The head of the judiciary has blamed the parliamen

first_imgThe head of the judiciary has blamed the parliamentary logjam caused by Brexit for preventing the introduction of vital new laws that would make it easier for disability hate crime to be punished with stricter sentences.The Lord Chief Justice, Lord Thomas, who retired last month, told the chief executive of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), Nick Folland, that he agreed that too few disability hate crimes were being met with increased sentences.He said that new legislation was needed to address the problem but that the time parliament was spending securing the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union meant that this would not be possible in the next few years.Folland told CPS’s community accountability forum in September that Lord Thomas (pictured) had made the comments to him in a private meeting earlier this year.Anne Novis, a leading disability hate crime campaigner and adviser to the CPS and the Metropolitan police, and a member of the forum, was given permission by a senior CPS manager to pass the comments to Disability News Service (DNS).Novis had raised concerns with the forum that too many offenders convicted of serious disability hate crimes were not being given enhanced sentences.The courts have a legal duty* to increase sentences for offences found to be motivated by disability-related hostility.But disability hate crime campaigners, including Novis and fellow forum member Stephen Brookes, have repeatedly raised concerns that it is too difficult to prove such hostility in court under the current legislation, and that it is far more difficult to secure sentence uplifts in disability hate crime cases than with other hate crimes.It was through their persistence, and the cases of concern that they had passed to CPS, that the issue was raised with the Lord Chief Justice by Folland.Last month, CPS figures showed that of 800 successful disability hate crime prosecutions in 2016-17, only 117 saw a recorded and announced increase in a sentence on the grounds of disability hate crime, although this was an increase from just 84 in 2015-16.The CPS report said that the number of sentence uplifts “remains considerably lower than that for other hate crime strands”.Novis told DNS: “I want the judiciary to publicly and consistently use what legislation we do have, whilst also stating how inadequate it is, and that it is the human right for every person to have equal access to justice.“I am pleased the Lord Chief Justice recognised the truth and evidence of injustice towards Deaf and disabled people, but do not accept that yet another barrier (Brexit) is used as an excuse to do nothing.“The judiciary could assist us by revealing to government how important it is that the law is equal around hate crime.”Brookes, who also attended the forum meeting and confirmed the comments made about the meeting with the Lord Chief Justice, said there was a need for members of the judiciary to have “a short, sharp meeting with disabled people”.He said: “We welcome that he has taken this view, but – quite frankly – what are the judiciary doing about this?“The law has to be changed to make it work.”Brookes, who advises CPS and the Lancashire and West Yorkshire police forces on disability, said the failure to apply the existing laws was “a sad reflection on the intransigence of the judiciary.“The legislation that is there isn’t working because they are not working.”A CPS spokesman said he was not able to say “whether a comment was made or not” by Folland in the forum meeting.The Judicial Office was unable to contact Lord Thomas, who has now retired, to ask him about his comments.The Home Office had not commented by noon today (Thursday).One of the cases raised by Novis was that of Lee Irving, who was imprisoned, tortured over nine days and brutally murdered before his body was dumped on waste ground in Newcastle.But although Northumbria police and CPS had treated his death as a disability hate crime, the judge decided in sentencing last year that there was not enough evidence to prove that any of the offences were motivated by disability-related hostility.Last month, Newcastle-upon-Tyne North MP Catherine McKinnell struggled to contain her emotions in a Westminster Hall debate she secured on Lee Irving’s death.She told how the judge had said, in sentencing, that even though Irving’s murderer, James Wheatley, had repeatedly used the word “spastic” in text messages, he was “not able to infer that such language was used towards Lee Irving at the time or immediately before or after [his] murderous assault”.He believed instead that Wheatley had been “motivated in this offence not by hostility towards those with disability but by [his] vicious and bullying nature which particularly takes advantage of those who are unable or less able to resist”.McKinnell said she believed the case called into question whether the current legislation was fit for purpose, because it was “unclear how anyone could prove a disability hate crime under the threshold unless the perpetrator made such an admission”.*Section 146 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 imposes a duty on the court to increase sentences for offences motivated by disability-related hostility, while the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 doubles to 30 years the starting point for sentences for disability hate crime murdersPicture: Lord Thomas speaking at the annual judges service at Westminster Abbey in 2013last_img read more

SF Protesters Challenge Developer to Debate

first_img 0% Tags: Affordable Housing • development • Election 2015 Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% A small group of activists in support of the Mission moratorium ballot initiative went to the offices of Maximus Real Estate Partners, the developers planning 345 units at 16th and Mission streets, and challenged its leadership to a debate “about the future of the Mission District.” Robert Rosania, the developer of the large market-rate project and the principal owner of Maximus Real Estate, wasn’t in the offices at the time of the rally, activists said. The rally was mostly organized to bring attention to Rosania’s financial contributions to defeat Proposition I, the ballot initiative that would pause the construction of market-rate housing in the Mission District for 18 months.Rosania contributed $180,000 to the “No on I” campaign and Seth Mallen of Maximus contributed another $20,000, according to activists and Open Data SF.“We know at least $200,000 is essentially coming from Maximus to defeat Proposition I,” Blue said. “If Robert Rosania has $180,000 to laying around to defeat a proposition that’s come from the community, it sounds like he plans to make a huge profit from the Monster in the Mission.”center_img Asked whether he believes a debate would actually take place with Rosania, Blue said, “I’m not holding my breath.”Bearing signs reading “Wanted: Robert Rosania for Mission Displacement,” protesters walked into Maximus’ gated office complex and crowded outside a closed office door. “Maximus, open up! We have a letter for you,” said Gabriel Medina of the Mission Economic Development Agency. “We hear you in there — why do you wanna hide behind closed doors?” “We’re your neighbors, gardeners, and teachers,” Medina continued. “Mr. Rosania, you’ve heard the people — come out and have this debate!”After receiving no response, Medina slipped a letter under the door, and the group walked out of the complex, chanting: “We’ll be back!”Police Officer D. Sands, who watched as the protesters delivered the letter said, “I don’t even know if they’re allowed on the property, but they’re peaceful, so that’s good.”“I really would have loved if we were able to engage more, and if they had opened their doors to us,” said Lia Salaverry, who works with the Proposition I campaign. “But I think we came out strong and were able to get our message forward, and that’s successful in and of itself.”The door had been open roughly an hour before, according to some of the protesters.“They obviously saw us, pulled all their shades and battened down the hatches,” said John Eller of the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, a statewide grassroots community organization. “I bet you could come here an hour later and all their shades will be up and doors open. I walked in the office [earlier], and there were plenty of people in there.”A Maximus spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.We will update this post if a statement from Maximus becomes available. last_img read more

Campos Wants 5 Million More for Immigrants Mayor Says No

first_imgInstead of writing wishlists for Santa Claus, immigrant activists gathered on the steps of City Hall Monday to write letters to Mayor Ed Lee urging him to provide more funding to the public defender’s office in the anticipation of a Donald Trump presidency that promises to deport thousands of undocumented people.So far, Lee has resisted such pleas to increase funding for the public defender’s office.Early Monday morning, Lorena Melgarejo woke her daughter up, “We’re not going to school today. We’re going to city hall to fight for immigrants’ rights.” Her daughter, Ixchel Quezada, sat on the steps of City Hall writing a letter to Mayor Lee. “Please give all the money needed to protect moms and dads from ICE. Cancer stole my dad, don’t let ICE steal parents from other kids. You have the power and need to be brave,” wrote Quezada who is in grade school. Tags: immigrants • immigration Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% 0%center_img During a press conference at City Hall on Monday, Lorena Melgarejo helped her daughter, Ixchel Quezada, write a letter to Mayor Ed Lee asking him to protect undocumented immigrants. Photo by Brian Rinker.Immigrant rights activists want San Francisco to stand up to Trump’s deportation policies and show the rest country what it means to be a sanctuary city. “We want to make it clear to the powers that be in city hall: We don’t want to see our families torn apart,” said  Campos.Campos introduced a deportation defense fund at a Nov. 29 board meeting to give $5 million to be split down the middle for community based organizations and the public defender’s office. But the mayor sees it differently.  Lee responded by re-balancing the budget last week to provide $1.5 million for the community based organizations, on top of the $3.8 million that was already allocated for immigration legal defense. Community organizations are good at representing undocumented immigrants who aren’t in jail, while the public defender’s office is better suited to handle those already detained by immigration, according to advocates. “The mayor’s counter offer only gives sanctuary to some and not others. That’s not real sanctuary,” Campos said referring to the public defender’s office failing to get funding to help detained immigrants. Campos said the biggest hang ups to passing his bill asking for $5 million are Supervisor London Breed, who put a 30-day freeze on it, and Mayor Ed Lee. Because the bill was frozen, it won’t be heard until the board has turned over. Campos terms out at the end of the year. The mayor has also pledged an additional $3 million for the next 2 budget cycles, according to the mayor’s office press spokesperson Deirdre Hussey. Campos and advocates say that’s not enough if the city wants to provide adequate counsel for all undocumented immigrants. They want the public defender’s office to receive more funding to add 10 more attorneys, five paralegals and two legal clerks to the immigrant legal defense team.The Mayor has “asked the Public Defender’s Office to follow the budget process and submit a plan for additional services,” Hussey said in an email response.Tuesday was Campos and the advocates third press conference attempting to sway the mayor’s support. The previous press events hadn’t done anything. The mayor still doesn’t support increasing funding for the public defender’s office, said Marisela Esparza, Dolores Street Community Services. One of the event’s organizers Caroline Morales collected all 52 letters and led the group into City Hall to handoff them off to the mayor. They walked up the marble steps, past couples getting married, while an orchestra played “Land of the free.” José-Luis Tekun Mejia, of Coleman Advocates, said the song was fitting. “Here we are fighting for the ones being left behind.”Norman Yee was the only supervisor who came out in the hallway to talk with the advocates. Someone yelled asking if Lee supported the bill and Yee said yes I do. Then smiled and asked what bill. The group chanted in Spanish we have no papers but we’re not afraid, as they walked to the Mayor’s office. Paul Henderson, the mayor’s deputy chief of staff and public safety director, came out to address the group. “These aren’t the type of Christmas carols I was expecting,” he said.Henderson said later that he didn’t want them yelling at the door so he took them to a conference room that was locked. Instead he went into the hall and got an earful.  Paul Henderson, the mayor’s deputy chief of staff and public safety director, addresses a group of immigrant rights activists. Photo by Brian Rinker.Advocates argued that the public defender’s office is better suited to handle undocumented immigrants who are detained by ICE. Henderson said he has never seen a study about that and wasn’t sure if it was true. He said that public funds go further with community based groups. There is more bureaucracy when dealing with a city agency and it cost a lot more to hire attorneys. They have to deal with benefits, unions and higher pay scales than the non-profits. Henderson said he was concerned that the public defender’s office might be subject to release vulnerable information to federal officials. “Don’t make us fight you, we already have enough battles with Trump,” said Kelly Engel Wells, an attorney with Dolores Street Community Services. “The mayor should be on our side.” last_img read more

THE Saints U16s got Saturdays double header of ma

first_imgTHE Saints U16s got Saturday’s double header of matches at sunny Langtree Park off to a flier with what turned out to be a comfortable 36-12 win against Huddersfield Giants, writes Graham Henthorne.But the first half display left a bit to be desired prompting stern words from Coaches Ian Lomax and Eric Frodsham at the break.What gave them cause for concern was the Saints lackadaisical attitude in both attack and defence that left them only eight points up at the break when it could and probably should have been more.It all started so well, however, with two try scoring opportunities in the first three minutes. Ricky Bailey broke through on the second tackle of the opening set running 70 metres but his final pass to Jake Spedding hit the deck and Lewis Hatton knocked on over the line on the next.All this and some poor defence out wide allowed the visitors to open the scoring.Ricky Bailey again broke through to put the Saints on the attack but a poor decision on the last meant a try was missed.Lewis Hatton again had a try chalked off for a forward pass from Danny Richardson before the Saints eventually levelled matters. Dave Eccleston was stopped short and from the play the ball Lewis Fairhurst dove through from dummy half converting his own try for good measure.The Giants put the kick off out on the full and the Saints again squandered a gilt edged opportunity as Bailey’s pass to Kieron Herbert drifted forward.Two David Eccleston tries in three minutes on the half hour finally gave the Saints some breathing space. The centre rounded his opposite number to score in the corner after Hatton’s break and then repeated the dose this time scrambling up to score after being tap tackled on his way finally giving full value to another break from full back Bailey.The half time ‘talking to’ had the desired effect as the Saints dominated the second period.Richardson took a Giants grubber on his own line before sprinting 95 metres to score in the corner. The scrum half then converted his own try perfectly down the middle off the touchline after having hit both posts in the first half.Eccleston took the game away from the visitors in completing his hat-trick. The centre stepped inside the cover after more good work from Bailey.Richardson scored his second jinking his way through the line after a good drive from Jonah Cunningham had taken play to the 10 metre line.The Giants got a consolation score on the hour mark but quick hands on the final play of the game saw Kieron Herbert go over in the corner.Comfortable in the end but it could have been so much better. Pick of the forwards was Chris Worrall who worked tirelessly ably supported by Lewis Hatton, with Ricky Bailey the best of the backs with Dave Eccleston a close second.Match Summary:St Helens:Tries: Kieron Herbert, David Eccleston 3, Danny Richardson 2, Lewis Fairhurst.Goals: Danny Richardson 3, Lewis Fairhurst.Huddersfield Giants:Tries: Jamie Stringer, Jak Dadam.Goals: Will Gledhill 2.Half Time: 14-6Full Time: 36-12Teams:Saints:1. Ricky Bailey; 5. Joey Brady, 4. Jake Spedding, 3. David Eccleston, 2. Kieron Herbert; 6. Morgan Knowles, 7. Danny Richardson; 8. Phil Atherton, 9. Lewis Fairhurst, 10. Chris Worrall, 11. Liam Cooper, 12. Lewis Hatton, 14. Jonah Cunningham. Subs: 13. Ben Morris, 15. Bobby Williams, 16. Aaron Smith, 17. Kieran Atherton, 18. Joe McLoughlin, 19. Jack Wilkinson, 21. Josh Houghton.Giants:1. Jordan Knowles; 5. Darnell McIntosh, 17. Sam Moore, 3. Jamie Stringer, 2. George Sykes; 6. Scott Fleming, 7. Harry Redfearn; 8. Sam Wood, 9. Brad Moules, 10. Jordan Syme, 11. Will Gledhill, 12. Mathew English, 13. Frazer Morris.Subs: 4. Izaac Farrell, 14. Oliver Bartle, 15. Jak Dadam, 16. Dan Smith, 18. Liam Senior.last_img read more

The half back suffered a groin tear in last weeks

first_imgThe half back suffered a groin tear in last week’s game with Warrington.“I’m gutted that I won’t get the chance to represent the Knights in PNG,” he said. “It has been a crazy season for me with plenty of ups and downs but it is important I get myself right for pre-season.“I want to continue to work hard and improve for next year.“I’d like to thank the fans for their support; it means a great deal to me and the players here.”Danny played 34 times for the Saints this season, scoring six tries and topping the goal charts with 147. He also kicked seven drop goals.Danny is Saints and Proud, and so are we.Memberships for 2019 are now on sale.They include all 14 of Saints regular season home games – and if you’re a junior, the away games too.To find out more, click here.last_img read more

Carolina Beach may build deck to fix parking deficit

first_img With summer in Carolina Beach comes beautiful beach weather, hot doughnuts, and concerts. But unless you come early, finding a spot can be a challenge.“Right now, we have a parking deficit,” Town Manager Michael Cramer said.Because of that, Cramer says the town is looking to build up as an option.Related Article: Lifeguards respond to multiple rip current rescues along area beaches“A potential development of a multi-use facility,” Cramer said. “Something that would have either commercial or residential in it along with parking deck.”It would be built in the town-owned property between Harper Avenue, Carl Winner Avenue, Canal Drive and Myrtle Street.“Our current parking lots hold about 150,” Cramer said. “We want to try to double that just for public parking. If the development needed 50 parking spaces, they would need to supply us 400 so they can meet their needs and our needs.”The proposal still has a long way to go though. First, council is looking for area companies to do a pre-development study.In the mean time, the project is something Michelle Simmons hopes actually happens.“They need it,” Simmons said. “They should get it, because this is bad.”Cramer says they have also heard some push back.“The main concern seems to be, ‘We don’t want to become Myrtle Beach. We don’t want high rises and lots of huge development.’ The town staff, nor the council really want that, but we want to be able to meet the demand that we have for parking right now,” Cramer said.As the town continues to grow, this possibility is still up in the air.At their meeting Tuesday night, council will look at proposals from area companies to do the study.Cramer says they would then have a year to complete it. CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) — A parking deck could be in the future for Carolina Beach.Town Council is looking at the public-private partnership to build a deck in the downtown central business district.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Several injured during Lake Waccamaw fireworks explosion

first_imgLAKE WACCAMAW, NC (WWAY) — Fourth of July fireworks ended badly for some celebrants at Lake Waccamaw.Fire Chief Jerry Gore says a group of people were shooting fireworks on Canal Cove when a “mishap” occurred.- Advertisement – Gore says four or five people were injured by some of the fireworks and were transported to the hospital. They were treated for non-life threatening injuries and released.No charges were filed.Video of the explosion was caught on camera and posted to YouTube.Related Article: Strawberries blooming early across the Cape Fearlast_img

Hearing scheduled for Lewis Hatchers injunction

first_imgJody Greene and Lewis Hatcher (Photos: Columbus Co. Sheriff’s Office/WWAY) COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A hearing has been scheduled for former Columbus County Sheriff Lewis Hatcher‘s injunction filed January 4 arguing that he should still be sheriff.On Friday, a judge from another jurisdiction will hear arguments in Columbus County Superior Court that Hatcher should still be sheriff.- Advertisement – In his injunction, Hatcher gave a long list of reasons why Jody Greene should not hold the office.last_img

Manchester United chase Sule

first_img SharePrint <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=a7617b59&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> Manchester United are looking for reinforcements after conceding 45 goals during the current league campaign, their worst ever defensive season. Since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer succeeded Jose Mourinho, the Red Devils have conceded 19 goals in 17 matches.The English club’s directors want improve their shaky defence and have shown interest in Bayern Munich’s Niklas Sule. The towering, German defender has a contract that runs until 2022 and has become a key player for the Bavarian side thanks to his pace and power.According to Daily Mail, Manchester United will part ways with at least one centre half and have also been linked with Toby Alderweireld, Raphael Varane and Kalidou Koulibaly.WhatsApplast_img read more

Bharti taps Chinas ZTE to begin 4G rollout in India

first_imgAdvertisement The report cites an official source which explains that, though ZTE will handle the first implementation, it is not guaranteed any other slices of $300 million valued roll-out Bharti has planned. Instead ZTE will face stiff competition – notably from fellow Chinese rival Huawei – to bring 4G to the three other regions Bharti won following last year’s auction.Though there is no timeline or date specified for the work, it is widely believed that 4G wireless broadband will be available in India from early next year.Though Bharti declined to respond to Economic Times, ZTE did confirm that it was starting initial work on the roll-out, while the paper also claims high level meetings have “formalised” ZTE’s initial role in proceedings. – Advertisement – Given that 3G mobile technology only arrived in India last year, the news that 4G is on its way is likely to be well received by many in the country. However, issues remain around mobile operator capacity while 3G-compatible smartphone ownership is low, let alone LTE-device ownership.There is no doubt, however, that wireless Internet has huge potential in India.India has emerged as a key market for technology and Internet companies keen to tap the country’s vast potential, with Facebook and Google just two of the many to have set up country offices in the past two years. However fixed-line Internet penetration is very low, reaching less than ten percent of its 1.2 billion population, sapping India’s potential to become a true online giant.Infrastructure is a key issues with many in rural areas unable to access fixed-line Internet. For these people, wireless technology provides new possibilities for connectivity whilst catering to the millions for whom mobile will be their main Internet access point.It is early days for India’s 4G network and it will be interesting to observe ZTE and Bharti working on the initial roll-out.Source: TNW Newslast_img read more