldn’t do it because of my children,’ says Lynda, now 45.‘They were the only thing that kept me going — that and because I was so sure the police were going to catch the guy.They said: “We’ve put his DNA on a database. As soon as he gets caught doing something else, it will come up.”’RELATED ARTICLESBut it didn’t. Instead, due to an extraordinary catalogue of police blunders — including mislaying crucial DNA evidence — her attacker was able to evade justice for 20 years.In this time, he moved to Los Angeles, where he built a career as a music producer who could afford swanky apartments, Aston Martins and invitations to parties where he claims to have rubbed shoulders with the likes of Oscar-winning actor Leonardo Di Caprio.But this summer, those star-studied parties ended when Pierre Antoine Bate, now 42, finally stood trial at Southwark Crown Court after the case was reopened by the Metropolitan Police’s cold case unit.After just an hour of deliberation, the jury found him guilty on eight counts of raping Lynda.Once he had been sentenced to 24 years in prison, jubilant police officers made much of how his conviction demonstrated their commitment to identifying and arresting such monsters ‘no matter how much time has passed’.Try telling that to Lynda. For, until the cold case team became involved in 2011, police appeared to show woefully little interest in tracking down her attacker.Instead, they fobbed her off, on occasion ridiculed her and even, after much of the evidence had been lost, swore blind her case ‘didn’t exist’.  In short, she was treated like a fantasist.‘This wasn’t like an episode from an American crime series where dedicated cops battle away for years to catch the bad guys,’ she says.  ‘It was more like being caught up in a film about a conspiracy.‘I even phoned chief of police Paul Stephenson [former Police Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson] in 2008 to try to get him to do something for me, and was told by the woman officer who called me back: “I’m sorry, your case doesn’t exist. There is no crime report, no DNA, no statement.”‘I said: “What do I do now?” She said: “I don’t really know.”‘I was at breaking point. I’d been to so many different police stations over the years, and spoken to so many different officers literally begging for help, but none of them wanted to help me.'And now I was being told my case didn’t exist. I thought they were deliberately trying to drive me mad.‘I was pacing the floor, literally pulling my hair out. I thought: [...]



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2016-11-08T05:00:40.061+10:00

Horrific dashcam video shows a 53-year-old black man screaming in agony as he was brutally attacked by a K9 and an officer after being mistaken for a man with a gunMinnesota police released a video of an incident in June that shows a black man being brutally attacked by a K9 and kicked in the ribs by an officer.Two St Paul police officers have been disciplined for the incident that left 53-year-old Frank Baker with several broken ribs, partly collapsed lungs and serious bites that left his leg disfigured, according to his attorney Robert Bennett.He said Baker needed several surgeries and skin grafts.'That was a horrific attack, and he was innocent. He didn't do anything wrong,' Bennett said.Baker spent two weeks in the hospital after suffering severe wounds to his legs and feet with the K-9 tearing 'hunks of flesh' and biting 'down to the bone,' Bennett told MPR News. St Paul's police chief, Todd Axtell, released the video on Friday saying: 'I'm disappointed and upset by what the video shows. This simply isn't the St Paul way.'The June 24 incident on St Paul's east side was made public after what Axtell said was a careful investigation.Police reports show the man was stopped because one of the officers believed he matched the description of a man reported to have a gun.Axtell said he has twice met with Baker and apologized both times.The officer who kicked Baker, Brett Palkowitsch, was put on unpaid leave starting Thursday.Police said a complaint had been filed and an investigation of Palkowitsch was underway, but they could not provide details because of state law.The dog's handling officer, Brian Ficcadenti, was given a 30-day suspension that began Thursday.The fuzzy police dashcam video shows the police dog taking Baker to the ground as he yells in pain.Six officers surrounded him, some shouting and swearing and ordering him not to move as the dog bites him. One officer is seen kicking Baker three times.David Titus, the head of the St Paul police union, said officers were responding to a dangerous area. He said the officers acted within policy and followed their training.Chris Wachtler, an attorney for the union, said the incident wouldn't have happened had Baker complied with officers' orders.Police said the officers were responding to a report of a large group of people fighting with baseball bats and other weapons, including a report of one person with a gun.In his incident report, Ficcadenti said he stopped Baker because he thought he matched a description of that person — a black man in a white T-shirt with dreadlocks.Ficcadenti wrote that he ordered Baker out of a car and ordered him to raise both hands. Ficcadenti said Baker refused and that he released his police dog 'to eliminate a possible lethal force encounter.'Baker was cited for obstructing the legal process, a misdemeanor, but was not charged.Police said Friday that they found no gun on Baker or at the scene.Bennett said the reports were written after the officers knew 'they were in a world of trouble' and he doesn't believe they are truthful.But he commended the chief for disciplining the officers.The confrontation happened the day after Axtell took over as chief. He said the department has learned from the incident and increased training.The news comes in a metropolitan area that's seen two high-profile fatal shootings of black men by police in the past year.Jamar Clark, 24, was killed last November in Minneapolis during a struggle in which prosecutors determined police feared for their lives as Clark tried to grab an officer's weapon.Philando Castile, 32, was shot during a July 6 traffic stop in Falcon Heights.The shooting's gruesome aftermath wa[...]



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2016-11-07T04:24:15.519+10:00

The AG is still going after "racist" copsWhat does one do when a Staten Island grand jury refuses to indict white NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo for criminal wrongdoing in the chokehold-death case of black American Eric Garner — and NY-based FBI agents agree with that assessment? If you’re United States Attorney General Loretta Lynch, you take the Eastern District of New York crew off the case and reassign it to the racialist ideologues in the DOJ’s civil rights division who want Pantaleo criminally charged.“We already … came to a conclusion which they didn’t like,” one insider said of the upcoming indictment. “It’s truly disgraceful what they’re doing.” NYPD Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch was equally irate, accusing the DOJ of conducting a “fishing expedition” following two decisions that were not to the agency’s liking. “Now it appears that they are taking a third bite at the apple in an effort to reach a predetermined outcome,” he fumed.Garner, a 43-year-old Staten Island man, died when he resisted arrest during a confrontation with police called to the scene by local shop owners who complained because Garner was selling “loosies,” or individual cigarettes, in front of their shops, a violation of New York law. When Garner resisted, four officers, including Pantaleo, attempted to take him down. Even when Garner was on all fours officers were unable to cuff him, thus they attempted to gain leverage as they are trained to do. It was then that Pantaleo put his arm around Garner’s neck. During the ongoing struggle Garner insisted, “I can’t breathe,” 11 times. After he was taken into custody, Garner died of cardiac arrest on the way to the hospital.The Medical Examiner report ruled Garner died as a result of “compression of neck (choke hold), compression of chest and prone positioning during physical restraint by police.” It further explained that acute and chronic bronchial asthma, obesity and heart disease were contributing factors, due in large part to the reality that Garner weighed more than 350 pounds.The entire incident was captured on a cellphone video taken by Ramsey Orta, sparking major protests alleging police brutality and racism, despite the fact black female sergeant Kizzy Adonis was in charge of overseeing the July 2014 arrest. Last January, Adonis was stripped of her gun and badge after an NYPD internal report charged her with failure to supervise.In order to convict Pantaleo of murder, on modified desk duty since Garner’s death, the grand jury would have had to prove the police officer was intentionally trying to kill Garner. Manslaughter charges would require the conclusion Pantaleo was aware that he could seriously injure Garner and proceeded regardless. Negligent homicide would require reaching the conclusion Pantaleo’s behavior was a gross departure from standard arrest procedures.All of the other officers at the scene were offered immunity to testify before the 23-member grand jury that included nine non-white jurors. During the hearing that included testimony not made public, Pantaleo insisted he never intended to harm anyone, asserting he joined the NYPD to “help people and to protect those who can’t protect themselves.” He added, “It is never my intention to harm anyone and I feel very bad about the death of Mr. Garner. My family and I include him and his family in our prayers and I hope that they will accept my personal condolences for their loss.”After the grand jury declined to indict Pantaleo then-Attorney General Eric Holder promised the DOJ would conduct a full investigation. [...]



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2016-11-06T04:23:03.233+10:00


London cop, 26, who had sex with a 15-year-old rape victim after meeting her online is jailed and thrown out of the force

A Met Police officer who had sex with a 15-year-old rape victim he met online has been jailed for four years and sacked by Scotland Yard.

James Evans, 26, who was based at a station in Ealing, west London, was sentenced to four years in prison and will be on the sex offenders’ register for life.

Isleworth Crown Court heard how the ‘vulnerable’ girl performed a sex act in Evans’ car while he drove her home from a counselling session with child mental health services.

Evans later had sex with the vulnerable girl at his Ruislip flat after they matched on dating app Tinder in January this year.

The victim initially told Evans she was 16 but he knew she was 15 and still at school before they had sex.

The girl, told the court: ‘I now know he took full advantage of my vulnerabilities.

‘I told James I had been sexually assaulted the previous August and now I know he should have acted differently as a police officer.’

Her mother had reported the relationship to Evans’ colleagues after reading her daughter’s

During his police interview, Evans admitted: ‘I know it was stupid - I had sex with her, knowing she was 15.’ Evans, from Pontypridd, Wales, admitted six counts of sexual activity with a child.

Assistant Commissioner Helen King said: ‘PC Evans exploited a girl he knew to be vulnerable and, as she knew he was a serving police officer, abused his position. ‘Sexual exploitation of young people, particularly by those in positions of power and influence, has long been very seriously under reported. ‘For a police officer to commit such offences is inevitably going to have a serious detrimental impact on the confidence of victims and the wider public to report concerns.

‘PC Evans has undermined the work of colleagues to build that trust. Critically he has victimised a young girl and broken the laws he was entrusted to enforce on others.  ‘The only outcome in this case is for him to be dismissed without notice.’

PC Evans was sentenced to four years imprisonment and life on the Sex Offenders Register.

Original report here


(And don't forget your ration of Wicked Thoughts for today. Now hosted on Wordpress.  If you cannot access it, go to the MIRROR SITE, where  posts  appear as well as on  the primary site.  I have reposted  the archives (past posts) for Wicked Thoughts  HERE or HERE





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2016-11-05T04:23:05.942+10:00

Couple who were accused of rape say their lives were ruined by the two-year 'nightmare' before they were cleared of the charge in just two minutesA couple who were cleared of rape in just two minutes say their lives were ruined by their two-year 'nightmare'.Neil Coulson and Joanne Evans were both charged with raping a woman, an offence which could have seen them jailed for up to 19 years.But, after a two-year wait for the trial, the couple were cleared in a matter of minutes when the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) offered no evidence and dropped the charge.The couple, from Clavering, Hartlepool, say they are ecstatic with the result, but that the damaging allegations have ruined their lives.Mother-of-three Ms Evans, 36, said she was forced to close her salon business, was prescribed anti-depressants and was put under the watch of social services.She said: 'We both think rape is an absolutely monstrous, horrendous crime and for us to be accused of it was absolutely devastating.'I felt suicidal. We were shattered, broken and devastated. We couldn't believe it had happened.'The couple were first investigated in January last year when a woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, claimed she had been raped by the pair.  Mr Coulson and Ms Evans then spent 23 hours being quizzed at Hartlepool Police Station. There, Mr Coulson was stripped and had DNA samples taken from him.The case was dropped last April when police took no further action, they say.But, one year later, the allegation resurfaced and they were both charged. A trial was then fixed for early next year.Ms Evans said: 'We had just had a baby, we had moved on with our lives. I was traumatised even though we were confident nothing was going to come of it. 'I have never had a proper night's sleep since April. But as difficult as it was, we both continued to hold our heads up high.'Mr Coulson, 37, a multi-coded welder said it had a 'knock on effect on everyone'.  'I could have got sacked being branded with that kind of thing. I've lost out on jobs because of it,' he said.But their nightmare was over last Tuesday when they were informed that the charge would be dropped. The following day, they were formally found not guilty by a judge.Ms Evans said: 'I was just overjoyed. No words can describe.'She praised the support of family and friends adding: 'Not one single person doubted us. 'I think it is because we have been so strong and our friends and family have been so strong that's what has got us through.'But the couple were critical of the CPS for charging them after the case was initially dropped.Ms Evans said: 'In that time it ruined our lives. It was basically a whole waste of time. Things like this make it harder for real victims to get justice.'The couple say they are looking forward to Christmas now that the 'awful black cloud' has been lifted from them. Mr Coulson added: 'Basically, we have just got to rebuild our lives.'A Crown Prosecution Service spokesman said: 'In all cases, it is the duty of prosecutors to ensure that there is sufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction.'Criminal cases are kept under continuous review to ensure that charges are supported by sufficient evidence. 'During a recent case review, in consultation with Prosecution Counsel, it became clear that there was not a realistic prospect of conviction. 'As a result, the decision was taken by the Crown to formally offer no evidence in this case.'Original report here(And don't forget your ration of Wicked Thoughts for today. Now hosted on Wordpress.  If you cannot access it[...]



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2016-11-04T01:01:08.903+10:00

The gay slurs that led to a nine-year battle with London police: Force left with huge legal bill after failing to investigate when man was verbally abused by neighbourPolice have been left with a six-figure legal bill after they failed to investigate claims a gay man was verbally abused by his neighbour.David Cary, 54, spent nine years fighting the Metropolitan Police after the woman called him a ‘poof’ and a ‘queer’ as he cycled past.Following the incident in 2007, officers simply passed the comments off as ‘minor words’ and a ‘quibble’.Now the force has agreed to compensate Mr Cary on the eve of an appeal court showdown.The case has led to the force setting up a specialist unit to deal with homophobic complaints by both officers and civilians.The police watchdog has also introduced a compulsory one-day training course for all its caseworkers, investigators and lawyers.Mr Cary was locked in a dispute with his female neighbour and she had been convicted of breaking his jaw three years earlier.But after the argument in February 2007, both parties reported the incident to police, who decided to take no further action.Mr Cary later complained to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.Despite a second investigation into the incident, and the appeal to the police watchdog, still no charges were brought.The watchdog accepted police had described the abuse as ‘minor words’ and a ‘quibble’ but failed to find they trivialised what occurred.The victim then instructed lawyers, three years after the incident took place, to bring a claim of discrimination on the grounds of his sexual orientation.The IPCC failed to get the claim struck out and settled in 2012. The case against the Met was due to be heard at the Court of Appeal this week but they agreed to settle at the eleventh hour.The force apologised and court documents released yesterday suggest the Met has been left with a six-figure bill in damages and legal costs.Mr Cary, who lives in a £500,000 housing association property in Chiswick, west London, said the Metropolitan Police ‘trumpets “homophobic and transphobic abuse is a crime. Report it. Stop it. Don’t tolerate it”.’But he added: ‘I reported it. They didn’t stop it. They tolerated it. I felt belittled and treated like a second-class citizen.‘I felt they prolonged the case in the hope of wearing me down. Without the best legal representation and campaigning support that I had, they might have managed it.’Mr Cary added: ‘It took the IPCC over a year. But once defeated they had the good sense to learn and implement the lessons from my claim. 'In contrast the Met shamelessly dug their heels in for nine years. Those delays are a travesty of justice and professionalism.’His lawyers said the legal victory will have a significant impact on other complaints of discrimination against the police.His solicitor Jane Deighton called for an end to ‘knee-jerk reaction into defensive mode when civilians bring police misconduct to the attention of the service’.A Scotland Yard spokesman said: ‘The Metropolitan Police Service is pleased that this case was finally able to reach a settlement and we have apologised to Mr Cary.’But Lord Paddick, formerly the UK’s most senior openly gay police officer, said: ‘The Met has said they have learnt lessons but how can they say that when it has taken them nine years to admit what happened and to take responsibility?'The Met have a duty of care and, frankly, they failed.’Original report here(And don't forget your ration of Wicked[...]



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2016-11-03T09:01:16.838+10:00

Family disputes police account in killing of Boston manPolice knew they were going to deal with a loony so were extra alert.  Loonies can be very unpredictable. And when they saw the loony struggling with the EMTs they assumed the worst -- that the EMTs were in danger. So they shot the loony.  They were just doing their job under difficult circumstancesHope Coleman called for an ambulance early Sunday morning to come to her South End apartment and take her mentally ill adult son to a hospital. He had been sitting on the stoop for most of the past two days, she said, and she worried he would catch pneumonia.A short while later, her 31-year-old son, Terrence, lay dead, shot by police who say he turned on them and EMTs with a knife.“We have to meet deadly force with deadly force,” said Boston Police Commissioner William B. Evans.Hope Coleman strongly disputes that account. She said her son was unarmed and had not tried to hurt anyone when police burst through the front door and shot him.Evans told reporters that Boston emergency medical technicians were escorting the man from the apartment when he drew a large knife and began attacking them. When two officers at the scene stepped in to try to disarm him, he turned on them with the knife, according to Evans. It was then that they shot him.Neither officer was wearing a body camera, Evans said.Police have not named the victim, but Hope Coleman, 60, identified him as her son, Terrence.The grief-stricken mother sobbed uncontrollably Sunday morning as she said the shooting was unwarranted.“He wasn’t thinking about attacking nobody!” she said. “He was thinking about getting the hell out of the house. He didn’t want to go in the ambulance.”Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley’s office will conduct an independent investigation, as is common procedure in the use of lethal force by police, and the office will release its entire investigative file upon conclusion, according to spokesman Jake Wark.“To my knowledge, this level of transparency in fatal police shootings is unparalleled,” said Wark in a statement.Two police officers and two Boston EMS workers responded to a 12:39 a.m. call to go to 245 Shawmut Ave. because of an “emotionally disturbed male in his 30s suffering from paranoia and schizophrenia,” according to a police statement.Coleman’s mother said she had called the South End Community Health Center in preparation to bring her son to Tufts Medical Center because he was sitting outside on the steps and refusing to come inside. He had been sitting there for most of the past two days, she said, and she was concerned that he would get ill because of the chilly weather.She and her niece, Shenell Smith, said in interviews that Coleman had struggled with mental health issues but was very quiet and mostly kept to himself. Since an episode of violence about 10 years ago when he was first being treated, he had been happy and nonviolent, they said.Coleman was on medication at the time of the shooting and had been attending outpatient therapy, they said.Hope Coleman said police arrived first — asked to accompany the EMTs, officials said — but she didn’t let them in the house because she worried it would further agitate her son. At that point, she said, Coleman was inside their first-floor apartment, sitting on the floor.The EMTs entered her apartment and asked Coleman to get up and come with them, which he did, she said. But before they got outside, he decided that he didn’t want to get into the amb[...]



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2016-11-02T08:44:00.209+10:00

Michael Barrymore set to win long legal battle over police who wrongly arrested him over 2001 pool death at his homeMichael Barrymore is poised to claim a legal victory over police who wrongly arrested him for the murder of a man found drowned in the entertainer’s swimming pool in 2001.Barrymore, now 64, said a ‘massive’ weight had been lifted from his shoulders after a police force reportedly admitted he was wrongfully detained and questioned for murder.The comedian has endured years in the wilderness after Stuart Lubbock, a father-of-two, was found dead at his £2million home in Roydon, Essex.A post-mortem examination found that Mr Lubbock had suffered ‘severe internal injuries indicating sexual assault’, and his blood contained ecstasy, cocaine and alcohol.Barrymore was kept in police cells for 36 hours after being arrested on suspicion of murder and sexual assault in 2007.He was released without charge and three months later the case was dropped due to insufficient evidence.Barrymore has always maintained his innocence.However, Essex Police previously claimed that he was with-holding information. The force said that the TV personality had ‘failed to give a full or clear account’ about what happened on the night of Mr Lubbock’s death.However, according to the Daily Mirror, Barrymore’s lawyers have now signed High Court papers in an agreement with Essex Police.The papers reportedly read: ‘Judgment be entered for the Claimant [Barrymore] on the issue of liability.’The ruling means Barrymore can now make a claim for damages and it could pave the way for a major TV comeback.Barrymore has recently alluded to the end of the lengthy legal battle telling social media users that he was preparing for a ‘big week’ and ‘Mission Impossible has been a complete success’.When asked by a Twitter follower if he was likely to return to television he responded: ‘I have turned down all offers for a few years now till this was done and dusted… looks like I will be able to.’He later wrote that he ‘got news that’s taken 15 years to get to’, saying: ‘Be interesting if all those that chose to believe one thing find they got it wrong and apologise… mmm, we’ll see.’He told fans he would ‘comment properly when the times right’ adding that it was a ‘massive’ weight off his shoulders.On the night of Mr Lubbock’s death, the comedian had spent the evening at a club in Harlow, Essex, with his then boyfriend, Jonathan Kenney.He later invited locals back to his home and at 5.46am guest, Justin Merritt, dialled 999 to say a man had drowned in the pool. Barrymore had already fled the scene, later claiming he ‘panicked’.It is claimed that Barrymore is demanding at least £25,000 ‘aggravated and exemplary damages’ for ‘wrongful arrest and detention’ which led him to suffer ‘loss and damage namely distress, shock, anxiety and damage to his reputation’.Barrymore had previously been a household name with programmes such as Strike It Lucky and Kids Say The Funniest Things earned him £2.5million a year with ITV.However the multi-million pound deals quickly began to disappear following the death of Mr Lubbock.The star lodged the claim form three years ago, saying police had no right to arrest him because there was no evidence of his involvement in the deathMr Lubbock’s father, Terry, 71, who has campaigned for justice for his son, told The Mirror: ‘This is not closure or justice for me. That will not come until I find ou[...]



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2016-11-01T08:44:00.767+10:00

Australia: Corruption in high places?  NSW Police dropped drug charges that allowed a violent criminal to kill Glen Roberts served in the Cronulla riots and survived being mowed down twice by the same car during a dramatic police pursuit.Yet his professional career – and his personal life – will forever be defined by a drug exchange he wishes he had never, by chance, witnessed.One of the two people he arrested and charged that night in April 2011, Wayne Edward Jones, was a major crime figure who, already serving parole, was sent straight back to jail – where he should have remained for several years.Yet for reasons known only to a select few officers within the NSW Police Force, he did not.Six months later, the charges against Jones were inexplicably withdrawn and he was freed - with deadly consequences.Jones later booked into a Coffs Harbour motel where, high on ice, he hogtied, tortured and strangled to death a mother-of-four, Michelle Reynolds. He then ordered take-away pizza beside her broken body before dumping her in bushland the following day.Senior Constable Roberts, meanwhile, found himself charged with having fabricated "false evidence" in the drug case against Jones.A Fairfax Media investigation has now found that the force appeared so determined to discredit the officer over what he saw that night, it broke the law by withholding two crucial pieces of evidence from the Department of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and Senior Constable Roberts' defence lawyers which proved his innocence.As a magistrate was still getting his head around the prosecution's case against Senior Constable Roberts, which he later remarked "should never have started", the worst possible news surfaced in court.The same violent offender whose drug supply charges had strangely evaporated 14 months earlier had since become the subject of another serious criminal case at Coffs Harbour."Sorry your honour … I just have a question," said a court assistant about what first appeared to be a mix up with files. "The case … is for a murder charge.""We all looked around in disbelief," recalled Senior Constable Roberts."The man whom I had charged, who should still have been inside, and for whom I was now in court, had killed someone. I was absolutely devastated."On April 4, 2011, Senior Constable Roberts and a colleague were patrolling Sydney's Kings Cross where they observed Jones and three young women in a situation that prompted concerns of underage prostitution. Senior Constable Roberts then observed Jones "clearly and without obstruction" place both his hands down the front of his pants and remove "a plastic item" before transferring the object into the co-accused's hands" which she swiftly stuffed down the front of her shorts.They called for back up and a a female officer searched the girl and located the package inside her pants which contained bags of heroin, ice and marijuana.However, back at the station, the seemingly straightforward arrest started to unravel when the 21-year-old woman divulged that she had been assisting Newcastle-based detectives with classified intelligence about Jones and his bikie gang associates, describing scenes involving big silver cases and "pounds of drugs" laid across tables. "He is part of the Nomads ... they all are," she said. The woman went on to explain how the previous evening Jones had rounded her and two teenage girls up, conducted an ice deal at a service station and then bashed her and forced her to dri[...]



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2016-10-31T08:45:01.827+10:00

British government's pogrom against journalists finally unwound'The Met Police and Crown Prosecution Service effectively made up a law on the hoof.A news reporter who was convicted after a controversial investigation into the payment of public officials has been cleared of all wrongdoing today. Sun crime reporter Anthony France, 42, from Watford, was accused of having a four-year 'corrupt relationship' with a police officer but saw his conviction quashed by three judges at the Court of Appeal in London on Thursday.He was initially found guilty at a trial at the Old Bailey last year and given an 18-month suspended sentence.Mr France was investigated under the high-profile, multimillion-pound Operation Elveden, which was launched in 2011 to investigate payments by journalists to public officials.The Metropolitan Police operation, which cost £14.7 million, led to 90 arrests and 34 convictions, including police officers and 21 public officials.But, out of 29 cases against journalists brought by the Crown Prosecution Service, the only jury conviction to remain standing was that in Mr France's case.A number of reporters were cleared by juries. Others had charges against them dropped, or they launched successful appeals following conviction.After the ruling, Mr France said: 'I am delighted that this serious miscarriage of justice has ended today, allowing me to rebuild my life after 1,379 days of sheer hell.'A News UK spokeswoman added after the ruling: 'Today, Anthony France's conviction has been overturned on appeal and we are delighted that these proceedings are now over for him.'In the course of the last five years, 19 journalists from The Sun were prosecuted as a result of Operation Elveden and not one has resulted in any conviction being upheld.'The ruling led to criticism of both the police and CPS from within the journalism and legal industries. Lawyer David Allen Green, who has a column for the Financial Times, wrote on Twitter that the CPS 'cobbled together' a piece of 'legal daftness' to go after journalists and that 'serious questions should be asked' over the decision to prosecute.He said: 'When evidence of reporters paying public officials came to light, there was a legal problem for the police/cps. 'The problem was to identify what offences had allegedly been committed. What would be the charges? A basic point, you could say. 'The alleged offences took place before the Bribery Act was in place. So that Act couldn't be used.'The public officials were therefore prosecuted for the ancient but vague offence of "misconduct in public office". Many pleaded guilty. 'But that left the reporters. They were not public officials and so could not be prosecuted for that (primary) offence.'But the CPS decided to prosecute the reporters anyway: and used a strange legal means for doing so. The CPS constructed an elaborate (secondary) offence of aiding/abetting/conspiring with he public official to commit misconduct.'The courts and juries could not make much sense of the offence - what was the requisite criminal intention? And so on. So in case after case in this "Operation Elveden", at great public expense, all the reporters (but one) were acquitted.'He added: 'Some may say it is unfair to criticse the CPS over any acquittal. But this failure by CPS was wide-ranging and systemic.  'With France's acquittal, serious questions can and should now be asked of CPS over its prosecutions of reporters under Elveden.[...]



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2016-10-30T09:11:02.438+10:00



'F*** off and die you absolute a*******': Astonishing outburst from a police worker is recorded by man she failed to hang-up on before insulting

A police staff member has landed herself in hot water after she was recorded insulting a member of the public before adding he should 'f*** off and die'.

In the audio clip the unnamed Cleveland Police worker, who thought she had disconnected the call, can be heard describing a member of the public as an 'absolute complete and utter a*******'.

 She then continued: 'You just want to say, "f*** off and die, get a f****** life will you". You just want to say that to him, don't you?'

The recording was uploaded to Facebook by Michael Carey who had been speaking to the staff member about a Subject Access Request (SAR), when she failed to hang up properly.

The pair can be heard discussing the SAR, a request for information under the Data Protection Act, when the woman appears to put the phone down.

But she did not know the call was still connected when she began being abusive towards Mr Carey.

Mr Carey wrote on Facebook: 'So, today, I called up and spoke to Cleveland Police's Data Protection Manager about a Subject Access Request I made 11 months ago and still haven't received (they've legally got 40 days by the way, approx. 6 weeks, not 11 months!).

'She shouts at me for pretty much the entire call. However, it is the last part that is interesting as she hangs up on me... or at least thinks she does!

'Apparently people wanting to ask why the law is being violated and their rights denied should just 'F*** off and die!'

A Cleveland Police spokeswoman said: 'Cleveland Police is aware of the matter and it has been referred to the Professional Standards Department or initial investigation.'

Original report here


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