Judges who blog

I just came across ‘Trevor‘, a blog written by a Magistrate. Reading through some of the entries, you could accuse him of being a human being which, considering my view on the Judiciary as a whole, means that I may have to vary my opinions in future. I found this blog through the UK Human Rights blog entry about the banning of blogging in any judicial capacity.

I want to explore a couple of comments from the HR blog because I feel that they are important issues; the first written by an anonymous writer on the Near Legal housing law blog argues that the ban is “short-sighted” and likely to have a “damaging effect on public understanding of the legal system and transparency“.

Royal 13 B.VIII, f.22In my experience, the public have very little understanding of the legal system and the profession as a whole do their utmost to ensure that the public never does. Like the Cistercian monks, they maintain domination over the law by clinging to Latin, an obscure language that, while at the root of English, does little to foster understanding in this modern age.

There may be value in this medieval language but when a member of the public is presented with terminology such as a mensa et thoro or absque hoc they do not immediately know what it might mean and most importantly, they will never know the nuances inherent in its use within the legal profession. The result is that they have to call in a professional, a solicitor and/or a barrister who will interpret the obscure meanings. The public are not part of the club, they will not have lunch with their opposition, discuss a deal over drinks or on the tennis court.

With the removal of most legal aid, the public are even more at the mercy of the legal system and the courts. Any forum that fosters understanding must be encouraged in order to redress the imbalance which has formed as a result of changes to legal aid and the ability to have a fair trial only if you are able to pay for it.

Another comment comes from the guidance issued to members of the judiciary which reads;

“They must also avoid expressing opinions which, were it to become known that they hold judicial office, could damage public confidence in their own impartiality or in the judiciary in general”.

'Hmmm...It is: innocent until proven guilty? Or is it: guilty until proven innocent?'The democratic process and purported transparency in public office demands that the truth always be made known. If a judge finds himself at odds with the laws as passed by Parliament, they must interpret them to the best of their ability but it is this self-interpretation that leads to such a bollixed system and gives an out to a judge who might make a decision that reeks of injustice – it’s simply not good enough.

I’m not saying that being a judge is an easy role but when anyone in public office decides to use their position inappropriately as in the Guardian’s ‘Who is judging the judges?‘, all decisions of that judge should immediately come under scrutiny to ensure that there was no bias, corruption or other hidden agenda or just plain incompetence.

 

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Equality under law

Everyone, regardless of background or status is entitled to be considered equal in the eyes of the law. I have the perfect example of how this is not so and it’s particularly poignant to moran_1748554ame because it was happening at the same time that my so-called three-ring-circus of a trial was in progress.

I’m referring to this lady, Margaret Moran, an MP who deliberately falsified her expenses on at least 21 occasions to line her own pocket at the tax-payers expense.

I know that being dragged through the courts is traumatic and can lead to depression. Ms Moran presented herself at court disguised as a distraught womargaret-moran_2392459cman suffering from depression and unable to cope, looking like this – a very sorry sight indeed.

Gone was that audacious flower and attempts to win over the public in order to get their votes. Instead we have an Ena Sharples look-alike; a grey-haired old lady, dressed down and holding a snotty tissue. All very carefully designed to elicit sympathy and stave off the worst.

Mr Justice Saunders of Southwark Crown Court ruled that Moran was unfit to stand trial for mental health reasons and so could not receive a criminal conviction – a jury heard her case in her absence and found her guilty of 15 counts of false accounting and six other charges related to forged invoices (21 counts in all).

She ‘flipped’ homes in order to spend all of her parliamentary allowances and used £53,000 of tax-payers money to repair not only her home but that of her partner. I won’t go into great detail here because it’s all still out there in cyber-land, see Moran living it up!.

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This clip shows part of the trail of the greed and deceit of this public servant. Fake invoices show premeditation and knowledge of what she is doing so there is no room for her to claim she didn’t know.

Let’s also consider the fact that she still owns the properties maintained at tax-payers expense and should she choose to sell them, she will reap further rewards because of the superior maintenance – she just can’t lose, can she.

I have to make it clear that I do believe that Moran was scared and depressed about her situation but you know what, so was I.

POST TRIAL

So let’s look at her depression and make a comparison or two. I was found guilty on two charges, one of ‘conspiracy to defraud’ and the other ‘making a false statement’ on a disability benefits claim form. I still have the form and the so-called false statement to this day and continue to wonder exactly what it is about this that is false.

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Do I need to have someone with me when I am outdoors – NO!

I go on to say why I do not need help outside the house, because I basically have the support I need already – I got 12 months for this ‘false’ statement.

This is part of a DLA form submitted in 2006 and provides details of various long term, persistent health problems. It is these health problems which made it difficult to find full-time work with the correct level of understanding and support.

Like many people on benefits, the desire to work remains strong so in the meantime I provided my services on a voluntary basis to a not-for-profit organisation set up by a good friend. I did so on the understanding that I would do as much work from home as possible when I was unwell.

What was in it for me? The satisfaction of helping learning disabled youngsters gain valuable work experience and life skills through an action group at the local college; helping the elderly in the community to become more digitally aware in conjunction with AgeUK; providing a supportive learning environment for disabled people of all types, whether their condition was of a physical or psychological nature; advocating for individuals during lengthy appeals processes.

The organisation employed disabled people for all front-line roles and also engaged more able-bodied people as support workers. Travel to and from work as well as any business related travel together with any overheads incurred by making ‘reasonable adjustments’ were covered by a scheme called Access to Work, a programme run by the Department of Work & Pension.

Each ‘case’ for eligible support was made in written form, with the disabled individual as the client as required by the DWP. Each case was scrutinised in great depth and a business case made at regional level by local staff. I had input into those applications, liaising with the individual to understand their needs not only in the workplace but in getting to and from the workplace, suggesting viable disability aids and adjustments that would help them in their return to work.

Upon approval of each case, I would assist in negotiating the best deals for purchasing of any equipment and deal with many of the practical day-to-day management as a voluntary director. Why a director? Because many suppliers need to feel comfortable with whom they deal – all perfectly legitimate business strategy.

When Ms Moran conspired to defraud the public, she did so  with deliberation, knowingly and to her own advantage and made a tidy profit while doing so.

My conspiracy apparently amounts to my helping disabled people by managing their claims for the Access to Work funding. in creating electronic forms for their monthly claims which included their signature. There was no requirement for a ‘wet’ signature and often I was not in the office to see them personally and my imperative was to make sure payments reached them in time (as would be required in any payroll situation).

How much of this money did I take/steal/conspire to keep?

None; zilch; nada; not a brass halfpenny.

How much did I expect? Nothing, it was not my money, I took no payments, bribes or monetary rewards. I was close to all the staff and knew of all their financial troubles, their trauma, their aspirations and their fears. My rewards came from their friendship and knowing that I was doing something meaningful; helping to bring pride and satisfaction back into their lives and see first hand the difference being valued in the workplace made to them.

I had quite a nice car, a Jaguar FX, second-hand but in lovely condition. It took me a few years and some favourable upgrades to finally have a car that was not only dependable and reliable but was comfortable and pleasant to drive.

6-carThe colour is described as gold-barley but to hear the DWP carry on about a LUXURY GOLD car, you’d think it was made of solid 22 carats – talk about making a meal of it, but that’s all part of the propaganda isn’t it; get people fired up and indignant about the inappropriate use of stolen money on a LUXURY lifestyle and GOLD in order to further their case.

gold-fxI didn’t have the sunroof (wasn’t a priority). The colour is described as gold-barley but to hear the DWP carry on about a LUXURY GOLD car, you’d think it was made of solid 22 carats – talk about making a meal of it, but that’s all part of the propaganda isn’t it; get people fired up and indignant about the inappropriate use of stolen money on a LUXURY lifestyle and GOLD in order to secure their case.

I paid for this car although the finance was not in my name because I do not borrow, I don’t use credit cards and I am old-school in that if I can’t afford something, then I will go without and so I had no credit score. My old car was traded in for the deposit so nothing was taken as part of some fictitious conspiracy.

I lived (with my children) in a home close to where I’d always lived and close to my friends and those of my children. It was rented and part of it was held over for the owner of the property for storage. I could never have afforded the house otherwise and the arrangement was mutually beneficial.

It was the case of the DWP that £1.8m was defrauded from the public purse and in my case, part of that money paid for my car and my rent. My bank accounts were transparent and clearly showed no transactions other than those easily identifiable – there was no justification for their claims against me for taking part of that money.

I knew for a fact that wages were paid to all employees every month; bills were paid; overheads were covered and many, many people benefited from small bursaries paid to them due to hardship.

Ironically, even an ex-offender, who had put together a mobile theatre which was taken to schools around London and Kent ,was given the support he needed to carry on his work of demonstrating the dangers of a criminal lifestyle to youngsters and so help them steer clear of a life of crime – you gotta laugh, haven’t you!

img_6979Money also went into a charity shop in Devon – it’s still there I think.

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The purpose of the venture is best explained by this banner I designed which was displayed in the window.

The organisation was determined to help all those who suffered disability, whatever the cause, as well as help families overcome the hardships caused by injury or even death.

It’s funny that the DWP did not want anything presented to the jury that might clarify the use of funds and the judge supported the prosecution by disallowing anything that might undermine the case of the DWP.

Let us return to Ms Moran for a moment. All the money she took was to satisfy her greed, to milk the system to her own benefit to the tune of more than £50,000.

At the same time that Ms Moran was avoiding court because she was ‘depressed’, I had taken an overdose of painkillers because I felt so demoralised and could not understand what exactly I was supposed to have done wrong – I took nothing. I was in hospital and then advised to check myself into hospital for psychiatric assessment.

Furthermore I had problems with my heart, suffered anxiety attacks and then was taken to hospital to have my gall bladder removed. I was sinking fast emotionally and psychologically but had to put on a brave face for my children so that they would not worry.

I was not excused going to court. I was under cardiac investigation and my judge was kind enough to have the hospital called to ensure that I was released to attend court as soon as possible – wasn’t that nice of him.

Perhaps if I had the wit to attend court dressed as dowdily as possible with a soaked tissue to my nose, I too would have been excused because attempted suicide, coronary problems and pancreatitis certainly did not qualify me from being excused.

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Five days after being excused from court, being found guilty on 21 counts and being given a two year supervision order, Ms Moran was reported to be relaxing over a drink with her partner (presumably the one on whose home she spent so much public money on dry rot) at a pub and later taking to the hills walking her dog.

Where was I five days after being sentenced? Oh yes, I was in hospital having taken another overdose whilst in custody. Upon my return to prison, I was on suicide watch, monitored 24 hours a day to help ensure my safety.

Yet it’s Ms Moran who has mental issues and Ms Moran who does NOT have a criminal record and Ms Moran who can easily and wilfully go abroad to her restored farmhouse in Southern Spain any time she wishes.

I received an eight year sentence. I have served four years and am on license for a further four years during which time I have to meet with my Offender Manager who ensures that I remain on the straight and narrow, having learned my lesson. I have to disclose my criminal record for the remainder of my life which will make finding a job near on impossible; more so for a 59 year old. I have missed the first three years of my grandchildren’s lives and I cannot contemplate going with them abroad to places like Disney World in Florida.

On balance, I think Ms Moran has the best deal. I should be filled with rage and anger. Not at Ms Moran – she was lucky enough to know how to play the game or at least have enough money or the right contacts to ensure that she avoided my plight.

My anger is directed at the judiciary, the legal system, the government, the legal profession and all those who support what can only be a corrupt system.

In 1999 and again in 2000 I underwent surgery that left me in chronic pain and with nerve damage to my right leg. I have osteoporosis in my upper back and shoulders. I have nerve damage in my right hand due to carpal tunnel that has had to be ignored for the past four years. To top it off, in 2013, I had a cardiac arrest, was dead for around 6 minutes before being resuscitated and kept in an induced coma for two days. I remember nothing about it (which is probably a good thing) but find that I have little odds and sods missing from my memory; some things elude me – I didn’t even recognise my wristwatch which my children assure me I wore for quite some time before going to prison.

So what’s the purpose of writing all this? What do I want?

I want justice. I want to feel that my treatment at the hands of the judiciary is the same as that of everyone else. I use Ms Moran as a case in point because her trial was happening at the same time as mine – or close enough that it resonated. It has stuck with me, the unfairness of it all, the injustice. I want, no I NEED to know why I was treated so differently to an MP.

stream_imgI could go on to the case of Camila Batmanghelidgh who received £46 million of tax-payers money, £3 million days before declaring her charity, Kid’s Company, defunct.

She continues to enjoy her life unimpeded and not under license, she has no criminal record and has not been locked away from her family for the past four years and can go abroad any time she wants. To my knowledge, no one is even asking her to pay the money back.

I can see only one common factor in these two women – their links to Westminster. One as a former MP and the other obviously involved with the former PM, David Cameron.

Is this what it takes to get a fair trial in this country?

 

 

You’ve gotta SOCA a POCA or two

On the suggestion of Jason (thanks) we’ve made a FOIA request on the WhatDoTheyKnow.com website.  The first interesting point is that SOCA is not subject to FOIA and therefore will not process FOIA requests.  Under Regulation 4 of the Environmental Information Regulations (EIR), environmental information relevant to the functions of the Security Services, which does not adversely affect national security can be requested.

Apparently, it is SOCA policy to make non-operational information available on the SOCA website, in the spirit of the Freedom of Information Act. SOCA website have undertaken to take into account suggestions for additions to their website.  You can only request information about the environment from this authority.

Never ones to say never, we’ve made a request anyway which you can follow here.  The text of the request is:

Dear Serious and Organised Crime Agency,

PROCEEDS OF CRIME ACT 2002 (POCA)

Please provide information on numbers of central government, local government, senior civil servants and others employed by government related departments who have been subjected to POCA.

Please provide information on numbers of Members of Parliament who have had POCA applied to them.

Please provide information on numbers of members of the House of Lords who have had POCA applied to them.

Please provide information on numbers of members of the general population who have had POCA applied to them.

We understand that no information that may affect national security can be requested and believe that the information is demographic in nature and relevant to environmental issues.  No information on specifics are required just simply number of POCA processes enacted against the above cross section of the
population.

Yours faithfully,

Diogenese Associates

We’ll keep you posted.

Government denies justice to those who can’t pay

No one likes ambulance chasing lawyers – in fact, it’s doubtful whether many people have a good word for an industry that benefits from other peoples misery but these plans make it even more difficult for those without money to have any equality under law which is, of course, contrary to the Human Rights Act.

Our maritime law justice system flaunts the common law system that was originally set up to protect the ‘people’ – those laws still exist but the courts pretend they don’t and call your sanity into question if you raise common law in their courts.  It is doubtful that judges confirm their oath on a daily basis as they are bound to do and abandon ship when challenged.

The so-called justice system depends on peoples ignorance to rail-road them into compliance; the previous Labour regime enacted thousands of new laws to further bury common law under an avalanche of statutes that even the Law Society could not keep pace with.

These new plans seek to further deny individuals access to justice and with the government seeking to do away with the human rights legislation (as controversial as it may be) the inevitable consequence is that the people of this country will find themselves falling foul of the law and having no way in which to protect themselves or to argue their case.

Kenneth Clarke, the so-called ‘justice’ minister has announced cuts that will further deny people of this country from ever proving their innocence in an effort to save money yet government departments such as the DWP have access to the entire public purse in pursuit of any allegations they make – so they can spend your money to criminalise you but you can’t defend yourself in the same way – clever.

Ambulance chasing lawyers may be an unsavoury breed but at least they provide a voice to those who can’t speak for themselves.

THIS is justice? THIS is democracy?

Discounted justice for guilty pleas

Cameron reckons that he ‘understands public concerns on crime’ – does he?

There are two sides to the justice coin; on one side, people are concerned about the increase in crime but on the other there is a huge amount of concern about the decrease in justice.  We’re not talking about criminals being brought to justice for crimes that are proven – we’re talking about the assumption of guilt over innocence and the removal of fundamental rights that serve only to create criminals; justice has become a matter of ‘procedure’ and it’s not serving us well.

Insane and ill-conceived Acts are being allowed through parliament without any serious debate or proper consideration.  These so-called laws, while being completely contrary to Common Law and Human Rights tend to remove your ability to defend yourself from spurious accusations that because they follow ‘procedure’ are themselves classed as ‘evidence’ even though no real evidence exists – we’re back to the ‘being arrested for resisting arrest’ scenario.

When the ConDem’s got into power, old Nick Clegg was straight onto the ‘Your Freedoms’ bandwagon with a pretend website asking Joe public what laws they felt needed to be repealed or at least looked into.  There was a huge response against things like the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 which is one of Common Purpose and New World Order’s major tools; it negates all rational thinking and makes a criminal of any accused of any crime, even those for which POCA was not made – it’s a constitutional nightmare.

So what happened to this suggestion?  Nothing happened – we’re all aware of the weak, wishy-washy changes that have been made to ‘protect’ us and give us back our freedoms – what a waste of time.

THERE IS NO JUSTICE; THERE IS ONLY PROCESS AND PROCEDURE.

Christian values abandoned by wealthy Westminster council

Anyone who reads the report that Westminster council want to ‘criminalise free food for the homeless’ can’t help but be appalled and disgusted.  They want to ban a free soup kitchen that provides food for 150 homeless people in one of the richest of London’s boroughs because basically it amounts to the fact that they make the place look untidy.

What has this country come to when Christian values are thrown away because of a ‘litter problem’ and some disturbance to local residents who, given that they live between Victoria station, busy Victoria Street, a couple of theatres and with Westminster and Parliament just a stone’s throw away, a little noise from the slurping of soup is bound to get on their nerves.

This attitude is a clear indication that our councils are sick to the core and that anti-Christian attitudes and values have permeated the council who couldn’t care less for the homeless.  Nothing could have made this clearer than last years scandal when two senior council officials were investigated by the police for ‘cash-for-homes’ fraud.

This is the latest in a string of examples of councils having lost the plot – they are there to serve the people, not the other way around.  How about Westminster finding homes for the homeless instead of brushing them under the carpet or trying to kill them off by denying them basic human rights?

As bad as the Human Rights legislation might be, this is a clear example that there must be protection for those who cannot speak up for themselves and if the Human Rights Act and the European Convention Human Rights legislation provides that protection, so be it.

Doesn’t this also fly in the face of the governments drive to have local charities pick up the slack of the governments failure to support its people.

This disgusting, non-Christian view is unacceptable and goes against common decency.

Murder death kill … what are our police trained for these days?

We’re police … we’re not trained for this sort of thing!

Certainly, it’s not a very nice world we live in; our society has been diluted by the so-called multiculturalism that seems to be the politicians mantra and cries of “racist” and “discrimination” ring out if any doubt or condemnation of it is voiced.  Britain plays host to many races and cultures, members of which are happy to embrace the cultures of the country while enjoying the freedom to honour their own culture.

Many members of those cultures however want nothing more than to destroy the British way of life by bringing their own particular brand of crime and disruption to our shores and then claiming asylum when caught and punished.  This has led to gettoised culturalism where gang culture flourishes and crime becomes a way of life; no-go zones are established which are avoided by the authorities in order to prevent ‘racial tension’ and where the mob rule becomes the established norm.

When we know our police won’t enter a park after dark because they can’t deal with the results then we know what an absolutely sick culture we now live in.  When our police begin to screen out crimes which are too difficult to solve then we know they have completely lost the plot.

What’s left for them to do?  Well, let’s see; there are motorists – they’re an easy target; benefits fraud, that’s a nice easy one too; how about domestic violence – nope, that’s a civil matter now … how about speaking your mind or having an opinion of your own; yep, that’s easy because you’re probably a radical and that’s just another name for a terrorist after all.

What about attending a public meeting at the local council – yes, that’s an arrestable offence now – you might discover the truth behind the real fraud being enacted in this country; taking a photograph of a police officer, that’s against the law … no it’s not ….. what?  It’s not against the law – the police or shopping mall security drone might say it’s illegal, but it’s not – yet!

So let’s get this right – the police can now decide which crimes to investigate and chose not to pursue those which are too difficult to solve because it might affect their statistics.  While Labour enacted thousands of new ways to create criminals and the Condems do nothing to unravel the mess (despite Clegg’s ‘Your Freedoms’ bollox) which means that everyone is under suspicion of something or other – all the time; we now have a police force that can act as policy makers.

For those familiar with the film “Demolition Man” – you’ll recognise that we’re now at the point in that predicted future where the police are unable to cope with  ‘real crime’ – stop the world, we want to get off!