Saturday, April 07, 2012

Smug Git


I haven't heard whether the smugly grinning fun-revolutionary who was arrested for wrecking the Boat Race has been charged with an offence. On the face of it, a Public Order Act Section 4 might be a runner (he has  cheerfully admitted planning and the intention of causing harassment alarm and distress). If he is a first offender he might be a candidate for a caution, but we shall see. If not, a fine or community order beckons, with prison as an unlikely possibility.  (Update: It's a Section 5, so fine or discharge only).
He is yet another in the tiresome succession of privileged people (Charlie Gilmour, any number of Redgraves, Tariq Ali and a thousand more) who decide to indulge themselves by buggering innocent people about in the interests of their gesture politics. The Guardian   reproduces some of his self-indulgent self-congratulatory ramblings so he has achieved what he set out to do. On the way to his aim of pissing off the '√©lite' that he so despises, despite being part of it, he has also broken the hearts of the Oxford crew and taken the shine off Cambridge's win. 

This summer London will be host to the over-hyped circus of the Olympics. Police and organisers must be quaking in their boots at the potential for disruption not just by  terrorists, but by old-fashioned fruitcakes.
(Another Update: The Telegraph quotes our man as being prepared to go to jail. If the charge remains as S5 POA, he can't because it is Level 3 fine maximum)

51 comments:

  1. Probably he'll get a fierce response to his actions, if only to deter any other attention seekers from trying to disrupt any Olympic events. Imagine if someone ran on the track and stopped an athlete winning the 100 metres final - in front of the world's cameras.

    This incident will undoubtedly give ideas to other head cases who intend to gain their few seconds of fame.

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  2. This makes Crimeline's Olympic offences training courses look sadly prescient.

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  3. Public nuisance would allow a bigger* book to be thrown if somebody wants to throw the book. No pesky sentencing guidelines to interfere, either. The inevitable appeal would cause amusement when they attempt to compose a panel of three judges none of whom went to the two universities concerned....

    *Archbold reports a case where a terrorist got 17 years' for the offence with the Court of Appeal's approval. After the quantity of anti-terrorism legislation we've had it seems odd they couldn't find a more specific charge...

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  4. According to the BBC it's a Public Order Act charge, due at Feltham court on the 27th April.

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    1. District Judge ... almost certainly !!

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  5. Yes, and I'm pretty sure I know which one. He's okay.

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    1. The reason I said DJ was because of the legal points which I raised in my further comment. It could be an interesting case.

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    2. But nothing an ordinary bench of three could not deal with.

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    3. @ BHJP - you are right but there is a clear tendency these days to give DJs any cases with media interest. In my comment (below)I refer to the law. This man's conduct might come within POA s5 but it is arguable that it does not. The case might be interesting unless of course he pleads guilty. In the latter event it will be a straightforward sentencing exercise.

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    4. @ BHJP - you are right but there is a clear tendency these days to give DJs any cases with media interest. In my comment (below)I refer to the law. This man's conduct might come within POA s5 but it is arguable that it does not. The case might be interesting unless of course he pleads guilty. In the latter event it will be a straightforward sentencing exercise.

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  6. This might turn out to be an interesting case. We are told by The Guardian that he has been charged with a "public order offence" but, as usual, the press is short on the detail. So, just which offence might it be?

    Public Order Act 1986 s4 requires "threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour." Does his swimming in the Thames come within that? Furthermore, the section requires that the defendant acted with the intent set out in s.4(1)(c) or (d).

    Public Order Act 1986 s.5 requires proof of "threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or disorderly behaviour." No particular intent has to be shown for s.5 but the conduct has to have been "within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress thereby."

    Of course, the Magistrates' Court might be able to use the old fall back of Bind Over to Keep the Peace though the defendant has to consent to being bound over.

    Interesting ... we shall see ...

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    1. Let's see: drunk git in Wales pathetically texting completely ineffective filth = 56 days inside and loss of university degree.

      Utter prat in English river spoiling an historic athletics event with a large public following has an immediate and material effect on others: should be many multiples of 56 days.

      A decent whack on the head with a dark blue oar blade might not have been bad, either. With any luck he would have drowned.

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    2. I'd be prepared to argue that both the crews were threatened and harassed by seeing this prat in the water and the very real threat that one of them could have taken his head clean off with his blade.

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    3. @Tony Frost: I strongly suspect that the drunk git in Wales would have got much less than 56 days if the sentence been contested more vigorously by his brief, who seemed to be a legal cabbage. I doubt this guy is going to prison unless he has a similarly bad choice of defense lawyers.

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    4. Only trouble with "a decent whack on the head" is that it could easily have parted said head from body; would that amount to assisted suicide? Probably not since oarsman would lack the necessary intent.

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  7. The hooligans who ruined the Israel Phil's concert on 1 September for the Radio 3 audience (not for those of in the Hall who enjoyed the music after the scumbags had been kicked out) were not prosecuted - a very dangerous signal to other middle-class mucklike this one.

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  8. Remember that oddball (Irish?) unfrocked priest who pushed over a leading runner in the men's Olympic marathon in Athens '04, despite the escorting police on their mountain bikes? Doesn't he live in north London?

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  9. Well, given the size of he olympic security budget, each spectator will probably have his or her very own personal security escort to prevent this sort of thing. And if not, why not?

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    1. Surely health and safety would require two per spectator, even if one was only a security support officer.

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  10. I've just noticed: my comment was posted about 2pm, not, as shown 6.02am. I am reminded of Groucho's remark -taking a man's pulse - "Either this man's dead or my watch has stopped"

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    1. Maybe bystander hasn't set the time to GMT on his blog settings.

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    2. Yup, he's on the default Pacific time (-8 hours). Maybe he wanted to pretend he was somewhere warmer now the UK heatwave has ended....

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    3. I am aware of this and I have set London Time on the (new) Blogger interface, but it's not having any. It isn't top of the list at the moment!

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  11. Really no reason why this sort of offence shouldn't be in court on Monday morning (or even Tuesday after Easter) as used to be case in the 'old days'. CJSSS means swift justice and no need to wait for two weeks to fill an available slot! In wo weeks we will have forgotten all about it and it may not even be reported especially if he gets a paltry fine.

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  12. Sean:

    Rich privately educated idiot says he is protesting against elitism.

    This council estate and comprehensive school boy who went to Cambridge is not impressed.

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  13. Sean:

    Of course when Bertie Wooster was nicked for knocking a policeman's helmet off on Boat Race Night it was:

    "In the case of the prisoner Leon Trotsky (which I strongly suspect to be a psuedonym)" and he got a week inside.

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  14. Fruitcakes are a bigger problem than terrorists, in a lot of ways. It's so hard to protect these type of events against such cakes, without resorting to massive fences and banning spectators, which, of course, you'd never do. Also, the Guardianistas whinge and whine about Police taking 'proactive action' against potential protestors such as nicking them in advance where there's intel they might protest, but then whinge just as much when a protest takes place, which in their eyes the 'Police should have prevented'

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  15. Why should this case go before a district judge? Who decides who hears the case ?

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    1. It will be decided by the Clerk to the Justices following the 'Venne criteria'. Cases involving complex point of law and those in the pubic eye usually end up before a DJ(MC).

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    2. I see Oxford and Cambridge got to the final again

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  16. A suitable sentence would be seven months of Boat Race training, exactly as undertaken by the crews.

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  17. He is a smug git because he knows the law will have no effective consequences for him. The CPS charging the Public Order Act will result, at worst, in a slap on the wrist and publicity for this cretin, which is exactly what he wanted. This may encourage others to do the same.
    If he had been charged with the common law offence of Public Nuisance and given 12 months (6 months actual) then he and others might have thought twice about it.

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    1. So why just 12 months? Why not five years? Ten? He's in it for the publicity anyway so he would welcome martyrdom, especially since the appeal process would soon have him out to carry on taalking and writing bollocks.

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    2. Silly and defeatist BS. A short prison sentence provides the deterrent for further stupid behaviour. No one would suggest five years. He has his publicity already and the punishment he is facing is of no concern to him at all.
      I understand that under our current ineffective justice system this is a pipe dream but should we just roll over to it or stand up and say what should be happening?

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  18. The Venne Criteria have long been abandoned, at least in Central London. DJs now always deal with serious offences, even though points of law may not arise. They deal with ALL trials expected to exceed 1 day (the Venn Criteria states trials in excess of 2 days, as I recall), they deal with ALL sexual offences committed by youths (no mention of that in the VC and anything which is expected to attract press attention, (no mention of that in the VC).

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    1. Not in the West they haven't; our JC and the two DJs I work with refer to them all the time. Multi day cases are routinely listed in front of JPs too. Having such a large bench these days makes the latter a bit easier.

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    2. The Youth Sexual Offenses issue is a decision by the SPJ

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  19. The most relevant authority is of course Rex v Haddock, Court of Criminal Appeal (Frog J, Mudd J, Adder J).

    http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=t1c7hRGnS64C&lpg=PA71&dq=rex%20haddock%20hammersmith%20bridge&pg=PA71#v=onepage&q=rex%20haddock%20hammersmith%20bridge&f=false

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  20. I did say Central London. For years, there has been a large panel on the wall of the admin office listing the types of matters to be dealt with by DJs. There was little correlation between that and the Venne Criteria.

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  21. Could he not just be sectioned for a while. After all it could be argued that he was mad to do what he did.
    Alternatively he did try suicide as, had a boat struck him, he could have died.
    Were he to be incarcerated in a secure institution to prevent him attempting self harm again it would send a message to others tempted to emulate him.

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    1. Let's not get carried away. Soviet Russia had a nice line in mental hospitals for refuseniks and protesters, and I am not ready to go down that route yet. Our democracy is strong enough to cope with people like him.

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  22. Really, what would you expect from somebody with this sort of background:

    "an MSc in contemporary urbanism from the London School of Economics"

    The sensitive may wish to look away at this point:

    "Theoretical perspectives on contemporary cities, with a specific focus on the global nature of urban social and political change and development. The course will consider classic and recent theory and analysis emanating from ‘Northern’ academic and policy contexts, while also challenging western-centric views of the city. In doing so, it aims to explore the mutual shapings of the differing urban experiences in these geographical contexts in a wide range of areas. In treating cities as crucibles of social, political and cultural transformation, the course will highlight the fractured and fragmented nature of the ‘urban experience,’ as well as the global determinants of the contemporary city. The course will equip students interested in urban change and development to understand and consider appropriate responses to social and political aspects of cities."

    I think that is just a very long way of saying "a waste of a year"? Of course, it could be worse. He could have been a town planner.

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  23. I think Brontosaurus has it right . The man has caused a major public nuisance . He deserves to be incarcerated for while to contemplate on his conduct .

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  24. Sean:

    Offence committed while the Port of London Authority have closed the river?

    Lots of fun offences to nick him for.

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  25. Sean:

    I grew up on a council estate and the person who wrote that thinks they are entitled to lecture me about elitism?

    Oh my Essex pub car parks long ago

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  26. I would 'suggest' - the race be re-staged with 2 teams of non-elitist rowers - he be dropped in (gently) about 100m ahead of them from a boat in the centre of the tideway - and allowed to complete his 'protest'.

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    1. Actually he could be in one of the boats. Apparently he used to row when at the LSE, which shows the LSE in a whole new light to me. Sadly, LSE isn't allowed into the boat race. Poor bugger never stood a chance, however privileged his education.

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  27. How about some restorative justice?

    Hand him to the two Boat Clubs - and perhaps invite the Varsity Rugger Clubs to join in - and give them thirty minutes to teach him the error of his ways.

    Oh well, I can dream, can't I?

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  28. I expect it will be decided that only a DJ has the capacity to deal with him, how annoying that will be, and that it being such a widely promoted and televised event will be a seriously aggravating factor. It may therefore end up as a community penalty. If he really does want to go inside just give him time. A few breaches should see him there.

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  29. Good for him, it's about time these numpties were taught a lesson

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