Saturday, 19 May 2012
Simon vs CPS - Bayern Munich vs Chelsea
Just managed to finish this reply to the recent, collective and dehumanising snub delivered to our community via the CPS before the Bayern Munich - Chelsea match starts. Chelsea are currently 4-1 to win, but I reckon my odds are better. What do you reckon?
Crown Prosecution Service
Information Management Unit
19th May 2012
Your Ref: FOI Request 3274
Thank you for your reply to my recent FOI request. Rather than pursue the avenue of appeal I wish instead to submit a new request taking into account your initial concerns. In so doing it would be perhaps constructive to establish the reason and purpose of my enquiry.
As you know the recent trial at Liverpool Crown Court of eight Pakistani and one Afghan male from Rochdale resulted in high profile convictions for serious sexual offences against English children. It is one of a number of cases with similar racial/religious dimensions currently going through or having passed through our judicial system.
Following on from the introduction of the Crime and Disorder Act of 1998 prosecuting authorities have a legal onus placed upon them with regards the treatment of crimes of a racial or religious nature.
Prosecutors must adopt a proactive approach to seeking further information from the police to help them to decide if a case may properly be prosecuted as a racially or religiously aggravated offence, or as one of the offences with a racial or religious element, or if there is evidence that should be presented to the court at sentence.
Prosecutors have a duty to present all relevant material to allow the court to pass sentence in accordance with the law. Racial or religious aggravation makes an offence more serious and the court has a duty to take this into account when it sentences a defendant. Prosecutors must neither minimise nor omit relevant and admissible evidence of racial or religious aggravation.
Further to the specific offences created by the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, the law imposes a general duty on criminal courts, when sentencing criminals, to treat more seriously any offence which can be shown to be racially or religiously aggravated (Section 145 Criminal Justice Act 2003, which came into force on 4 April 2005, and which replaced the similarly worded Section 153 Powers of Criminal Courts Act 2000).
Further to this, according to the CPS there is a specific legal obligation which binds it along with other prosecuting authorities:
It is essential that we make sure that we identify all those cases that might properly be prosecuted as specific racist or religious crimes, or where we can put that evidence before a court when it is deciding on sentence.
This begins right at the point where we receive a file from the police. We have an agreement with the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) that the police will identify a file that meets the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry Report definition of a racist incident when they send it to the CPS to prosecute.
The CPS uses this common definition to identify these cases and to monitor the decisions and outcomes. The definition is:
A racist incident is any incident which is perceived to be racist by the victim or any other person.
We also have an agreement with ACPO that the police will identify a file that refers to a religiously incident.
We define a religious incident as:
Any incident which is believed to be motivated because of a person's religion or perceived religion, by the victim or any other person.
As you will know the local MEP NIck Griffin, Barnados, the Ramadhan Foundation and now Baroness Warsi among others have stated that there is a racial/religious dimension in this case and indeed in other similar cases. Such opinions are not new and predate the Rochdale case by several years.
As such with a view to the construction of a possible civil/criminal action against prosecutors themselves involved in this case and others I am requesting the attached information (below) regarding the recent case at Liverpool Crown Court. I do so in the belief that there is a possibility that offences of malfeasance in public office and, in the deliberate withholding of evidence, a conspiracy to pervert the course of justice may have taken place.
Further to this I believe that there may be further aggravating circumstances in which prosecuting officials and serving police officers may have breached their duty of care towards the victims and the wider English community.
Taking your initial concerns regarding public interest I concede that certain information released may indeed be problematical. However, I believe in this circumstance the overriding issue is one of public interest and is essential for the public to perceive that the CPS, police officers and judiciary are operating in a transparent manner in compliance with current legislation and guidelines.
Moreover, there is now a widespread perception amongst the English, Scots, Welsh, Ulster and Irish communities that racially/religiously motivated crimes committed against them are not being recognised by prosecuting authorities. This dangerous anomaly is compounded by the policy of the police, CPS and courts of routinely attaching racially or religiously aggravated tariffs when processing comparable misdemeanours committed by individuals from that broader community.
As such it should be considered, as you state, another public interest factor that the information request I make is granted on the basis of increasing public understanding of the CPS decision making and prosecuting process.
Accepting your concerns about the possible undermining of current cases, I might add that specific information can easily be redacted or censored accordingly. In any case the general information I require is related to processed cases where sentences have already been passed.
Neither is it my intention to circumvent the role of the courts in determining guilt. In fact this request is made on the basis of empowering the courts and providing them with evidence for themselves to determine innocence or guilt in pursuit of their sole capacity to dispense justice.
Appreciating that communications between the police and the CPS can be sensitive, that does not mean that these individuals are effectively beyond scrutiny and above the law. In any case the general type of material I request can easily be censored or redacted in order to comply with public interest requirements.
In summary I would ask you to consider, should roles be reversed, whether or not the correct application of the judicial process would be in the public interest if Muslim children where the subject of such ruthless, systematic and organised sexual predation?
To deny one community the status of victimhood for whatever reason is a wicked and dangerous disfigurement of our legal system and would indicate to many that in effect, in Britain we now live under a two-tier system of justice.
FOI REQUEST ROCHDALE GROOMING - LIVERPOOL CROWN COURT MAY 2012
Conviction of Kabeer Hassan,Mohammed Sajid, Adil Khan, Abdul Qayyum, Mohammed Amin, Hamid Safi,Abdul Aziz,Abdul Rauf,
Please provide information surrounding the charging process in this case with regards the potential addition of racially and /or religiously aggravated circumstances to the offences. Specifically can you provide general evidence, not jeopardising any current case, that would indicate that racial or religiously aggravated circumstances were considered.
Considering the racial and religiously aggravated circumstances demonstrated during the trial itself, openly acknowledged by the judge and in the mainstream media, please provide any information as to why no racially or religiously aggravated tariffs or charges were levied in this case as required by law.
Taking into account that within the court, during the trial, some of the offenders were clearly motivated by hostility or hatred towards the victim's race or religious beliefs (actual or perceived) please confirm whether the CPS has any intention of reviewing the case with regards the imposition of racially/religiously aggravated tariffs. Please do so in general terms so as not to compromise communications between the CPS and Greater Manchester Police.
Acknowledging that several other cases with the same racial/religious profile are currently going through the judicial system, can you provide evidence from this case as to whether the CPS considers racially or religiously aggravated assaults of this nature warrant the addition of the appropriate extra tariff as stipulated within sentencing guidelines? Without jeopardising any current case or circumventing the role of the courts, please provide information that would indicate that English victims are offered the same level of protection as those from other communities.
Can you please provide information concerning whether or not Greater Manchester Police provided the CPS with evidence that would warrant the addition of racially or religiously aggravated circumstances in this case? Please do so in a general manner, censoring individual names if needs be in order to protect those involved from being identified.
Please provide any evidence/information that might indicate that during this case, prosecuting authorities and/or Greater Manchester Police facilitated or considered the addition or racially/religiously aggravated evidence to the court as they are legally obliged to do.