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

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

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