Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Interesting Point

For the Defence   points out some interesting aspects of the John Terry case, in particular the huge resources being devoted to a trial of a summary-only offence, in which the only available penalty is a fine, and the defendant is a multi-millionaire.

Here's the full verdict.


55 comments:

  1. Italian lawyer10 July 2012 at 09:24

    How would you like to sit in judgement of a poor defendant charged with this offense the day after the prosecution against J.T had be given up because it was too expensive?
    Could you stomach to impose a fine on someone who'd feel it, after the rich and famous got away with it simply because he's rich and famous?

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    Replies
    1. Robert the Biker10 July 2012 at 13:19

      No presumption of innocence in Italy then.

      Delete
    2. Italian lawyer10 July 2012 at 16:41

      Why, yes, but it is about the burden of proof in trial, not about costs of trial. Expensive defendants are presumed as innocent as cheap ones, but no more.

      Delete
  2. Excellent point.

    Ciao!!

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  3. I presume he's in front of a DJ, famous names being involved on both sides? Wouldn't want the hoi polloi being blinded by the brilliance of celebrity.

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  4. It's Howard Riddle, Chef Magistrate.

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    1. (Formerly Penguin) Will he be getting his own cookery programme on the telly, then?

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  5. You have to wonder how it was allowed to be delayed- equality before the law and all that.
    How possibly it can take 5 days- some murder cases don't last that long.
    Both parties seems to be prone fould language.

    Talking of rich people etc and balmy law anyone anything to say on the proposals for revising the "Victims Surcharge" ??
    See crime line:

    http://us4.campaign-archive1.com/?u=9deb71613e29665da9f2df312&id=585138232d&e=2700aa2a91

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  6. Italian lawyer10 July 2012 at 12:01

    Ciao, Biker

    Offside:
    How possibly it can take 5 days-

    Well, if you narrow down to the specific episode, it were as well to plead guilty. You've got to put things in the proper context, to try and get anywhere...
    The upside of it however, is it won't come cheap, even for a millionaire. I don't suppose silks spend days discussing foul language in trivial situations for peanuts.

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  7. 'tis an utterly ridiculous case, a complete nothing, and a huge waste of taxpayers' money & court time.

    So we have a footballer up for a "racially aggravated public order" offence; does that mean that every footballer who shouts something nasty on the pitch will be up for plain old public order offences.

    I don't like Terry, but this is farcical. He was right, it was a bit of handbags, nothing more.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. "does that mean that every footballer who shouts something nasty on the pitch will be up for plain old public order offences"

      You might as well ask whether every drunkard who shouts racial abuse on a Friday night should be up for public order offences.

      The answer is of course yes; I don't know why you think footballers should be treated as a special case.

      Delete
    2. It would be nice to see a few of their on-pitch S.39s ending up in court as well.

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  8. It's a show case. If the case had been dropped due to the expense, it would have set a precedent for cases involving Joe Public.

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  9. Hey, named "Anonymous" posters.

    You can use the "Name/URL" profile to provide your posting handle if you wish. Put your handle in "Name". The "URL" can be empty.

    You're welcome.

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  10. For those with nothing better to do, the Press Association has felt the need for a blow by blow (or should that be curse by curse?) blog.

    http://www.scribblelive.com/Event/John_Terry_trial

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  11. I think it's pretty obvious why this allegation is being pursued so vigorously! Elephant in the room etc.Look who turned up in the public gallery yesterday.
    Jaded

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  12. I can see this is high profile although reasonably simple law. Perhaps a DJ is justified. However HMCTS seem to place any simple case that involves someone who once appeared on Big Brother on 2003 before a DJ. Either they are dazzled by "celebrity" or have little faith in JPs and their qualified legal advisers. This didn't happen a few years ago.

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    1. Italian lawyer11 July 2012 at 11:47

      That is just what I was wondering about. Can trials be moved from one kind of court to another, from one person judge to another, in a completely discretionary way? By whom? On what grounds?
      Our system regards this as a very sensitive issue: "No one shall be judged by any judge other than that, to whom the case should naturally be submitted according to the law pre-existing the case itself." is set down in the Constitution; so i'm curious.

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    2. Any matter in a Magistrates' Court can be heard either by a DJ(MC) or a 'lay' bench. There is no continuity of judge per se unless a bench reserve a case to themselves which is relatively rare and usually only happens if they have heard the trial and wish to be involved in the sentencing which has been adjourned to another day.

      Generally we are at the mercy of the Listing Clerk but there is no doubt that there is a feeling that DJ's get all the 'juicy' stuff while the lay benches are left with the 'dross'. The argument sometimes given is that matters of legal complexity are better dealt with by a DJ - well, perhaps but I know some DJ's who are hopeless lawyers - a lay bench well legally advised can do just as well!!

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    3. Ed (not Bystander)11 July 2012 at 16:28

      I know some DJ's who are hopeless lawyers

      Fascinating - are you a lawyer yourself?

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    4. Ed - that's called leading with your chin.

      I know who SLJP is and, yes, he/she is a proper lawyer.

      Delete
  13. The only element of this case that could. ##possibly## justify a DJ is the length of the trial. Quite why there is no public outrage at one person acting as judge, jury and 'executipnet' escapes me.

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    Replies
    1. Executioner. Typing on the bus isn't easy.

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  14. Cost is irrelevant. For the liberals that infest our justice system, no cost is too great in their crusade to tackle perceived racism. If only they treated other crime so seriously.

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    1. Racism SHOULD be tackled, and from the moment it was suggested (the complaint that gave rise to these proceedings was laid by a police officer) that a racially aggravated public order offence had been committed in such a public setting it was not only inevitable but right and proper that it be assessed in the same way that any other proceedings would be assessed with a view to prosecution or not. Is Brontosaurus seriously suggesting not only that we should ignore any allegations of racism, but also not prosecute any offence involving goods or property of lesser value than the cost of proceedings (let alone any assault charges - except assault PC of course, which are usually dealt with rather dubiously by means of a caution or PND - which don't involve any direct financial loss)?

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    2. MOTVG - where have I said racism shouldn't be tackled? Read the last sentence again.
      I do believe that the so called freedoms of liberalism are, ironically, eroding freedom of speech. (I am not suggesting racist abuse is acceptable.)

      Delete
    3. Ed (not Bystander)12 July 2012 at 04:09

      Bronto, I'm a fan of yours, but here I think your words were poorly chosen. I'm pretty sure you're against racist abuse, and also against a big bias in the selection of cases/crimes that get followed up vs not. Care to expand on your experiences of that?

      Delete
    4. I don't see where the words were badly chosen. Our liberal justice system becomes rabid when there is a whiff of a racist in the midst. Free speech (not racism) is being eroded as people find it more and more difficult to express views freely without being labelled racist, sexist, homophobic and more recently, bullying Etc.
      My point is that the justice system finds excuses for other criminal behaviour resulting in an almost completely ineffective system. Perhaps if we stopped making excuses for all criminal behaviour and persued it more vigorously we might have a system that works.

      Delete
  15. It is a billion dollar industry. There are many people world wide who love the game and are involved with the game at all levels.

    Terry and Ferdinand spat is just a schoolyard fight.

    So very glad that at least our apparent betters are getting paid a fee.

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    Replies
    1. Which industry are you referring to, football or advocacy?

      Delete
  16. This could not the end. If JT is found guilty, he will face the wrath of the Football Association who are bound to come down on him with a heavy fine and multiple match ban.

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  17. Or seven minutes' wages......

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  18. Since Ferdinand says he did not hear or see the abuse in question, one wonders why the CPS charged at all:


    5 Harassment, alarm or distress.E+W.
    (1)A person is guilty of an offence if he— .
    (a)uses threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or disorderly behaviour, or .
    (b)displays any writing, sign or other visible representation which is threatening, abusive or insulting, .
    within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress thereby.

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    1. Italian lawyer12 July 2012 at 08:52

      Is what is broadcast live on tv -within the hearing or sight- of members the audience, in the meaning of the law ?

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    2. Italian lawyer12 July 2012 at 16:36

      so you can't use threatening or insulting language to someone on the phone, either?

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    3. Too remote, five days later by an uninvolved PC, what is more.

      BTW:- Ed not B: please try not to be so predictably boring, would you ?

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    4. Italian lawyer12 July 2012 at 23:19

      why, if that is the law, did the Judge deny the motion to dismiss the case, after Ferdinand testified he didn't at the time hear what JK said?

      Delete
    5. Because the 'person' required by the act does not have to be the intended object of the remark. It is sufficient that there are shown to be (unspecified) people within earshot and sight of the accused, and that they are "likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress thereby." Any of one of those three effects is sufficient to make out the case.

      Delete
    6. @ payasoru: as far as seems, there is no such person in this case. Only a TV viewer 5 days later.

      Delete
  19. ........and there are some hopeless magistrates.....

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    1. Without doubt. The magistracy is recruited such that each bench accurately reflects the community it serves.

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    2. Thats bollocks

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    3. Harsh, but true.

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  20. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-18827915

    there we go NG

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    1. north bucks jp13 July 2012 at 16:17

      Now that the circus is over, can someone tell us what the bill will be to the taxpayer now that John Terry has been acquitted after a five-day trial with witnesses running into two figures, QCs and all?

      Delete
  21. "Alison Saunders, Chief Crown Prosecutor for London, defended the decision to bring the case to trial.

    She said: "The very serious allegation at the heart of this case was one of racial abuse."

    Politically correct, I fear, but just how can an allegation of a summary only offence carrying a fine as a max be "very serious"?

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    Replies
    1. The implications for John Terry were clearly enormous. What's the alternative?

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  22. Usual CPS (and Government) self-serving statement by someone who the rest of us knows is spouting PC bollocks.

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  23. The "full verdict", BS, was surely "Not guilty". But it is very helpful to read the full judgment by which the Chef Magistrate explains how he arrived at that verdict.

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    1. north bucks jp14 July 2012 at 09:53

      The Times this morning reports that the prosecution costs for Terry's trial were £13,000, and the court costs £6615. Although he was found not guilty, Terry faces a £300,000 legal bill as he can reclaim only "reasonable costs" and the charges of expert witnesses. He reportedly earns £160,000 a week, although The Times adds that he has a £4.6 million mortgage on his Surrey home.

      Delete
  24. Terry was prosecuted for who he was not what he said( allegedly)

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  25. Speaking of wasted time, effort and money ...

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-tayside-central-18873631

    Now I must say that I admire this chap. Not because he stood up to a lot of judicial harassment just so his willy could fly free in the breeze, but rather because he can survive a walk round J o'G in the buff.

    I always seem to need a Mac.

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