Lennox Gayle, the deputy chairman of the Jamaica Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel, was arrested and charge by Jamaica’s Organised Crime Investigation Division for alleged breaches of the country’s Sex Offence Act and Consumer Protection Act.

The 45 year-old is a practising lawyer but is also alleged to have operated a massage parlour in Montego Bay where prostitutes posed as masseuses. He is accused of living off immoral earnings and misleading and deceptive conduct.

He was charged following a raid on the parlour during which seven women were arrested on suspicion of prostitution.

You what?

The new offence would make it a crime to do anything that deliberately harmed a child’s “physical intellectual, emotional, social or behavioural development”.

This could include deliberately ignoring a child, or not showing them any love, over prolonged periods, damaging a child’s emotional development.

Harming their social development? Not taking them to Chuck E Cheese for their birthday party? Not buying the “right” trainers for them?

What the fuck has got into people here?

You can prosecute anyone under this. Sending them off to boarding school at 7? Harms their emotional development you know. Not letting them attend the prom? Harms their social development. “Not showing them any love”. What if you don’t in fact love the child? During a bitter divorce if one side doesn’t let the other actually see the kiddie can the unseen one then be prosecuted?

And what the hell’s going to happen to all those social workers who simply manage but not love the children in their care?

This is insane.

Err, yes, this works

Amanda Knox: I feel stranded and trapped since new guilty verdict
American tells Guardian she has no escape from being marked as a criminal after re-conviction for murder of Meredith Kercher

Given that the definition of a criminal is one who has been convicted in court this sounds about right really.

Damn right too

RSPCA risks losing power to prosecute
Independent reviewer considers stripping charity of its right to prosecute following string of controversial court cases

Quite why they ever had prosecution tights I’m not sure.

Campaigners have long complained that the RSPCA can both investigate and prosecute cases, while also campaigning to raise money.

They have suggested that because the charity often levies large costs in the cases it wins, some people plead guilty because they fear contesting a charge and losing.

The process is the punishment…..

Execution with untried drugs

As all reading here will know I’m agin capital punishment. However, I’m not really sure why the Americans are making such a fist of it all:

A death row inmate who was executed by the state of Ohio on Thursday with an untried and untested combination of two medical drugs appeared to gasp and snort in a procedure that took an unusually long 25 minutes to kill him.

Dennis McGuire was pronounced dead at 10.53am at the Southern Ohio Correctional facility in Lucasville. His lawyers had warned ahead of the proceeding that the experimental combination of the sedative midazolam and painkiller hydromorphone might subject him to “air hunger”, an insufficient flow of air into the lungs causing the sensation of suffocation.

I know all about why they’re using such previously untried drugs. However, why aren’t they using ones that we know work without fuss? Just about anywhere in the US you could pick up $100 worth of street heroin which would be enough to OD someone who wasn’t already an addict. And it might cost $20 if you used the pharmaceutical stuff. And we do know that it’s pretty easy to get someone to OD on opiates too. So why are the piddling about with all of these other drugs?

Of course he should be allowed to appeal his conviction

One of Britain’s most dangerous al-Qaeda terrorists is seeking to have his conviction overturned on human rights grounds, The Telegraph can disclose.

Abdulla Ahmed Ali, the ringleader of a suicide plot which could have killed 10,000 people, has gone to the European Court of Human Rights to claim his human rights were infringed by publicity before he was convicted of conspiracy to murder.

He alleges the jury would have been prejudiced by media coverage of a previous trial.

That trial included the disclosure that Ali had recorded a “suicide video” saying his plot to bring down airliners with liquid bombs disguised as soft drinks was intended to “teach a lesson” non-Muslims “will never forget”.

He is currently serving a life sentence for leading the liquid bomb plot. Investigating and prosecuting the conspiracy has already cost the taxpayer more than £100 million, and Ali’s legal challenge will push the bill even higher.

Doesn’t matter
a toss how high that legal bill will go.

If he didn’t get a fair trial then he didn’t get a fair trial and we all start over. If he did then he’s in jail for the rest of his natural.

Shrug, this is just the way that we do it. And the reason we do it for the scumbags is because we want it to be done with us if our turn comes to be tried. Really, it’s very, very, simple.

Broadly my view although she’s going to get into so much trouble over this

Miss Hewson, a barrister at Hardwicke Chambers, added: “It seems to me, simply factually, we all know if you’re drunk you are more likely to have accidents. So if you fall off a bar stool and hit you head and have a serous brain injury because you’re drunk people are gong to say well you chose to be drunk.

“So it does seem to me something a little sanitised about the idea that (when discussing rape) we cannot even have a discussion about the moral responsibility whatever people may want to say about the legal responsibility.”

Miss Hewson, 52, who lives in Islington, north London, dismissed what she saw as four “components” of the dominant “ideology of sexual victimisation” surrounding rape.

“The first is the idea that rape and sexual abuse is very widespread but largely unrecognised even by victims themselves who need to be taught to realise what’s really happened.

“Secondly, that it has long term damaging effects. Thirdly that its morally absolutely unambiguous, the victim is utterly innocent and the victimiser is utterly guilty and this is infinitesimal. And finally that claims of victimisation must always be respected, anything less is victim-blaming.”

Dunno about this, really dunno

The policing minister, Damian Green, has also confirmed radical plans to open up the recruitment of middle-ranking officers to outsiders with business and leadership skills for the first time.

The introduction of a direct-entry annual recruitment scheme for at least 20 police superintendents and 80 fast-track inspectors from next year will end a century’s tradition of all police officers starting their career on the beat.

The police themselves have always resisted the idea of an officer class. And pissing off establishments is always a useful guide to interesting policy. So on that side, OK, fine.

And yet, and yet: the police are supposed to be us. The citizenry. Adopting a more military style management doesn’t seem to aid in that very much.

Or, of course, we could end up with the wannabe middle management types who have their sociology degrees being this new officer class and that would be even worse than having the force run by the rejects from the Life Guards. And I think my greatest fear here is that that is exactly what will happen. It’ll be a career path for those too dim to go into normal management. Heads stuffed full of diversity advisoring rather than how to actually police and area.

Justice must be done and justice must be seen to be done

I’ve got Sky News on the TV at the moment and have just heard the phone conversations between Chris Huhne and Vicky Pryce. I think it is scandalous that they have been made public. I almost felt dirty listening to them. I’m not sure what is proved by their release. Indeed, why have they been made public? I don’t recall this ever happening before. I’m sure it is right that the jury should listen to them, although I am not sure they help Vicky Pryce’s case at all.

Well Iain, It\’s as the first comment on your post says:

The phone call has been released for the same reason that Huhne\’s son\’s text messages were released. They were put forward as evidence against Huhne. Until he pled guilty there were kept confidential. Now that he has changed his tune, they are public record just like any other piece of evidence.

Justice must be done and justice must be seen to be done. Thus evidence in court (with some exceptions, to be sure) is simply public information that may be reported.

Can you steal a dead person\’s identity?

Police chiefs have admitted that a second undercover unit stole the identities of dead children as recently as the late 1990s in a series of operations to infiltrate political activists.

Yes, obviously you can in the colloquial sense. But can you in a legal one?

I can see that you can misuse one. I can see that the State might get mightily pissed off with you representing yourself as someone you\’re not. You might use a fake ID to \”steal\” benefits, which would indeed be theft.

But is the identity of a dead person actually property that can be stolen?


The new and exciting guess the sentence game!

Perverting the course of justice is a crime.

The sentencing guidelines are here.

Pleading guilty will reduce the sentence. Having stoutly insisted upon innocence before that will increase it. Note that sentences are expected to be consecutive, not concurrent, and there should be two, one for the offence and one for the perversion.

Sentences are reduced/increased given the seriousness of the underlying crime.

The current betting from those who know more about this than I do is over a year of jail time (no, whatever it is will not be suspended) and thus a by-election.

Anyone want to lay claim to a different number?

Do sod off Mr. Grayling

Chris Grayling said the Government should not always be paying for the most senior QCs to defend suspected criminals when cheaper junior lawyers could do the job just as well.

Speaking on BBC Radio Four\’s Today programme, he said the £1 billion legal aid bill spent on criminal cases is too high when budgets are being cut across the Government.

\”If you look at the daily rate for a senior QC it can be between £1300 and £2,000. For somebody who\’s going to become a QC in a month\’s time, it\’s just over half that amount,\” he said.

\”The question is can we really afford so often to use people who are paid such an additional higher rate compared with somebody\’s who\’s nearly as experienced, who\’s a seriously competent barrister, who will become a QC one day if they choose to do so.

You\’re aiming to take the liberty of the person you\’re prosecuting. Yes, you do need to pay for the lawyer to defend that person.

End of.

Whinging about how much it all costs: there are two things the nation state is meant to do. Defend the country and provide a court and justice system. Those are the two pre-requisites. Everything else it does is subordinate to these two. So if you\’ve not got enough money to do these two then you\’d better just stop doing some of the others to pay for these two.

A step too far

Married lawyer, 58, \’had affair with divorce client then billed her for times they had sex\’

It\’s not unknown for divorce lawyers to shag their clients. Common enough that I\’ve seen it used as a running joke in a certain style of American legal novel.

But to charge the client (or, as is more likely, charge the husband as he\’ll be paying all the legal bills) for shagging the soon to be ex-wife is to move from scumbag to poltroon.


In praise of Malaysian lawers

Former chief justice Tun Zaki Azmi said “like it or not, it is the duty of lawyers to uphold justice”.

“As a practising lawyer, you have to distinguish between your personal or public emotions and politics,” he said. “You cannot assume the accused is guilty and should not get a fair defence.”

Zaki said lawyers had always been the first to say that a person is presumed innocent unless proven otherwise.

He questioned why the lawyers were acting the way they were.

Malaysian Bar Council president Lim Chee Wee was surprised that the accused rapists were unable to obtain legal representation despite an “independent and strong Bar in a modern democracy such as India”.

“Assuming the same ethical standards apply, a lawyer is obliged to act unless he is embarrassed, in a position of conflict or does not possess the necessary skills or relevant experience,” he said.

“A lawyer must never be equated, identified or associated with his or her client’s cause.”

Asked if the decision could have been made due to fear of reprisals, Lim said lawyers must never be intimidated.

“We are the last frontier of justice and everyone needs legal representation to ensure due process is satisfied,” he said.

Damn right matey, damn right.

To the point that I\’ve still got troubles with the Nuremburg trials, based as they were on retrospective law.

“It is not an offence known to the laws of England to tell a police officer to fuck off”

I do hope, very much, that that is true.

I certainly believe that directing an Anglo-Saxonism at men and women who have heard if often enough (and in my limited experience of drinking with coppers before one nicked my girlfriend they say it often enough) might be offensive but it\’s not an offence.

But could those of you who know much more law than me confirm this? Most especially, is this an actual treaceable quote (through bailli perhaps) that can be pointed to?

Did an actual judge actually say this? Recordedly?

On the subject of libel damages

Lawyers for Lord McAlpine are demanding that ITV pays more in libel damages than the BBC over false claims linking him to child sex abuse.

The broadcaster has been given until this afternoon to respond to a demand to pay damages to the former Conservative Party treasurer. He accepted £185,000 plus costs from the BBC last week over a Newsnight report that the corporation admitted had been broadcast without undertaking “basic journalistic checks”.

A spokesman for Lord McAlpine said it was “quite clear” ITV would have to pay significantly more after Phillip Schofield, the co-host of This Morning, handed David Cameron live on air a list of names of alleged abusers that was briefly visible to viewers Lord McAlpine’s spokesman said that the peer had restricted the demand for compensation from the BBC because he was conscious that licence-payers’ money was involved. The same situation did not apply to his action against the commercial broadcaster. “This was also done in broad daylight in a premeditated way in front of the Prime Minister. It was that programme that prompted Lord McAlpine to come out with his statement,” the spokesman said.

The peer, who is in poor health, issued a statement on November 9 that denounced “wholly false and seriously defamatory” suggestions that he had been involved in the paedophile scandal at a children’s home in North Wales in the 1970s and 1980s.

ITV has issued written warnings to Mr Schofield and four members of the programme’s production team. A spokesman for the broadcaster said that it had received a letter from solicitors for Lord McAlpine and would be responding.

The actor and comedian Alan Davies is among thousands of Twitter users facing libel claims for linking the peer to the scandal.

I can\’t actually recall where I read it. But someone, yesterday, was pointing out a very interesting legal fact.

When there is an obvious case of widespread libel, each and every instance of such a libel is not considered separately. They are, for want of a better word, cumulative. More specifically, damages are cumulative.

Each and every person who libelled, who repeated it, are not treated as being the one and sole libeller. Rather, all are treated as having committed the one offence.

Purely as an example, say that the damge to a reputation was worth damages of £10 million (one might think this a reasonable enough sum actually, it being higher than any other set of libel damages ever). It is all who have libelled together who should then cough up £10 million collectively. Not, as some might assume, £10 million each.

No, they\’re not jointly and severally liable or anything, but that\’s still a very interesting point, don\’t you think?

Suicide over the concealment of a speeding offence by a married couple

A British Transport Police spokeswoman said: \”BTP officers were called to the railway line in Aston Magna, Moreton in Marsh, Gloucestershire, on Friday, 19 October following a report of a man being struck by a train.

\”BTP and Gloucestershire Constabulary officers attended the incident, which was reported to BTP at 12.20pm and is currently being treated as non-suspicious.

\”Paramedics from Great Western Ambulance Service also attended but the man was pronounced dead at the scene.\”

She added that they were investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident and were preparing a file for the coroner.

He was due to appear at court in St Albans with his wife Teresa, also a serving officer, charged with perverting the course of justice over a speeding incident in Scotland.

That incident was was being investigated by Hertfordshire Constabulary.

It is alleged Mrs Fraser, who has been suspended from West Midlands Police pending the outcome of the investigation, accepted responsibility for a speeding offence committed by her husband in Strathclyde last September.

Mr Fraser had been suspended from duty since December 2010, pending a separate investigation being carried out by Merseyside Police.

Merseyside Police confirmed earlier this year they were investigating Mr Fraser following allegations of misconduct and fraud.

Remind you of anyone?