LootergeddonPosted: August 23, 2011
Let me first recap a little of what has been going on since the London riots, with regards to the reaction of the authorities. For reasons I’ll probably get into in another post, the UK pm has decided to dig up twenty year old bogeymen – unmarried mothers, absent fathers and bad parenting, and one new: ‘criminality’, which in his opinion, were the prime movers of the riots.
Notwithstanding, the approach seems to have caught a populist edge, to the point that anyone not following the criminality narrative, will find themselves accused of supporting murder and arson. While I think it fair to say there is considerable unhappiness in the UK for reasons other than criminality, and those arrested are softer targets perhaps than the more nebulous ones of disenfranchisement, economic poverty and high level dishonesty, there is a pervasive air of what I can only call revenge surrounding any discussions touching on the topic of the rioters arrested.
Furthermore it was also revealed today that the police, to speed up the conviction process, simplified it, even lowering the requirements to prosecute, at a time when the judiciary are handing out aggressive sentences to deter further riotous behaviour.
The problem being of course, when you mix hysteria, with hurried police work and judiciary assuming guilt rather than innocence, you get errors.
Errors like Dane Williamson, who despite having 5 witnesses to vouch for his whereabouts, was arrested and charged with having set fire to the Miss Selfridge store in Manchester. As a result he was held in prison for nine days, ill treated by both prison staff and inmates for being an arsonist, while awaiting his day in court. Worse yet, thanks to being “named and shamed” on Facebook, persons unknown set his house on fire and he lost everything he owned.
Oh, and after all that his case was dropped, because he was innocent.
I add that as an after thought simply for dramatic effect, in reality it’s the single most important thing about this whole story – Mr Williamson lost everything by simply getting caught up in Looterggeddon, to paraphrase that assassin of faux moral crusades Chris Moris.
Click on the “full story here” link at the foot of this post for, well, the full story as it was reported in the Manchester Evening News.
Sir Digby Says
The handling of the sentencing was already making me feel a bit uneasy, even before the news surfaced of the police adopting a sentencing-heavy arrest strategy. But I really think Mr Williamson has been sorely wronged. If you, like me, think all right minded people should do …, well, something, you can contact him through his solicitor here:
Kerry Morgan (of Morgan, Brown & Cahill, solicitors)
220 Chapel street
0161 834 6662