back to article Operation Ore decision a 'serious miscarriage of justice' - lawyer

The solicitor who brought the Operation Ore appeal that was finally rejected today has questioned whether the British courts had the expertise to consider deeply technical cases. Chris Saltrese, the solicitor who brought the case on behalf of Anthony O'Shea, told us today that in his view, the verdict was "not based on the …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    Haven't you heard?

    The government(sic) has decided not to hear evidence from experts anymore and will make their future decisions based on the whims of American politicos and other vested interests (Like how nice their hosts villa abroad was).

  2. Anonymous Coward

    "draws a line under the efforts of a small number of individuals who...

    ... have perpetuated conspiracy theories"

    Not so much Conspiracy Theories as "have suggested that it may not have been entirely flawless", surely?

    Anyone who wouldn't accept that their broad-ranging and widely-scoped investigation had the slight possibility of flaws shouldn't be in charge of a case. Any case has the scope to take wrong turns. A case like this had a huge potential for one or two innocents to fall through the cracks. Thinking that it couldn't is the sign of a person who's totally out of touch with reality.

  3. Cameron Colley

    "You still need to pay me lots of money!!!!!!"

    Said Jim "I make money from child abuse" Gamble.

    Who cares that the only "evidence" that these people had anything to do with "child abuse" was that their details appeared on a database which (it would appear from the press surrounding this article) was never actually investigated to see whether the card details were obtained in a legal manner.

    Actually, I must be stupid, because this really sounds like all I have to do to get someone I don't like busted for child abuse is to get hold of a credit card controlled by them and use it to pay for a dodgy site using an open wireless access point*. But surely that would mean that the law is fucked?

    *OK, so it's harder when you have a specific victim in mind, but it still seems stupidly easy.

    1. beerandbiscuits

      Well actually

      If you want to read the judgment here, you'll find that you'd have to have signed up to it through his dial up connection, using his own passwords, and have him not query the billing when he did query other items on the same bills.

      Not as simple as he would have you believe.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Well ackcherly

        The same sort of evidence that would have been uncovered had he fallen victim to a phishing scam ?

        Not saying our unsuspecting victim/revolting pedo is guilty or innocent. Just that his lawyer sounds a bit rubbish

        1. david wilson


          >>"The same sort of evidence that would have been uncovered had he fallen victim to a phishing scam"

          Sounds more like someone would have to have hijacked his PC for some amount of time, *and* been fortunate enough that he didn't query the credit card bill.

          If someone had the sole aim of implicating him in viewing dodgy material, (explaining why the card information wasn't used elsewhere for profit the way that stolen cards tend to be) they'd presumably have to have an expectation that the relevant information would come to light quickly enough to make the implication stick.

          Even if he had some particular enemy hoping to frame him, they'd seem to have been trusting to luck that things would end up in the hands of the police.

    2. Graham Marsden

      When Jim Gamble said...

      ... "Today’s decision by the Court of Appeal draws a line under the efforts of a small number of individuals who, over the past ten years, have perpetuated conspiracy theories about Operation Ore."

      He failed to mention that even the Appeal Court Judges said that their decision was based *SOLELY* on this case. "This appeal has addressed one ultimate issue and one only, namely whether the appellant’s conviction is or is not safe. Different prosecutions, and different convictions, involved different issues. We are concerned with the issues relating to the appellant’s conviction only."

      Still, when did Jim Gamble ever worry about ensuring the facts were correct...?

    3. beerandbiscuits


      In total the court heard from 4 expert witnesses. At trial, a Mr Fisher for O’Shea and Dr Type for the prosecution. The jury heard both side’s experts before convicting.

      On appeal, the prosecution relied on the evidence of Dr Sharples, and O’Shea on a Mr Bates. Bates’s evidence was the only evidence found by O’Shea in the years since his conviction to support his defence of fraud. Aside from the fact that Bates’s theories do not add up, it is not entirely surprising that the court would prefer any other expert’s view over his given the following passage from the judgment:

      “Quite apart from other reasons, in our view his denial to us of having signed a confidentiality agreement in the case of Grout was a deliberate lie, maintained until his signed agreement was produced to him. It is also relevant that he has been convicted of perjury as a result of his misrepresenting his qualifications when giving evidence.”

      There is no question of the court ignoring expert evidence. The court considered the evidence of both experts on the appeal, and decided not to follow the one whose theories did not stack up and who was a proven liar.

      I can’t see anything wrong with that.

  4. thecakeis(not)alie

    First they came...

    ...for the paedos. I did nothing because I was thinking of the children.

    Then they came for the "computer hackers." I did nothing because hacking is wrong.

    Next they came for the political dissidents. I cheered because protests turn into riots.

    They then came for those who would vote against them. It was then I started to fear.

    Finally they came for me, for no other reason than that I had a beard*.

    Who is left now to help me?

    *Insert camera/lite-brite/whatever you want.

    With deep apologies to Martin Niemöller for butchering his works…I am purposefully Godwinning this thread. The man in question did nothing to indicate his card was stolen…but at the same time, all evidence points to an absolute TRAVESTY of justice in how the CPS handled this case. Paedos are bad, mmmka? But innocent UNLESS proven guilty is critically important. Along with that go rules on how we collect evidence…and that “evidence” be of decent quality.

    I have taken the time to research this issue beyond what is presented in the media…the more I read the worse it becomes. Combine this with crap like the pick_one($perv_scanner, $molestation_station) “everyone is guilty until we prove you innocent” Airport shite, “accusation = Guilt” MAFIAA witch hunts, the De Menzes shootings, racial profiling, Interception Modernisation Programme, ten thousand databases to track you and your DNA, CCTV cameras of DOOOOOOOOOM, etc. etc. etc.

    The picture this is all painting isn’t pretty. What are we become? What kind of society are we building? It looks like we’re building a society in which the first NIMBY to scream “X!!!” can get someone lynched. Anyone who doesn’t conform is automatically a witch. So I want to Godwin this thread just so that we can take the time to ponder that. We aren’t as bad as Nazis…yet. But I fear the direction we are…

    …what are you doing with that Duck? No, I don’t want to sit on that scale…HEY! Now just a minute here…

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Who is left now to help me?

      I believe Messrs. Wilkinson and Gillette are competent in this specialist field.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Not just this case

    A friend was telling me about the experiences of a relative who was an expert witness in a child abuse case. The crazy situation was that the statement of an inexperienced junior doctor given in the rushed environment of an A&E department was held to be 'evidence' and therefore fact. This relative's expert testament, backed by a considerable body of peer review, was held by the court to be merely 'opinion' and therefore inferior to the earlier 'factual evidence'. Too bad that the junior doctor had got it wrong.

    The legal system in this country is totally fucked when it comes to any kind of scientific or technical facts. The adversarial system is wholly inappropriate for assessing complicated evidence. My own experiences as a juror have make me cringe at the thought of 'twelve good men and true' being presented with such evidence. A jury is wholly inadequate for testing such evidence. And even if there are technical people on the jury, they have no power whatsoever to challenge poorly presented evidence. It fucking stinks.

    1. lglethal Silver badge

      The problem is...

      Would you really trust a judge to make a better decision based on any technical evidence?

      Considering that most judges are well into their 60's (if not older) and have never done anything outside of the law, their knowledge of tech is stuck in the dark ages. Their knowledge of modern technology is usually limited to programming their VCR's ("Whats a DVD?").

      I'll still take 12 good men and true any day. At least theres a chance that you might get one person with some technical knowledge... (small admittedly but its better then nothing!).

      1. Rob 21

        If only

        You might have Vogon's lead tech on the jury, but the jury foreman could and should restrict their input to what the defendant's brief brought into the case via the expert witnesses. You're restricted to being as smart or as dumb as the arguments presented in court.

        A good thing too, given how easy it would be for the jury to spend their time going over some scrote's FB site and deciding to put him away on the grounds of dodgy syntax and uploading %hit3 fotos.

  6. Peter Day

    Identity theft

    MONDAY, 20 JANUARY 2003

    Child porn police release 14

    Sussex Police have revealed that 14 innocent people who found themselves in the frame for internet child porn had been victims of credit card crime.

    Stolen card details were used to purchase sexual images of children from the US web site which sparked the Operation Ore investigation.

    In the last four weeks the force has arrested 112 people

    Six people on the list of suspected paedophiles given to Sussex Police have died.

    So if the police were aware that identity theft was rife within Operation Ore eight years ago how come they denied such a possibility at a later date?

    1. david wilson

      @Peter Day

      >>"So if the police were aware that identity theft was rife within Operation Ore eight years ago how come they denied such a possibility at a later date?"

      Maybe the police could tell the difference between stolen credit card details being used by someone elsewhere to pay for something, and credit card details being used from a cardholder's home PC to pay for something?

    2. Tom 13

      Maybe because the guy they convicted

      tracked his expenses obsessively and the notes are all in his handwriting? Also that he has a record of disputing other illegitimate charges?

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Apart rom beernbiscuits...

    ... did any of the above numpties actually READ the judgement before rushing into print? Jeez, these are same sort of hysterical fanatics that would string someone up from a lamp post as part of a howling mob, without bothering with a trial!

    He did NOT get convicted "just because his credit card details were listed on a database". READ the evidence, especially in relation to the IP addresses involved, the items (including the porn subscription) neatly ticked off on his statement but never disputed in the same way as he DID dispute some previous items charged to his credit card, the fact that CONFIRMATION of the kiddy-fiddling subscription was e-mailed to his (confirmed correct) e-mail address, that the usernames and passwords for the kiddy-porn sites matched those he also used for other sites that were not in dispute, yadda, yadda, yadda....

    The only miscarriage of justice was the fact that this child-rubber and his fellow damaged human beings cost the taxpayer (= all of us that actually have a job and pay taxes) hundreds of thousands of pounds in the costs of this circus when it would have been better for him to put his testicles on an anvil with a guilty plea on Day One.

    And of course this solicitor is saying all this, after all, he's still going to get paid a wad of cash even though professionally he didn't have any real reason to believe that his client wasn't guilty when he saw the advance disclosure material.

    God help us if that lot listed above ever serve on a jury... :-(

  8. JaitcH

    Most judges are technically ignorant + UK's in-built class system equals bad law

    Both the U.S. and Canada have some judges who are not only qualified lawyers but also doctors, accountants and engineers. They are better qualified in handling today's technically complex cases.

    The U.K., from what I have read, have fewer. Additionally there is the 'class' stratification in UK society and more senior judges, older too, are not only less technically skilled but have years of judicial isolation in their ivory towers away from everyday society. How many have been to a football match or even a drink at a pub?

    The very expression, 'unsafe conviction', carries baggage whereas the North American "Not Guilty', or 'the conviction is struck' have much clearer meanings and inferences.

    The proclamation, by the appeal court, in this case demonstrate the judges hadn't grasped the technical details of the matter which is not good for the court or the appellants - or for any other similar appeals this court may hear.

    1. Titus Technophobe
      Thumb Up

      and yet

      If you read the notes from the judgement it suggests that the Judge has a technical understanding of what has happened. I can't really fault either the logic, or the conclusion.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Just going from memory here but I was under the impression that the database in question was used by multiple sites, many of which didn't contain any dodgy porn at all.

      Maybe not applicable in this guy's case but Ore clearly had a lot wrong with it.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Please read the actual evidence presented in the link above

    and more specifically read the evidence against the appellent sections 22-27. The evidence would seem pretty damning and it is not entirely suprising that the judge in question rejected the appeal based on the fraudulent use of his credit card. I don't personally think they have got in this specific instance

    link if you havent spotted it:

  10. Graham Bartlett


    Suppose you start by reading the judgement. You might learn something - for instance, that 12 people made a reasonable decision, and the Appeals Court judge wasn't about to overturn it with no new evidence presented. (Or do you think that juries are also stuffed with ivory-tower characters too?) Assuming you manage this, suppose you also realise that what you learnt about UK society from "Four Weddings and a Funeral", "Three Men and a Little Lady" or "101 Dalmatians" might not actually reflect reality.

    A judge doesn't need to be an upper-class twit, or over 70. A judge may not know himself what an IP address is, but chances are that the majority of the jury won't either. (If you doubt this, walk into your favourite football stadium and run a straw poll, and you might be surprised to find how out of touch *you* are.) A decent judge will take that into account, and some of what might look like a judge being slow is actually the judge making totally sure the jury knows the facts, Aristotle-fashion.

    I'm not disputing the fact that there have been (and may still be) bad judges. James Pickles would be the classic example, and he's one of the reasons that UK judges these days have significant oversight of the decisions they take.

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Having been...

    Involved with this pile of rubbish...

    Now it's time to move on!

    I lost my career over this and the police said NFA All my equipment was returned,

    My credit card details WERE stolen!! Probably by an indian restraunt! No way to find out.

    It's pointless to fight, blocked by the police every time.

    I just want to get on with my life, now that they've ruined it!

    POINTLESS ACTIONS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019