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back to article Boss frogmarches bound employee to cop shop

An Essex boss who discovered one of his employees had stolen and cashed a company cheque frogmarched the miscreant to a police station with his hands tied behind his back and a sign round his neck reading "thief", the Times reports. Carpet fitter Mark Gilbert, 39, swiped the cheque from Witham-based In House Flooring, wrote it …

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Vigilante justice is the only answer.

I've spent a lifetime seeing crims get away with pretty much everything due to recalcitrant plod or worse, lawyers. Very few people get arrested by real plod for anything more than a 'suspected' crime, so the whole,"He wasn't guilty yet" argument is moot. That's why people go to court dont-cha-know. The police don't try them although that does seem to be changing... So quit it with your "They didn't know for sure he was guilty and blah..." - that describes pretty much every arrest in Britain.

As a few people above have pointed out: What will these guys do next time? They'll just beat the snot out of a caught crim. I've seen enough in my time to do the same now. I'm tempted to put a sign up on my house that says: "This house doesn't call the police." - because I know if I do call the police they won't come, not for anything, not for any crime, they can't be arsed. And even if they did come out, they'd find a way of punishing me more than the crim, or they'd let the crim off with some meaningless fine or community service, yet the next time an 80 year-old woman refuses to pay her Poll/Council Tax, they'll be 'round there in force, throwing her in jail. Or God forbid you watch some pr0n or don't pay your TV licence or horror of horrors...SPEED!

If I encounter any kind of criminal in my life I will deck first, ask questions later. There's really no reason not to. What's the alternative? Go through normal channels and hope the police and the justice systems works!? If you believe that, then you must have been asleep for the last 20 years.

It's also interesting in that this draws a parallel with that old biddy on the train platform a few months ago who had a go at a couple of blokes for smoking, a couple of times too. They ended up throwing her off the platfom onto the train tracks and she broke her wrist or something like that. It's odd how there was wide-spread condemnation of the 'thugs' and wide-spread support for the biddy. But really, that too is taking the law into your own hands. There are railway staff and police trained to deal with those situations, trained and authorised to enforce the 'vital' (cough) 'no smoking law' in our public places - then surely if the woman acted out on her own cognisance and confronted the men, she took the law into her own hands and thus must bear at least some of the responsibility for what happened next, i.e. getting hoiked off the paltform. They were only smoking ffs. Interesting to see what kind of porridge they're doing now though...for their crime: Smoking.

You can't have it both ways.

Just to clarify, I think Tony Martin should've been given a fucking medal for shooting that burglar and I think that as the police are generally absent nowadays in most crimes, there's very little choice but for the public to take the law into their own hands, and mistakes will happen but hey, least we won't shoot anyone dead in our zeal...hmm?

You can't advocate the police and the justice system as "The Right Thing To Do" or "The Answer", when they can't be bothered to participate or, when they do, they capitulate on the side of the criminals, i.e. the thief who fell through a warehouse roof in Liverpool and got compensation for the roof being weak, bless him. You're naive in the extreme if you think that solves these kind of issues.

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@Shane Lusby

So, what was that IT angle again?

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what 'imprisonment'?

a couple of things..

1. what imprisonment?

so far as i can tell this alleged thief was apprehended by a citizen and then taken pretty much directly to the police to press charges. so how long exactly did the boss 'imprison' the alleged thief for? days? hours? minutes?

2. what was 'false' about the citizen's arrest?

the thief admitted the crime, so there was nothing false about it.

3. i could be mistaken, but i recall seeing a photo of the 'frogmarch' (when the story was new) and it looked to me like the thief had his hands tied in front and not behind (not that it really matters tho).

4. the boss probably did this because he knew that if he just reported the crime, nothing would be done about it. at all. an officer would never have actually been assigned to the case. (they say they have more important things to attend to and lack of manpower.. etc etc).. i have reported a far bigger crime myself only to get that response from the police.

... so there you have it. clearly our so-called 'law' is rubbish and will side with the criminal (unless gvt want it otherwise of course). the police force are clearly not doing their job the way it should be done. so much for justice!!

this occurred because the police want to warn people against any form of protecting themselves or their businesses (or families or homes). we clearly have no right to do this.

didn't you know that in UK we have no actual real rights unless the law decides otherwise?

what ever happened to what is morally correct? oh, i forgot. in the uk that is irrelevant.

the only thing relevant is what the so-called law decides. to hell with what is actually right or wrong.

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n

well done...i will do the same

the boss took the best course of action.

he at least got some justice.

i worked somewhere in a similar situation.

very small company, thief worked in finance dept!

the employee was ordered by the court to pay back the couple of thousand at £10 per month or something ridiculous.

He did pay for 6 months then stopped.

When the court was asked why he stopped paying, they said he had been imprisoned for a few months on another offence. (They never bothered to tell us, his previous victim this though.)

"So when will he start paying our money back again?" we asked.

The court replied: "sorry, a prison sentence automatically wipes previous fines/repayments, he won't be paying you any money now."

So, welcome to britain, steal money, plead poverty over the fine, get a couple of months bed + board + playstation at her majesties pleasure, hey presto, no more pesky fine to pay!

to the idiots saying "this encourages vigilantes...". THERE IS NO ALTERNATIVE JUSTICE SYSTEM. That fact alone encourages vigilantes more than anything.

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It's all in the details

What these men were arrested for, was the parading-through-the-city part. To give things an IT angle so you might understand:

This is like the record companies tar-and-feather-parading mp3 downloaders through the city before handing them off to the police. Your uproar might be on the other side in that situation.

//Svein

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Coat

Executions in the workplace

Why shouldn't any old manager be allowed to hog-tie and shame an employee suspected of thieving?

Time was the thief would have been burned as a witch - and quite right too!

These days of course a Loony Lefty council would give him an Arts Council grant for him to rape our innocent children's death mouths - whilst asylum seekers watched and laughed!

The police are clearly part of leftist conspiracy to turn our once proud empire into a neo-Stalinist state - and that would make our dearly missed Lady Diana cry.

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@Thomas Baker

>>"So quit it with your "They didn't know for sure he was guilty and blah..." - that describes pretty much every arrest in Britain."

However, marching someone through the streets with a sign round their neck happens in hardly any arrest in Britain. That's the whole point of the case.

>>"As a few people above have pointed out: What will these guys do next time? They'll just beat the snot out of a caught crim."

Then they'd *really* be up shit creek, especially if the crime involved isn't violent or particularly serious.

Where would *you* draw the line for a crime being large enough for a punishment beating that could easily result in disability or death?

Employee sneaking £50 from the till?

A bit of pilfering from the stationery cupboard?

Would it matter if there was just a belief someone was guilty, rather than proof?

The kind of person who'd happily beat the snot out of a nonviolent criminal seems likely to be the kind of person who'd be rather flexible when it comes to assessing necessary evidence.

>>"And even if they did come out, they'd find a way of punishing me more than the crim,"

Yeah - I've lost count of the times when someone calls 999 to report an intruder, and the police turn up and arrest the householder for doing nothing.

It happens so often that the liberal media from the Telegraph right through to the Mail have all decided not to bother reporting it any more.

Your platform analogy rather shows your level of thinking.

If you really can't see the numerous clear dividing lines between asking someone not to smoke and kicking the shit out of someone, you're exactly the type of person who shouldn't try taking the law into your own hands.

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@Sillyfellow

>>"the boss probably did this because he knew that if he just reported the crime, nothing would be done about it. at all. an officer would never have actually been assigned to the case."

Even if he *suspected* that, there was still nothing to stop him at least trying the police. No imminent danger of violence. No urgency.

Instead, he did something that was likely to make the police less interested in pursuing the original crime than they might otherwise have been.

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Anonymous Coward

Easier in some parts of the world

Things were much easier in old-days South Africa.

I once apprehended a bloke who was stealing my car radio and called the cops. The cops told me in no uncertain terms that next time I should shoot. to kill. Much less paper work and the crim would be off the streets for good.

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Flame

My word............

wasn't this a great opportunity for the "hand 'em and flog 'em" brigade!

I didn't realise the IT world had so many exponents of Sharia law..... have people heard of innocent until proven guilty and proportionality?

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Alert

All the Mail readers are out today

To the most recent "hang-em-high" commenter

1. Restraining someone from going about freely, including using restraints, is "imprisonment". You don't need to be locked up in a place called a "prison" for it to be so.

2. It's false because the alleged perpetrator had not been found guilty of a crime in a court of law. Quaint notion, that. Innocent till proven guilty, and all that tosh? Even if the thief admitted the crime before being convicted (not the case here), they still have not been *found guilty*. People admit crimes because they're nutters too, or duress (hm, being tied up is fun), but they're not guilty. That's why we have courts.

3. No, it doesn't matter which way his hands were *tied*.

4. The boss didn't report the crime, so how the hell does that give the police a chance to do their jobs? You can also sue people in the civil court for losses. You also get insurance payouts and the like if you report the crime, so doing so using the official channels is to your own benefit.

As to what is "morally correct", in Saudi Arabia, it's morally correct to stone "adulterous" women to death, and to chop peoples' hands off for theft. Perhaps that would suit some here as well.

And as has been observed above, but making such an exhibition of the supposed perpetrator, you just killed off any likelihood of that individual being tried fairly. No judge in the land would allow such a case to go forward.

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Innocent until proven guilty

... the cheque bounced, what did the employer loose? Nothing.

What should the police charge him with? Attempted theft?

Wouldn't the appropriate action have been to just sack the guy and get on with running your business and making money... rather than wasting time marching some idiot down to the local plod for less than a grand?

Justice shouldn't be served on the spot, fueled by emotion. Every person deserves the right to defend themselves in a court of law in a civilized manner... else whats to stop me from shooting you dead because i *think* your a low life crim that flogged my TV last week?

Do we really want to go back to lynch mobs and witch burning?

Now all that said, if you saw and old lady being mugged in the street, i think it would be morally and legally correct to punch the thief in the face and stand on the bastard till the plod arrive...

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Flame

If they like Iraq so much then why don't they go and live there?!

Judging by the rabid frothing at the mouth, bad grammar and punctuation, we seem to have a load of Daily Mail readers in our midst!

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Anonymous Coward

@Mark

No, it's until.

The point is that you are innocent at any time prior to being found guilty. The presumption here is that in absence of a guilty verdict you are innocent.

Unless means, well, unless. Which would imply you are only innocent because you have not yet been found guilty.

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Pirate

Call me pedantic but...

...if the cheque bounced then he didn't actually steal the £800 did he? All he stole was the cheque which was simply a (worthless) piece of paper.

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fuck em!

one minute the fuzz want us to shop em next minute theyre arresting us - what a bunch of dozy tossers!

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@Spezzer

>>"one minute the fuzz want us to shop em next minute theyre arresting us - what a bunch of dozy tossers!"

That only happens if in that minute you choose to act like a vigilante.

It does look like that the people most keen to jump to conclusions about what the police will or won't do are the people most keen to do something dumb to make their predictions come true.

I suppose that's *one* way to end up being right, but it doesn't seem like the smartest way.

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Silver badge

Norwich Nightclubs.

Ok, its not related, but its a good story. Son of a friend was recently in a Norwich nightclub. One of his mates was assaulted in the club - headbutted three times, leaving a very messy nose. Attack was unprovoked. Went to front desk to complain they had been assaulted, desk called bouncers. Bouncer toss them all out on the street (The victims that it), called plod over, accused them of affray. Plod took them off to station where despite all their protestations, they were done for breach of peace, and fined £80 on the spot.

The original assault, which resulted in bodily injury, was completely ignored.

And people wonder why the police have a bad press.

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Stop

Norwich Nightclubs

Your friends son did not have to pay this on the spot fine he could have opted for Magistrates court as is the case with ALL On-the-Spot -Fines.

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Nothing Stolen

If I attempt to rob a bank and am arrested/otherwise prevented from leaving with any money, am I off free because I didn't actually steal anything?

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jon

IT angle??? <yawn>...

If you just want IT, go to these IT sites...

www.anandtech.com

www.extremetech.com

www.ocworkbench.com

- and when you are bored with all the tech specs, HD reviews, PC reviews, cpu revi...zzzzzzzzzzzz...

I think you will know why peeps come here!! :)

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jon

@ James Hughes...

the problem with the story is, who was the noisiest?? - I will bet it was your mates, and the club owner has a bigger profile with the police...

- It would be VERY different, if after the assault, you did NOT go to the front desk, but straight to a policeman (first making sure you are SOBER and looking respectable!!), and report the club - the police would then treat your case with respect!

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Anonymous Coward

False Imprisonment...

II think because the reaction was excessive. Just bring the guy to the police, or call the police to collect him. He'll still have to pay, maybe do some time, and you'll stay out of prison.

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jon

The best way is softly, softly....

If I was the boss of this company, and discovered his deeds... I would simply sue him for 'attempted embezzelment' :) - He would think he had escaped, until he gets it..

- or if I wanted to vent my anger, I would just walk up to him and pass him the 'writ' innocently, and when he is holding it say 'you are served' to see his horrified expression!! :D

(Hey correct my legal knowledge if it is more hollywood than reality! :) )

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IT Angle

@new shop policy

Sign I saw in Texas once.

"Trespassers will be shot. Survivors will be shot again"

IT angle? See the recursive algorithm?...

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Irons Irony

Perhaps he'll be paraded through the town centre in (ironically) irons, with a sign reading "BOSS!" around his neck.

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@Lee

Nope. UNLESS.

I am accused of stealing your pen.

I am not guilty of stealing it because I didn't.

I'm not innocent until proven guilty. I'm innocent. Unless you have proof I'm guilty (which would be impossible if I haven't done it).

"Until" says that I AM guilty but until it has been proven, you can't doe me for it.

"Unless" says that I am NOT guilty unless you can prove I did.

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Anonymous Coward

THOMAS

aka enraged smoker with massive chip on shoulder.

You almost made sense until the smoking part. Get a grip. Can you just leave your pro-smoking grumblings elsewhere. Specifically when the little self-righteous rant makes NO SENSE AT ALL.

She wasn't ''taking the law into her own hands'' she was at most being rude or having an argument ..no, not even an argument, 'words' with someone. Pointing out the obvious.

That is not illegal. It happens all the time. If I called someone an ***hole or a bad singer or laughed at their hair cut do you think it's fair or understandable for them to throw me under a train for it? It is not even legal to fight someone who jumps out and punches you, you have to try and escape the situation first or just take the blows and get them charged later.

For you to even consider her partly to blame and not be outraged at the lunatic who violently attacked her physically over a verbal comment just shows how strong the addiction has a hold of you, or how brainless you are in general when you actually sympathise with what was nearly a cold blooded murderer over a bitchy? comment, based on the fact that he too was in your chip carrying, rebel wannabe, cancer inhaling, club.

Sorry people, you can think it's funny and even good that he got humiliated, but you can't honestly excuse the bosses actions. It's not legal to tie someone up and force them to go anywhere.

Opinions are interesting but ultimately irrelevant. What both of them did was against the law. Surely anyone over the age of 18 knows the basics of 'citizens arrest' and surely someone who is in the position of BOSS would know what to do when an employee is caught stealing.

Surely anyone with COMMON SENSE knows that when a crime happens you PHONE THE POLICE. We have all heard enough of these stories to know by now that the law is... so...weird that if we try to intervene we will most likely get in trouble too. Usually more trouble than the criminal. I do realise that if someone breaks your jaw in an unprovoked attack they will get a £200 fine and a free anger management class, but the solution isn't to dish out your own revenge.

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Stop

Similar situation

I live in a nice area

But a few weeks ago I was getting cash out of a cash machine stuck my wallet in my pocket walked to the car

Some bloke goes "scuse me mate got a light", I mention yes he walks up to me and says "Gimme your wallet".

So i punch him in the face repeatedly.

I would call the police ambulance etc etc but i will get prosocuted so i leave him there (yes he was fine). Do i feel i was in the wrong No

I would love to do the right thing but cannot

before anybody goes on about is it worth £40. Yes it is because it was the last of my money for the month and i have 2 children and a fiance to feed.

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Reading skills are a problem these days

He didn't steal anything. He tried to. Apply that rigour to adultery and see where you get.

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The cops *did* go easy on the boss...

I suspect they did actually let the boss off quite lightly.

Contrary to popular belief, you don't have to lock someone in a cellar and send a note demanding money to their worried relatives to commit a kidnap.

All it takes is to move someone from one location to another via threats, force or deception. It's long, it's broad, it's very easy to prove and it attracts quite harsh sentences. The absolute minimum would be around 18 months, for what the CPS describes as "...circumstances which barely qualify as kidnapping...".

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