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article imageOp-Ed: UK crime round up

By Alexander Baron     Feb 11, 2012 in Crime
A round up of the latest crime stories in the headlines from the UK including a failed appeal by a serial killer, and the sentencing of a terror gang.
As predicted here earlier this week, serial killer Levi Bellfield was given short shrift by the Court of Appeal. The sole ground advanced was that bad character evidence should not have been admitted at his trial for the murder of Milly Dowler, but the Lord Chief Justice ruled there was plenty more where that came from. Bellfield was represented by Jeffrey Samuels QC, who doubtless will want to move on to other, more edifying cases, having given this odious client the best defence Legal Aid can buy and received nothing but contempt for it.
In West London, an elderly man has died after being attacked by a dog; on January 23, 83 year old Leslie Trotman was savaged by the animal, apparently some type of pit bull. He was treated in hospital and allowed to return home, but was found dead by his son 6 days later. A post mortem earlier this month revealed he had died from a haemorrhage caused by a ruptured spleen. A man has been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter, and no less than three dogs seized. This was a big story on the BBC local news, Thursday. Unfortunately, this is almost certainly not the last we have heard of this sort of avoidable death. Last month saw a report of a young girl who but for her father could also have ended up dead after she was savaged by a dog in Epping Forest.
A dog that attacks or even kills an old person or a child has an excuse - it is a dumb animal. Human beings have no such excuse, especially when they are entrusted with the care of the vulnerable. Last week saw three care workers pleading guilty in the Winterbourne View scandal. This resulted from an undercover investigation by the BBC's Panorama programme. There are a number of other cases pending, so it would be inappropriate to comment further, suffice it to say that this investigation is believed to be the tip of a much larger iceberg, one that sadly is by no means unique to the UK, as we have seen many times in places as far afield as the USA and the Far East.
Earlier this month, four would-be Al-Qaeda terrorists were given long sentences at Woolwich Crown Court. The rest of the gang have now been sentenced. Although their plot never got past the planning stage, there can be no doubt that these were men who were not only willing and capable but would have gone through with the deeds if they had not been brought to book.
Finally, the obsession of certain bureaucrats with promoting equal opportunities has led yet again to some being more equal than others, in particular having the opportunity to pick the pocket of the taxpayer to fund their own lifestyles. A Welsh equality charity called Awema is to close after losing government funding. It remains to be seen why any so-called charity should receive any government funding at all: charity is voluntary and implies private donations; public funding implies compulsion or even socialism. Although there has been no criminal prosecution - and very likely won't be - it is clear that at least one person at the top of the tree has had his snout in the trough including attending cricket and rugby matches with tickets paid for by public money, and engaging in blatant nepotism.
Criminal prosecution or not, the Charity Commission takes a dim view of this sort of thing, and it is a safe bet that those behind the scam won't be rejoining the gravy train anytime soon. It is total madness that money is wasted on these sort of make-work and jobs for the boys programmes in any case. It would make much more sense for the government to provide direct grants to disadvantaged would-be entrepreneurs, but of course that is not what the equality racket is all about.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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