Prosecutors strike it rich
Trawling the forums here at El Reg for unpleasant comments!
A man under police surveillance who was cleared of criminal offences after leaving unpleasant comments on YouTube will be tried again after the Director of Public Prosecutions got his acquittal overturned. Kingsley Anthony Smith, a 19-year-old of Woodbridge Close, Luton, was cleared of four charges of breaking Section 127 of …
Sounds like a stitch-up to me. They had him under surveillance, found out he was about as likely to commit any terrorist as a cat is to become a dog, and decided that do him for naughty youtube comments in order to justify the expense.
This is exactly the sort of thing people warned about when all this "we must make the internet safe" rubbish was getting started. Constable Savage would be right at home with these laws.
The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) then stepped in, appealing against Smith’s acquittal on three grounds: that his comments genuinely were menacing; that they were grossly offensive...
Offensive and menacing comments in a Youtube comments section? That must have been the DPP's first time on the internet.
I post on here regularly but being British, the worst I would say is "I strongly disagree with you sir"
It's not difficult to avoid going around throwing death threats at people. I am for a free society but in these days you already know that talk about exploding or killing is going be flagged.
To be honest I can't think of anyone I would wish death on, I really don't like some people but i wish them poor customer service and late curry deliveries!
Doesn't it depend on the context? My grandmother used to say about my grandfather "Do you know, one day I'm going to kill him", or "he'll be the death of me". I really can't see that prosecuting her would have been a reasonable response given that she didn't follow her words with actions.
*Applause* Thank you. Very well said.
You can disagree with someone, hate them with an incandescent rage if you like, but death threats are unacceptable. If you tried that shit in public then any cop would haul you away right then & there for it, so doing it *IN WRITING* where it can be used against you in a court of law? That's not just stupid, that's Microsoft Stupid.
Don't make death threats. It makes you out to be a waste of viable DNA & ripe for an extended incarceration for a psych eval to make sure you don't turn out to be a danger to yourself & others.
Unless, of course, the cop decides you're a terrorist & hands you over for "enhanced interrogation" in an undisclosed location.
Yes I know that's more an American government kind of thing, but that particular plague is spreading globally & nobody is safe from its taint anymore. =-(
Or else people might question our liberties being flushed down the pan in the name of keeping us safe from groups that would flush all our liberties down the pan.
The last time I didn't feel safe was when I still took a regular bath or two, but due to the number of people drowning in the tub each year, I forgo the pleasure. Mind you, I have a fewer close friends now....
Death threats are basically ignored, and you're treated as an idiot for even bothering the poor cops with such nonsense.
They're not a joke when you're on the receiving end. These people need to be given at least 6 months in the cooler to relax and think about things.
There is that about death threats and threats of physical harm. They, most the part, were addressed before "terrorism" and usually a cooling off time worked. Yes, I realize that some of those making threats carried them out even after some jail time.
However, to apply the "terrorist" label to any of this is a bit extreme as probably 99% of terrorists never make threats online. They go about their work trying not to be seen. A big part of terrorism is the "surprise factor".
I think what the first judge failed to recognise was that the fuzz had observed him going to Islamic extremist fundraising events in addition to making threats on YouTube so my impression is that they were trying to nip a potential terrorist in the bud.
I find a lot of police prosecutions are ill thought out and often flawed because they go for easy prosecutions for easy wins to keep the numbers up but with this one, the kid seems to have been getting sufficiently hot under the collar to need a figurative bucket of water throwing over him tocool him down.
If somebody makes death threats against you, it is best to take them seriously until you know better or have removed the threat.
Thing is, if nothing had been done, and then said cretin *had* done something, everybody would have been screaming for even *more* heads in government and police services.
"You should have done something about such an obvious threat!!" "How could you ignore those death threats?!!" "What does radicalised mean to you!??!"
If he does something, blame the police and judges. If he "did nothing", blame the police and judges.
Society has a "kick me" sign pinned on back.
I find a lot of police prosecutions are ill thought out and often flawed because they go for easy prosecutions for easy wins to keep the numbers up
The police do not prosecute; they gather evidence and present it to the Crown Prosecution Service which then decides to continue with a case in court or abandon it; having said that your point about they go for easy prosecutions for easy wins to keep the numbers up is entirely valid - unfortunately.
If a particular prosecution is "ill thought out" then the blame lies with the CPS for proceding with a badly prepared case. If the evidence is weak in court then that's down to the CPS as well; it should either have sent it back for further investigation or abandoned any action if better evidence could not be found. Very often (every time?) the police will not even charge a suspect until the CPS has had a look at the evidence to determine if a conviction is likely.
We used to have the principle of "double jeopardy" which meant that you cannot be tried for the same crime twice. This was eroded by a new law that allowed a re-trial for *very serious crimes* if sufficient *new evidence* comes to light that was not available at the time of the original trial. So now it seems that the principle has been discarded completely and the DPP can take a person to court again and again until they get the "right" verdict. When you consider that legal aid has been so eroded that few people are eligible, and legal costs are rarely fully reimbursed even if the defendant is acquitted, you could be accused of just about anything and you'll eventually be convicted (after being bankrupted).
Reminds me of a David Marais cartoon in the Cape Times in apartheid South Africa which was effectively a police state - with a veneer of being a democracy. One of the things the Government hated was the English speaking free press. However - for reasons of international diplomacy they had to appear to tolerate its exposures of injustice, corruption, and hypocrisy. They used to leave blank columns to show where they had been censored.
A man leaving court is standing by a police van with its door open. A policeman says to him "Acquitted, hey! Man, you don't want to take too much notice of a verdict. Hop in".
I currently suffer deja vu too often these days - especially in the UK and when reading news about the USA.
Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019