« Home | Weekend links. » | The TRUTH strikes back. » | The BBC is spineless, yet again. » | Barry George and the News International smear merc... » | The ghost of Labour future. » | The political zzz factor. » | Weekend links. » | Season's greetings from the UK Border Agency. » | The continuing scandal of child detention. » | The real "we are all in this together". » 

Monday, December 21, 2009 

Scum-watch: This man deserved brain damage.

Every single time there's a "controversial" case of someone attacking a burglar or a criminal, almost always when said intruder has been fleeing the scene, as now in the Munir Hussain jailing, or previously and most notoriously when it came to Tony Martin, either the government or the opposition review the law of "reasonable force" or promise they'll change it, only to later quietly drop it or decide not to because the law as it stands is perfectly adequate. Every single time the tabloids and the occasional broadsheet get on their high horses and complain bitterly, often invoking that an "Englishman's home is his castle", and that in said castle said Englishman should be allowed to rip the intruder's head off and spit down the hole and receive a medal for removing from the gene pool such a disgusting piece of human filth. Every single time said tabloid and broadsheet also quietly drop it.

I'm not sure though that any publication has gone so far in the past to say that either the deceased or injured person deserved the treatment they received. The Sun however thinks this is exactly what Walid Salem needed:

It was never better exposed than by the scandalous jailing of Munir Hussain for chasing and battering a burglar who had tied up and terrorised his family at knifepoint.

How many fathers brave enough, strong enough and angry enough would have held back?

Career criminal Walid Salem richly deserved his beating.


The Tories are proposing that only "grossly disproportionate" behaviour towards someone should result in their being prosecuted (as David Cameron suggested as long back as 2005, only for it to be quietly put at least on the back-burner). Isn't chasing a burglar who is fleeing and then adminstering a beating so severe that the person attacked suffers brain damage "grossly disproportionate"? Not according to the Sun. It was however according to a jury, who heard all the mitigating circumstances involving the case and how Salem had threatened to kill Hussain's family, yet still felt that the attack on Salem justified a conviction for grievous bodily harm with intent. This isn't just a case of a liberal namby-pamby politically correct judge deciding that Hussain's crime was serious enough to warrant a relatively light in the circumstances 30 months in prison, of which Hussain will probably only serve a third, but of a jury of members of the public, among them doubtless Sun readers, who felt that it warranted a conviction. True, they didn't decide on the sentence, but 30 months is hardly the harshest sentence which could have been passed. Salem also didn't "walk free" from court, as the Sun has it: he was given a two year suspended sentence for the very reason, as the judge pointed out, that he couldn't adequately plead as a result of his injuries. Otherwise he would received a substantial custodial sentence himself.

As Catherine Bennett asked on Sunday, what sort of society is it that praises vigilantes with cricket bats and iron bars? Ours, of course. The self-same newspaper (and indeed tabloid media as whole) that regards yobs that use violence on the slightest of whims as the scum of the earth turns to the other side when it's a beating that was, in the Sun's terms, deserved. The judge, about the only person who comes out of this with any credit, noted exactly what would happen after his verdict:

"It may be that some members of the public, or media commentators, will assert that Salem deserved what happened to him at the hands of you and the two others involved, and that you should not have been prosecuted and need not be punished."

And then, in lines which no newspaper or commentator has been able to adequately deflect, he explained exactly why they needed to be punished:

"However, if persons were permitted to … inflict their own instant and violent punishment on an apprehended offender rather than letting justice take its course, then the rule of law and our system of criminal justice, which are the hallmarks of a civilised society, would collapse."

Which is it seems what some would clearly like to happen.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Share |

I must admit that I disagree entirely, but not because I harbor any particular fondness of vigilantism or mob-justice.

The judge said;

"However, if persons were permitted to … inflict their own instant and violent punishment on an apprehended offender rather than letting justice take its course, then the rule of law and our system of criminal justice, which are the hallmarks of a civilised society, would collapse."

The problem is that the Judge (and respectfully, yourself also) appear to believe that handing him over to the Police and HM Court Service is the same as 'letting justice take it's course'.

Considering that the offender had committed 50 offence and was still free to commit another 50 more, I would respectfully suggest that this is not the case. There are many cases where career criminals have inflicted incredible harm but the restorative justice given to the victim has been little, if any at all.

I believe we have an inherent human right to Justice and that we only outsource the job of restoring justice to the government, who are supposed to enact justice on our behalf.

As such, if the government fails to do the job we pay it to do, we still retain the right to seek justice by other means, as I do not recall anyone ever giving up their right to seek justice and redress.

As such, precisely to protect 'the hallmarks of a civilised society', doesn't it fall on us to finish the task our government servants failed to do?

No. Just because you personally disagree with the punishments handed down to the man for his previous crimes does not then give you anything approaching the right to inflict what you consider a more just one upon him, especially when you can register your protest at his past punishments without involving the man himself whatsoever.

Post a Comment

Links to this post

Create a Link

About

  • This is septicisle
profile

Links

    blogspot stats
    Subscribe

     Subscribe in a reader

Archives

Powered by Blogger
and Blogger Templates