2 pints of Family Law and 2 packets of Judges

Sir J Munby, President of the High Court’s Family Division, has said that there is a need to move away from judges holding hearings in a “palais de justice, sitting on an enormous throne”. He has also stated that courtrooms in the future, must be provided “where we need them” and pop-up courts could be held in buildings such as pubs or town halls.

F. Gibbs, legal editor for The Times, told of how Sir Munby suggested that litigants could even participate in Power of Attorney matters with online video links “from their kitchen tables”.

In March this year, Sir Munby even claimed that divorces will take place over mobile phones or laptops from next year (2017), with an online system meaning neither husband, wife nor the judge will need to be in a courtroom.
He said the click-for-divorce process was a “vision not of some distant future but what has to be”, and that the court system would no longer be “moored in the world if the late Mr Charles Dickens”.

A couple who agree to divorce will be able to answer online questionnaires about their marital history, wealth and income as well as arrangements made for their children. The online divorce costs around £400, saving a couple thousands of pounds in legal fees.

Click-for-divorce is all well and good if the couple amicably agree to divorce, but what about the cases where a spouse is being stubborn and making an amicable divorce impossible?
And what’s stopping a claimant getting pissed before their case is heard if we do have ‘courts’ held in pubs?

I know life evolves and so must the law but a court should be held in a building purposefully made for those matters, not in the local boozer with the local drunk watching over proceedings.

Family matters should be heard in private, I fail to understand why a family case would be held in a public place, it isn’t in the public’s interest to hear if A is divorcing B because they have cheated on them with C and now A has an STD as a result of B’s infidelity. All it will do is cause public humiliation for all parties involved.

Sorry but I have to say I’m out on this one!

The inquest of Alice Gross

Alice gross was 14 years-old when she was found buried in the river in Hanwell, West London, in September 2014, 7 weeks after she was reported missing.

The inquest into her death was held on the 27th of June 2016 and the court was informed of how the schoolgirl was found with above-normal traces of GHB after what is believed to have been a ‘serious sexual assault’ by her suspected killer, Arnis Zalkalns, a convicted murderer from Latvia.

Zalkalns, who arrived in Britain in 2007, had killed his wife 10 years earlier but slipped under the authorities radar due to EU Laws.As an EU national, he had gone under no background checks- meaning he was completely unknown to the British authorities. He was also arrested in 2009 on suspicion of sexually assaulting a 14 year-old girl just 2 miles away from where Alice was killed. The case was dropped after the alleged victim refused to make a statement.

Alice’s body was badly decomposed when it was found in the slit of the river bed, wrapped in bin liners from Zalkalns’ work-place and weighed down with a bicycle wheel and bricks. Logs about 1m in length- and piled above the towpath from where the council had cleared the undergrowth- had also been rolled into the river and stocked in a pyramid shape above Alice’s body.

Zalkalns’ returned to the scene at least 3 times in the days of Alice’s death and it was stated in court that the police cordon may have precipitated his suicide- he was found hanged from a tree in Boston Manor Park, Hounslow,  4 days later.

So no background checks were done on someone entering Britain and because he was an EU national he was free to come and go as he pleased. Thank god we voted out of the EU, I know it is too later to remedy justice for Alice but hopefully we will be able to put measures in place to make our country a safer environment for British nationals.

Too fat for court?

Regular readers of my blog will know how infuriated I get by the sheer laziness of people who claim they are ‘too fat’ for work etc, well now the excuse of being ‘too fat’ has extended to attending court.

Forklift truck driver weighing 34-stone refuses to turn up to drink driving sentencing because he’s ‘so fat he’s technically disabled’ (Daily Mail)

J. Wiech argued that his bulging belly counted as a disability which would spare him the trouble if answering the summons. He was due to appear before Magistrates in York after he was found slumped over his car steering wheel having downed 4 beers and a bottle of vodka. A breath test showed 68 micrograms of alcohol in his system- the legal limit is 35.
A warrant was issued for his arrest after he failed to turn up to court on the 6th of June (2016) and was brought back to court under police guard.

Wiech, who speaks limited English, explained to the duty solicitor he had ‘mobility problems’ caused by his size, however, when the excuse was delivered to the bench, District Judge A. Lower, stated that this ‘was not an excuse’, also stating that Wiech could have covered the 15 miles journey by train or taxi, or both. The case was then adjourned again because a Polish interpreter was needed.
Under strict instructions to attend his trial, Wiech wheezed his way across the road from the bus stop opposite the court house.

On the day of the incident, Wiech had been found slumped over the steering wheel of his car parked outside the local village store by a passer by. His keys were found on the floor of the vehicle and he told police that he had downed 4 pints of beer and a glass of whickey after finishing his night shift. However, he had stopped drinking at 9am and did not drive until 2pm when he needed to visit the shop.

While parked outside the shop, he claims he had an argument with his ex wife over the phone and downed a ‘small’ bottle of vodka before dozing off. the next thing he remembered was being roused from his stupor by police.
He denied drink driving but admitted to a lesser charge of drunk in charge of a vehicle. He also admitted to failing to attend court and to having no insurance.

Wiech was fined £325 plus £85 court costs and a £30 surcharge. His licence was endorsed with 10 penalty points but he escaped a ban.
He was also told by District Judge D. Golding that he would not “get the same chance” if he appeared before them again.

I’m sorry but he should have been banned in my opinion. There is no excuse for failing to attend court because you’re fat and there is certainly no excuse for drinking whilst being in charge of a vehicle. The law needs to be tougher on people like this because all it shows is that an offender will get is a slap on the wrist if they break the law.

No faking it at school

I have such a low opinion of the youth of today. I mean half of the schoolies I see on a daily basis have no manners whatsoever and they all look like mini celeb clones. Don’t they have any individuality?

It seems like I am not the only one who disapproves of they way kids go dressed to school these days.  A headteacher from Kent, Mr Vyse, has sent letters to the parents of his pupils telling them that school is not a fashion parade and has also warned that those caught breaking the rules on dress code and appearance will face punishment when the new school year begins in September.

Is there any full need for kids to go to school with fake eyelashes that resemble Daisy the Cow, a tan that looks like they’ve rolled in cheese Dorito’s and makeup that looks like they’ve been gang-banged by crayola? Call me old fashioned but I really don’t understand the youth of today.

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Hot hatch death race

I absolutely despise dangerous drivers. Driving is frustrating enough without idiots driving around like they’re on GTA and causing accidents and heartbreak for families. Not to mention the impact that racing around has on insurance premiums when there is an accident caused by someone driving dangerously. So you can imagine my delight when I read about two “boy racers”, racing their “hot hatches” on the dual carriageway of the A1.

Mohammed Abdul-Wahid, 32, was driving a high performance VW Golf R32 when he raced stranger, Ryan at speeds of more than 120mph. Ryan, 23, was driving a Honda Civic Type-R when he ended up on the same section of the carriageway as Abdul-Wahid. 

Prosecutors told the court that the pair had began racing each other at high speed in the early hours of the morning (4:30am to be exact) as they headed south on the A1 near Bowes Incline. Ryan lost control of his car and crashed, suffering major injuries, however, nothing could be done to save him. Witnesses also told the court that Abdul-Wahid went to overtake Ryan but had not been able to and the two cars ended up side by side, doing up to 124mph. 

Abdul-Wahid, who was on bail, was remanded in custody and was warned by Judge P Sloan QC that he faces a substantial prison sentence. Sentencing is adjourned until the 29th of July (2016). 

Now it’s all well and good having a high performance car to show off to your mates but it is pointless having it if you can’t handle the power it puts out. How many accidents are caused on Britains roads each year by dangerous drivers? Too many in my opinion. 

I mean giving a 23 year-old a Honda Civic Type-R, capable of 146mph, is just screaming for a fatality but Abdul-Wahid is 32, he should know better than to be racing around like he is part of Fast and the Furious. Then again he had a Golf, and I have noticed that the majority of Golf drivers have zero common sense and shit driving skills… But what was racing actually going to achieve? There are no prizes for breaking the speed limit, there are no medals for being reckless behind the wheel of a car. The only outcome is exactly what has happened. Let’s just hope his sentence is satisfactory to his crime and not just a cushy few weeks in prison. 

Justice for Liam: Part II

A while ago I wrote a post about Nyomi and Rachael Fee ,[Click here for related post] the two women who had been charged with murdering Rachael’s son Liam and also for abusing other children.

They have now had their trial, which lasted seven weeks, and the jury, who deliberated for ten hours, found them guilty of murder, plus seven other charges of abuse against Liam. The women were also found guilty of four counts of abuse against two other children.

Liam suffered a ruptured heart as a result of severe blunt force trauma to his body as well as a catalogue of injuries spanning over two years- including a broken leg and fractured arm.
The women were also found guilty of attempting to defeat the ends of justice after Liam died by trying to pin the blame for the death on one of the other young boys.

Sources report that the jurors were warned about the severity of the images they would be exposed to. Twelve minutes later a juror raised their hand to request a break in proceedings due to the images reducing some jurors to tears.
People in the public gallery were also warned by prosecutors that they may wish to leave the court room while the images were being shown.
Due to the sensitivities surrounding the boys’ age and nature of the evidence, the public were prevented from seeing the video which was recorded by detectives after Liams’ death. Only the media were allowed access to the court room during that time.

Their sentence has been dated for the 6th of July (2016), according to the BBC News website. Let’s hope they get life eh?

It poses the question of what social services were doing about the abuse. I mean surely they were involved with the women? So shouldn’t they have noticed that something wasn’t right? And if they did catch on to any abuse, why weren’t the children removed before the abuse got worse? If the social worker(s) had actually spent more time on this case rather than pissing about with cases which don’t need attention, maybe Liam would still be alive?  But we can’t blame the incompetence of social workers now can we?

Failure in justice

“Psycho knifeman forced two women to stage lesbian sex show on living room carpet in front of a toddler before repeatedly stabbing them when they refused to let him join in.” 

The above heading caught my attention on the DM’s website, I read the article, wondering how long the ‘psycho’ was sentenced to… I was appalled! The bloody English Legal System is a freaking joke!

M. Zahran, 38, ordered the two women to strip naked at knife-point and lie on top of each other  while pretending to film them on his phone.
The two friends sobbed as they were forced to touch and kiss each other- while the daughter of one of the women watched, thinking it was only a game.

Zahran then wanted ‘his turn’ to have sex, but when the child’s mother said no, he repeatedly knifed both women.
The mother’s injured friend managed to get out of the house and run naked into the street, screaming for the neighbours to phone the police.
Upon bursting into the house, the police discovered Zahran had stabbed himself in the stomach.

Zahran admitted two charges of inflicting grievous bodily harm (GBH) with intent. He denied two offences of causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent, sexual assault and false imprisonment, however the jury found him guilty.

Judge S Philips QC sentenced Zahran to 16 years in prison, as well as being told he had to serve an extended 5 years on licence recall after his release and will be on the sex offenders register for life.

How the hell does his crimes only warrant 16 years?! The justice system could save a lot of public money if they just bring back the death penalty for serious offenders. I mean, we all know that a length of rope is cheaper than keeping a criminal for the duration of their life… Plus rope can be reused and the defendant wouldn’t be able to re-offend.  Everyone’s a winner, so to speak.

Something fishy

“Fish fanatic told to demolish his pond because burglars could fall in and drown” This was a headline on the DM’s website. And I swear this is an actual article.

The fish fanatic in question, Mr Sheehan, was told off his housing association, Sovereign Housing, that the new pond he was building had to be demolished because it could pose a potential risk to anyone who tries to break into his property. The claimed that because there is a six-foot fence around the property, burglars could fail to see the pond. Sovereign Housing have given Mr Sheehan three weeks to remove the new pond’s structure.

This is an outrage! Surely the housing association shouldn’t be telling their tenants that they can’t pursue in hobbies, such as keeping fish, because it poses a hazard to criminals! It is an utter piss take and if I was Mr Sheehan I would seek legal advice because surely they can’t make you take down a pond in your garden in case it makes burglaries harder for the scum who commit them. So what if a burglar drowns while attempting to break into your property? At least if they drown then they couldn’t commit further crimes. I don’t see this as a problem and I’m sure a lot of people would agree.

The country has gone absolutely mad! Since when was it OK to protect the lives of criminals and let the law abiding members of society suffer?

 

 

Suicide: CSA strikes again

I was browsing on Facebook earlier and saw a post by one of the groups I follow, which had posted a link to an article on The Guardian’s website.

A father hanged killed himself after being asked for £11,000 in child support. 

I. Sandywell, 45, hanged himself after receiving numerous letters from the Child Support Agency (CSA) demanding him to pay £11,000 (£520 a month) in backdated payments for his 22 year-old son. 

The victim’s wife, J Balsamo, told the inquest that she had received a telephone call from her husband on the day of his death, sobbing over his fears of not being able to support her and pay their mortgage. The couple agreed to discuss the matters later that evening, however, upon arriving home, Balsamo found Sandywell’s body. 
She also told the inquest of the 2-year battle Sandywell was in with his ex-wife following their divorce in 2001. 
Balsamo also said that it was hard for absent parents and that the CSA do not take people’s lives into account. 

The inquest also heard that CSA had still been sending letters to Balsamo demanding the money owed to be paid from Sandywell’s estate. They even sent an email saying; “Sorry for your loss, please accept this letter as a claim on I’s estate for the outstanding amount of £9,000.” 

So basically because Sandywell’s ex-wife went through CSA for maintenance payments and someone made an arse of working out the original amount Sandywell was required to pay, he ended up not being able to cope and thought death was the only answer. This is a disgrace.
Sandywell isn’t the first suicide case caused by CSA and I’m sure he won’t be the last. How many more suicides have to be committed before the CSA procedures change or are abolished altogether?

In my opinion, there shouldn’t be a government agency arranging maintenance payments between parents. If the parent’s are mature enough to conceive the child, then surely they are mature enough to amicably arrange payments of financial support for said child?
Obviously I know that people aren’t mature enough to arrange this themselves, but surely CSA should suggest a mediation option before getting involved and arranging the amount to be paid by the absent parent?
It would be a lot easier if CSA took living expenses into account but they don’t, they work out the amount to be paid before tax is deducted. For example; A earns £20,000 a year, CSA would then work out a figure based on this then take that figure from the paying parent after their tax has been paid. This means that after CSA, tax and National Insurance (NI) has been deducted, A would have £1123.93 a month to pay all their bills, rent, travel expenses etc.

And what rubs salt into the wounds even more is the fact that if the mother/parent who the children live with, claims benefits they will still receive their full benefits plus their CSA payments, this is because the tax on the CSA has already been paid by the paying parent.
So the parent the children live with, if they do claim full benefits, would have a greater income than the parent who is working full-time. Where is the justice in that?
Surely if a parent receives full benefits and claim CSA, they should have their benefits reduced by the amount they receive in CSA?
And it is utter bollocks that CSA claim the payments are to “help keep a roof over the children’s heads” because if full benefits are being claimed then the receiving parent will have no or a very small amount of rent to pay.

It is a complete and utter disgrace and it also goes to show how it is easier to pop out kids and screw the father out of money rather than getting a job to support your children. The whole system is bullshit!

Why so blue?

MOTHER SAYS SHE IS OUTRAGED HER 5 YEAR-OLD SON WAS SENT HOME FROM SCHOOL BECAUSE HIS HAIR WAS BLUE‘- Headline of an article on the DM’s website.

Now, call me old fashioned but should parents really be allowing their 5 year-old children to go to school with blue hair?

The article stated that the child picked up the blue hair gel after having his hair cut at his local barbers and that his mother was called by the school to take him home and bring him back when it was washed out.
His mother told sources that she was outraged and that the hair gel was bought because it was the same colour of his favourite football team. It also matched the school uniform…

Regardless of if it matched the schools uniform or not, if it is school policy not to go in with brightly dyed hair then parents should understand when they get called in to take their child home and not to return them to school until it is washed out.

It isn’t rocket science and I really don’t understand why his mother was making such a big deal out of it. End of the day common sense would tell any reasonable parent that sending your child to school with blue hair might result in them being sent home.

Society these days really makes me wonder.