Yesterday morning, newly-appointed Justice Secretary Robert Buckland told Radio 4’s Today programme of his pleasure that the Prime Minister is taking an interest in the criminal justice system. And certainly, after three years of wilful abandonment under Theresa May, I would in principle gladly welcome some Downing Street-level political attention on the ruinous state of…Read more
The assault on Jack Grealish – is 14 weeks’ imprisonment the right sentence?
I fired off a quick thread last night offering my rough take on yesterday’s conviction and sentence of Paul Mitchell, the Birmingham City supporter who ran onto the pitch during Sunday’s match between Birmingham and Aston Villa and assaulted Villa footballer Jack Grealish. Below are my provisional thoughts. What were the charges? Paul Mitchell was…Read more
Why is the dangerous Anjem Choudary being released onto our streets?
Anjem Choudary, the Islamist preacher convicted in 2016 of inviting support for Islamic State, is to be released from prison next month, despite being described by prisons minister Rory Stewart as “genuinely dangerous”. How, it has been (not unreasonably) asked, can this be? And what, if anything, can be done about it? The first rule…Read more
The Tommy Robinson judgment – what does it all mean?
Today the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) handed down judgment in the appeal of Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (AKA Tommy Robinson), partially allowing the appeal and directing a rehearing at the Crown Court. What does this mean? Has Tommy been proven innocent? Is this a victory for freedom of speech? Let’s break it down. How did this…Read more
Tommy Robinson’s appeal: what happened?
Today the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) heard the appeal of Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (AKA Tommy Robinson). Judgment was reserved, meaning the Court’s decision will not be known for another couple of weeks. However it is worth, given the events of today, having a quick look at what happened. In doing so, I am grateful to…Read more
Why was a homeless man jailed for pretending to run the London Marathon?
A homeless man who picked up a lost race number and “completed” the London Marathon has been jailed for 16 weeks. Yesterday at Uxbridge magistrates’ court, Stanislaw Skupian (38) was sentenced by magistrates having pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing on 18 May to fraud, after he picked up a race card number dropped by…Read more
What on earth happened to poor Tommy Robinson? 10 Things You Should Know.
It can now be reported that Tommy Robinson, the former leader of the English Defence League, convicted fraudster, sometime-football hooligan and self-reinvented free speech advocate, was on Friday 25 May 2018 imprisoned for 13 months for contempt of court after livestreaming a broadcast, including footage of participants in a criminal trial, outside Leeds Crown Court. Some…Read more
Why did a Britain First supporter who wanted to “kill a Muslim” and drove his van at a pedestrian only receive 33 weeks’ imprisonment?
This is a little later than planned, but recently I’ve been responding to a number of queries about legal issues on Twitter through threads, and it struck me that it might be of some use (possibly) to put them up here, for anyone interested who doesn’t catch them live. Here, from a fortnight ago, I…Read more
Why is a man who raped “hundreds of women” being released from prison after only 9 years?
Storm clouds are gathering over the news that former taxi driver John Worboys, the convicted rapist who police believe may have drugged and attacked hundreds of female passengers, is to be released from prison after reportedly serving nine years of an indeterminate sentence of imprisonment. How, it is being asked, can one of Britain’s most…Read more
Was 16 weeks’ imprisonment for Raheem Sterling’s racist attacker a soft sentence?
Yesterday, 29 year-old Karl Anderson pleaded guilty to a racially-aggravated common assault on Manchester City and England footballer Raheem Sterling, and was jailed at Manchester City Magistrates’ Court for 16 weeks. He was also ordered to pay £100 compensation and a mandatory Victim Surcharge of £115. The reported facts are that, shortly before Manchester City’s…Read more