Friday, 30 March 2007

A crime worth prosecuting...

...at least according to the police and Crown Prosecution Service. They may not feel that attacks by Muslims on Jews are worthy of their attention, but a 60 year old shopkeeper who gave a young thug a clip round the ear - now that's something they deem really heinous. The Daily Mail reports:

Mr [Fred] Brown also criticised police who failed to come to the scene despite three 999 calls. It was not until the following morning that a police community support officer arrived to inform him a complaint had been made against him.

A Cambridgeshire police spokesman said: "If Mr Brown wishes to make a complaint or speak to an inspector, the matter will be looked into."

Mr Brown lives in Littleport, Cambridgeshire, where he owns several shops.

Ely Magistrates Court heard how, on August 22 last year, he and his wife Vivian, also 60, received a call from a neighbouring optician about youths causing trouble in his launderette, the windows of which have been broken 60 times in recent years.

When he arrived shortly after 5pm, he found 14-year-old Luke Rainford sitting on a washer "kicking the hell out of one of the machines".

He told the teenager and two friends to "clear off" and they walked into the optician's. When he followed them and told them to leave, Rainford spat at him and made headbutting gestures. Outside, the court heard, the boy walked towards him waving a fist.

Fearing he was about to be hit, Mr Brown pushed him away with one hand and slapped him away with the other, striking the boy around the side of the head. When Mr Brown's wife stepped in, the teenager called her a "fat cow" and spat in her face.

After reading this, one might think that Rainford would be arrested, and hopefully given a good spell inside. But no, it was Mr Brown, who has a heart condition, arthritis, and skin cancer, who was arrested, charged, and subjected to seven months of legal proceedings before finally being acquitted by Magistrates. Rainford did go to court, but as a prosecution witness.

Fred Brown is a Conservative councillor. I wonder whether he wants to hug this particular hoodie?

3 comments:

MrSmith said...

.......

*lost for words*

British National Party member said...

bloody hell.

woman on a raft said...

Follow-up comment on 27 September 2007.

At the end of March Fred Brown was acquitted by the Ely magistrates, who agreed that he had acted in self-defence as he was perfectly entitled to do. The thug, Luke Rainford, was identified and served some penatly or other, possibly and ASBO. So no real punishment for the bad behaviour.

Mr Brown received strong backing from the local people. Littlport has a population of 9,000 and Cllr Brown is well known for his civic and voluntary work over many years. He is currently serving East Cambridgeshire District Council and has been elected to various posts as a measure of the trust and affection the townsfolk have for him.

Relationships between the police and the public remain strained. The Chief Constable Julie Spence pointed out that her force has had to deal with an extraordinary influx of immigrants and an attendant increase in organized crime such as people trafficking, drugs and knife crime.

In this respect, the public has nothing but sympathy for the police, who have been landed with a genuinely difficult job. But people still wonder whether it was ever a good use of police time to harass Fred Brown for having the cheek to defend himself.

Today, the Home Secretary Jack Straw has announced an intention - not that he has done anything yet - to look again at the self-defence laws.

There is a general problem that if people are not allowed to defend themselves, they are unlikely to defend anybody else at all. The effect is most tragically seen with the shooting of Rhys Jones where police have run in to a wall of silence although several informants are naming the same suspect.

It is not just that people do not believe the police can protect them from retribution; they believe they need protection from the police.