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A secularist group has lodged an official complaint against Cherie Booth QC after she spared a man from prison because he was religious.

Shamso Miah, 25, of Redbridge, east London, broke a man's jaw following a row in a bank queue.

Sitting as a judge, Ms Booth, wife of former Prime Minister Tony Blair, said she would suspend his sentence on the basis of his religious belief. The National Secular Society claims her attitude was discriminatory and unjust.

Inner London Crown Court heard that Miah, 25, of Redbridge, east London, went into a bank in East Ham and became embroiled in a dispute with Mohammed Furcan about who was next in the queue. Miah, who had just been to a mosque, punched Mr Furcan inside the bank, and again outside the building.

Ms Booth told Miah that violence had to be taken seriously, but said she would suspend his prison sentence because he was a religious person and had not been in trouble before. She added: "You are a religious man and you know this is not acceptable behaviour."

The National Secular Society has complained to the Office for Judicial Complaints, suggesting that Mrs Blair acted in an unjust and discriminatory way, and suggesting that she might have treated a non-religious person less leniently. [BBC]
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Two rappers have been jailed for using an internet song to try to scare off witnesses to the murder of a 24-year-old man in Ealing, west London.

[The lyrics included:] “I can't wait for the snitch to drop, I still show up at his wake just to see him off”.

Old Bailey Judge Richard Hone said the lyrics meant: “Those who went chitter-chattering to police were themselves in danger of being shot.” [BBC]
I demand that from now on all rap lyrics be translated by members of the British judiciary.
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Judge struck off after jailing 46 in phone row

A US judge has been removed from the bench after jailing 46 people when a mobile phone began ringing during his court session and no one would own up.

The entire courtroom was sent to the cells during a domestic violence hearing when the judge, Robert Restaino, 48, "snapped" and - according to a review of his actions - "engaged in what can only be described as two hours of inexplicable madness". [Guardian]
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A high court judge who made allegedly mocking remarks about a sheikh involved in a multi-million pound divorce was today ordered to step down from the case.

Giving reasons for the decision, the court of appeal said Mr Justice Singer, a family division judge, had said during the private hearing that the sheikh could choose “to depart on his flying carpet” to escape paying costs. The judge also said the man should be available to attend hearings “at this, I think, relatively fast-free time of the year”.

The court of appeal said the judge had said the sheikh should be in court so “every grain of sand is sifted”, and called his evidence “a bit gelatinous ... a bit like Turkish Delight”.

Sheikh Khalid Ben Abdfullah Rashid al-Fawaz asked the judge to stand down on the grounds that his remarks showed bias. When the judge refused, the sheikh took the case to the court of appeal, where Lord Justice Ward today described it as “a singularly unsatisfactory, unfortunate and embarrassing matter”.

Mr Justice Singer said he had attempted to arrange for the final hearing in the case “to be conducted by one of my colleagues, but the workload on the family division of the high court and the judicial resources available to us did not permit this if a long postponement of the final hearing was to be avoided”.

The judge added: “Clearly, though, this does not excuse the way I expressed myself.” [Guardian]
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From the Telegraph:
Patrick Pakenham (1937-2005) became something of a legal legend. During one appearance before an unpopular judge a bag of cannabis was produced as evidence. The judge opened the package, chewed the contents and announced: “Yes, yes, of course that is cannabis. Where was the substance found, Mr Pakenham?” The reply came swiftly, if inaccurately: “In the defendant’s anus, my Lord.”

His final appearance was as defence counsel in a complicated fraud case. “Members of the jury,” he began after a well-oiled lunch, “it is my duty to explain the facts in this case... unfortunately, for reasons which I won’t go into now, my grasp of the facts is not as it might be and the judge is nearing senility. While, by the look of you, the possibility of your reaching a coherent verdict can be excluded.” He was led from the court.
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The Court of Appeal has refused to increase the minimum jail term to be served by a Plymouth man, thought to be Britain's most prolific paedophile.

... Goad was described in court as a "voracious, calculating, predatory and violent homosexual paedophile" who once boasted of beating his own "record" of abusing 142 boys in a year...

Lord Justice Kennedy, one of three judges who heard the case, said that despite his appalling crimes, Goad had contributed much to society, collected funds for charity and had been esteemed in the local community in Plymouth. [BBC]
The “charity work” the judge refers to was one of the methods Goad employed to meet and groom more young boys to abuse. Still, all in a good cause, eh?

December 2015

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