Inhibit, yes, probably so

Brian Sicknick, a Capitol police officer injured while confronting rioters during the 6 January insurrection, suffered a stroke and died of natural causes, the Washington DC medical examiner’s office ruled Monday, a finding that lessens the chances that anyone will be charged in his death.

Investigators initially believed the officer had been hit in the head with a fire extinguisher, based on statements collected early in the investigation, according to two people familiar with the case. And they later thought the 42-year-old Sicknick might have ingested a chemical substance – possibly bear spray – that could have contributed to his death.

But the determination of a natural cause of death means the medical examiner found that a medical condition alone caused his death – it was not brought on by an injury. The determination is likely to significantly inhibit the ability of federal prosecutors to bring homicide charges in Sicknick’s death.

As there was no homicide bringing homicide charges would be difficult, yes.

Worth concentrating on the right problem perhaps

Ampleforth College failed its latest Ofsted report after a “serious safeguarding incident” was identified during an inspection last month.

It comes just days after Gavin Williamson, the Education Secretary, intervened to save the leading Benedictine school from closure by overturning a ban on new pupils being admitted.

It is rare for the Government to intervene in the running of a private school and the drastic move was only taken following a series of earlier sanctions.

The £36,000-a-year boarding school, based in Yorkshire, said last week that the decision to reverse the ban came after inspectors “found many improvements in the school’s safeguarding procedures”.

But Ofsted’s latest report, published yesterday, revealed that inspectors remain concerned about the school’s ability to keen children safe.

Inspectors found two incidents where visitors had not been accompanied on the school premises, one of which resulted in a “serious safeguarding incident” and the other in a near-miss vehicle accident.

Yes, obviously, once the paperclip inspectors become involved you’re doomed, doomed, I tell ‘ee.

However, the problem at Ampleforth wasn’t some paedo scum turning up from outside to cop a feel. Which is what the current Ofstend concern seems to be. Also, something that can and possibly will happen anywhere children are gathered.

The Ampleforth problem was people inside the school and monastery using their power over the children to cop a feel. Which is what needs to be sorted out.

Ofsted are, rather, changing the rules of the game half way through.


A “very senior” police officer who shot and killed a 20-year-old black man in Minnesota after a routine traffic stop went to use her Taser but grabbed her pistol by mistake and fired off a deadly round, officers said on Monday.

Brings to mind the Christa McAuliffe jokes, “Hey Guys, what does this button do?”

Language matters

Twenty police officers have been injured at a “kill the bill” demonstration in Bristol during which protesters stoned a police station and set fire to vehicles in what the city’s mayor has condemned as “self-indulgent” and counterproductive violence.

Avon and Somerset police have made seven arrests so far but have vowed to track down hundreds of people involved in what its chief constable, Andy Marsh, described as “criminality and thuggery”.Bristol mayor, Marvin Rees, said the violence was counterproductive to the campaign against the government’s plans to give police more powers against protesters as part of the police, crime, sentencing and courts bill.

Kill the bill” is meant to be about the parliamentary bill, not killing rozzers. But then with the state of education today some might have got confused….

This isn’t quite what it’s about

Federal and local law enforcement agencies are under pressure to increase efforts to combat the rising tide of hate crimes against Asian Americans in the wake of the Atlanta, Georgia spa shootings that left eight people dead, six of them women of Asian descent.

The FBI and other police forces are facing criticism for levels of reporting of hate crimes that remain abysmally low, despite several attempts by Congress to highlight the outrages.

Asian American community leaders expressed dismay on Wednesday, a day after the shootings at three massage parlors, that the discrimination and harassment historically faced by their communities continued to be downplayed.

A young white bloke shooting Asian chippies is, indeed, a bad thing. But it’s not actually the racism thing that is being complained about. That is, rather, the manner in which young black men seem to be beating up on elderly Asian Americans.

Spare us the wimmins

The Home Secretary has ordered a review into the “appalling case” of a woman who was killed by her husband during the first lockdown following criticism that his five-year sentence was too lenient.

Five years, so we know it wasn’t murder.

He was cleared of murder, having already pleaded guilty to manslaughter by diminished responsibility and was sentenced to five years in jail.

OK. So, what’s the problem?

The case was cited by the victims’ commissioner and domestic abuse commissioner for England and Wales on Sunday as they warned “a culture of misogyny throughout the criminal justice system” is potentially seeing men get away with more lenient sentences.

Dame Vera Baird QC and Nicole Jacobs are calling for an independent review for every domestic homicide.

They fear that men receive more lenient sentences and compared Williams’s sentence to the case of Sally Challen, 65, jailed for life in 2011 for bludgeoning her husband Richard to death.

Challen’s conviction was overturned, reclassified to manslaughter and sentenced to time served. Whether she would have got as much if manslaughter had been the original verdict is unknown but they sure as hell weren’t going to leave themselves open to compo claims by sentencing her to less than time served.

Oh, aye?

After meeting Mr McPherson the pair married in a “grand, no expenses spared” ceremony at Peckforton Castle in Cheshire in 2014.

had taken out seven life insurance policies and stood to receive £3.3 million if his wife died.

In June 2017, he arranged for the couple to go on a mini-break to a village in the west of Denmark called Nørre Nebel.
Three days into the trip the mother of one drowned in the indoor pool of the cottage they had rented, despite the jury being told that she hated swimming and did not even own a costume.

We’ll find out what the jury think of that soon enough.

Just another one of those things I don’t understand

“Shot at dawn”.

Why dawn? Why executions at 8 am or whatever when we did have judicial hangings?

I know why current US executions are at 1 am and the like – the death warrant is only valid for the one day. So, get it done early in case there is delay.

But why executions at dawn before that was a legal problem?

Fairly harsh

Moradi posted online a description of his client’s death, saying she was waiting in line behind 16 men and was forced to watch as they were hanged.

Before her turn came she collapsed with an apparent heart attack and appeared to be dead. However, according to Moradi, she was hanged anyway so that her husband’s mother could exercise her right to kick away the chair from under her.

Hanging the dead body doesn’t make any difference of course. It’s the “kick the chair away” bit. That means that it’s short drop hanging, not long drop. That is, strangulation, 10 to 20 minutes per person. 16 of them, that’s a 5 hour queue……

Slightly unfair but…..

Her trial heard how she had been one of 17 people in a WhatsApp group to receive the 54 second clip featuring a child aged around five-years-old engaging in a sex act with a man.

Williams denied ever seeing the clip but the prosecution successfully argued that she must have been aware of the contents from the thumbnail and had a duty to delete it and report her sister, Jennifer Hodge, who had forwarded it.

She appealed against her conviction and sentence, but yesterday (Thurs) three judges refused the application.

If we’ve got stuff which is a strict liability offence then we’ve got stuff that is a strict liability offence….

That we should have fewer of them doesn’t change that.

Be slightly odd this

An “incredibly rare” deathbed confession from an 18th-century highwayman, written just before he was “hung in chains” for robbing the Yarmouth Mail and detailing his enlightened response to a failed gay seduction, has been acquired by Horsham Museum.

The Life of Thomas Munn, alias, the Gentleman Brick-Maker, alias, Tom the Smuggler runs to 24 pages and was printed in 1750. It is part of the once-popular genre of deathbed confessions, a precursor of true crime, and purports to be an autobiography handed by Munn to the Yarmouth gaoler on the morning of his execution on 6 April 1750.

As he was hanged in Chelmsford…..

Horsham Museum curator Jeremy Knight said that it was notable that Munn had this reaction, and that he had also chosen to give a public account of it.

“To give it space in his confession – the only space he had to give a public account of himself – is really interesting,” he said. “The printer also could have taken offence and not included it – after all the author wouldn’t have any recourse … Yet both thought it important enough to recount. And what Munn states is although it is seen as a sin, his immediate reaction was conditioned by his upbringing and social norms. He is not so sure as he was aroused by the lad, and who are we to judge when we ourselves have that reaction? A desire for toleration and acceptance – it’s human nature.”

Rather more likely perhaps is that the entire story – the entire printed confession – was made up. Such entirely made up pamphlets being a thriving industry at the time. So, you know, the acceptance of the gay bit being perhaps in the mind of the scrivener, not the executee?

Now isn’t that a defence

Daniel Barber, Kandice’s husband, had appeared as a witness in her defence twice where he described her as his “rock” and said their relationship was “as strong as ever”, pointing out to jurors that he had matching tattoos with his wife of four years.

Err, yes?

A company that oversaw health and safety on a £50 million construction project for Britain’s most powerful trade union was led by a man jailed for a knife attack, it can be disclosed.

Martin Grant, 33, from Liverpool, received a ten-year sentence in 2015 after creeping up on a man and slashing his face and fingers with a Stanley knife. The wounds required 90 stitches.

After Grant left prison in 2019 he was swiftly appointed managing director of Safety Support Consultants (SSC), a company owned by the son of Joe Anderson, the mayor of Liverpool.

The company was awarded a contract to act as health and safety adviser during the construction in Birmingham of a conference centre, hotel and regional offices for the Unite union.

Sounds like just the laddie really, doesn’t he? Entirely the right skills to be dealing with Derek Hatton – yes, he’s part of this little group of developers and builders in Liverpool…..

The famed people of no appearance

A brawl between 40 men using knives, bottles and a sword has been broken up by police in west London.

Police initially reported that two swords had been used in the fight in Southall in the early hours of Sunday, but later corrected this to “at least one sword”.

At 8pm on Sunday, police released a statement saying that they had been called at “around 0200hrs to a large group of males fighting with knives and at least one sword in the area of King Street, Southall”.

Presumably Jehovah’s Witnesses, they can be vicious buggers when cornered.

So, here’s an idea

Forty per cent of police forces now investigate attacks on punks and goths as possible hate crimes, it has emerged, as academics urge the Law Commission to introduce new legislation aimed at protecting subcultures.

A consultation by the Law Commission is currently considering whether to recognise misogyny and attacks against “alternative subcultures”, including punks, goths and emos, as a hate crime category for the first time.

Prof Jon Garland, a lecturer at the University of Surrey who worked on the consultation, has welcomed the proposed legal reform to include the new group, which is already recognised by 18 police forces across the UK.

“My research has shown that the impact individuals from alternative subcultures suffer when they are targeted in attacks does seem to resemble that of the five main protected victim groups,” he said.

Why not just say that an attack on someone is a crime and go from there? Or would that be missing the point by making an attack on a cis-het-white-bourgeois-guy also be a crime?


Non-payment of the licence fee is a criminal offence for which more than 100,000 people are prosecuted annually.

That’s what, 7 or 8% of the 1.3 million prosecutions each year?

Labour MPs have said plans to decriminalise non-payment of the licence fee should be dropped

Why? Don;t they want to bring the crime rate down?