We don’t just report off-beat news, breaking news and digest the best and worst of the news media analysis and commentary. We give an original take on what happened and why. We add lols, satire, news photos and original content.
Newspaper corection of the week: The Halesowen News’ story on Twig Fields and her newly-opened vintage clothing store The Walk-In Wardrobe in Cradley Heath, contained an error:
Jordan Henderson has penned a new five-year deal to play for Liverpool. Good news for Liverpool fans. And at £100,0o0-a-week, it’s good news for Henderson, who will just be able to afford a season ticket at top-flight boxing. (Tickets for the Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao’s fight are yours for £100,000 each. It makes £60 to watch your team play Arsenal at the Emirates look like a steal.)
Writing in the Times, Giles Smith wonders if Henderson is going to re-sign for another of his clients: Nivea.
…a deal that has already yielded comedy gold. Indeed, if there was a Bafta for Best Look To Camera By A Footballer In A Narrative-Based Commercial (and now there should be), Henderson would have swept it away for a lifetime.
It is a cracker:
But what does it all mean for men? It’s the decline of man: the steady emasculation of our role models.
Lord Janner: a look at reporting on the Labout peer in the news.
The Sun: “CRONY PROSECUTOR”
DPP worked at same firm as peado rap Lord she let off
It’s about Ms Alison Saunders, the head of the Crown Prosection service. The Sun says she “started her career” at 1 Garden Court Chamebers – where Janner…was a top QC.”
Thsi is an “exclusive”. Well, it is to anyone who has never read the Saunders CV or other news sources days ago.
The upper echelons of the judiciary are incestuous places.
Daily Telegraph: “CPS chief’s husbands is member of ‘tax loophole’ film investment scheme”
The knives are out for Director of Public Prosecutions boss Saunders.
Neil Saunders, whose wife is the Director of Public Prosecutions, is a member of a controversial scheme being investigated by the taxman, The Telegraph can disclose.
A lecture from the Daily Telegraph on the wrongs of legally exploiting tax loopholes might make you roll your eyes, but is it valid?
Neil Saunders, a defence barrister, is listed by Companies House as a member of a film industry investment scheme which is being pursued by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
How are the husband’s tax affairs relevant to Sauncders’ decicion not to send Janner to court? We’re not told. It’s just out there. As are these facts:
• DPP Alison Saunders took legal advice on Greville Janner from former colleague of his son
• DPP Alison Saunders spent £7,000 on business class flights while CPS headed towards crisis
The Press Gazette: “‘Eight officers stormed into my bedroom shouting Met Police': Reporter’s three-year ordeal ‘for writing story about a fox'”
As well as looking at what cases Saunders did not think fit for court, it’s worth looking what what cases she has approved.
The Sun’s online news editor Vince Soodin has has condemned the Met Police for turning Operation Elveden into “a probe into unauthorised leaks to journalists – whether they were paid for or not”.
Soodin, along with former News of the World reporter Lucy Panton, was officially cleared at the Old Bailey yesterday – nearly three years after his initial arrest.
Writing in The Daily Telegraph today, Soodin, 40, said Operation Elveden has been “pursued without any sense of proportion” by the Metropolitan Police commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe and Director of Public Prosecutions Alison Saunders – who he said “must resign”.
On his 7 August 2012 arrest, Soodin wrote: “I was set to go the London Olympics; instead I was woken – at 6.06am – by my doorbell. I was confronted by eight police officers; detectives stormed past me into my bedroom, waking my girlfriend, who was unaware I had gone to the front door, shouting ‘Met Police’ before I was allowed to explain to her what was happening. We were in shock.
“Officers bagged up our computers. Seized our belongings. They went through our clothes and underwear, personal diaries, everything. Almost anything connected to my job was tagged and taken. They still have my Sun contract of employment – as though this is damning evidence that I am a criminal.
“Detectives stood over us as we dressed. Then I was taken away from my girlfriend and thrown into a cell at a north London police station before being questioned by two detectives.”
Snodin then nails Saunders.
“Set alongside the Lord Janner scandal and February’s ludicrous prosecution of a doctor – on charges of female genital mutilation – who had stitched up a woman bleeding after childbirth, Operation Elveden has destroyed confidence in the Crown Prosecution Service under Alison Saunders. There is only one proper course of action now. She must resign.”
The FGM show trial was a disaster for the CPS. It was a victory for the jury which found Dr Dhanuson Dharmasena not guilty of carrying out female genital mutilation on a newly delivered young mother. Another man was cleared of abetting Dr Dharmasena. Both men was used to showcase the authorities’ commitment to combatting FGM.
But what of calling for someone to lose their job? Is that fair?
The Indepedent: “Lord Janner: How the Director of Public Prosecutions should have handled the Labour peer”
What most angers her critics is that after taking the trouble to consult widely on the decision, Saunders has chosen to deny Janner’s alleged victims any chance of having their day in court.
What angers her critics is that Saunders came to the conclusion they didn’t want.
Lord Janner’s mental capacity – he is in the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s – is not in question.
It is the question. It is very much the question. And many have sought to answer it. If Lord Janner was well, he would be charged with 14 indecent assaults on a male under 16 between 1969 and 1988; two indecent assaults between 1984 and 1988; four counts of buggery of a male under 16 between 1972 and 1987; and two counts of buggery between 1977 and 1988.
…she seemed to perfectly understand what is at stake by deciding not to prosecute. Saunders explained: “There has been considerable public interest, and media coverage, of the fact of the investigations including identifying Lord Janner as the subject of them. Indeed, concern has been expressed publicly of a cover-up.”
And she went on: “The allegations that have been made against Lord Janner are extremely serious. Those who have made them are, entirely understandably, vociferous in urging the taking of action against Lord Janner.”
But what Saunders woefully failed to address was the possibility of a trial on the facts alone, so that the victims would at least have their allegations tested in a court of law. It would have required Lord Janner to be charged and then for the judge to officially rule that, although he was unfit to plead, a jury could still hear the issues.
The critics have also referred to cases under the Criminal Procedure (Insanity) Act 1964 where a criminal court does decide the truth of allegations against a person suffering from a mental incapacity. But, as confirmed by the Court of Appeal in a judgment, R v Wells, in January, such cases are heard, despite the mental incapacity, because consideration is being given to imposing a hospital order or a supervision order on the defendant for reasons of public protection, or because treatment is required, and it is in the defendant’s interest that the facts are found before such an intrusive order is made. In the present case, and as the DPP has explained, the medical evidence is again unequivocal that Lord Janner poses no current threat to anyone.
Of course the decision is disappointing to the complainants. But the criminal process does not exist to give a platform for the making of allegations against a defendant who is incapable of defending himself. The gravity of the allegations makes it especially appropriate to protect such a defendant from unfairness, particularly when he denied the allegations in the past while able to do so.
The Indy goes on:
This would have been highly unusual, and may have broken new legal ground, but this is a highly unusual case in which the police and CPS have failed three times to do their job.
Saunders’ inability to anticipate the political backlash left her badly exposed.
So. Justice should be dictated by fear of the public mood?
Sir Clive Loader, Leicestershire Police and Crime Commissioner, described the decision as ‘not just wrong’ but ‘wholly perverse’ and ‘contrary to any notion of natural justice’.
The police are now on the side of the angels.
Daily Mail: “The rape of justice: Damning new evidence of Labour peer Lord Janner’s child sex abuse covered up by police and social workers for over 20 years”
Police and social workers were told more than 20 years ago that the peer took a vulnerable boy to Labour Party offices and Parliament before molesting him in his marital bed.
What did the caring. child-friendly police do back then?
A ten-page witness statement details the alleged victim’s harrowing ordeal at the hands of Janner. But all references to the politician were removed from the child’s social services file, according to legal papers obtained by the Mail.
A children’s home manager told bosses she feared he was having sex with the child but her concerns were ‘swept under the carpet’. The scale of the cover-up helps explains how the former Labour MP repeatedly escaped justice.
Over to Guy Adams, who dramatises the story:
The middle of the night at a large family home in one of North London’s most genteel residential neighbourhoods. In one of the upstairs bedrooms, a teenage boy lies awake. It’s eerily quiet, and he’s a long, long way from the children’s institution that has in recent years been home. The house is dark and shadowy. Scary, even. He feels frightened, confused and very much alone.
But this boy is not alone. In the gloom, he picks out an unmistakable figure shuffling across the carpet. It’s the middle-aged father-of-three who owns this house where he is staying…
With sickening inevitability, this vulnerable and frightened child, who only recently reached his 14th birthday, is then subjected to a sexual assault. ‘He touched my penis and asked me to touch his. He then simulated sex with me as I could feel his penis rubbing against my body, but after a while he got up from the bed and went out of the room. I must have fallen asleep, because when I awoke it was morning.’
This attack, carried out in December 1974, is one of several described in chilling detail in a ten-page witness statement prepared several years later by a firm of Leicester solicitors called Greene D’Sa. According to the document, which was passed to me this week, it marked the start of an abusive ‘full sexual relationship’ that endured almost two years.
The attack was also the culination of a lengthy grooming process which had begun when the boy’s abuser, a high-profile MP, visited a secondary school in his Leicester constituency. That MP was Greville Janner, then 46, a Labour backbencher…
Titilated? The story then alleges who knew of Janner and the boy:
It tells how his relationship with Janner was known to everyone, from his friends, to his social worker, children’s home manager and the then-director of Leicester’s social services. Yet nothing was done to stop it….
In a second, 1993 witness statement, again passed to me this week, the same boy recalls in 1989 and 1991 meeting detectives investigating a historic paedophile ring said to have included Janner. The relatively junior police investigators were apparently convinced that this man had, indeed, been ‘buggered by Greville Janner’ during childhood. ‘They needed me to include that information in my statement before they could arrest Janner,’ it notes.
But, soon afterwards, the two junior detectives were forced to drop their investigation into the MP, apparently at the behest of senior figures within the Leicestershire constabulary.
The boy isn’t the only person to make this claim. Indeed, his 1993 statement appears to confirm a similar version of events made public last year by one of those two officers, Mick Creedon.
Should you wonder about the veracity of Mr Creedon’s recollection, it is illuminating to learn that he is now Chief Constable of Derbyshire.
Mr Creedon deneis any wrong doing. Lord Grevillw Jannwr and his family deny any wrongdoing.
Right now all we have are stories.
Leicester Mercury: “Alleged child sexual abuse victim will seek review of decision not to prosecute Greville Janner”
A man who alleges he was sexually abused by former Leicester MP Greville Janner says he will seek a review of the decision not to put the politician on trial. Paul Miller claims 86-year-old Lord Janner abused him when he was nine years old during a school trip to the House of Commons.
Mr Miller, 52, from Aylestone, said he had not yet received her letter, but would both seek a review and take up the offer to meet Ms Saunders…
He said: “I will meet her, but she had better pin her ears back because I am an angry man. I will tell her face to face she has got this wrong, and I will be asking for the review. I don’t think I will be the only one.”
Ms Saunders has stood by her decision not to try Lord Janner, despite saying there was enough evidence to bring charges against him in relation to 22 alleged offences between 1969 and 1998.
She said there was evidence that could have seen him charged in 1991, 2002 and 2007, but now he was suffering from dementia so severe he was unfit to stand trial.
Such are the facts…
Beyond parody with Katie Hopkins: Royal UN Offical tells British media that free speech has its limits
Katie Hopkins compares migrants to ‘cockroaches in her outrageous-to-deadline Sun newspaper column. And the UN high commissioner for human rights, Prince Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein of Jordan, says:
“The Nazi media described people their masters wanted to eliminate as rats and cockroaches. This type of language is clearly inflammatory and unacceptable, especially in a national newspaper. The Sun’s editors took an editorial decision to publish this article, and – if it is found in breach of the law – should be held responsible along with the author.”
And on he went:
“This vicious verbal assault on migrants and asylum seekers in the UK tabloid press has continued unchallenged under the law for far too long. I am an unswerving advocate of freedom of expression, which is guaranteed under Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), but it is not absolute.”
But me no buts. You cannot be unswerving in support of free speech and then say it has limits.
“The commissioner also accused the Daily Express of seeking to whip up anti-foreigner prejudice. To give just one glimpse of the scale of the problem, back in 2003 the Daily Express ran 22 negative front pages stories about asylum seekers and refugees in a single 31-day period…. Asylum seekers and migrants have, day after day, for years on end, been linked to rape, murder, diseases such as HIV and TB, theft, and almost every conceivable crime and misdemeanour imaginable in front-page articles and two-page spreads, in cartoons, editorials, even on the sports pages of almost all the UK’s national tabloid newspapers. History has shown us time and again the dangers of demonising foreigners and minorities, and it is extraordinary and deeply shameful to see these types of tactics being used in a variety of countries, simply because racism and xenophobia are so easy to arouse in order to win votes or sell newspapers.”
So sayeth the UN about free speech and its limits. Current members of the UN Human Rights Council include, for example, such bastions of equality and free speech as Saudi Arabia and Gabon, where the state-run media regulatory agency, the National Communications Council, suspended three newspapers in 2013, one of them a satirical work.
John Hinckley, 59, the man who in 1981 shot President Ronald Reagan and three other men (Jim Brady was shot in the head), wants to be in a band. Hinckley has been living in a psychiatric hospital ever since he was found not guilty by reason of insanity to the shooting. (He did it to woo actress Jodie Foster.)
Now that Hinkley has a more accesible lover and has been out for extended periods without trying to murder anyone – for 17 days each month since 2013, Hinkley stays at his aged mother’s home in Williamsburg, Virginia – he wants his freedom.
At Hinkley’s latest appeal, lawyer Barry Wm. Levine, told U.S. District Judge Paul L. Friedman in Washington:
“The psychosis and major depression that made Mr. Hinckley dangerous in 1981 have been in full and stable remission for over two full decades. There is no dispute that Mr. Hinckley is clinically ready for the next step in treatment, which is convalescent leave.”
The Associated Press adds:
Dr. Giorgi-Guarnieri testified Friday during court hearings that will ultimately determine whether and under which conditions John Hinckley Jr. will be allowed to live full time outside a mental hospital. Giorgi-Guarnieri says Hinckley should be allowed to start the band but not perform publicly.
Who’d want to join that band?
Spotter: Steve Silberman]
“Show me the stiff,” say the funeral strippers hired to dancer at funeral in China. “We”ll let you know if he’s really dead.” In parts of China and Taiwan, respect for the dead and the quality of the deceased’s afterlife is measured in what crowd the corpse can attract. And if a few naked dancers can add to the throng, so much the better.
It is the ultimate happy ending.
But not everyone approves of turning on the turned off. The Wall Street Journal says China is looking to ban the shows. One stripping ensemble were rounded up and jailed for 15 days. The women were charged with “corrupting the social atmosphere” and each fined $11,300.
Spotter: The Week
What is about women and sex abuse? In Davis County, Utah, Brianne Altice has admitted to shagging three students ages 16 to 18.
The official term for her crime is “forcible sexual abuse”. (The 18-year-old called Altice “a teacher with benefits”.)
Altice’s crimes include sodomy and broadcasting naked pics on social media.
Rod Liddle has few words to say about Lord Janner, the Labour peer accused of sexually abusing children. Janner won’t be standing trial for alleged offences because the judiciary say his dementia is so far advanced he won’t understand what’s going on in court. Janner, 86, denies any wrongdoing.
So. Here’s Liddle in the Sun:
As we say, Lord Janner denies any wrongdoing. But will he reply to the Sun’s article..?
Earth Day was co-founded by Ira Einhorn, who was master of ceremonies at the first Earth Day in 1970. The man nicknamed ‘The Unicorn’ is in prison, serving a life tarrif for murdering his ex-lover Holly Maddux.
In 1977, Maddux left Einhorn and moved to New York in 1977. One day she returned:
And so on Sept. 9, 1977, Maddux went back to the apartment that she and Einhorn had shared in Philadelphia to collect her things, and was never seen again. When Philadelphia police questioned Einhorn about her mysterious disappearance several weeks later, he claimed that she had gone out to the neighborhood co-op to buy some tofu and sprouts and never returned. [The hippie version of daddy going out for cigarettes, I guess.]
It wasn’t until 18 months later that investigators searched Einhorn’s apartment after one of his neighbors complained that a reddish-brown, foul-smelling liquid was leaking from the ceiling directly below Einhorn’s bedroom closet. Inside the closet, police found Maddux’s beaten and partially mummified body stuffed into a trunk that had also been packed with Styrofoam, air fresheners and newspapers.
The tree trunk we get. But the founder of Earth Day used Styrofoam…
The killer went on the lam for 23 years. He wound uyp in Europe. When Einhorn was extradited to the US and tried he said Maddux “had been killed by CIA agents who framed him for the crime because he knew too much about the agency’s paranormal military research.”
The State would have allow such exposure, so Einhorn was sent down.
With bullets in short supply (Americans buy just 12 billion bullets a year), US police forces have taken to apprehending perps in less traditional fashion.
The caption below this video says:
Police officer Michael Rapiejko used his cruiser to run over suspect Mario Valencia in Marana Arizona. According to police chief Terry Rozema that decision probably saved the suspects life.
This bill amends a previous ban on intercourse that harms animals. This new ban covers all animal-human intercourse. It is now assumed that the animal is always suffering.
To Florida, where Paricia Ebel, 49, has been busted for alleged drunk-driving. Ebel, was taking her 10-year-old son home after a day at the pool out when she crashed her BMW into a car stopped at a red light.
WINK News reports that though no-one was seriously hurt, police thought it wise to test Ebel for signs of booze. At one point Ebel, still dressed in a bikini, was aked if she could stand on one leg. She said she “couldn’t do that on a good day.” She then failed a few other sobriety tests, none of which involved buttoning a cardigan, identifying whathisname from that show on the telly or working out the remote control.
Grandma was arrested and released on bail.
Spotter: New York Daily News
The video as you ride up the lifts inside the new World Trade Center affords you a timelapse view of the changing New York skyline. You even get a glimpse of the doomed north tower:
The New York Times reports:
There would have been no way around Sept. 11, 2001, said David W. Checketts, the chairman and chief executive of Legends Hospitality, the company chosen by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in 2013 to operate the three-level observatory.
“The event is certainly a key part of history,” he said. “We did not think you could ignore it. Having it appear in the year it did and disappear in the year it did was the respectful way of addressing the fact that it was part of the landscape.” Two World Trade Center, the site of the original observatory, is also visible.
Spotter: New York Times
Belle Gibson does not have brain cancer. She never did. Belle Gibson is a “wellness blogger” who is very well indeed.
Gibson launched a global “lifestyle and wellness” business on the back of claims that her brain tumour was cured by natural therapies and vegetables. Now she says:
In an interview with The Australian Women’s Weekly, Ms Gibson was asked if she had, or ever had cancer. “No. None of it’s true,” she told the magazine.
So. What about the money she’s earned? Says Belle:
“I don’t want forgiveness. I just think [speaking out] was the responsible thing to do. Above anything, I would like people to say, ‘OK, she’s human.’”
After 16 years apart a brother and sister have been reunited on Tinder, the dating app. He looked at her. She looked at him. Thoughts turned to sex. Then they discovered they were siblings. But this isn’t Motherwell, so nothing sexual happened.
Via Mic reports:
De Vries, now 24, eventually moved back to the Netherlands for school, and in March, like any other young adult, joined Tinder and started swiping.
“The first time I swiped her profile I had absolutely no idea… To be honest, it hasn’t been on my mind in the past few years after Maarten, my brother, and I finished a failed search for Josephine a few years ago.”
And yet he happened to swipe right, assuming Egberts was just a nice stranger. So de Vries started talking to her like anyone else. “In our first conversation I was actually flirting with her so the conversation was very superficial,” he said.
“In our next conversation, I started to get some clues and figured she might actually be my sister. This kind of shocked me, so I decided not to contact her for a few days.”
But after the shock and physical attraction had been given time to cool off, they have met.
Here’s a cautionary tale for anyone seeking to get pregnant via the turkey baster method. Meet Robert Boardwine. He wants custody of his child. The Associated Press reports on the friends who fell out over what to name their giblet:
According to the court, Joyce Rosemary Bruce wanted to have a child she could raise on her own. Boardwine supplied the sperm in a plastic container. Bruce transferred it to a turkey baster, which she used to inseminate herself.
Bruce argued that Boardwine had no parental rights under the state’s assisted conception law. But the appeals court said Tuesday that the law applies only to pregnancies resulting from the use of medical technology, and the use of a common kitchen implement at home doesn’t qualify.
That baster is effective, but it’s no high-tech device.
Meanwhile, we wonder what Thanksgiving will be like for a with a child feuding parents and a weird empathy with the roasted bird…
Spotter: The Washington Post
Hats off to Animal New York and Josh Simenhoff for flying a pro-marijuana banner over Manhattan. The legend referenced New Mayor Bill de Blasio, whose own history of toking weed never did his career any harm, and a banner ordering the mayor to “get off the pot” and quit.
The banner was due to fly earlier but because of bad weather the launch date was put back to 4/20. But that date came and went. So. The banner flew on 4/21.
Still. It was fun, as AnimalNY reports:
And so on April 21, three months after we intended it to, our tongue-in-cheek, pro-cannabis banner finally hit the Manhattan skyline. After all of the back-and-forth, it was still worth it. “I did this in the pursuit of happiness and I’m proud to be an American,” said Simenhoff. Ditto for us. Also, legalize weed.
Because weed never did Blasio ever harm, nor any of his politico pals, like Barack Obama, David Cameron, Bill Clinton (who took weed by osmosis), Michael Bloomberg, Andrew Cuomo and George W. Bush. Unless, of course, it made them nuts..?
America is all about equlity. There’s even a gay version of tits-in-vests chain Hooters. It’s not called Cooters (blame Old Mr Anorak for that arcane suggestion), Knobs or Gonads. It’s called… Tallywackers. And if you answer this ad on Craigslist., who can be catching a chill in Dallas’ “Newest and most exciting place to be”.
Tallywackers are looking for “bartenders, servers, cooks, bus boys, and hosts”.
Maybe when you’re there you can ask who came up with that name and if they were listening to this at the time. Pass the banana a la mode, big boy:
Grandpa is dead. Larry Upright’s dying wish is that you do not vote for Hilary Clinton:
Fancy a career in journalism? Before taking the plunge, speak with the Daily Breeze’s Rob Kuznia. He won the Pulitzer Prize alongside Rebecca Kimitchand Frank Suraci stories on corruption in the Torrance, California school district. (Winnings: $10,000.) He’ll tell you that he’s now working as a publicist.
The LA Observed notes:
We should note that Kuznia left the Breeze and journalism last year and is currently a publicist in the communications department of USC Shoah Foundation. I spoke with him this afternoon and he admitted to a twinge of regret at no longer being a journalist, but he said it was too difficult to make ends meet at the newspaper while renting in the LA area.
So. About that career in journalism…
Westminster paedos: a look at the reporting on allegations VIPs abused children and got away with it in the 1960s-1980s. All eyes are on Greville Janner, the Labour peer who denies any wrongdoing.
The Daily Express (page 11): “‘Doubt’ over the dementia of peer let off child sex charges”
How far gone is Lord Greville Janner? How ill is too ill?
OUTRAGE over the failure to prosecute alleged paedophile peer Greville Janner grew yesterday after it emerged he wrote to the House of Lords a fortnight ago, despite claims he is suffering from dementia.
Those claims of dementia have been substantiated by at least four medical experts. They say the 86-year-old peer is too old to understand any trial of the facts. But this is interesting:
Director of Public Prosecutions Alison Saunders also faced accusations of double standards and a “cover up” because several defendants with dementia have been jailed for sex crimes in recent years.
Lord Janner, 86, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2009 and took a formal leave of absence last October.
On April 9 this year he replied to a House of Lords query about his retirement with a personally signed letter asking to continue his break.
The fact the Labour peer was able to sign the statement cast doubts on the DPP’s decision not to charge him with 22 child sex offences due to the “severity” of his dementia.
Dealaing with those points in turn: if other dentaia sufferers have been put on the stand for their alleged crimes, then why not the good Lord? And is the ability to sign a letter proof that you could follow complex legal arguments? Surely not. Dementia is often characterised by anosognosia –the lack of awareness of one’s disease.
Accusations that the peer is being protected by the Establishment grew after it emerged at least 19 men with dementia have been convicted of child sex offences since 2010, including 10 in the past year.
We don’t know the details of those cases (we’ll look later). Comparing one patient to another is fraught with difficulty. And we’re not told how many dementia partients were deemed unfit to take the stand. But a quick look reveals a few cases:
In 2013, Hans Lipschis, 94, was not tried for his life as an alleged former SS guard at the Auschwitz Nazi death camp.
In 2011 a judge said John Hammond who killed his wife was unfit to stand trial.
In 2014, a farmer accused of murder was deemed to be unfit for trial.
Are sex crimes worse than murder?
The Express hears from Peter Saunders of the National Association for People Abused in Childhood:
“This letter is a clear blow to the lie that this man is suffering. If he understands something as important as taking leave from the British legislature then surely he is fit to stand trial. It stinks of an Establishment cover-up. There is unease that someone as influential and high profile as Lord Janner will not face trial when Joe Bloggs has.”
No. The ability to sign a letter is not proof of sound mental health. But what the officials said is lamentable. Hold you nose:
… the CPS judges that mistakes were made in the decision making at the time by both the Leicestershire police in 2002 and the CPS in 1991 and 2007. Lord Janner should have been prosecuted in relation to those complaints.
It is a matter of deep regret that the decisions in relation to the previous investigations were as they were. Had the previous decisions been to prosecute, as they should have been, Lord Janner would have had the opportunity to challenge the evidence and defend himself through the trial process, with a jury ultimately deciding on his guilt or innocence some years ago. Victims of the alleged offences have been denied the opportunity of criminal proceedings in relation to the offences of which they have complained.
It is of obvious and particular concern that such proceedings did not take place as a result of what the CPS now consider to be wrong decisions. In order to maintain public confidence in the administration of justice and to seek to learn appropriate lessons, the CPS has asked retired High Court Judge, Sir Richard Henriques, to conduct a thorough and independent review into the CPS decision making and handling of all past matters relating to this case; and to make whatever recommendations he considers appropriate. He has agreed to undertake this task.
As the past gets reviewed, the Express focuses on the now:
Page 12: “Janner case gets murkier”
“If he is too ill to stand trial he should have resigned from the Lords”
That seems a fair point. The Lord’s is no care home. It is a legislative body.
At present we are just taking the DPP’s word that he mentally unfit to stand trial despite evidence to the contrary
Is the Express suggesting some kind of public test, whereby Lord Janner could do a Q & A or undergo a series of cognitive tests, perhaps on Jeremy Kyle’s TV show? A letter is the Express‘ “evidence to the contrary”. But evidence to the fact comes from four medical experts. And what of those who know him? Are they all wrong?
Daily Mirror (Page 6): “Lord Janner: New child abuse ‘victims’ emerge”
Victims is in inverted commas. Nothing has been proven. The judiciary won’t allow it.
Leicestershire Police had already traced 25 potential victims during a two-year probe codenamed Operation Enamel. A force spokesman said: “A number of alleged victims have come forward to the Operation Enamel team following the announcement last week.”
Tom Pettifor turns to the Janner’s health:
Records show he claimed £2,500 for 15 House of Lords appearances in the month before a search of his home. In total, he attended on 138 days in 2013, but has not returned since December 18, 2013, a day after police completed a two-day search of his home.
And that letter:
It has been reported he wrote to Lords clerks earlier this month indicating he did not wish to step down as a serving peer.
John Mann, the Labour candidate contesting Bassetlaw, Notts said: “I don’t see how you can sign a document relating to membership of the House of Lords if you have dementia.”
The Mirror then adds:
He was diagnosed with dementia in 2009, and his condition is thought to have deteriorated since he became a suspect.
Or to put it a less laoded way: hid dementia has worsened with time. Is the Mirror just wafting the stink?
Daily Mail (Page 24): “”Dementia peer who’s too ill for sex abuse trial’ signed letter to Lords 12 days ago”
We hear once more from Pete Saunders: “…if he isn’t compos mentis, there’s no way he should be anywhere near our legislature.”
The Mail Online has examples of people with dementia who were tried for alleged sex crimes. But are their cases like the allegations made against Lord Janner?
Last summer Stephen Turner, who has bipolar disorder and fronto-temporal dementia, which leads to changes in personality, was found unfit to stand trial but found to have carried out a number of child sex offences.
He had performed a sex act on himself in front of children in a theme park three months after police found a cache of child porn on his computer, and was sentenced to a hospital order.
The Stoke Sentinnel has the facts.
Prosecutor John Butterfield QC said Turner was a patient at Florence House, a mental health hospital in Porthill, when on March 18 last year staff took him his to his old address in Hilton Road, Stoke, so he could collect some personal belongings. But a social worker spotted he was packing pornographic material. When they returned to Florence House Turner’s case was locked in an office. It was found to contain adult and child pornography in magazines and photo albums.
Police searched the defendant’s room and found more illegal images. In total they recovered 163 images at level one; 83 at level two; 32 at level three and 118 at level four. Turner made no comment to all questions put to him in his police interview.
He remained a resident at Florence House and on June 27 he was treated to a day out at Trentham Gardens. At 11am he went to the toilet at the same time as a group of 13-year-old boys on a school trip.
Mr Butterfield QC said: “Two boys saw the defendant moving from urinal to urinal. He then turned and performed a sex act on himself. One boy noted he was walking towards them as he did that.”
He was bang to rights. He was a clear and present danger to the public. The DPP says Lord Janner offers no threat.
Last March a former director of the Ulster Museum in Belfast, John Nolan, was convicted of abusing a little girl but given a suspended sentence. His defence QC told the judge that sending his client to prison ‘would be a death sentence and Judge Piers Grant agreed that although his offending deserved a prison sentence he would ‘exercise considerable mercy’.
The Belfast Telegraph:
Judge Grant told the court he was satisfied, given the historical nature of the offences and Nolan’s clear record, that he was not a “sexual predator”. He said that given those factors, his age and ill-health, Nolan did not pose a significant risk of harm to the public by reoffending.
As well as the suspended jail term, the judge ordered Nolan to sign the police sex offenders’ register for 10 years and imposed a Sexual Offences Prevention Order.
In February 2014 David Massingham was deemed unfit to stand trial back in February because of his memory loss and confused state. But a jury at Teesside Crown Court still heard his case and convicted him of ten indecent assaults and an offence of a serious sexual assault committed more than 30 years ago. He was also detained in a hospital.
David Massingham, 77, who has dementia, was detained under the Mental Health Act as a judge said he was still a risk to children
In 2012 Gerald Longman, now 81, was spared jail despite sexually and physically abusing his daughters, who waived their anonymity to say they wished he was dead. Longman was given an absolute discharge at Taunton Crown Court as he had been deemed unfit to stand trial due to dementia – but a jury listened to the facts and ruled he had committed the crimes.
This case seems more relevant:
Even though Longman was declared ‘unfit to stand trial’ due to his dementia, a jury listened to the facts and ruled he had committed the crimes.
They deemed him guilty of four indecent assaults, two rapes and inciting a girl under 14 to carry out an indecent act.
Judge Graham Hume Jones said his hands were tied and that he was unable to impose a tougher sentence The judge said: “It’s most unfortunate there’s nothing I can do in the circumstances. I have no doubt that all those who are listening to this case will keep a very close eye on the defendant in the future.”
Based on their knowledge of their father’s health, they are sceptical of claims by Longman, who committed his crimes when the family lived in Wellington, Somerset, that he was so affected by dementia that he was unfit to stand trial and therefore may avoid prison.
Let’s look once more at the official decision not to presecute Janner:
The medical evidence establishes both that there is no current risk of re-offending identified and that there is no likelihood of the defendant recovering from his medical condition (and thus that there is no future risk of reoffending either). Balancing these factors with those in favour of prosecution, the balance is that there is not a public interest in commencing criminal proceedings in this case.
Lastly, the Daily Telegraph looks at Alison Saunders, the Director of Public Prosecutions, who “spent almost £7,000 of taxpayers’ money on business class flights around the world while the Crown Prosecution Service headed towards crisis over Greville Janner and doomed trials of journalists.
Ms Saunders, who is paid £200,000 a year, flew business class to New York, Washington, Dubai and the Caribbean, and also jetted to Madrid, Rome and The Hague for publicly-funded trips while the CPS spent a year contemplating whether to prosecute Lord Janner…
We’re told that one taxi ride seh took was billed at £102.
A spokesman for the CPS said the DPP was allowed to charge business class fares for long haul flights when she was required to work immediately after landing. The CPS said staff were allowed to take taxis in certain circumstances, such as when heavy luggage or large quantities of papers had to be transported. The spokesman added: “Crime is international and so is the work of the DPP in combatting it. The DPP’s travel overseas helps the CPS to join forces with other countries so we can reduce serious crime both in the UK and around the world.”
Lord Janner maintains his innocence.
Such are the facts…
Anorak’s Other Parent of the year is Rachel Lynn Lehnardt, the 35-year-old Georgia mother who hosted an unforgettable party for her 16-year-old daughter, the oldest of her five children, ages 4, 6, 8, 10, and 16.
Party games included: smoking weed, boozing, naked Twister, sex with an 18-year-old guest and more sex with her daughter’s 16-year-old boyfriend. Lehnardt says Teen Number 2 worke her in the middle of the night. “She stated at first she thought it was the 18-year-old from earlier,” the police report stated, “but then realized it was the 16-year-old who was in fact her daughter’s boyfriend.”
Lord Greville Janner: a look at reporting on the Labour peer accused of child abuse. His family maintain his innocence.
The Daily Mirror has nothing say on Janner. The paper has been hot on the story of Westminster VIP paedos. But not a word today. And there’s not a not a word on Janner in the Daily Star and Daily Express.
The Sun (page 11): “Did Janner get his senile trick off Saunders?”
That question is asked by columnist Kelvin Mackenzie. Is he saying that Janner, a member of the magic circle, has curable dementia, like Ernest Saunders?
MacKenzie recalls Ernest Saunders:
You may just remember he was the Guinness chief executive jailed for five years for manipulating his company’s share price ahead of a takeover. The reason Mr Saunders became famous in the late 80s was not due to his “crime” but because he was freed by the Appeal Court after serving only ten months of his sentence as he was diagnosed with pre-senile dementia associated with Alzheimer’s…
Miracle upon miracle, the symptoms soon disappeared and in no time at all he was in good enough shape to take up his business career again.
Saunders’ recovery was, indeed, remarkable. But what of Janner, who has Alzheimer’s disease?
[he] won’t ever face a court because that idiot Alison Saunders, who runs (for now) the Crown Prosecution Service, believes that his dementia is too advanced for him to have a fair trial.
I don’t believe a word of it.
Having set themselves up, the Times was reeled in.
The article made it into the paper. Lil Ugly Mane was born:
The article continued:
As for whether he still craved cigarettes, “the only thing that’s really missing is feeling like your entire mouth is coated in dirt,” he said. “I’ve seen a lot of people who don’t smoke pick them up because it looks cool. But for every person I’ve met like that, I’ve met another using it like it’s a medicine against cigarettes.”
So much for subbing at The New York Times.
The New York Times has since issued a correction and removed the section about “Joe Stevonson” from the online article.