Stay Here, There’s Something to See…


Christopher Houseman

… but it’s precious little cause for comfort at the moment. PC Simon Harwood will face a disciplinary hearing relating to his fatal attack on the late Ian Tomlinson in April 2009.

The most extreme sanction available to the panel is reportedly dismissal from the Metropolitan police. I can’t help thinking that:

1) If Mr. Tomlinson had struck down PC Harwood in a similar manner (rather than vice versa), he would have faced a judge and jury on a murder/manslaughter charge in rather less than 16 months.

2) PC Harwood would have faced more serious criminal charges more quickly (courtesy of the RSPCA and/or other animal welfare groups) if he’d similarly attacked a defenceless animal instead of a British citizen.

I therefore conclude that:
1) The nature of legal/judicial “business as usual” in the British state is plain to see. G.K. Chesterton’s criticism that the British governing class invariably omits itself from the laws it passes remains at least as true today as it was when Chesterton pointed it out no later than 1909. Nostalgic supporters of the rule of law here in the UK are badly in need of a large pinch of salt.

2) It would be advisable for libertarians to cease and desist from referring to the British populace colloquially as “sheeple”, if only because the lives of animals are now arguably worth more to the British state/media complex than the lives of British citizens.

Still, at least Attorney General Dominic Grieve has said he “understands” why people are upset, even as the Government and the MSM profess bewilderment at some people’s efforts to turn the late Raoul Moat into a folk hero after he shot PC David Rathband in the face.

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5 responses to “Stay Here, There’s Something to See…

  1. Howard R Gray

    Ruling classes tend to exempt themselves from sanctions thought best for the rest of us, that is quite normal, no surprises there.

    Perhaps we should continue referring to the folks as “sheeple” only because they might be treated better, more on a par with animals.

    Dominic Grieve QC is a decent fellow. I recall from my days at the Inns of Court School of law, a person learned and serious about his business, I don’t think he will take his duties lightly. If he says he is unhappy, he is! I shared a tutorial sessions with him for a year; he was one of the best in our group.

    The video shows the push very clearly, the cause of death is critical; no pathologist seems, as yet, prepared to draw a definite conclusion on the matter. This does not bode well for a private prosecution for the same reasons as it would for a state prosecution. A clear cause of death is essential to progressing such a case to trial. However contentious the issues, juries tend to be fair, if they don’t have a clear reason for convicting someone they won’t do it and rightly so.

    The better cause would be s civil suit based on res ipsa loquitor (it speaks for itself). The standard of proof is lower, on the balance of probability rather than beyond reasonable doubt in a criminal action. Establishing a link between the violence of the push and the death may be the best bet. As always the full facts, as they are, need to be reviewed, and only then consider suing, always taking into account the costs should the action be lost. Without a clear cause or credible cause of death a criminal action, as mentioned above, would be risky for a private prosecution though a civil action may be possible.

    Going to law is never an easy decision, as I said in an earlier missive to this blog; you need the tenacity and fortitude of a pit bull, when going to law.

  2. “Res ipsa loquitur” I believe

    Wiki saith:

    “In the common law of negligence, the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur states that the elements of duty of care and breach can be sometimes inferred from the very nature of the accident, even without direct evidence of how any defendant behaved. Although modern formulations differ by jurisdiction, the common law originally stated that the accident must satisfy the following conditions:

    1. … it ordinarily would not occur without someone’s negligence;
    2. … it in this instance probably did not occur without someone’s negligence;
    3. … it was caused by an instrumentality that was under the exclusive control of the defendant; and
    4. … it was not caused in any way by the plaintiff (i.e., no contributory negligence).

    Upon a proof of res ipsa loquitur, the plaintiff need only establish the remaining two elements of negligence — namely, that the plaintiff suffered damages, of which the accident was the legal cause.”

    Tony

  3. Graham Davies

    Yes, the correct maxim is ‘res ipsa loquitur’.

    Back to the criminal law, and with reference to lack of value attached to life by our legal system, compare and contrast:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-10737347

    3.5 to 4.5 years for a brutal killing.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-10772814

    5 years for an attempted scam.

  4. Item 4 of Tony’s list above is a point. From what I have seen Tomlinson does seem to loiter rather excessively oblivious of the fact that there is a rather active demo going on and the police are bearing down on the place where he is somewhat in the way.
    No justification for anything.
    Perhaps a lack of due care and attention in a location of confrontation and law enforcement?
    Negligence?

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