As we said at the time, this was always going to happen

Breach the principle only for the most serious issues and it will, inevitably, move on through the system.

Child abusers should no longer be allowed to escape prosecution under the double jeopardy rule, says the victims’ commissioner.

Dame Vera Baird wants the law to be re-written so that paedophiles who have been acquitted of indecently assaulting children can be brought before the courts again if new evidence emerges.

It follows cases where sports coaches have been charged and acquitted but cannot be retried because the offences did not involve penetrative sex.

Less serious sexual assaults are not included in the list of offences where prosecutors can override double jeopardy – the rule barring the retrial of a defendant for an offence of which they have previously cleared by a court.

Slippery slopes do exist.

17 comments on “As we said at the time, this was always going to happen

  1. New evidence has always meant a new trial was possible, no? Double jeopardy only ever meant on the same evidence.

  2. The example she gives completely undermines her point. Football coach was acquitted of touching six boys; but later convicted of touching a further 24 victims.

    “We don’t want abusers on the street because of a legal technicality,”

    If you’ve convicted him for 24 assaults and let him escape six, he won’t be out on the streets any time soon. Besides, would the time spent in prison have been any different for 30 assaults rather than 24?

  3. If you’ve convicted him for 24 assaults and let him escape six, he won’t be out on the streets any time soon. Besides, would the time spent in prison have been any different for 30 assaults rather than 24?

    Its all about the victims, those 6 have been denied their time in court making a victims statement. Every victim is entitled to their 15 minutes.

  4. No state can long endure that appoints people of the calibre of Dame Vera Beard to important offices.

    Just think how much damage was done by that ugly cow who ran the CPS. Or, come to that, the harm done by Theresa bloody May.

  5. Double Jeopardy should be absolute. Which is another reason that SOS Bliar needs his war crimes trial and life sentence if not execution.

    Fuck victim statements. What kind of whining coward wants to talk a lot of gutless boo hoo shite which will cause most hard core crims to smirk with amusement. A chance to beat the shit out of their attacker –with help if they are too weak–might be of some value in some cases.

  6. I agree that victim statements are insidious. The articulate and/or the emotionally incontinent somehow deserve “more justice” than people who are less articulate or simply wish to keep their own feelings as private as possible?

  7. Fuck victim statements. What kind of whining coward wants to talk a lot of gutless boo hoo shite which will cause most hard core crims to smirk with amusement.

    I believe the traditional form used to address these people is “women” (although they would probably prefer “Womyn” or “Womxn” – not sure how that is meant to be pronounced though)

  8. The double jeopardy abolition was introduced specifically to target the Lawrence killers. Dobbs and Norris were suitably framed and convicted, but it is still required so that the State can prosecute the Acourts.

    One upside of this appalling breach of 800 years of jurisprudence is that it caught the “Babes in the Woods” murderer. Even then it was only necessary because Sussex police were too incompetent to bring a convction in the first place or fit him up thereafter. Double Jeopardy waiving should not be used as a figleaf to cover the State Oppressice Apparatus’ stupidity.

  9. Why the fuck did a supposedly Conservative government appoint Vera Baird, a former Labour MP and Solicitor General, to any position of political power at all? Demented.

  10. Why the fuck did a supposedly Conservative government appoint Vera Baird, a former Labour MP and Solicitor General, to any position of political power at all? Demented.

    If you look into the background of Vera “The Towering Inferno” Baird, she has been rejected at every turn by Labour for her incompetence, by her own constituency in Redcar for insouciance (mainly over the closure of the Corus plant there) and has only avoided criminal charges by playing her “Don’t you know who I am” card as cabinet minister, backbench MP and police commissioner, after which charges were mysteriously dropped.

    Quite why anyone, let alone the Tories, would want Dame Vera in any public role (other than to get rid of the nagging bitch) is quite beyond me.

  11. Did proponents at the time claim that it would never ever ever spread to other offences? How did they know their list of offences at the time was “complete”? Or that everyone else later would concur it was complete and never feel like adding more?

    @Christian

    Traditionally you couldn’t be tried for the same offence twice, rather than on the same evidence. Suggest you do a google/duckduckgo for “double jeapordy”.

  12. When I was stabbed, my initial reaction to the invitation to provide an impact statement was one of scorn. Feeble, superficial Blairite nonsense was my view.

    But I recall then speaking with a colleague, wo reminded me of the sentencing guidelines and various bits of case law. He pointed out that I was capable of giving the judge information amounting to aggravating features. Absent that statement, the judge would not have known of those things.

    In the end, I gave the statement and tried keep it factual.

    But I’ve certainly read a good many such statements which may indeed, because of the manner in which they were expressed, have given the villain some dismal satisfaction.

  13. On the face of it, victim statements don’t seem a bad idea. Criminal cases are Regina v …. Someone assaults you or burgles your house, it’s the crime they’re being punished for, not the distress or loss they’ve caused you. And otherwise the judicial system doesn’t seem to pay much attention to the ordinary bloke. Commit a crime against the State’s interests or its favouritest & it comes down like a ton of bricks. Commit a crime against Joe Public & it’s a slap on the wrist & what can we do for the offender.?

  14. Mr Galt–The point still stands. Do you think so rapist or molester isn’t going be amused by his victim whinging about how successful the molester etc has been in fucking her life up? Suppressing an ear-to-ear grin would be the creep’s biggest problem.

    Even a woman could however put on brass knucks or sap gloves and work her tormenter over good and proper. With Plod holding the creep.

    The real issue would be false-accusers however.

  15. Mr Lud/BiS–The trial should take all that into account. Likely they don’t because they are bureaucratic state enterprises. Victim statements are piss poor. If some turd has seriously hurt me or mine–I want his blood on the pavement not hot air.

  16. Mr Ecks, what if the toerag pleads?

    And if he doesn’t, how is the trial to take care of it without presumably oral evidence being given of the impact?

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