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REAL1

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Top judge courtroom tirade as Cameron calls for national service.

 

Judge Ian Trigger

Judge Ian Trigger launched into an attack on 'feral' youths and criticised law makers

A judge has warned that an obsession with rights had created a society "bedevilled by feral youth".

Judge Ian Trigger spoke out amid a wave of anger over the murder of devoted family man Garry Newlove in a vicious gang attack.

He also attacked the policy of releasing violent offenders on bail - the case with the ringleader of the gang who kicked 47-year-old Mr Newlove to death outside his Warrington home.

Cameron also spoke out, calling today for the introduction of a form of national service to tackle yob culture.

The Tory leader said Garry Newlove's widow Helen "spoke for millions" when she said Britain's streets had been taken over by violent youths.

He told GMTV that legislation was not enough, and a change in society was needed to tackle the problem. In an emotional statement after her husband's killers were jailed earlier this week, Mrs Newlove pleaded for more to be done to stop youth gangs going on violent, drink-fuelled rampages against law-abiding people.

Today Mr Cameron said: "Mrs Newlove spoke for millions when she said that in too many parts of the country the streets have been taken over by the thugs and society has retreated.

"Passing a new law is not enough. We need a big social, cultural and political change about our whole approach to these issues."

He said returning police to the streets and improving discipline in schools were important.

"It's also about a return to a form of national service, what I call national citizens' service, something that every 16-year-old should do to learn about their duties and responsibilities as a citizen and inspire them as being part of our country instead of being people who hang round on street corners," he said.

The Tory leader said he envisaged 16-year-olds undertaking a six-week residential programme in which they would mix with people from different backgrounds.

Tough on yobs: David Cameron is calling for national service

Training with the army could form part of the scheme, Mr Cameron said, but he did not favour a return to traditional national service.

He added that more also needed to be done to enforce the existing law on the sale of alcohol, and urged people to report shops that sold to underage drinkers.

Cheshire Chief Constable Peter Fahy, whose force patrols Warrington, said a tide of drunkenness, coupled with extended opening hours, had left police struggling to cope with violent youths.

He said even middle-class children from "decent" families were being sucked into "extremes of violence" by alcohol.

Judge Trigger went further, warning of a generation apparently out of control.

His attack came at Liverpool Crown Court, as he sentenced a teenager who smashed a woman over the head with an iron bar while he was out on bail for a knife attack.

The judge said: "It is the fault of politicians that bail is so readily granted, rather than judges or magistrates.

"Parliament and its woeful and indeed dreadful concentration on rights forgets duties and responsibilities. It has meant people like you have the right to bail in these circumstances.

"We are living in a society which is bedevilled by wild feral youths such as you.

Before we plunge into even greater violence at the hands of lawless and irresponsible youths it is time for us to address the problem.

"It is time for parents to resume control over their offspring.

"It is time for parents to teach values and respect to their children, value and respect for other people and not allow their offspring to engage in selfish and irresponsible behaviour.

"It is time for the police to be released from administrative tasks and red tape and be once more a visible 24-hour presence on our streets, particularly in our violent hotspots.

Murder of a family man: Garry Newlove with his wife Helen and daughters, from left, Amy, 12, Zoe, 18, and 15-year-old Danielle

"It is time for the public not to criticise the police but support them so that wild youths like you are brought to justice.

"And it is time for Left-wing intellectuals and well-meaning do-gooders to abandon their obsession and concentrate on the obligations and responsibilities which we all owe each other.

"It is time for community and faith leaders to condemn the prevalent violence on our streets rather than excuse or condone it and it is time for sentencers to send a clear warning that violence will not be tolerated."

He imposed an indefinite sentence of detention on Yousef Rakeeb, 19, of Liverpool, with a minimum of five years before he can apply for parole.

Mr Fahy, who was out on patrol on the night father-of-three Mr Newlove died in August last year, said Britain was being swamped by a "tide of alcohol misuse".

He wants the age for buying alcohol to be raised, prices of drinks to be raised and yobs given tougher sentences.

He said he was frustrated by the "vast amount" of time his officers spent on alcohol-related crime. This had become worse since pubs were allowed to open later into the night.

Mr Fahy also blamed celebrities and programmes such as Big Brother for glorifying swearing and drinking.

Tory leader David Cameron pinned part of the blame for street violence on former Prime Minister Tony Blair.

He said: "The tragedy of Tony Blair was that he gave up on one half of his slogan, he gave up on being tough on the causes of crime".

The magistrate who released 19-year-old Adam Swellings on bail only hours before he killed Garry Newlove effectively had his hands tied, legal experts said last night.

Swellings appeared before Dr Ben John, 64, and two colleagues and admitted assault and obstructing a police officer.

Despite his record - 11 previous convictions, including assault - the JPs told Swellings, from Crewe, Cheshire, that he would be given a community service punishment when he was sentenced the following month.

That meant it would be unfair, under current legislation, to keep him in custody until then. The legislation says there must be "substantial grounds" for refusing bail.

Swellings - nicknamed Swellhead - was ordered to stay out of Warrington, where he was a known troublemaker.

But he ignored the condition and started the drinking and vandalism binge which resulted in his gang killing Mr Newlove.

PS: WHY NOT SEND THEM TO SIBERIA, LIKE THE GERMANS?

from ALLAN HALL in Berlin

A teenage tearaway has been banished to the wastes of Siberia in a crackdown on juvenile crime in Germany.

The violent 16-year-old has been sent on an "intensive educational experience" in a deal between his native city of Giessen and the tiny outpost of Sedelnikovoa.

In the middle of the Russian winter, where temperatures regularly plunge as low as minus 55c, he is living in a house without running water, central heating or even a toilet.

He has no access to TV, a telephone or the internet.

Giessen youth services chief Stefan Becker said: "If he doesn't hack wood, his place is cold. If he doesn't get water, he can't wash."

When he arrived for his nine-month exile, one of his first jobs was to dig an outside toilet.

The teenager, a persistent truant at home, also has to trudge nearly two miles to school every day.

Mr Becker said the move was a last resort after the "pathologically aggressive" binge-drinking teenager attacked his teachers following a string of other violent offences.

He said authorities wanted to remove the boy from "the stimuli of consumer culture" in Germany.

He added: "Things there are like we were 30 or 40 years ago".

The Siberian experiment means a new source of income for dirt-poor Sedelnikovoa, which is nearly 200 miles from the nearest city, Omsk.

The agreement is also a good deal for the German authorities. It is costing around £113 a day, about a third the price of keeping the teenager in a juvenile home in Germany. The boy is living with a German supervisor who speaks fluent Russian.

The tough punishment is certain to fuel the debate raging in Britain over how to curb the binge-drinking youth culture that has turned many town centres into no-go areas at night.


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A CONTROVERSIAL judge with a history of being “soft” on paedophiles has let a pervert who abused a five-year-old girl walk free from court.

Judge Julian Hall said the 17-year-old – who also molested a boy of seven – was “probably not dangerous” and ruled that he should not be publicly identified.

The shocked mother of his girl victim shouted from the public gallery: “Tell that to my daughter!”

Judge Hall, 69, – who last year gave a rapist just two years jail because his ten-year-old victim looked “provocative” – had heard how the 17-year-old systematically molested the girl for three years.

The youth admitted sexual assault on a child under 13 and causing or inciting his boy victim to engage in sexual activity.

The judge gave the youth a three-year community service order and ordered him to be placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register for 2½ years at Oxford Crown Court.

He told the youth, who lives in South Oxfordshire: “What you did was dreadful and it is behaviour which affects people rather badly and for a long time. “You are going to have to attend courses to help you sort out your attitude to sex and children younger than you.”

Judge Hall sparked fury last June when he jailed window cleaner Keith Fenn, 25, for two years for raping a ten-year-old girl who looked “provocative”.

He could have jailed him for life. He also gave Brian Haines, 71, just a supervision order after he was convicted of molesting a girl of 11 he was babysitting.

And he gave Eric Cole, 71, a suspended sentence for sexually assaulting a girl of six – telling him to give her cash for a new BIKE.


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Judge regrets jailing man in neighbour feud...

A judge has spoken of his "regret" at having to jail a pensioner for five years for firing a pistol at a neighbour's car after a long-running feud. Judge Andrew Brown said it was "perhaps reasonable" that Victor Bowden, 65, had become "exasperated" when he was awoken by loud music at 3.20am, following more than two years of complaints about the woman's frequent late-night parties.

  • The mandatory jail sentence - which was opposed by the woman whose car was damaged - reopened the debate on sentencing after an MP contrasted it with lesser sentences handed down to sex offenders.

    Judge Brown hinted that he had tried to avoid giving Bowden a five-year term for shooting out the windscreen of Karen Potter's car.

    He told Preston Crown Court: "I can take into account the circumstances which may have led to the foolish act he committed. Regrettably, despite all the research we have done, there is no justification for any sentence other than the minimum five years in this case."

    He told Bowden: "You had become exasperated, and perhaps reasonably so, by the music coming from your neighbour's house in the early hours of the morning.

    "Maybe because you had had some beer, on this particular night that exasperation became too much for you and you decided to make some noise of your own."

    David Davies, a Tory member of the home affairs select committee, said: "It does strike me as odd that someone like this can get five years but sex offenders can get far lesser sentences."

    The Ministry of Justice - and the Home Office before it - has come under pressure to review guidelines after a string of "soft sentence" cases.

    Keith Fenn, 24, was jailed for two years at Oxford Crown Court last year for raping a 10-year-old girl twice.

    In 2006 Richard Bruce, 35, a paedophile, was sentenced to 27 months in prison by a judge who admitted there was a "serious risk" he would reoffend.

    Bowden, a retired security guard from Fleetwood, Lancs, had been at loggerheads with Miss Potter, 37, for two-and-a-half years, and had complained about her to the local council, the court heard.

    During the early hours of Oct 18 last year, he picked up a pistol that his stepfather had seized in combat during the Second World War, pointed it out of his bedroom window and opened fire.

    A bullet went through the windscreen of Miss Potter's car and embedded itself in the dashboard. She called the police, who found the pistol hidden in a plant pot in Bowden's garden.

    In a letter to the judge, Miss Potter, a compliance officer for a power company, said: "I feel that he should be punished, but I don't ask that he go to prison."

    Bowden pleaded guilty to possession of an illegal firearm and having the gun while committing an act of criminal damage.

    Judge Brown jailed him for five years for possessing the pistol and a year for the secondary offence. The sentences will run concurrently.

    Det Con Mark Kelsall, of Lancashire Police, said: "Although nobody was in the street when he discharged the firearm his neighbours were understandably upset and scared."


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    Reply with quote  #64 
    How utterly ridiculous. The poor man must have been at his wits end. What he did was wrong but his neighbour was lucky - most folk would have battered her for a racket at that time! Seriously though, seen in terms of the sentences handed down to sex offenders, c'mon. Two years for raping a wee girl? Five years for a car windscreen? Seems the system finds any destruction or theft of property completely unacceptable, but it's fine to rape a child. "Something rotten in the state of Denmark..."

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    Top judge named and shamed for harassing ex-wife after losing battle for secrecy

    A judge who persuaded courts to hush up his own criminal convictions was yesterday named and shamed.

    His Honour Lincoln Crawford OBE was unmasked by the High Court as the man found guilty of a campaign of harassment against his ex-wife.

    For three years he has hidden behind a cloak of anonymity thanks to a draconian gagging order. Yet Crawford, 61, a part-time judge and distinguished barrister, continued to sit in judgment of others weeks after being charged.  

    He is still a practising barrister, advertising his services as a Government adviser on race relations. He fought to remain anonymous, arguing that making his name public would harm his children - and a succession of courts agreed.

    But yesterday, in a victory for the principle of open justice, the High Court lifted all reporting restrictions after an application by members of the Press, including the Daily Mail.

    Lord Justice Thomas said that just because he is a public figure, Crawford does not have any special right to privacy.

    "We are talking about conduct which deserves to be stigma-tised as criminal," he said to Crawford's counsel. "Your client is in no special position. Otherwise, you're saying a public figure is not equal before the law.

    "The case in indistinguishable from any other case arising out of a family dispute of this kind where the CPS decides to prosecute."

    Crawford waged a campaign of harassment against his estranged wife Bronwen Jenkins - daughter of the late trade union firebrand Clive Jenkins - and her new boyfriend Dominic Buttimore.

    He stalked them in the street, spied on their home and even burst into their house at 4am to take pictures.

    Police charged him on September 27, 2005, but he continued working as a Recorder, paid £500 a day and sitting at Middlesex Guildhall Crown Court and Wood Green Crown Court, until February 2006.

    He was convicted at Highbury magistrates' court in north London in May of that year, and given a conditional discharge for 18 months.

    But he managed to persuade magistrates to impose an order banning the Press from disclosing anything that would identify him.

    Crawford came to Britain a penniless immigrant from Trinidad aged 18, and worked nights as a security guard to fund his studies before qualifying as a lawyer and being called to the Bar in 1977.

    He was awarded the OBE in 1998 and earned a string of public appointments including at the Parole Board, the Prince's Trust, the Independent Adoption Service and Commission for Racial Equality.

    He was promoted to Recorder - a part-time judge - and dreamed of becoming Britain's first black High Court judge. But it was Lord Justice Thomas and Mrs Justice Dobbs - who ironically beat Crawford to the title of first black High Court judge - who sat in judgment of him as torrid details of his divorce battle was aired to the court.

    Previously-wed Crawford married Miss Jenkins, who is head of employment law at Irwin Mitchell, on June 5, 1999, in north London and they had two children together.

    But within four years the marriage foundered when Miss Jenkins began an affair and launched divorce proceedings.

    They became 'highly acrimonious' over the £1.7million marital home in Regent's Park and custody of their children, then aged four and two.

    Miss Jenkins, 44, won custody but, in one ugly episode, ordered a security guard at her office to intervene when she suspected Crawford had come to 'snatch' them back.

    Embittered Crawford complained to the guard that his wife was 'shagging up with a white man' - ironically falling foul of the Race Relations Act and worsening the harassment charge against him.

    One evening in June 2005, when Miss Jenkins arrived home with her new boyfriend, 44-year-old movie animator Mr Buttimore, Crawford was waiting outside and warned the startled Mr Buttimore: "You'll be having breakfast with my kids in the morning."

    A few weeks after that, the couple were at home at 4am when Crawford burst through the front door brandishing a mobile phone camera, started taking pictures and yelled it was "a disgrace that they were having sex in front of the children", the court heard.

    After his convictions for harassing Miss Jenkins and Mr Buttimore - who are engaged - Crawford appealed twice, losing both times.

    The Judicial Communications Office said Crawford had been suspended in February 2006 pending an inquiry to consider his fitness to be a judge.

    The Bar Council. which regulates barristers, refused to comment on whether action had, or would, be taken against Crawford.


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    We've lost control of our borders for the first time since 1066

     

    Judge Elwen

    Judge Elwin

    A judge listening to graphic details of an immigration centre riot yesterday warned that Britain had lost control of its borders "for the first time since 1066".

    Christopher Elwen gave the dramatic assessment after four foreign nationals were cleared of masterminding the "rampage" at Harmondsworth removal centre.

    Two of the men were jailed for the millions of pounds worth of damage caused during the huge disturbance, which left large parts of the 555-bed West London centre wrecked.

    Southwark Crown Court in London heard that the mayhem - sparked by complaints about human rights and detainees not having Sky TV - engulfed all four wings.

    Staff feared for their lives as many detainees armed themselves with makeshift weapons, damaged walls, destroyed security cameras, smashed windows, shattered furniture and started fires at the privately-run facility.

    Several of those on duty were forced to retreat as an enraged 50-strong mob battered down an internal security door.

    A woman officer had a towel rail hurled at her head "like a spear", which missed by an inch.

    Judge Elwen, bemoaning the existence of such centres, said: "In the last few years this country, perhaps for the first time since 1066, lost control of its borders and one of the unfortunate consequences of this has been the existence of detention centres such was Harmondsworth."

    In the dock were Ahmed Mohammed Ali, a 20-year-old failed Palestinian asylum seeker; Russian Andrey Pylaev, 22, another failed asylum seeker; Egyptian Sherif El-Gazzaz, 21, ordered out of the country following a three-anda-half year jail sentence for a separate violent disorder incident; and Russian national Alexsey Goryachiev, 26.

    They were all cleared of conspiracy to commit violent disorder between October 31 and November 30, 2006.

    Pylaev was found not guilty of two counts of damaging property, while Goryachiev was cleared of one.

    But Goryachiev was jailed for two months after admitting a separate charge of criminally damaging a CCTV camera, while El-Gazzaz, who pleaded guilty to damaging another camera and a wall panel, received a similar sentence.

    The judge said: "One cannot but have sympathy for the hundreds of detainees who have been held in such places in a limbo of boredom and uncertainty while the administrative procedures grind on.

    "It is quite clear in this case that was the situation to a large extent in Harmondsworth.

    "However, the overriding principle in law is clear, in that everyone in this country, where they are here legally or illegally, enjoys the protection of the law and in return must obey it.

    "In November 2006 there was a very serious outbreak of disorder at the Harmondsworth centre lasting the best part of a day and a very large amount of damage was caused.

    "Dozens, if not more, detainees took part."

    The judge added that prison was inevitable for the damage caused by the Egyptian and Russian, although he conceded their sentences were largely "academic" because both had served well over 300 days on remand awaiting trial.

    Both were recommended for deportation.

    The acquittals on the conspiracy count came after the jury heard the four defendants explain they had neither helped plan the "rampage" nor specifically taken part in it.

    When later asked why they had been roaming the complex during the disturbance, they said they were looking for somewhere warm or had been searching for friends.

    A report published by the Home Office last year revealed the rioters were fed McDonald's takeaway meals by prison staff.

    Staff ferried sackfuls of Big Mac meals from a nearby branch of the burger chain after bosses ordered that the rioters must be fed - amid fears that their human rights would be breached if "minimum needs" of food and drink were denied.


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    The only woman judge at the Old Bailey has retired after presiding in the court for 15 years.

    During her time at the top court 72-year-old Judge Ann Goddard gave decisions in many high profile cases.

     

    Judge Ann Goddard after the attack in 2001
          Judge Ann Goddard
     
    She was also the only judge who was attacked by a defendant. In 2001 a mentally ill man, Paul Horgan, punched her during a preliminary hearing.

    The judge, who suffered a cut to the head and a black eye, returned to work two days after the attack.

    Paul Horgan, who admitted killing his girlfriend, was sent to a secure hospital.

    Following the attack security glass was fitted to the docks.

    Paying tribute to her, the recorder of London, Judge Peter Beaumont, said: "Let none of us forget the courage and determination she showed in the face of the assault she suffered in her court.

    "When she returned to work two days later with a black eye, her complaint was not of her injury but of her concern that she had become the subject of media attention."

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    Judge in 'chilli hot' cleaner scandal will keep his job...

     

    AN immigration judge who had a "chilli hot" affair with his illegally employed Brazilian cleaner is to keep his £110,000-a-year job, it emerged today.

    The decision follows an inquiry by the country's judicial watchdog into the conduct of Mohammed Ilyas Khan after a blackmail case involving him, the cleaner, a woman judge and allegations about sex videos. The trial  -  which heard how Judge Khan had sent texts to cleaner Roselane Driza calling her "chilli hot stuff " and describing her as "a lovely shag"  -  led to calls for him to be sacked for bringing the judiciary into disrepute.


     
    Ilyias Khan

    Ilyias Khan will keep his £110,000 a year job...

    The inquiry, whose findings will be published today, will conclude that his employment of an illegal migrant is insufficient grounds for dismissal, although it will express criticism of his behaviour.

    The ruling means that Judge Khan, who has earned around £170,000 on gardening leave since agreeing to stand down while the investigation took place, will retain his £110,812 salary as well as his full pension entitlement.

    Despite this the judge, who presided over immigration cases at the Government's Asylum and Immigration Tribunal, will not return to work because of illness. It is understood his poor health means it is unlikely he will conduct any future hearings and could be forced to retire early.

    Today's decision follows a protracted investigation which began 19 months ago after the conclusion of Ms Driza's trial in September 2006. She was initially jailed for attempting to blackmail the female judge, who can be named only as Judge J, and stealing videos of Judge Khan having sex with the woman judge and another woman.

    She was later freed on appeal and cleared after the Crown Prosecution Service decided against a retrial because both Judge Khan, 62, and the woman judge were deemed too ill to give evidence.

    The probe into Judge Khan's conduct focused on the allegation that he had employed Ms Driza, 38, despite knowing that she was in the country illegally. Some criticisms of his behaviour will be expressed, but it is understood that the Office for Judicial Complaints, which conducted the inquiry, felt that he was not guilty of the gross level of misconduct required to remove a judge.

    One reason is that although potentially exposing the judiciary to ridicule, his lewd texts and sexual conduct were not deemed to be relevant to any decision over his suitability as a judge.
    Officials today refused to comment on the inquiry's findings ahead of their formal publication.

    Ms Driza, who entered Britain in 1998 as a tourist, remains here despite having had no legal right since 1999.

    Roselane Driza

    Roselane Driza, the Brazilian cleaner at the centre of the scandal...


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    Reply with quote  #69 

    "I was only having a shave"

    This was Neilson's defence after being caught in a police raid at a Glasgow brothel. We try our best to overlook the personal conduct of Scotland's lawyers and Judges and concentrate instead on their corrupt professional practices. However, this scandal raises some very important questions:

    1. If he was sitting in judgement on a prostitute or brothel owner would he have declared an interest and withdrawn from the case? We doubt it very much!

     

    Such secret conflicts compromise the impartiality of many of Scotland's lawyers and judges when dealing with their brother lawyers. The legal profession is an incestuous village where professional negligence cases against lawyers are destined to fail.

     

    In support of this contention we would cite the fact the Law Society and Scottish Court Service have refused to provide or publish any statistical data on the success rates of professional negligence claims.

     

    2. Neilson, 52, was suspended while Scotland's two most senior judges, Lord Cullen and Lord Gill, launched an investigation into his fitness for office.

     

    When he resigned the 'investigation' was brought to an abrupt end. Neilson must surely have known resignation was the only option - so why was he allowed to milk the cash cow for a whole 4 months?

     

    SACL also want to know who paid for this costly judicial investigation and if Neilson threatened to spill some beans? Such as the identity of other prominent Sheriffs who go for a shave in Glasgow's brothels....

    Click Here to read Sheriff Neilson's page.


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    Muslims in Britain should be able to live under Sharia law, says top judge...

    Muslims attend a mosque: Muslims in Britain should be able to live under Sharia law, says top judge
    Suggestions that Sharia law can be used to help govern issues like family disputes and the sale of financial products have drawn criticism...
     
    Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, the Lord Chief Justice, strongly backed Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, over his suggestion earlier this year that aspects of Sharia law should be adopted in Britain.
     
    The Lord Chief Justice, Lord Phillips
    Lord Chief Justice,
    Lord Phillips...

    The archbishop's remarks sparked a national debate and led to calls for his resignation.

    Risking inflaming that controversy again, Lord Phillips has said that Muslims in Britain should be able to use Sharia to decide financial and marital disputes.

    The judge did add that only the criminal courts should have the power to decide when a crime has been committed and when to impose punishment.

    But his suggestion that different religious groups should run their affairs according to different rules sparked warnings that community cohesion could be undermined.

    In a speech at the East London Muslim Centre in east London, Lord Phillips said it was "not very radical" for Dr Williams to argue that Sharia law can be used to help govern issues like family disputes and the sale of financial products.

    Lord Phillips said: "It is possible in this country for those who are entering into a contractual agreement to agree that the agreement shall be governed by law other than English law."

    Therefore, he said, he could see no reason why Sharia law should not be used to settle disputes in this country.

    He said: "There is no reason why principles of Sharia law, or any other religious code, should not be the basis for mediation or other forms of alternative dispute resolution."

    He added: "It must be recognized however that any sanctions for a failure to comply with the agreed terms of the mediation would be drawn from the laws of England and Wales."

    Sharia law suffered from "widespread misunderstanding" in Britain, Lord Phillips said.

    "Part of the misconception about Sharia law is the belief that Sharia is only about mandating sanctions such as flogging, stoning, the cutting off of hands or death for those fail to comply with the law," he said.

    "In some countries the courts interpret Sharia law as calling for severe physical punishment. There can be no question of such courts sitting in this country, or such sanctions being applied here."

    The judge said Dr Williams had been misunderstood when it was reported in February that he said British Muslims could be governed by Sharia law.

    Lord Phillips said that the archbishop was saying only that "it was possible for individuals voluntarily to conduct their lives in accordance with Sharia principles without this being in conflict with the rights guaranteed by our law".

    There is already scope in English law for some communities to use their own religious codes to resolve disputes. Orthodox Jews can use the Beth Din rabbinical courts to decide on matters including divorce.

    However some critics say that women marrying under Sharia law do not have the same rights as in English law, and could lead to them being treated as second class citizens as far as divorce settlements, custody of children and inheritance go.

    Muslim and Christian politicians expressed fears that at a time of heightened tensions, encouraging Muslims to live by their own distinct rules could make it harder for different communities to integrate.

    Khalid Mahmood, Labour MP for Birmingham Perry Bar and a practising Muslim, said that allowing Sharia law in parts of the UK would be divisive.

    He said: "This would create a two-tier society. It is highly retrograde. It will segregate and alienate the Muslim community from the rest of British society.

    "The majority of British Muslims want to live only under British law and they would reject anything that means they are treated differently.

    "What Lord Phillips and the archbishop are discussing is something that is completely outside their area of understanding."

    Philip Davies, the Conservative MP for Shipley, said Lord Phillips' suggestion was "totally unacceptable."

    He said: "It is very unhelpful for community cohesion. This is the sort of thing that builds up tensions in areas like mine, in places like Bradford. Sharia law has got no place in any shape or form in British law."

    Andrew Selous, a Tory MP and chairman of the all-party Christians in Parliament group, said calls like those made by Lord Phillips and the archbishop were "worrying."

    He said: "As far as people of all faiths are concerned, it is important that we are all equal under one United Kingdom law. It will lead to more community tensions rather than less."

    Lord Ahmed, a Labour peer and practicing Muslim, said there was a "big debate" among British Muslims about whether and how Sharia should apply in the UK.

    He said: "There is a risk that this would make it harder for communities to integrate -- we all need to do more to integrate, and mainstream society has to do more as well."

    "We should have one law for everyone in the UK, but there may be very rare occasions when exceptions have to be made, like for marriage, divorce and food."

    A Muslim lawyer said that raising the prospect of allowing people to live under Sharia law in Britain would "alarm" people.

    Mahmud Al Rashid, spokesman from the Association of Muslim Lawyers, said: "There is massive misunderstanding about what Sharia is. It is not a single law."

    A spokesman for Dr Williams said: "We welcome the speech given by the Lord Chief Justice as a positive and constructive contribution to this important and ongoing debate."

    Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor, the Archbishop of Westminster and leader of Britain's Catholics, said that people should live under the laws of the UK.

    His spokesman said: "As the Cardinal has consistently said and indeed said earlier this year, was that Britons should abide by and be subject to the law of the land."

    Downing Street said the Government's position on the issue of Sharia law had been made clear at the time of the controversy over the Archbishop's speech.

    "We think that British law should be based on British values and determined by the British Parliament," the Prime Minister's spokesman said.

    Baroness Warsi, the Conservative shadow minister for community cohesion, backed the judge.

    She said: “The Lord Chief Justice's speech is a very clear and unifying speech for our communities in Britain.

    ”I specifically endorse the points made by Lord Phillips that with equality of rights come responsibilities. It is absolutely essential that everyone in this country is treated equally by the law but it is important that everyone is equally subject to it, and that the same laws apply equally to everyone.”


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    Community service punishment is the ideal sentence for an idle criminal, judge says...



    Judge Richard Brown

    Judge Richard Brown said orders to carry out the unpaid work were 'pointless'...

    Community service punishments are 'good news for people who like sitting around,' a judge declared yesterday.

    Judge Richard Brown said orders to carry out the unpaid work were 'pointless' if offenders were given nothing to do when they turned up.

    His comments came after a defendant accused of breaching an order said he had refused to attend community service because it was a waste of his time.

    Michael Chambers, 55, said he and other offenders sat around for hours because probation officers did not have enough for them to do.

    They were sent home early on some occasions because of the lack of work, Chambers told a court.

    His lawyer said Chambers had found the experience 'extremely frustrating' because it meant he could not repay his debt to society.

    Judge Brown replied: 'There is no point in having community orders if people don't do anything. It may be good news for people who like sitting around. If the reality is he is literally sitting around for hours I want to know.'

    The judge ordered Chambers, of Eastbourne, East Sussex, to complete his sentence and gave him an extra ten hours of unpaid work for breaching the original order.

    But he told him to let the court know if he was not given work after waiting for more than three hours.

    Probation chiefs said Chambers was supposed to be picking up litter. It was called off because of heavy rain.

    Chambers had been ordered to do 80 hours of unpaid work after he admitted a charge of harassment following a dispute with his ex-wife in March.

    He completed 40 hours but admitted breaching his order by failing to attend on two dates in April and June.

    Alissa Scott-Beckett, defending, told Lewes Crown Court that Chambers was of the 'old school' and would rather be working than sitting around doing nothing.

    She said: 'What he has found extremely difficult to deal with is that on so many of the occasions there is no work and they sit around smoking and reading newspapers. It has been extremely frustrating. He feels he is not repaying anything to society. He is simply sitting down waiting for some work.'

    A Sussex probation spokesman said offenders were 'stood down' from community work on only 1.7 days in every 100, compared to a national target of no more than five. He added: 'On this occasion Mr Chambers was one of a group of offenders engaged in an environmental improvement project to remove rubbish from a public area.

    'Very heavy rainfall meant it was unsuitable for offenders to continue work and after a period the group was stood down, which is in line with national guidance.'


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    A judge flew into a rage in court yesterday after being presented with a charge sheet littered with spelling mistakes and grammatical errors.

    In an extraordinary outburst at the Old Bailey, Judge David Paget bemoaned declining standards of written English and branded a bureaucrat from the Crown Prosecution Service an 'illiterate idiot'.

    In the papers, the official had consistently misspelt the word 'grievous', four times accusing the defendant of 'greivous bodily harm'. 

    The judge also slammed the bureaucrat for stating that the defendant had used an offensive weapon, 'namely axe,' instead of 'namely an axe'.

    After reading the charge sheet the judge threw the papers down on to the bench in disgust and fumed: 'It's quite disgraceful. This is supposed to be a centre of excellence. To have an indictment drawn up by some illiterate idiot is not good enough.'

    The judge's was discussing a case at the Old Bailey which had been transferred from Wood Green Crown Court in North London.

    He said he hoped Wood Green staff would take more care before transferring cases to the Central Criminal Court in future.

    Last night Jack Bovill, chairman of the Spelling Society, defended the judge's actions but also pointed out that 'grievous' is a tricky word to spell.

    'The judge has used rather strong language, but he's absolutely correct to pull up this official,' Mr Bovill said.

    'In the legal profession it is vital that people get spellings correct as serious problems can arise from getting things wrong. The judge is right to say spelling is important.

    'Some great minds, such as Winston Churchill and Albert Einstein, were not great spellers. Grievous is quite a difficult word to spell and some people can muddle through with poor spelling, but not in the legal profession.'

    Last week a university professor was criticised for suggesting that college staff turn a blind eye to students' spelling mistakes.

    Dr Ken Smith of Buckinghamshire New University said common misspellings, such as 'Febuary', 'ignor' and 'speach' should be considered as alternative spellings.


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    A SHERIFF has sensationally quit after being accused of paying for spanking and whipping sessions with hookers.

    Andrew Lothian stood down after admitting he visited a sleazy sauna.

    His shock exit came after a prostitute told a Sunday rag she was regularly paid £50 to whip him at Carol's in Edinburgh.

    She claimed Lothian visited as recently as Wednesday, when he paid s180 for a threesome with her and another girl. Claims about the 66-year-old sheriff first emerged as police investigated the alleged blackmail of a Halifax Bank of Scotland worker.

    Two brothers charged with the crimes told officers they had video evidence of the sheriff with the hooker - who has been charged with the same blackmail plot.

    It is unclear when Lothian, who earned £125,000 a year, was first challenged about his vice sessions at the sauna in Easter Road, Leith.

    But on Friday he was confronted by bosses at a meeting and agreed to quit immediately.

    The Crown Office said: "Following allegations that were made on Friday about his private life Sheriff Andrew Lothian made the decision to retire with immediate effect."

    The official website of Carol's Sauna describes it as "Edinburgh's best kept secret" and boasts it is run by a "charming local couple".

    It adds: "The ladies here at Carol's are a delightful selection and are predominantly Scottish.

    "Furthermore, each is keen to show their customers how much they appreciate their custom and will always give cl ients a fantastic welcome!"

    Pictures show a series of dingy bedrooms with mirrored walls.

    Owner Tom Punton last night said: "I don't want to comment."

    The hooker at the centre of the storm, a 30-year-old single mum from nearby Musselburgh, said: "The sheriff liked being whipped more than anything.

    "He paid £20 to get into Carol's and he would pay me £50 .

    "I first met him two years ago after I started working there.

    "The other girls all knew him and they told me he was a sheriff.

    "It became a bit of a joke that we would need to get the whip out every time we saw him coming in.

    "He sometimes picked me, but he also chose other girls working on the same shift in the sauna.

    "I used to ask him if he was on his lunch hour but he was cagey about what he did for a living.

    "He didn't realise it was well known among all the girls there.

    "One of them had seen him wearing his wig in court but we are told to be discreet and not to ask punters questions they don't want to answer.

    "He was actually in on Wednesday.

    "He paid £180 for me and another girl.

    "He wanted us to put on a show for him then he joined in.

    "I know the police were made aware of what he's been up to when they were investigating me and two other men for something else.

    "I know the men told the police they had a video of him with other prostitutes but I have never been spoken to by police about the sheriff."

    Sauna customers are rarely prosecuted but owners can be convicted of living off immoral earnings.

    If he had remained on the bench, Lothian could have faced claims he risked a conflict of interest and left himself open to blackmail.

    A spokesman for Lothian and Borders police refused to comment.

    Sheriffs usually carry on until they are 70, which means Lothian is leaving his job four years early.

    Two days after his visit to Carol's he spent his last day in Edinburgh Sheriff Court dealing with drink-driving, assault and fraud cases. He took over from Sheriff Alastair Noble in court five at around 10.30am and handled several cases.

    One involved a elderly man who pleaded guilty to obtaining £8000 in benefits to which he was not entitled.

    Others included a young woman who admitted punching a girl at a party and a man who admitted being drunk and driving his girlfriend's car without having a licence or insurance.

    Lothian was accused in the mid-90s of beating his estranged first wife Harriet in the family home.

    In 1999 Harriet went public after she became angry at the Crown Office's refusal to prosecute.

    In 200 1it emerged that Lothian used one of his own courts to try to have Harriet evicted from her home in the Borders.

    She claimed it was unfair his £100,000 civil action seeking the sale of the house was heard by a colleague of Lothian at Selkirk Sheriff Court, where he sometimes presided.

    Lothian was also once investigated by the Inland Revenue.

    It was claimed he failed to declare valuable paintings and antiques in order to avoid paying inheritance tax.

    The two brothers in the alleged blackmail plot are on remand awaiting trial after making a first appearance at Haddington Sheriff Court.

    SHERIFF Lothian's sauna of choice is one of 20 sex-for-sale parlours across Edinburgh and Leith.

    The blue canopies at Carol's mark it out from a row of tenements a corner kick away from Hibernian's Easter Road stadium.

    The website lists nine women, aged 21-35, with descriptions and vital statistics. They include Scots, a German and an Asian woman.

    It adds: "The emphasis is on both your relaxation and discretion - all our masseuses have their own special techniques.

    "Carol's boasts four luxurious massage rooms, all of which are fully mirrored.

    "Each cabin also has a television which shows an interesting range of videos."

    A customer review posted on the site says: "Carol's is an intimate little sauna on the quiet end of Easter Road, run by a friendly couple in their mid-30s.

    The decor has a cosy, IKEA-like quality...surprisingly welcoming."

    Although it's an open secret that so-called saunas sell sex, they are licensed by councils in Scotland's major cities.

    SHAMED Lothian is not the first member of the judiciary caught in a sex scandal. Sheriff Hugh Neilson, 56, was suspended after he was found wearing just a towel when police raided The Royale Club in Glasgow in 2004.

    The married church elder gave the bizarre excuse he was only at the brothel for a shave. But the Sunday Mail revealed he had paid for sex in the past - and he confessed to visiting saunas on four separate occasions.

    When quizzed, Neilson, below, told how one girl had rubbed her breasts up and down him and said: "I had sexual intercourse with her. I paid for it."

    He resigned from his s119,000-a-year post at Hamilton Sheriff Court.

    Later Perth advocate Alan Muir said he too had visited saunas.

    He said he had done nothing wrong in taking part in an "upfront commercial transaction between two consenting adults".


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    Facebook salutes tough-talking judge who told headbutted burglar 'it serves you right'...

     

    Tough talking: Judge Dudley Bennett has been hailed as 'a god' on Facebook

    Tough talking: Judge Dudley Bennett has been hailed as 'a god' on Facebook...

    A tough-talking judge renowned for his sharp tongue when sentencing criminals has had a Facebook group set up in his honour.

    Judge Dudley Bennett - nicknamed Dudders - regularly gives the guilty an ear-bashing before sending them to prison.

    Defending barristers who put forward sob stories on their client's behalf can also face a stern rebuke from the judge.

    In one case Judge Bennett, who sits at Nottingham Crown Court, told serial burglar Wayne Spencer, who was head butted by one of his victims, that he only had himself to blame.

    The judge told the 26-year-old in January last year: 'It is perfectly reasonable for homeowners to use reasonable force to protect their property and protect themselves.

    'He was perfectly reasonable to head butt you. It serves you right, in fact.'

    Judge Bennett then jailed Spencer for four years.

    Tough talking: Judge Dudley Bennett has been hailed as 'a god' on Facebook

    Tough talking: Judge Dudley Bennett has been hailed as 'a god' on Facebook...

    Now he has had a Facebook group called 'Judge Dudley Bennett - We Salute You' - set up in tribute to his tough approach.

    So far the group has 61 members including Corinne Waterworth, who wrote: 'This man is a god.

    'With his chair shuffles, his peering over his glasses, his ability to arrive at 11am and be through the list by 11.07am. There should be a fly on the wall show about just him.'

    Today Judge Bennett said he would not comment on the group as it would not be appropriate. He added that he had not authorised the group to be set up.


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    COURT IN THE ACT

    Judge ruled on vice cases.. but paid for sex in secret

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    A SENIOR married judge had a secret nine-month fling with a £250-a-night RENT BOY, the News of the World can reveal.

    Judge Gerald Price QC, 60, was so besotted with 25-year-old Christopher Williams he set him up with a FLAT, paid him a monthly ALLOWANCE and let him sit on the bench in court as he presided over TRIALS.

    Williams said: "His business is truth but he's been living a lie."

    The judge is under investigation by The Ministry of Justice today after the News of the World discovered he risked his marriage and his career for a passionate affair with the male prostitute.

    Judge Price grew so obsessed with the rent boy 35 years his junior that he let him sit next to him in COURT while he jailed criminals.

    Price gave 25-year-old Christopher Williams unfettered access to three Crown Courts - an abuse of power that will horrify the authorities. The judge also used his experience to help Williams beat a public order rap - at the same time as paying him a monthly £420 for what he called a sex "season ticket".

    Williams even got to see sensitive confidential trial papers and defendants' criminal records.

    Now the £129,000-a-year lawyer and father-of-two faces a charge sheet of his own as we detail the affair conducted behind the back of his trusting wife, revealing shocking lapses of judgement in which he:

    • PAID for gay sex in a hotel despite ruling on VICE cases.
    • RENTED two flats for Williams as love nests for their secret fling.
    • EXPOSED himself to the threat of blackmail.
    • PRETENDED to court officials that Williams was a law student.
    • TOOK Williams away on official business, staying in hotel rooms.
    • PROPOSED on one knee to the rent boy, vowing to leave his wife.

    Last night in an exclusive interview gay escort Williams said: "What Gerald did was dangerous. His business was truth but he lived a lie. He was at real risk of being blackmailed. Imagine the power a criminal could wield over a judge with info like this."

    Judge Gerald Price QC ruled on vice cases but paid for sex in secret
    FOR RENT: Judge found williams on net

    Price is a senior circuit judge who has sat for nine years in Swansea, Cardiff and Carmarthen, South Wales, ruling on hundreds of cases.

    His conduct is in clear breach of The Guide To Judicial Conduct - the rule book for the judiciary. It states:

    "It is necessary for the continuity of the system of law as we know it that there be standards of conduct, both in and out of court. . .

    "A judge must accept personal restrictions that might be viewed as burdensome by the ordinary citizen and should do so freely and willingly. In particular, a judge shall conduct himself or herself in a way that is consistent with the dignity of the judicial office."

    Judge Price's affair with Williams brings the judiciary into disrepute and is in contravention of the guide's sections covering impartiality, integrity and propriety.

    We first informed Price of our investigation nine days ago. He now faces an inquiry by the Ministry of Justice complaints department but so far has not been suspended. Judge Price - who has stood unsuccessfully for Parliament as a Tory candidate in THREE general elections and has been an Anglican lay preacher since 1969 - first contacted Williams for sex through an escort website last September.

    Judge Gerald Price QC ruled on vice cases but paid for sex in secret

    Williams said: "I had a random email from him. I replied and told him my fee was £80. Then we arranged to meet up.

    "He picked me up at the train station in his convertible Volvo and we did the deal at the Days Inn hotel in the Sarn Park services on the M4. It was the day before his 60th birthday. He told me I was his birthday present to himself.

    "At first he wanted to talk. Then we had sex. I didn't know he was a judge - just a married man who worked in Swansea. It ended with a 'thank you' and he dropped me off at Bridgend station."

    Judge Price had called himself "Graham" but made his true identity clear to Williams at a second meeting four days later. This time it was at the judge's second home near Carmarthen, Dyfed. Williams said: "It was an overnight stay so it cost him £250. He always paid cash. His wife Theresa did operatics and those nights she'd stay at the family's main house in Cowbridge.

    "The Carmarthen house is absolutely gorgeous, a half-a-mile drive down a dirt track. It's a magnificent big place with outbuildings and an old water mill.

    "Things started with general chit chat, getting to know each other, and he admitted he was a judge. He was really worried and begged me not to tell anyone about us.

    "We had an Indian which we picked up from Lampeter and drank lots of wine and vodka.

    Judge Gerald Price QC ruled on vice cases but paid for sex in secret
    FIRST DATE: Days Inn hotel on M4

    "Then we spent the night in the double bed in his adult son's room."

    Next day Judge Price took the breathtaking risk of introducing Williams into the heart of his professional life at Carmarthen court. Williams said: "Security tried to stop me following Gerald in but he said, 'Oh no, he's with me' and I was escorted to the judges' chambers. That day I sat in the press gallery. But he was keen for me to get more involved."

    Quickly the judge became infatuated with Williams, seeing him almost every day. "He'd come up after work and we'd go to a local pub in Merthyr Tydfil," recalled Williams. "No sex, just drinks.

    "It was only sexual when he had a few hours free, once or twice a week." But soon the cost got too much for the judge. Williams said: "That's when he came up with the idea of a 'season ticket'. My response was 'Like a bus pass?' It ended up as a monthly allowance of £420 in cash."

    Now the pair were firmly ensconced in each other's lives, the judge set about making Williams a regular face at court.

    That was despite being known for ruling on vice cases, including an order to snatch every penny owned by brothel madam Julie Hyett - a policeman's wife - giving her a 15-month suspended jail term.

    Williams told us: "I sat on the bench next to Gerald for at least five days in Cardiff, three in Swansea, and once in Carmarthen. Security knew who I was and I was never stopped or hindered. Gerald passed me off as a law student.

    "I was also in his private chambers behind the courtroom. That's where I caught sight of a lot of court files and criminal records - stuff only the judge and counsel should see."

    Judge Gerald Price QC ruled on vice cases but paid for sex in secret
    WRIT BY JUDGE: With kiss on bottom

    Price was well aware of the risks he was taking by flaunting his lover so brazenly in court. Williams said: "We were having a drink with a gay barrister friend in February and he told Gerald that having me sat on the bench was a lapse in judgement and very unprofessional. He warned that serious questions could be asked."

    In December the judge used his position to secure an apartment for trysts while he sat in Cardiff. "We used the title His Honour Judge Gerald Price just to help get the flat," said Williams. "A landlord is a lot more trusting then."

    The judge was now regularly using the cover of official business to be with his young lover. Williams said: "He was on a sexual offences seminar at Warwick University in November and I went with him. We stayed at the Glebe Hotel for three nights and had sex every night.

    "The next trip was to London in December. He was on the recruitment panel for the Ministry of Justice finding new judges.

    "We stayed mainly at the Citadines Hotel on Northumberland Avenue near Trafalgar Square. He told me he'd claim the cost from the ministry. We travelled up on a Sunday evening and came back on a Friday afternoon. In the evenings we went to the theatre with seats booked in his name."

    It was while returning from a London visit that Williams ran into trouble with British Transport Police, charged with a public order offence for being drunk on the train.

    "The case was due to be heard at Cardiff but Gerald helped me get it sidelined," said Williams.

    "He went through my statements and charge sheet marking important areas that could help my case. Then he photocopied passages from Stone's Justice Manual which showed the arguments I could use in defence. I was able to keep picking out points of law until it just disappeared."

    Williams was eventually bound over to keep the peace for six months. Soon the judge abandoned the sex 'season ticket' in favour of financing Williams' lifestyle.

    He took out a tenancy on a £550-a-month marina flat near Swansea courthouse so the pair could meet regularly for sex in the afternoons.

    The landlords confirmed to us that Judge Price DID take the tenancy and that they had seen him at the flat with Williams. They claimed they are now chasing the lawyer for unpaid rent.

    Judge Price also paid for Williams' mobile phone and food while giving him cash handouts and access to his personal credit card as perks.

    So confident had Price become in his secret double life, he even introduced Williams to his 56-year-old wife Theresa at a rugby match.

    Williams said: "She asked me if I had a girlfriend and I said I was single. She seemed nice and when it was time to go I kissed her on both cheeks. But Gerald later told me she'd guessed I was gay."

    Judge Price even PROPOSED civil partnership to Williams after a lovers' tiff.

    Williams said: "He got down on one knee and promised he'd leave his wife. I was just to bear with him while he sorted out their finances. I was quite shocked and said, 'Yes, but we'll see if you have the guts to leave her.' I really wanted him to do it. I had strong feelings for him."

    And it was Judge Price's vow to leave his wife that brought the secret relationship to a head. Williams revealed: "Gerald and Theresa had a big argument and later I was with him in the pub.

    "After a few pints I said to him, 'It's now or never - do it!' And he didn't. But when we got back to my flat I asked for his phone to phone my mother, then I actually phoned his wife and told her everything.

    "I said, 'It's Chris, you met me at the rugby. Me and Gerald have been in a relationship since September.' And then I handed the phone to Gerald. To say he was shocked would be an understatement. He was mortified. He'd have been quite happy to lead his double life for the rest of his life without anyone knowing."

    We have tried repeatedly to get Judge Price to account for his behaviour. He denies some of Williams' claims but won't volunteer details about their relationship. He feels our probe invades his privacy and, through his lawyers, insisted there is no public interest in our disclosures.

    A Judicial Communications Office spokesman said: "Having been approached by the press, Judge Price has voluntarily provided a detailed account of the circumstances to the senior judiciary. The matter has been referred to the Office for Judicial Complaints to consider whether there has been a breach of discipline."


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